Get Social:

Design Studio Makes Ceramic Vases Out Of Radioactive Waste

Unknown Fields Division - Pottery Unknown Fields Division - PotteryUnknown Fields Division - Pottery

The Unknown Fields Division is a traveling design research studio (directed by Liam Young and Kate Davies) that has sculpted traditional Ming vases out of mud taken from a radioactive lake in Inner Mongolia. This “lake” is a noxious swamp made of debris created in the production of some of our most desired (and idealized) technology items. In an effort to explore the transnational origin of these items — and, indeed, explore the dark underbelly of their creation — Unknown Fields has made each vase proportionate to the amount of waste produced by the following objects: “a smartphone, a featherweight laptop, and the cell of a smart car battery” (Source). The result is a trio of apocalyptic-like earthenware vessels. Their grim, blackened surfaces are covered in a glistening “glaze” that was created when heavy metals contained in the mud melted in the pottery kiln. The vase materials were so toxic that the sculptors had to wear full-body protection at each stage of production, from on-site collection to creation in their London workshop.

These vases are part of Unknown Fields’ greater project to follow an international supply chain of “rare earth” elements (which are used in the creation of electronics) back to their place of origin: the toxic lake in Mongolia. Kate Davies explains the metaphorical purpose of the vases in this investigative journey:

“The vases are a way to talk about ideas around luxury and desire. How both are culturally constructed collective sets of values that are fleeting and particular to our time. These three ‘rare earthenware’ vessels are the physical embodiment of a contemporary global supply network that displaces earth and weaves matter across the planet.” (Source)

When we hold our cellphones and laptops in our hands, we rarely think about their origins. As Liam Young insightfully points out, “terms like ‘cloud’ of ‘Macbook Air’ imply that our gadgets are just ephemeral objects — and this is the story we all want to believe” (Source). We must not forget that such technologies, despite their polish and glamor, derive from earthly materials processed in factories and shipped across the world. Just as Ming vases were once subjected to an international demand based on their beauty and associations with wealth, Unknown Fields’ creations remind us of how such systems of consumer culture are continuing. “The three vases are presented as objects of desire, but their elevated radiation levels and toxicity make them objects we would not want to possess,” Davies explained. “They represent the undesirable consequences of our materials desires” (Source).

The vases will be on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum “What is Luxury?” exhibition, which runs April 25th to September 27th. Accompanying the exhibition is a film by Toby Smith, which documents Unknown Fields’ journey from container ships to factories to the radioactive lake (the trailer can be viewed above). Visit the Unknown Feilds’ website for more explorations of remote landscapes with surprising (and unsettling) intersections with our daily lives. (Via Fast Co.Create)

 

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Dean Monogenis Fuses Modern Architecture With Geometric Shapes

dean-monogenis-11 dean-monogenis-8 dean-monogenis-9 dean-monogenis-4

Artist Dean Monogenis paints landscapes that fuse modern buildings with geometric shapes. The abstract compositions often feature the architecture suspended in midair, connected to giant rock formations, or structural patterns.

Monogenis’ colorful and minimalist paintings came to life after witnessing the fall of the World Trade Center in 2011. “ Subsequent to that day,” he writes, “I began to see buildings organically in terms of birth and death.” The artist continues:

Interestingly the post 9/11 period was the beginning of a world wide building boom. At the time I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the breadth and pace of this development felt like an invasion. Buildings grew nearly over night like mushrooms or mold before my very eyes. I found it simultaneously engaging and frightening.

This construction had little regard for continuity or urban planning:

After overcoming my initial shock, I began to distance myself and consider the situation aesthetically. I interpreted the randomness as more akin to the shantytowns in Jamaica or the Favelas in Rio. I took notice of the simplicity and planer forms of the skeletal structures as they ascended upward. Brightly colored building materials like netting and scaffolding, became interesting to me. I thought if there was a way to distill the temporary and all its ephemera, isolating key pieces into my work, then I would be able to elevate the visual indicators that speak to this period of transformation.

Monogenis usually paints on wood or plastic panels and uses customized stencils of graphic elements. He’ll paint the sky last, but isn’t afraid to sand and rework areas if something doesn’t look right. This allows him to create precise work without forfeiting the spontaneity that’s inherent in painting. (Via Supersonic)

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Irresistible Photos Of Nudes Completely Engulfed In Gallons Of Honey

Blake Little - Digital Photograph

Blake Little - Digital Photograph

Blake Little - Digital Photograph

Blake Little - Digital Photograph

Award winning photographer Blake Little completely transforms the classic nude figure into a sleek, sticky, sculptural entity in his series Preservation. Little, known for his skills as a portrait photographer, captures each of his subjects after he pours gallons of honey onto their nude bodies. With its use of honey, this seductive and sticky-sweet series has a unifying element that breaks down the differences in the subjects. Little’s models are extremely diverse with a wide range of body types. However, the honey breaks down the unique and personal details of the person and allows them to become a more universal, timeless figure. They all adopt an ageless beauty that one might see in classic, Greek sculpture.

