International Artists Square Off Over Israel

The Middle East isn’t just the geographic center of the planet. With so much activism on different sides regarding the region, particularly with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict recently stoked by an Israeli flotilla raid, it’s also a sort of philosophical center. Over the past two years, and particularly in the past week, artists from around the world have thrown their take into the debate, using their artistic expression as a soapbox. The results have been fascinating so far.

The recent flotilla controversy has led directly to cancellations from a number of international musicians scheduled to perform in Israel. The cancellations from Elvis Costello, the Pixies, and Gorillaz (pictured) certainly casts an interesting light on the way artists are voicing either their support or discontent with Israel.

The country itself has seen its vibrant artist community gain international attention. Multimedia artist Yael Bartana was recently awarded the Artes Mundi Prize for Contemporary Art while three Israeli artists made the final cut last year of Flash Art’s “100 Emerging Artists” list. With Israeli artists even contributing to graffiti murals in China, the bulk of their work has been apolitical. But the artistic debate over Israel worldwide has really intensified over the past two years.  

Some international artistic expression has actually looked to beautify a troubled situation in the region, much like the artists who worked with Artists 4 Israel to paint bomb shelters in the cities of Sderot and Kiryat Gat.  But on the heels of Israel hosting its first international music conference, the anti-Israel tone from artist has become considerably more pronounced.

In Berlin, two artists installed maps in May featuring an Israel-less map of the Middle East. This after large-scale boycotts of Israel at the Toronto International Film Festival, along with other large artist boycotts of Israel, including one spearheaded a few years ago by British novelist John Berger.

The Arab-Israeli conflict has been a divisive issue for decades, but never before has the global artistic community taken on such a proactive role in the debate. No one can say how effectively any of these artists can contribute to solving the issue, but it certainly creates a unique forum contributing to a very difficult issue.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Keep reading Show less

Beyond Meat announces plan to sell ‘ground beef’ in stores. Shares skyrocket.

Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.

Culture & Religion
  • Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
  • Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
  • Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
Keep reading Show less

Thumbs up? Map shows Europe’s hitchhiking landscape

Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.

Image: Abel Suyok
Strange Maps
  • A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
  • However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
  • In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
Keep reading Show less

Can you guess which state has the most psychopaths?

A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

Surprising Science
  • The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
  • The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
  • The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
Keep reading Show less