Dutch artist Ronald van der Meijs’ ”Play it one more time for me La Ville Fumée” is a sound-art installation that works on hand made cigars and refers to the history of Eindhoven city, when it was one of the largest cigar-producing cities of Europe. At that time the city was also called ‘La Ville Fumée’. The installation is in many ways about nature versus culture. The technique used here has an almost machine like character, that is controlled and monitored by a natural and traditional item: the hand made cigar. Because each cigar has its own strength by the natural and traditional way of making, they all have their own fire rate. It is precisely this fact that the installation is not working in a predictable way but rather relates to a more or less natural rhythm. The installation has 4 tuners each control a recorder by means of pistons containing the hand-rolled cigars. There are 4 different recorders: a bass flute, alto, tenor, and a soprano. The pistons with the cigars and the recorders are both controlled by 2 abstract lungs. This sound-art burning cigar installation can be seen as a tribute to the former tobacco industry of Eindhoven city and its thousands of workers and craftsmen. The sound composition is a requiem for the former cigar production industry of Eindhoven. (via)
In reviewing Hilary Brace’s drawings, the New York Times said, “once in a while you come across an art of such refined technique that it seems the product of sorcery more than human craft…” Starting with the smooth surface of polyester film darkened with charcoal, Brace works in a reductive manner by removing charcoal with erasers and other hand made tools. Despite the photographic veracity of her technique, Brace composes her images without premeditation, through an explorative process that allows them to unfold in unanticipated directions. Her subjects are based upon clouds, water, mist and mountains, but she takes these forms to sublime and unimaginable new heights. As Christopher Knight remarked in the Los Angeles Times, her work is “like a Vija Celmins drawing made Baroque, [it] conjures ephemeral poetics of light and space.” For all their vastness and grandeur, Brace’s drawings are relatively small and intimate. As Leah Ollman observed in Art in America, these drawings “put those two realms – the private and the cosmic – within reach of each other.” (via)
Russian graphic designer and artist Yulia Brodskaya draws with paper instead of on it. Her highly detailed pieces are constructed of rolled, folded, and carefully placed strips of color paper. The intricate curls of paper are intriguing in themselves while creating a larger image – it took me a moment to realize what I saw in the top image. Brodskaya’s process and style has garnered her some serious attention. Her long client list includes companies such as Starbucks, Anthropologie, Penguin Press, and HOW Magazine. [via]
By way of the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center in Maryland comes a series of snow crystal photographs taken by a Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope. The results are a stunning indication of the intricacies of natural forms sculpted by nature. The images resemble geometric columns and detailed shards that could have been created out of clay or concrete by a master sculptor. “Samples of snow, ice and associated life forms are collected by dislodging the crystals or biota from the face of a snow pit or the surface of the snow onto copper metal sample plates containing precooled methyl cellulose solution. Within fractions of a second these plates are plunged into a reservoir of liquid nitrogen which rapidly cools them to -196°C and attaches these pre-frozen materials to the plates. Due to the low surface tension of liquid nitrogen and the extreme hardness of materials cooled to these temperatures, very fragile samples can be shipped by aircraft, in dry shipping dewars from study sites throughout the US.”(via)
Designer Outmane Amahou‘s posters seem to need very few words accompanying them. This series is appropriately called Minimalist Art Movement Posters. Amahou glides through art history with a minimalist design style. Icons of art history’s various movements and schools stand elegantly alone at the center of each poster. Warhol’s soup can, Magrite’s pipe, Duchamp’s urinal all act as familiar symbols of their respective styles.
Ernie Button lives and works in Phoenix, AZ. He has an ongoing project entitled Vanishing Spirits in which macro photographs are taken of evaporated single-malt Scotch whiskey. What remains resembles intergalactic microcosms and psychedelic landscapes. In his own words: “The idea for this project occurred while putting a used Scotch glass into the dishwasher. I noted a film on the bottom of a glass and when I inspected closer, I noted these fine, lacey lines filling the bottom. What I found through some experimentation is that these patterns and images that you see can be created with the small amount of Single-Malt Scotch left in a glass after most of it has been consumed. The alcohol dries and leaves the sediment in various patterns. It’s a little like snowflakes in that every time the Scotch dries, the glass yields different patterns and results. I have used different color lights to add ‘life’ to the bottom of the glass, creating the illusion of landscape, terrestrial or extraterrestrial.” (via)
We’re absolutely loving these clever and graphic billboard alterations by Parisian street artist OX. Not only do they cover up the ugly advertising that we are bombarded with on a daily basis but they also interact with their surroundings in witty visual plays that construct and deconstruct space, depth and optical illusion. (via)
You’ve likely already noticed: this isn’t your typical font. Instead of using pixels or vectors, photographer Anastasia Mastrakouli uses her own body to create a steamy alphabet (pardon the pun). Mastrakoukli positions herself behind wet glass partly hidden as if in a shower. She emphasizes certain parts of her body, and in turn certain parts of letters, by placing herself closer to the glass. The result is an eye-catching font – one in which the medium may grab more attention the the message it spells. Check out her website to see the rest of the alphabet.