The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — A government advisory panel endorsed a second COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, paving the way for the shot to be added to the U.S. vaccination campaign.The Food and Drug Administration is expected to follow the recommendation for the vaccine from Moderna and the National Institutes of Health. The FDA advisers, in a 20-0 vote, agreed the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks for those 18 years old and up.The FDA’s green light for emergency use is expected quickly. Moderna would then begin shipping millions of doses, earmarked for health workers and nursing home residents, to boost the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history.The campaign kicked off earlier this week with the first vaccine OK’d in the U.S., developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Moderna’s shot showed similarly strong protection, providing 94% protection against COVID-19 in the company’s ongoing study of 30,000 people.After seven hours of debate over technical details of the company’s study and follow-up plans, nearly all panelists backed making the vaccine available to help fight the pandemic. One panel member abstained.“The evidence that has been studied in great detail on this vaccine highly outweighs any of the issues we’ve seen,” said Dr. Hayley Gans of Stanford University Medical Center.A second vaccine is urgently needed as coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths climb to new highs ahead of the holidays. The U.S. leads the world in virus totals, with more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and nearly 309,000 reported deaths.Moderna’s vaccine uses the same groundbreaking technology as Pfizer-BioNTech’s shot. Most traditional vaccines use dead or weakened virus, but both of the new vaccines use snippets of COVID-19’s genetic code to train the immune system to detect and fight the virus. Both require two doses, several weeks apart.Thursday’s review came days after reports of apparent allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in two Alaska health workers. One person had a severe reaction, including shortness of breath, the other had less serious side effects, including lightheadedness.While the two vaccines use the same technology, they’re not identical, cautioned Moderna chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks. In particular, some of the lipids, or fats, used to coat the two vaccines are different.“I would not necessarily assume” that any reactions would be the same, he said.The FDA found no severe allergic reactions in Moderna’s data but flagged a slightly higher rate of less serious side effects — rash, hives, itching — among participants who got the vaccine, compared with those receiving a dummy shot.There were also three cases of Bell’s palsy, which temporarily paralyzes facial muscles, among vaccine recipients, compared with just one among those getting a dummy shot. The FDA review said the role of the shot in the vaccine group “cannot be ruled out.”An unanswered question is whether the vaccine also prevents people from symptomless infection – but Moderna found a hint that it may. Study participants had their noses swabbed prior to the second dose of either vaccine or placebo. At that one timepoint, swabs from 14 vaccine recipients and 38 placebo recipients showed evidence of asymptomatic infection, said Moderna’s Dr. Jacqueline Miller.After the FDA acts, U.S. officials plan to move out an initial shipment of nearly 6 million Moderna doses. The vaccine needs to be stored at regular freezer temperatures, but not the ultra-cold required for Pfizer-BioNTech’s shot.Hundreds of millions of additional shots will be needed to eventually vaccinate the general public, which isn’t expected until the spring or summer. The government’s Operation Warp Speed program has orders for 200 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine. That’s on top of 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Officials are negotiating to purchase more doses of that vaccine.Like the first vaccine, Moderna’s vaccine will remain experimental as the company continues a two-year study needed to answer key questions, including how long protection lasts.One of the trickiest issues panelists debated was how to keep study volunteers who received a dummy shot from dropping out to get the real shot once its authorized. Their participation is critical in order to have a comparison for long-term safety and effectiveness.Moderna proposed immediately alerting all those volunteers of their status and offering them the vaccine. The company said more than 25% of its participants are health workers and some are already leaving to get the first vaccine.But an invited expert from Stanford University urged Moderna to adopt Pfizer’s approach. Pfizer plans to gradually vaccinate people in its placebo group based on when they would have normally had access to the vaccine, as priority groups are established.But most panelists acknowledged it will be hard to keep volunteers from leaving the Moderna study if they have to wait to get the vaccine.“The reality may make that too difficult to do,” said Dr. Steven Pergam of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.The only COVID-19 death in the 30,000 volunteers was in a placebo recipient, a 54-year-old man whose only risk factor was diabetes.Knowing there could be more severe coronavirus in placebo recipients as the pandemic continues “weighs heavily on me,” said Moderna’s Miller.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Matthew Perrone And Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press
What is art? – The Concordian
Art has long been a disputed form of self-expression. The topic has garnered debate among philosophers, art historians, and artists, and even has an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to its controversiality.
Many jokes and memes have been made around the notion of art’s subjectivity. Books, such as Leo Tolstoy’s What is art? have attempted to answer the question, while Instagram accounts such as freeze_magazine poke fun at and ridicule how absurd the art industry can often be. And you’ve definitely seen the prank where a group of friends placed eyeglasses on the floor of the museum to observe viewers’ reactions and point out how almost anything can be considered art.
This dispute has veered towards problematic for the reason that it ultimately validates an artist’s career. What one might deem to be worth thousands of dollars can be viewed as a piece of old junk to another. We’ve all heard of the stories of someone selling a famous painting for close to nothing in a garage sale, merely because they did not know its “worth.”
So, let’s look at this etymologically. “Art” is derived from the Latin “ars” meaning “acquired skill” or “craft.” In this sense, it is commonly understood that art requires a certain level of skill in order to achieve a desired aesthetic result. Herein lies the problem. “Aesthetic,” like the notion of “beauty,” is inherently subjective.
Dadaism is an ideal example because it, at its core, rejected standard notions of aestheticism and poked fun at art in society. Let’s take, for example, Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades. The acclaimed artist began using and presenting everyday objects as pieces of art. This absurd approach to art-making helped redefine what could be considered art and challenged the idea that art had to be something beautiful and visually appealing. Instead, demonstrating that art could be intellectually appealing.
