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Aki Sasamoto was feeling more out of control than usual, thanks to a kidney condition that prevented her from drinking and her unplanned pregnancy. The Japanese-born, New York-based artist embraced and channelled these feelings as best she knew how, meticulously crafting sculptures that reflect on her lack of control. Part of an artist profile series by the nonprofit organisation Art21, An Artist Walks into a Bar is framed around an exchange with a bartender who dutifully tunes in as Sasamoto reflects on her tumultuous year in a film that, like Sasamoto’s work, brims with surprises, deadpan whimsy and clever musings on the creative life.
Water, salt and music form a mesmerising visualisation of sound waves
Sex and sexuality
What does the Dutch model of comprehensive, ‘shame-free’ sex-ed look like?
Film and visual culture
A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
Meaning and the good life
To know or not to know? Lillian weighs the costs of a life-changing genetic test