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UN appoints Olafur Eliasson as climate ambassador

Plus: Wim Crouwel (1928–2019) | AI database to remove 600,000 images after artists expose bias | The Scottish Gallery to become employee-owned | and Paisley Museum renovation receives £2 million from Scottish government

23 September 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

UN appoints Olafur Eliasson as climate ambassador | The Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has been appointed as Goodwill Ambassador to advocate for climate reform by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The aims of the newly created role are described on the UNDP website as being to ‘advocate for urgent climate action, help UNDP to raise awareness and mobilize support […] through projects that promote renewable energy, reduce CO2 emissions and protect our planet’. Eliasson has documented the environmental and cultural impact of climate change in many of his artworks over the years.

Wim Crouwel (1928–2019) | The Dutch designer and typographer Wim Crouwel has died, at the age of 90. Crouwel designed numerous posters, catalogues and exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Abbemuseum in Eindhoven from the mid 1960s; he created several fonts, of which the best known is New Alphabet (1967), and in 1970 he designed the Dutch Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Osaka. From 1985–93, he was the director of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

AI database to remove 600,000 images after artists expose bias | The database ImageNet, used by technology companies and academic labs to train artificial intelligence to recognise people and objects in images, will remove nearly half of its images of people. The decision comes after the launch earlier this month of ImageNet Roulette, an online project by artists Trevor Paglen and Kate Crawford, which presented evidence of racial and gender bias.

The Scottish Gallery to become employee-owned | The Scottish Gallery – Scotland’s oldest commercial art gallery, which opened in 1842 – will be acquired by an Employee Ownership Trust this October. Gallery director Guy Peploe agreed to sell his 50% stake in the business to the trust, in a move designed to ensure continuity of ownership. Peploe said: ‘I look forward to many more years of involvement in a future-proof structure that should see The Scottish Gallery past its bicentenary.’

Paisley Museum renovation receives £2 million from Scottish government | A £42 million renovation of the Paisley Museum, due for completion in 2022, has received £2 million from the Scottish government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. Architecture firm AL_A, led by Amanda Levete, is carrying out the redesign.

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