We’ve posted David Maisel’s work before. His aerial photographs of open mines depict the colorful transformation of polluted areas. His new project, Library of Dust, catalogues individual copper canisters containing the unclaimed remains of patients from the Oregon State Insane Asylum who died sometime between 1883 and the 1970s. Each canister’s chemical decay is uniquely colorful; the aesthetic resonates with transformation indicated in his aerial photography. “Among my concerns with Library of Dust are the crises of representation that derive from attempts to index or archive the evidence of trauma; the uncanny ability of objects to portray such trauma; and the revelatory possibilities inherent in images of such traumatic disturbances. While there are certainly physical and chemical explanations for the ways these canisters have transformed over time, the canisters also encourage us to consider what happens to our own bodies when we die, and to the souls that occupy them.”
The paintings of artist Charlotte Caron explores both the ancient tendency to humanize animals and the dreams of humans to transform into animals. Caron’s acrylic paintings of animal faces are set on the photographed portraits of people as if they were masks. The people of the photographs not only assume the appearance of the animals, but nearly seem to exude corresponding personalities. The hawk seems harsh, the fox mischievous the deer gentle. The literal anthropomorphizing of animals in the paintings emphasizes how this figuratively takes place. Caron also underscores the contrast between human and animal, and perhaps by extension civilized and animalistic, by also contrasting photography and painting.
Swedish artist Camilla Engman sets a calm yet subtle eerie scene of anxiety in her paintings. For instance, a human figure’s face might appear muddled, transforming the safety of a serene woodland setting while the role of a baby or pet might be replaced with a ghosty genderless blob . . . in the most mundane everyday afternoon way.
These instances of nonchalant marring touch on our own youthful fears of masks and humanoids– or “things” that resemble humans, but deceitfully, are not humans. Think Freddy or Jason. Luckily, Engman’s world does not linger too long in these dreadful places. If we mediate on all the images collectively, we start to see her illustrated society as one where such transmutations cross over beyond the weird and into the norms of a progressive accepting society.
Of her craft, Engman states, “For me, the working part has always been more important then the finished artwork. I love to work – paint/draw/cut. But I also have to admit I don’t like to work in vain. So I have to either learn something or to like the finale. In that way this way of creating never fails me. Something always happens. Be aware, there are no shortcuts though. I have to start from the beginning and work myself through it. With an open mind and eye, and with no judgement.”
This curious little structure is one of ten Free Little Library “branches”. Ten designer were chosen for the Free Little Library project – each designing and constructing a little library to place in Manhattan. This is the design created by the firm known as Stereotank. In the New York neighborhood of Nolita, the little library offers books and a bit of shelter to anyone passing by. Small portholes allow visitors to peek inside for a preview before being drawn inside. You can find Stereotank’s Free Little Library at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral School in Nolita through September of this year. [via]
Land Rover has always married the love of the outdoors with high-end performance. So it should come as no surprise that they would team up with a group of talented Parkour athletes for their latest video. If you’ve ever seen any of the impressive wall jumping videos on Youtube, the moves of these four Parkour athletes will look familiar. In the latest Land Rover commercial these four Parkour athletes use their skills to conquer the great outdoors, scaling the same terrain that Land Rover is known for maneuvering. The athletes scale boulders, flip over rivers and complete rolling flips off the edge of cliffs with grace and seeming weightlessness in unison. With much the same fluidity that you might see a prima ballerina execute her dance moves on the stage, these four athletes glide through the woods, over the rocks and in between blades of tall grasses- effectively turning the outdoors into their own stage.The Parkour athletes’ fluid movements and feats of balance echo Land Rover’s ability to navigate any terrain from the gritty urban streets to the country and beyond.
This post is sponsored by Land Rover
Staring at the solid blocks of color, the light shifts and patches of bright light begin to pull forward from the wall—where works by artist Jay Shinn exists with perfect geometric precision. Angular and illuminated by a small overhead projector, the pieces seem to float just above the surface of the wall, feeling simultaneously tangible and ethereal with their reflective, neon-like rays. Shinn has previously worked with elements of symmetry, suspended light, and illusion with his varied serial investigations in mirror, pencil-on-paper, neon and paint. He experiments with placement, perception and disorientation in these works, paying careful attention to color selection, form and relative scale. The result is slightly mesmerizing, if not entirely hypnotic.
There is something fantastically unworldly yet alluringly familiar about Amy Joy Watson’s bright sculptures. Whether it’s a drooping bow or a glitter-filled orb, this Australian’s artful structures feel like a 1986 birthday party, translated or abstracted by a video game of that same era: there are no soft edges, only the disjointed illusion of it.
To make each piece, Watson stitches or glues together watercolor-stained balsa wood, occasionally adding a tasteful Gobstopper here, or helium balloon there, to garnish her own primal sense of whimsy and sacred geometry, resulting in a somewhat spiritual monument to another imaginative age and time.
Sound artist Zimoun creates simple but arresting sound art installations. His stark installations use common objects to noise atmospheres. Zimoun often uses small DC motors with small cotton ball mallets in his work. His newest piece using the motors may be his largest yet. Utilizing over 300 motors, Zimoun neatly installed his piece inside an abandoned chemical tank. The drone of the cotton balls and the echo within the tank produces a hypnotic hum. Check out the video of Zimoun’s installation in action after the jump. [via]