Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 13 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.

The true chocoholics among you will appreciate Carlo Ratti's edible pavilion created from 30,000 chocolate pralines. A festival in Italy dedicated to food culture, called FICO Eataly World, took place in the city of Bologna. It included Ratti's giant chocolate tablet, which visitors were encouraged to sample. Festival-goers were also asked to sit inside a booth and sample different kinds of pralines, while facial recognition technologies developed by a company called DotDotDot used tiny movements of lips, eyebrows, nostrils, pupils and foreheads to gauge reactions. Carlo Ratti, director of the Senseable city lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, lamented the tons of material that had to be thrown out after most festivals: his chocolate tablet was meant to counter that waste.

Watch this psychedelic touch-sensitive greenhouse installation that has gone up in Tokyo. (Give the video a few minutes to unfold.) Nicknamed "Digital Vegetables", the project was created by a group called PARTY which included seven types of vegetables planted inside the structure. Each vegetable emitted a different sound when it was touched: pumpkins, for examples, are clarinets, radishes are flutes, cabbages are oboes, etc. The sounds are accompanied by a complex light installation. The vegetable greenhouse will stay in downtown Tokyo through November 5 as part of Design Touch 2017.

We have spoken before on these pages about the organic architecture of Zaha Hadid, who unfortunately died recently. Hadid's only residential building in New York City, at 520 West 28th Street, is shown here as it nears completion. You will see her characteristic touches like wrap-around terraces and glass-enclosed pavilions. There are a total of 39 residences found within the hand-rubbed metal outer skin. Also designed was a 75' sky-lighted pool and the only private IMAX theater in New York City.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is now the the proud ownder of a psychedelic indoor park, featuring over 70 rooms of fantasy and fun. The installation was created by Meow Wolf, a group of local artists from many disciplines who aim to build immersive art environments. In 2016 the group built their first permanent installation called the House of Eternal Return, also in Santa Fe.

The Atlantic magazine presents the graphically confrontational paintings of Italian artist Carol Rama, who depicted the female body over a 60-year period. Rama's frank take on female passions was shut down by the police in 1945, citing nudity, images of defecation and copulation, and presumed critiques of Fascism. Many of the paintings have been lost or destroyed, and yet enough remained to inspire contemporary artists like Cindy Sherman and Kiki Smith. Rama died in 2015 at the age of 97 and her work is now being featured at the New Museum in New York City. In addition to unabashed images of body processes, Rama attached materials like teeth, syringes, and plastic eyeballs to her paintings, at one point using bicycle inner-tubes from her father's factory to create mixed-media pieces. When she was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2003, she asked irritably, "Why had it taken so long?" Why, indeed.

Standpoint magazine is featuring an article on Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, titled "A portrait of the artists as a pair of young wastrels". In great detail, the friendship and eventual breakup of these two giants is dissected, revealing their strengths and weaknesses both as artists and as human beings.

Jenni Hiltunen is a young Finnish artist who is currently having solo shows in Helsinki and Milan. She deals in bold strokes and wide swathes of color, focused primarily on highly-abstracted portraits of young women and men.

We occasionally bring you notable exmaples of private collections. This month we look at the Museum Liaunig in the Carinthia district of Austria. The art is found inside a sleek concrete building that was designed by the Viennese architects Querkraft. 90% of the collection is located underground and features the work of Austrian postwar art as well as African beaded pieces and decorated glass and portrait miniatures.

Chicago's Museum of Contemorary Art has featured a mid-career retrospective of Takashi Murakami, titling it "The Octopus Eats is Own Leg". The title comes from Japanese folklore about an unhappy octopus who would eat off its leg so that a new one could grow in its place, reminding viewers of the importance of Japanese tradition in Murakami's work. Arranged chronologically, the exhibition includes both paintings and sculpture, including the creature called DOB. An extensive catalog is available.

For the past year we have mentioned the work of Iris van Herpen on our 3D print news pages as an innovator using 3D printing in fashion design. From this article we learn that she is a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, Paris's equivalent of a fashion think tank, collaborates with architects and physicists, presented a show called Biopiracy, using artificial fire opals, and has had her work acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Read on for more fascinating details. (Thanks to HG for this).

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017