Constantin Brâncuși’s infamous 1923 work Bird in Space (L’Oiseau dans l’espace) is another prime example of the challenges in defining an object as art. The sculpture faced a number of legal controversies when the artist tried to have it shipped to the United States. Customs officers did not believe that the work was art — art, at the time, was not subject to import taxes — and instead were charged with a 40 per cent tax for “manufactured metal objects.”
According to an article titled Is it Art? published by Harvard Law, after a number of years of legal debate, Brâncuși’s Bird in Space was part of the first court decision stating that “non-representational sculpture could be considered art.” In part, on the basis that the artist intended for the sculpture to resemble the movement of a bird.
Intention brings us back to the eyeglasses meme mentioned earlier. Had the glasses been placed on a coffee table in your home, you wouldn’t have thought much of them. Having been placed on the floor of the gallery, viewers automatically begin to search for a meaning and begin to decipher what they believe the artist’s intention was.
For this reason, art is and will remain subjective. While there may never be one true answer as to what constitutes art, one thing is certain: it is personal, self-informed, and different for everyone. So, what do you consider a work of art?
Graphic by Taylor Reddam
Artmarket.com: Artprice Global Indices show the strength of Contemporary Art and Drawing in 2020: both segments adapted particularly well to rapid digitization – Canada NewsWire
thierry Ehrmann, President and Founder of Artmarket.com and its Artprice department: “the works that were resold at auction in 2020 generally fetched better prices. Two segments in particular stood out: works on paper (+55%) and Contemporary Art (+48%). However, you have to take into account the method used to calculate our indices and anticipate the fact that they tend to flatten naturally over time“.
Auctions and repeat sales
Auction sales correspond to the visible segment of the Art Market and it’s probably the segment that has best adapted to the consequences of the pandemic by accelerating its switch to an online modus operandi. Artprice’s 2020 of the Art Market Report will soon reveal all the details of this transformation (the publication of our free report is expected in March 2021).
Artprice’s Global Indices are calculated on the basis of a very specific pool of works: lots which have already been sold at public auction. This method of calculation (the repeat-sales method) is considered particularly robust, but it excludes all lots that appear in an auction sale for the first time.
Among the highest value increases recorded in 2020, Artprice was particularly interested in Banksy’s the performance. His acrylic on canvas Weston Super Mare (1999) was acquired for $16,700 in 2006 at Sotheby’s in London and was resold for $978,000 in October 2020 at Bonhams in London. The gain corresponds to an annual return on investment of 34% over 14 years.
Inversely, a small canvas by Raqib Shaw – Untitled (2004) – was acquired for $91,000 in 2008 at Sotheby’s New York, but sold for just $8,750 in 2020 at Wright in Chicago.
Between its last two appearances at auction, Joan Mitchell’s diptych La Grande Vallée VII (1983) multiplied in value 44 times, from $330,000 in 1989 to $14.5 million in 2020. Joan Mitchell was in fact the most successful female artist at auction in 2020, but her prices didn’t just soar last year. Taking into account all of her works sold and resold at auction over the years, Artprice estimates that her prices rose 15% over the last twelve months. This increase is added to the over 2000% value accretion calculated by Artprice using the same method between 2000 and 2019 for all of Mitchell’s work.
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Artmarket is a global player in the Art Market with, among other structures, its Artprice department, world leader in the accumulation, management and exploitation of historical and current art market information in databanks containing over 30 million indices and auction results, covering more than 744,000 artists.
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Artmarket with its Artprice department accumulates data on a permanent basis from 6300 Auction Houses and produces key Art Market information for the main press and media agencies (7,200 publications). Its 4.5 million ‘members log in’ users have access to ads posted by other members, a network that today represents the leading Global Standardized Marketplace® to buy and sell artworks at a fixed or bid price (auctions regulated by paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article L 321.3 of France’s Commercial Code).
Artmarket with its Artprice department, has been awarded the State label “Innovative Company” by the Public Investment Bank (BPI) (for the second time in November 2018 for a new period of 3 years) which is supporting the company in its project to consolidate its position as a global player in the market art.
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Winter wonderland: A look at snow art across Ottawa – CTV News Ottawa
This past weekend saw the biggest snowfall of the winter in the capital, and it wasn’t just any kind of snow. It was the sticky type, perfect for sculpting everything from snowmen, to dragons to igloos.
And people’s imaginations were running wild.
“We woke up Saturday morning and saw all the snow. The kids ate breakfast and raced outside,” says Ottawa resident Michelle McCombs. “It was the perfect snow for making a snowman.”
But just one or two snowmen weren’t good enough for the McCombs family. More than a dozen snowmen sit on their front lawn, greeting people as they pass.
“People have been stopping by all weekend. It kind of lifts your spirits up,” says McCombs.
Jayson Ambrose wanted to build a giant snowman, but instead built a little Buddha on top of a giant snowball. A perfect accident, he called it.
“I just kept playing with it and it ended up kinda looking like a little snowy laughing Buddha sitting on top of are giant snowball here,” he said.
Lindsay Hunter and her family needed a place to play checkers outside, so they built themselves what they call their Irish igloo, complete with tables and chairs.
“We’re very tired of being inside all day,” says Hunter, “and when the beautiful snow came, which was the stickiest, best textured snow to make stuff, and on top of that it was warm out, we couldn’t help but spend all day outside.”
Many people around the city took to their yards, spending hours making snowy masterpieces and the talent was off the charts.
But Daniel Benoit’s castle in Embrun is next level.
“We were doing it during lunch break, and then after dinner with the kids.” says Benoit. “After the kids go to bed, both of us go out and spend some time away from the TV screen or computer screen.”
The Benoit family had been working on it for two weeks, and with all the snow that fell this past weekend, they were able to finally complete it. But they might not be done just yet.
“My wife was already taking about another tower or something so we’ll see,” says Benoit.
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