It is no coincidence that Little has chosen the title Preservation for a series that takes contemporary subjects and gives them a more classic and traditional look. By transforming a unique body into an archetypal figure, they can withstand the test of time. They are now one of the unforgettable figures in art history such as Venus of Willendorf. Not only does this amazingly transformative honey preserve the importance of the figure, but also it allows the figures to look as if they have been literally preserved as they are encased in honey, not unlike the citizens of Pompeii preserved in ash.

The dripping, glossy texture is palpable in this incredibly intimate and tangible series. Preservation were on view at the Kopeinkin Gallery in Los Angeles from March 7th to April 18th, where the photographer is represented. Blake Little’s book Preservation, containing sixty-eight photographs of his honey-filled nudes, is also available. Here is an excerpt from the Forward of Little’s book, written by Kenneth Lapatin, Associate Curator of Antiquities at the Getty Museum.

Since its invention in the 1800s, photography has been employed as a key tool of archaelogy, caputuring images of not only finds, but also the very processes of recovery. Its capacity to record the details of perishable objects – to preserve them – is evident in historical photographs of now degraded artifacts and of excavation sties, many substantially transformed by the very act of digging them and scarcely recognizable today. But today we are also well aware that photography can be far from objective; that it can be manipulated; that it can create something entirely new, original, and surprising.

Currently Trending

Joel Daniel Phillips’ Drawings Capture The Poignant Faces Of San Francisco’s Homeless

Joel-Daniel-Phillips drawingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJoel-Daniel-Phillips drawingJoel-Daniel-Phillips drawing

No regrets in Life is a series of human-sized pencil and charcoal portraits of individuals artist Joel Daniel Phillips sees everyday on his street corner in the mission neighborhood of San Francisco. The interesting thing about them is that most are homeless and literally live on that corner. They come from all walks of life, all races young and old. The work Phillips creates allow these folk to become human again and puts them at the forefront so they are the focus of our attention not the shadowy part we look to brush away.

Phillips looks to define the similarities between people of various economic backgrounds and connect them through the unifying element which make us all human. By seeking extremes he captures a poetic narrative. He works similar to an investigative reporter getting up close and personal then taking photos of his subjects. These impressions become muse for powerful drawings. The drawing  doesn’t lie and Phillips captures the core of these forgotten citizens with meticulous rendering. As an artist of skill he’s able to keep a record and preserve a moment of our time. In his intuitive statement Phillips talks about the narratives he tries to capture and thinks we cannot know the human race until we draw them.

Currently Trending

The Peace And Melancholia Of Gabriel Isak’s Dream-Like Photography

Peace of Mind

Peace of Mind

In a Dream

In a Dream

The White Storm

The White Storm

The Illumination in the Dark

The Illumination in the Dark

Gabriel Isak is a Swedish photographer who uses digital techniques to create surreal scenes inspired by the inner worlds of dreams and psychology. Recurring through Isak’s images are people isolated against a backdrop of fog and vast emptiness. With their faces obscured by hair, balloons, mesh, or smoke, they become intangible wanderers who symbolize our own unconscious states. There are also repeating images: “birds, [the] ocean, and the fog” — the three things that symbolically compose Isak’s life, as he writes on his Instagram (Source). In their apparent ambiguity, Isak’s dream-like visions evoke a series of shifting experiences and emotions: serenity and mystery, safety and loneliness, hope and despair. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Isak described his creative process:

I have always been fascinated by the psychological world and the many places we encounter in our dreams. Whenever I create an image, I mostly start with some sort of brainstorming, whether it is writing down words, listening to music and drawing down the vision that appears, or a place I dreamt about. I also get very inspired by locations and always try to find interesting but simple sceneries that I can use in my imagery.

Working in a stream-of-consciousness fashion and drawing on the vagueness of dreams, Isak manages to create scenes of vast interpretative potential. Like the visions seen through a dream, there is an atmosphere of darkness and melancholia — his faceless characters, after all, are all donned in black — but the longer you look and the more you read the symbols, a sense of peace arises. Isak writes:

In my work I use photography as a metaphor for experiences of the soul. My objective is to bring common human emotions into my photography, where the viewers can interact with the moods of the images and find a piece of themselves within it.

Isak is currently residing in San Francisco, where he is obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography at the Academy of Art University. Check out his website, Facebook, and Instagram and immerse yourself further in his turbulent-but-still, dark-but-uplifting dreamscapes. (Via Juxtapoz)

Currently Trending

Cal Lane’s Delicate Flourishes And Motifs Cut Into Weathered Metal Objects

cal-lane-5 cal-lane-3 cal-lane-8cal-lane-2

New York-based artist Cal Lane combines traditional metal work with flourishes and delicate motifs. She handcuts lace and other patterns in weathered I-beams, shovels, trash cans, large storage containers, and more. The result is work that references dichotomies: industrial and domestic life; strong and delicate; practical and frivolity; ornament and function. “There is also a secondary relationship being explored here, of lace used in religious ceremonies as in weddings, christenings and funerals,” Lane writes in her artist statement.

She continues, writing about what we can understand by this surprising pairing:

The metaphor of lace further intrigued me by its associations of hiding and exposing at the same time; like a veil to cover, or lingerie to reveal. It also introduces a kind of humor through the form of unexpected relationships. Like a Wrestler in a tutu, the absurdity of having opposing extremist stances is there for reaction and not rational understanding; the rational discussion arises in the search for how one thing defines the other by its proximity. (Via L’Acte Gratuit)

Currently Trending

Graffiti Artist Christina Angelina’s Impressive Circular Multi-Media Installation Will Drag You To The Desert

Christina Angelina - installationChristina Angelina - installationChristina Angelina - installation

In the middle of the California desert (Slab City) there is a pretty cool collaboration and installation work checking out. Graffiti artist Christina Angelina has teamed up with Ease One to work on a impressive, emotional project called Kinetoscope. Taking over an abandoned water tank in the middle of a dusty plain, they have painted a massive circular mural reflecting on the ideas of women, intuition, gender, and the current zeitgeist.

Combining many different elements, the installation is a multi-sensory experience. After climbing up a 15 ft ladder, visitors then descend into the middle of the empty water tank to find themselves surrounded by larger than life faces and will hear amplified sound echo around the structure. While in the middle of the space and turning around, the visitor will experience a certain type of magic inspired by photographer Eadweard Muybridge. He was the originator of the Zoetrope – a machine and technique that animated still images, and would bring them to life, by quickly spinning them on a circular form.

The women’s faces Angelina has painted reflect on her own magical, personal moments when she has used her intuition – an attribute she feels is undervalued and overlooked by society. Additionally, she has painted a type of mysterious font around the border of the tank in a striking combination of Eastern and Western script. The words spell out lyrics to Society by Jerry Hannan and Eddie Vedder:

It’s a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
You think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won’t be free
Society, you’re a crazy breed
I hope you’re not lonely without me

Kintoscope was sponsored by Starfighter Studios. They have kept a diary of sorts reading more into the experience of being based in the desert, away from society, while putting the installation together. You can read more of their insights here.

Currently Trending

Zim & Zou’s Incredibly Intricate And Colorful Paper Sculptures

Zim & Zou - Sculpture Zim & Zou - Sculpture
Zim & Zou - Sculpture Zim & Zou - Sculpture
French art duo spectaculaire Zim & Zou create dazzling paperscapes that are full of lush colors and imagination. With intricate snips and folds and other sorts of wizardry, they bring to life a series of candy-colored dreams populated with a flock of birds of a multitude of hues: sizzlingly bright red, rich bronze and gold, and aquamarine. There are no dull spots in the land of Zim & Zou: theirs is a technicolor wonderland that is fully and brightly realized.
The detail in their work is incredible, making their paper birds almost look like mechanical nightingales. Other denizens include a bright orange and navy lobster that looks like it’s been gift wrapped and a spider fully decked out in metallic splendor. It’s not just the natural world that gets an unnatural makeover: A neon machine, delightfully mysterious, stands in a spot marked by caution tape. Its bright colors pop and it promises all kinds of treats and cotton candy concoctions that are simply out of this world.
It’s amazing that Zim & Zou’s works are all entirely handmade. According to their bio,
“Their favorite material is the paper they’re cutting, folding and gluing to give rise to intricate and colorful sculptures. Paper inspires them for its versatility, infinite range of colors and unique textures. The flat sheets turned into volume are giving an installation the poetry of ephemeral material.”

(via Hi-Fructose)

Currently Trending