South African born Robin Rhodes has a very special talent of bringing 2-dimensional street art drawings to life. Not only does he animate materials like chalk, charcoal and soap, but he inserts a very strong political and economic agenda into his work. He chooses to show his “performative drawings” in rapidly changing environments (Berlin and Johannesburg), commenting on luxury, privilege and gentrification. These two cities in particular are central to these ideas, and he feeds off the energy and grittiness of both places.
His work features imagery of everyday and consumer objects, such as paper clips, light bulbs, and champagne flutes, found in desolate urban settings as a reference to his upbringing, but also to broader universal ideas including desire, luxury, and the influx of consumerism into South African society. (Source)
In his latest show “having been there” (on now at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Hong Kong), he exhibits photographic documentation of his unique street drawings. Rhodes not only brings to life simple linear sketches, but also includes himself in the process, adding to the whole dreamy feel of the scenarios he animates. His marks and gestures transform into quick, simple ideas surrounding his topics of focus: he pours champagne over a pyramid of glasses, he goes fishing on a blue wall, mounts and attempts to ride a bicycle – all acts linked into ideas of exuberance he could not afford as a child.
Rhode has also created a new animation that examines aspects of established Chinese myths, weaving a tale of struggle, of growth, and ultimately of evolution… highlighting themes frequently referenced in the artists’ work such as reinvention and transformation. (Source)
Rhodes is a quietly out-spoken street artist who stands out from your standard political activists. See more of his effective visual protests here and here.
Photographer Martin Klimas‘ series “What Does Music Look Like?” is a fun attempt at answering that very question. He uses paint as a vehicle for sound. Klimas places brightly colored paints on a surface that sits just above a speaker. Playing loud music such as Kraftwerk or Miles Davis makes the paint splatter above the speaker with the vibrations making it “dance”. The paint jumps and splattes while being captured by the camera. Klimas snapped approximately 1,000 photographs to capture the set.
Last week’s London Design Festival featured a prototype for a futuristic sleep-aid. During the Digital Design Weekend at the V&A museum, one of the highlights was Digital Futures UKMX. The event is a two day cultural exchange between designers, artists, makers, and engineers from the UK and Mexico. The event centered around themes of innovation, collaboration and civil awareness. The aim is to enhance each community by learning from the other.
One of the projects presented was by Octavio A. Martinez Garcia, a Mexican robotic engineer who works for COCOLAB. He showcased a prototype for a product called Napz, a sleep mask created to help gain access to more efficient sleep. The mask is made from infrared sensors, Neo Pixels, and the Arduino Lilypad. The invention does not just simply help to attain better sleep, but does so by allowing the user to actively lucid dream, a state of dreaming in which one has control over his or her actions. He states:
“The prototype is an eye mask designed to measure REM, using LED lights to gently stimulate you and bring you to the border of consciousness and unconsciousness so you can begin to play with your dreams. Today people get a lot less sleep, and of a much worse quality. Napz is a wearable device intended to schedule lucid dreams and thus produce actual rest and better patterns of REM sleep. Its interface allows the programming, design, and analysis of dreams. As everybody is different the device needs to be calibrated to each individual. The inspiration came from my own experience of lucid dreaming.”
Sam Grant, an American painter and photographer, creates incredibly catchy, humorous, and colorful pieces that are pop and vintage inspired. The vibrantly-colored imagery vibes with intensity, grandeur and witty observations; his collage-like compositions create a visual interplay between surreal elements, pulp imagery of the mid-20th century, and contemporary culture.
Though Grant’s paintwork is incredibly realistic, he still renders his subjects and settings with a whimsical appeal. Often paired with words (comic book style), his paintings reference several characteristics of contemporary culture; from texting to ideas of love and beauty, Grant covers it all in a subtle and comical way that, together with the vintage imagery, will make you wanna go back to the simpler times.
If you live in Oakland, California, you will have the chance to experience these pieces in person. Starting in March 7th,2014, Grant’s work will be on view at Loakal Gallery‘s Double Vision, a show inspired and completely devoted to/by Grant’s work. Double Vision will be up until April 1st, 2014.
Graphic design and government protest collide on Occupy George where fact-based infographics are stamped on dollar bills and distributed in the hope of informing the public about America’s daunting economic disparity one bill at a time. Learn more about Occupy George and download templates to occupy your own money at Occupygeorge.com.
The people of the United States alone toss out millions of plastic bottles every hour, and in a year, enough plastic film to shrink wrap Texas (which would be both a hilarious and horrifying feat.) Everyone knows it’s important to recycle, but it’s often hard to realize the consequences of forgetting about one little bottle; maybe we should consider not buying this stuff in the first place. (I drink out of the tap all the time, heck, I’d drink out of the hose.) Without getting on a soapbox, the following artists have made powerful statements about the ways in which we waste…. by re-using materials that would otherwise be thrown away, and removing paper and plastics completely from the recycling loop…. as even the act of recycling uses massive amounts of energy.