Joana Avillez is a radical comic book drawing machine from Manhattan, NYC. Her work exists in a universe all her own where old timey cartoons wear Geta shoes and one-of-a-kind hats, while reading old issues of Heavy Metal and Raw, over a nice hot bowl of asian soup. Buy copies of her most recent book “Life Dressing: The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas” here.
Street art has become especially exciting and unpredictable over the last several years. However, the last place many would expect to find it is on the water. The New York based street artist SWOON designed three sea vessels built from salvaged material. The “flotilla” sailed from the coast of Slovenia to Venice, Italy. Though, definitely not the street SWOON effectively brings an urban aesthetic to sea. Photographer Tod Seelie was along for the ride to document the trip. The photographs and wild journey are as amazing as the vessels themselves. The raucous mash up of materials perfectly match the crew and set the atmosphere for what was certainly a wild ride.
Finland-based artist Iiu Susiraja has an interesting array of conceptual self-portraits featuring her posing, in an unorthodox manner, with household items. Shot in domestic settings, Susiraja seems to be mocking domestic lifestyle, or possibly mocking the framework we feel we must live within: the operative chores and habits that are considered normal. The work is silly but layered. Susiraja wears items in the wrong way; leggings on her breasts, or taping high heels around her knees, the images are reminiscent of a childs brash reaction to something that makes no sense, but is so ritualized we stop questioning the absurdity of something like the discomfort of tall heels. Why do we wear them?
Certain blogs on the internet have been deeming this the “anti-selfie”, although, conceptual portraits have been around for nearly as long as photography has. We all remember Cindy Sherman, don’t we? It seems attaching a hyped up word such as selfie, which the encompassing item we have thrown today’s self aggrandizing
A selfie is a shot of one’s self, yes, but it is characterized by the blatant self-importance of it, the self-promotion, the self-self-self. It is, generally, a tactless and shameless documentation of ME. The only statement being made, if any, is a call for attention. We have only recently, as a society, begun to feel comfortable enough to do something once considered impolite or, selfish. While art could easily be argued to be some of these things, such as egomaniacal (and this would be an eternally long argument), you could hardly consider a conceptual portrait to be in the same ballpark, or game, as a selfie. Susiraja’s work is not an anti-selfie, it is simply art. If we compare her work with a generic selfie, there are some major differences in intention, audience, and presentation. What is the intention behind the piece; is the artist working as a medium to transmitting a message that reaches beyond the mere documentation of her own existence, or is it tepid self-promotion? Is the audience Instagram? And finally, was it shot on an iPhone? Taking these things into account, it appears calling work like this an “anti-selfie” would be like calling a letter an “anti-email.” Are we in a place to recategorize “art” and limit it by simply referring to it as an antithesis to a trendy movement it predated?
Chaotic Moon, an Austin based software design company, has created cyberpunk “tattoos” that monitor vitals. As a new addition to the “quantified self movement,” Chaotic Moon’s new invention, Tech Tats, invites a creative answer to the Fitbit. Using ATiny microcontrollers and electroconductive tattoo paint, Tech Tats are temporary tattoos that exist directly on the skin and, through sensors, gather information that can measure temperature, heart rate, hydration levels and others of the likes. When connected to a smartphone app via Bluetooth Low Energy, Tech Tats can allow users to keep track of their bodies as well as send data directly to doctors. Unlike it’s predecessors which are wearable devices, Tech Tats offer a lightweight low-key option that can be hidden under clothes if so desired. Or, the on the other hand, Tech Tats also offer the ability to self design a cyberpunk tattoo that can be worn anywhere on skin. The design is still in the prototype phase, however, the company has high hopes for the product. Chaotic Moon aims to some day replace the nuisance of the annual trip to the doctor’s office. They also foresee a use for the military, as they could detect injuries, toxins and other stresses. Another use could transform banking as the microchips could store credit card information within our skin instead our wallets. The product has potential to be a step further to cyborg-hood, just as it’s aesthetic suggests. (via hyperallergic)
Things fall apart, they break. Fracture, both material and metaphorical is a part of our lives. In the work of Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers, fracture acts as a unifying principle, unifying themes as diverse as luck, consumption and value. Sometimes something must be broken or fractured in order for us to see its value. This may be especially true for our environment. Only when we see the consequences of our actions do we begin to understand our complicity in fracturing it. So animals like polar bears must persist against the tide, fractured from their environment destined to become just another souvenir of a bygone era.
Sometimes we fracture things in search of something intangible, like breaking a wishbone for luck. These actions present us with an opportunity to conjure up some sense of control over the uncontrollable. We like to think we can control our fortunes through the coercion of objects or rituals hoping luck will favor us and blaming it when circumstances go awry.
Nice silkscreen work from California-based illustrator and comics artist Kelsey Short. I dig the muted palette full of green, black, and blue. It perfectly matches her washed out, moody style. A lot of Short’s work is like those rainy days where you’re not bummed that you can’t go outside because the quiet sound of the rain just matches your mood for some reason. Hit the tumblr over here for a little insight into Short’s process (artistic and otherwise), and grab yourself a copy of her zine, “Grid” and some prints at her Etsy shop.