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)
Ramona Zordini is an Italian photographer who seeks to explore states of ambiguity and transition in her work. Featured here is Changing Time III, the third part of a series of images wherein bodies float, twist, and thrash in a murky tide of passion and despair. There is a sense of profound liminality as the figures skim the water’s surface; bare skin is exposed to the air and light, while faces are obscured, making their emotional experiences unreadable to the viewer. Some of the photos feature solitary bodies, curled up as the water embraces them. Elsewhere, lovers cling together, groping wet, chilled flesh in postures that are both erotically charged and desperately troubling.
The emotions these images provoke are both powerful and conflicting — are we seeing lovers holding on to each other out of need in an unforgiving world? Or are they destroying each other? Indeed, some of the water around the figures looks milky and eerily bloodstained, suspending the couples in a dark, amniotic fluid wherein they hunger for connection and love. The submerged faces, arched torsos, and reaching limbs suggest imminent death as much as they do the submission experienced in sex and desire.
“I would like the impermeability of things to touch every sensation,” Zordini writes on her biography page, explaining her drive to explore uncertain states of transience and becoming. “Ambiguous term, ambiguous place, gesture, thought […] there is nothing like yesterday.” (Source) Ambiguity permeates Changing Time; drifting in states between life and death, passion and sorrow, the nude figures unfurl on the edges of their own physical and psychological evolutions.
Artist Patricia Piccinini has a very impressive and eclectic range of artistic talents. Her body of work includes drawings, installations, and even a giant hot-air balloon that has floated across Australia. Her astonishingly hyper-real sculptures, however, truly give you an image that you will not soon forget. Made from silicone, acrylic, and fiberglass, Patricia Piccinini forms creatures that appear to be somewhat human, but altogether alien. They seem to be alive, as they stare back at you with emotion-filled eyes. They exhibit traits of humans, like lifelike hair and fleshy skin, but are unmistakably not. It is as if they are hybrid animals living amongst us. Many of her sculptures include one of her hairless, mutated creatures alongside of what appears to be a real human. The dichotomy between this possible mutated creatures and a “human” is interesting, because neither one is actually real.
Patricia Piccinini’s work explores ethical issues surrounding cloning, DNA, and genetic mutation. Her shocking sculptures point a firm finger at human kind’s manipulation of nature and the possible consequences. The effect science has on the natural world and the creatures inhabiting it are a reoccurring theme in Piccinini’s work. We see her sculptures that look so realistic; it is as if these grotesque creatures really do exist. Portraying them with human-like features gives way to pity and empathy for the creatures. The artist’s incredibly intriguing work is one of unbelievable skill that holds a strong, often controversial, message on genetic alteration and mankind’s hand in nature.
These beautiful marbles from Portland based glass artist Mike Gong shows us he hasn’t lost his marbles at all – he has definitely still got them and, in fact, wants us to buy them. The talented man hand crafts colorful, intricate marbles filled with psychedelic swirls, bubbles, swooshes, and flecks. Ranging from about 13mm to 50mm, his marbles, which he calls ‘Acid Eaters’ are incredibly detailed and contain amazing miniature worlds within.
Gong’s marbles are full of abstract colors and forms, and he really exploits the materiality of the glass. Only with this particular material – and Gong’s patience and skill – can he achieve the depth, transparency and luminescence we see. You can purchase them here to look at them up close and in depth yourself. (Via Juxtapoz)
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this artist takes the written word and uses it to carve rolling hills and steep mountains. Artist Guy Laramee transforms the pages of a book into a breathtaking a landscape by carving and shaping its pages into different geography. He uses books like encyclopedias and dictionaries to create mostly cliffs and steep rock formations. These tiny environments are incredibly detailed, as you can see each small tree, bush, and layer of earth. It is as if the pages have been corroded away, producing new form in the books. Erosion is a heavy theme in Guy Laramee’s body of work. Interested in ethnography, he explains that parts of cultures are often eroded away, lost to the hands of time. As technology advances, in print materials, such as encyclopedias, are on their way to being obsolete. The artist uses these “archaic” tools and utilizes them in a new way. Once a source for knowledge, now questions what is at risk of being lost culturally if these physical books do indeed disappear.
