Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
For many, a Walmart store is the foremost symbol of the supposed cultural and economic mediocrity of the United States over the past half-century. But might we someday find ourselves nostalgic for the era of the big-box retailer? The US artist Brendan O’Connell, known for his impressionistic paintings of famous US brands, thinks it’s likely. Brendan O’Connell Is Blocking the Bread Aisle follows the artist’s attempt to depict the (perhaps fleeting) cultural moment of big-box bargain-shopping through a series of paintings that celebrate unremarkable moments inside Walmart stores. In doing so – first as an intruder, and later as Walmart’s invited guest – he reminds us of the contingency and temporality of our ideas about what constitutes culture and art.
‘Why does life have to be so complicated?’ A school trip to the world of work
Philosophy of mind
Forget babbling and toddling – mindreading is babies’ most incredible skill
Water, salt and music form a mesmerising visualisation of sound waves
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
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor