There are plenty of interesting bits and pieces going on outside of architecture as well so far this week, so let’s commence:

After four months of a lockout of unionized art handlers at Sotheby’s, things still don’t seem to be progressing toward stability. According to a report by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the lockout has now cost the auction house $2.4 million in fees ranging from temporary employees to extra security. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that the company just gave its CEO, William Ruprecht, a $3 million raise. Union representatives for the art handlers are quick to point out that their entire contract dispute totals $3.3 million.

In Washington DC, the Smithsonian has reportedly hired Wolff Olins to help in a major rebranding. The main thrust of that effort is set to be the roll out of a new tagline next year: “Seriously Amazing.” The Washington Post reports that the organization has thus far paid $1 million “for research and creation of the slogan.”

Speaking of rebranding efforts, the always great Brand New blog has filed its own year end list, starting with their picks for the very worst identity changes in 2011. Unfortunately, it seems to have been written before State Farm unveiled their new logo.

And finally: so much for the potential of the Tate possible eschewing corporate sponsorship from British Petroleum following a full year of protests (and now likely more to come in 2012). The museum has renewed their contract with BP, telling the BBC, “The fact that they had one major incident in 2010 does not mean we should not be taking support from them.”