Guy Laramee is not just a talented paper sculpture, as you can see from the covers of the books he uses. He beautifully paints birds and sky on the covers and displays them upright so that you can see both sides. Both the inside and outside of these books are transformed into something amazing, showing different forms of nature. His miniature environments and ecosystems now live in the pages of books, reminding us of what stories and knowledge could possibly lay between the pages.
Parallel worlds are familiar to Noemie Goudal. She actually recreates them for us on monochrome photographs, using all sorts of artifice to convey our minds to her land of imagination. She connects pure subjects and abandoned sets, to recreate her vision.
In her “Observatories” series she builds models in paper and cardstock and unifies it in an empty landscape of water. Evoking history and civilization, the stark monuments float like undisturbable icebergs, powerful and dominating the picture. The motionless water reinforces the concept of stability, making one with the buildings.By juxtaposing two pure existing elements in a same location, the artist duplicates reality and enables the viewer to question the limitation of reality and fantasy. “I don’t think that my pictures invite anyone into a fantasy world but rather a place made from the real that questions the fantasies, desires and fragility of the viewer.”
There is a feeling of nostalgia in Noemie Goudal’s pictures. As if we were to enter an abandoned site, a deserted battlefield. Time has stopped and here we are stuck in a two dimensional world, between an iceberg and its immobile water. The silence is palpable, anguish is nearby yet the situation is bearable. The notion of communication failure between landscape and human beings is another emphasis of the artist’s photographs. Despite the conception of familiar surroundings, a gap of misunderstanding can occur wherever we are. In order to travel into Noemie Goudal’s work, one has to first understand the creation process to move on to reflections of another type.
When Philadelphia-based artist Drew Leshko cycles around his neighborhood, he can’t help but look at the buildings, windows, doors, posters, trash cans and signs around him in a very different way than most people do. For him, they are the beginning of his next project – shrinking them into miniature replicas of themselves on a scale of 1:12. He cuts, glues, builds, layers, and sculpts 3D versions of different store fronts from wood and paper. Leshko says his art form is a way of preserving and archiving the condition of the buildings on his street, the rate and speed of gentrification and also comments on what people consider worth preserving, and what is worth destroying.
His paper sculptures are nostalgic of a time past; a look at his local life when he was younger; a recreation of what was. He has created versions of his grandfather’s camper from the 80s, a local church, a strip bar, a cigarette outlet, a deli, dumpsters, even vending machines. The accuracy of his miniatures and the attention to detail are what make his sculptures as impressive as they are. He even paints rust on over the old gutters or windows and puts acid rain deposits on the footpaths.
Leshko has not only been busy making building facades and details, he has also turned his attention to replicating campervans.
The buildings are huge undertakings and take a lot of time and patience. So I began to think about some smaller sculptures I could make, but most importantly, what type of objects can be constructed of paper? I started to think about tractor-trailers, vans, food trucks, and similar vehicles when I landed on camper trailers. My work has always included commentary on the temporal nature of things, so the transient nature of “RV culture” fits right in to that idea. (Source)
Leshko’s celebration of a particular moment in time is a good reminder to appreciate the way things are in our own neighborhoods – because they will certainly be changing, for better or worse.
Lithuanian artist Ray Bartkus has recently painted an intricate mural on the sides of a building near water in the Lithuanian town of Marijampolé, depicting swimmers, dolphins, and other aquatic scenes. Upon first glance, it merely looks like upside down street art. However, this mural has one very particular characteristic: it is painted upside down, in such a way that it must be reflected into the water in order to be complete.
The reflected version of the mural makes it seem like the water is full of swans, boats and people swimming. He has managed to create a clever combination of art and nature, by painting his art upside down; he has made it dependent on the reflection of the water in order for it to reach its full potential. Once the mural is projected into the water, it becomes a whole new work of art.
On top of the originality of this idea is the execution itself. The precision with which Bartkus has painted his landscape is amazing. He gets up close to the wall to paint all the lines, dots, and shapes necessary to achieve perfect symmetry in his mural’s reflection. He has managed to paint everything upside down and by doing so, he has a created a mural that goes both towards the sky and into the water.