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Stewart Gough’s High Tech Machines

London based Stewart Gough’s high-tech sculptures look like a mixture between NASA space explorers, mad scientist chemistry labs, and futuristic war machines. However they are all built out of everyday materials such as plastic plates, pipe fittings, tape, nylon strings and other everyday materials you could get at your neighborhood hardware store. (via theeyestheysee)

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Mark Titchner

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Mark Titchner’s esoteric aura portraits, heavy tubular bells and subliminal messages. Magical works that subversively explore belief systems the imagery that surrounds them and the other side.

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Hong Kong Graffiti Challenges Ai WeiWei’s Arrest

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about the arrest of  prominent Chinese artists and activist Ai WeiWei by the Chinese Government. Ai Wei Wei and dozens of bloggers and artists were arrested earlier in April  for “inciting subversion of state power,” a catch-all term used to jail anyone critical of Communist Party rule. Apparently The government is concerned that activists want to launch a “jasmine revolution” similar to the protests taking place in the Middle East.

Yesterday NPR released a great story about graffiti popping up all over China supporting the artist and demanding for his release. Street art is at its best when used to expose corruption. Taking your cause to the streets is one of the only ways to let your voice be heard In a country where the government won’t give a legitimate platform to its citizens. Lets hope that more people stand up to the government and demand that not just Ai Wei Wei but all political prisoners are released and that an open discussion can begin between the Chinese government and the countries 1.4 Billion residents.

Listen and read the full story on NPR.

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Pixelated Portraits Hand Painted In Watercolor

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Nathan Manire‘s work may seem more akin to printing than painting.  These water color on paper pieces pleasantly blend digital and handmade imagery.  The bleeding and absorption of paint into the grain of the paper reveals the passing of an artist’s hand.  However, the paintings refer to the pixelized image.  In a strange way, stepping back from each painting seems to reveal more detail, while stepping forward again turns the piece into a nearly abstract work.  His skillful painting has won him high profile clients such as Nike, Wired magazine, and Cosmopolitan magazine.

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Brendan Austin

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In a series entitled “Paper Mountains,” NY-based photographer Brendan Austin shoots crumbled paper in an abstracted, decontextualized way as to create the appearance of mountains. It reminds me of when I was a child and I would look at the natural folds, hills, and canyons created by my bedspread and imagine they were gigantic landscapes.

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The History Of Military Uniforms From The 11th Century To The Present

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Huscarl, Battle of Hastings, 1066

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Mounted Knight, Siege of Jerusalem, 1244

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Fighting Archer, Battle of Agincourt, 1415

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Yorkist Man at Arms, Battle of Bosworth, 1485

In his series Soldiers’ Inventories, photographer Thomas Atkinson showcases the change in military kits of British soldiers over the course of 1,000 years, from 11th century to most recent days. His documentary starts with the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and spans throughout twelve other combats, including battle of Waterloo and the war of Afghanistan. The shift is riveting – from daggers to iPads carried alongside guns.

To gather his artifacts, Atkinson visited living history communities which use these collectives for battle re-enactments. His displays look like neatly organized puzzles and reminds of the established military order these soldiers faced every day. Atkinson says he would spend hours aligning the gear, starting with bigger pieces and filling in the empty spaces with smaller attributes.

“It’s a slow process, a bit like a game of Tetris – you place a few key items and then start to fill in the gaps. Sometimes you have to go backwards or start again because it isn’t working. I wanted to arrange objects in a way which would illustrate and give clues as to what they are – objects pertaining to food are grouped together, as are items which relate to the rifles and weaponry and so on,” Atkinson told DPreview.

Atkinson’s retrospective unfolds a great deal about the change in our warfare. First off: development in design which is best illustrated by the shift in armour: from colourful vibrantly colored vests, to camouflage. According to Atkinson, “the fact that certain objects recur is more fascinating than the ones that evolve“. Best examples of it being a spoon, helmet and something to kill the boredom with: from 16th century playing cards, to magazines and iPads. (via Wired)

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US Military Drone Strikes Data is Used To Create An Artificial Killing Machine

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While sitting under a chair, fifteen toy guns shoot at irregular intervals into the void. The sound is loud, oppressant and the feeling intense. Jonathan Moore has us caught in the real time firing of drone strikes by the US military. The information is then printed in a receipt next to the installation informing of the date, time, location, number of death forecasted and actual number of death.

The “Artificial Killing Machine” interactive installation is built out of a printer, motors, toy cap guns, batteries and a control electronics which accesses every five minutes the public database of the US military drone strikes. The materialized data is allowed to accumulate in perpetuity or until the life cycle of either the database or machine ends. At first, the installation doesn’t appear frightening, its painted in white, symbol of innocence. The sound, however, is what starts to make the experience difficult. It becomes almost unbearable once the purpose of the art piece is understood. (For a better understanding please watch the video below).

Visual artist Jonathan Moore interacts with powerful significant data in order to question war, technology improvement and perception of death. He places statistics and data in a context that gives the opportunity to realize what is actually happening. The means used are playful and familiar, the toy cap guns and the receipts put us in an intimate territory; making the rest of the experience harsh and uncomfortable. (via Supersonicart)

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Vintage Issey Miyake

After graduating from Tama Art University in 1964, Issey Miyake worked in Paris and New York City before returning to Tokyo to establish the Miyake Design Studio.

In the late 80s, he began experimenting with new methods of pleating that would allow for a combination of technology, functionality and beauty. This ultimately jumpstarted a then-new technique called garment pleating, a technique with which we former pleated skirt-wearin’ school girls are totally familiar.

His vintage work reminds me of graceful moths from outer space (or from Star Wars)–and I mean that in the best way possible!

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