Four Images - (1) Woman, leafy background, (2) Photography shoot, (3) Spoiled Milk, (4), Nicola Sturgeon with school children for her app

We scour the media each week for our favourite four cultural stories, innovations or campaigns across the vibrant sectors that our team promotes, including: books; visual art; architecture and design; museums; performing arts; and universities

Jeanette Winterson: girls must start coding

Jeanette Winterson revealed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this week that researching sex robots and artificial intelligence for her Booker Prize longlisted Frankissstein has convinced her that more women need to start learning code. As The Times reports, Jeanette is concerned that artificial intelligence development being dominated by men will mean that, ‘the future might not be female’. As well as taking up coding herself, she urged audiences, ‘if you have daughters, the best thing you can do is to teach them how to code’.

Secrets of the museum

The public is set to get behind-the-scenes access to the Victoria & Albert Museum, thanks to a six-part series airing on BBC two Next year, as The Guardian and London Evening Standard report. The series, being made by Blast! Films, will tell the stories of one of the world’s most eclectic museum collections, which ranges from ancient Chinese ceramics to Bradley Wiggins’s handlebars. Alistair Pegg, Blast’s director of programmes said: ‘we will be focusing on the secret life of the objects themselves and the work that is going on unbeknown to the millions of visitors who go there’. V&A director Tristram Hunt, said: ‘We hope this series will inspire a new generation of museum-goers to fall in love with the V&A’. Also in the museum world, The Times reported this week that the British Museum will be making hundreds of thousands of artefacts currently squirrelled away in storerooms more easily available to the public when they are moved to a new complex outside London, opening in 2023.

Artist marks end of exhibition by giving away curdled milk

We were intrigued by a story in Daily Mirror and York Press this week: contemporary artist Annabel McCourt will be marking the end of her ‘Suffering Arcadia’ exhibition at the Scarborough Art Gallery by giving away limited edition bottles of curdled milk. One of the commissioned works of the exhibition, ‘Happy Hour in the Harmful Factory’ features a fridge full of small bottles of milk. When the exhibition ends next Sunday 1 September, 50 art lovers will be able to take home a small part of the installation – one of the bottles of milk, signed and numbered by the artist. Simon Hedges, head of curation, collections and exhibition at Scarborough Museums Trust, said: ‘As time has gone on, the piece has developed into a more fulfilled version of Annabel’s thoughts, the work has matured like a good cheese.’

Nicola Sturgeon launches new app for teen readers

In good news for books this week, the first minister of Scotland launched a new free app, Bookzilla, aimed at inspiring young people to read for pleasure. As BookBrunch and FutureScot report, the app was developed by the Scottish Book Trust and digital agency Dubit in collaboration with over 750 pupils from 16 secondary schools across Scotland. Through the app, users will be able to receive tailored book recommendations and discover books that have been enjoyed by their peers. Teachers and librarians will also be able to use Bookzilla as a guide to find out what titles are popular amongst their students, helping them to stock titles accordingly.

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Image credits

* clockwise from top left

  1. The Times
  2. The Guardian
  3. Futurescot
  4. The York Press