Jenny Odell’s Google Map Landscape Photographs

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Interested in landscapes, San Francisco artist Jenny Odell spends quite a bit of time looking at places viewed from above on Google Maps. Searching for industrial forms and shapes that, when combined create an unusual and striking kind of landscape.  Odell then creates digital prints, the likes of which have even been exhibited in the Google Maps headquarters.  Of her work Odell says:

Much of the strangest architecture associated with humanity is infrastructural. We have vast arrays of rusting cylinders, oil rigs dotting wastelands like lonely insects, and jewel-toned, rhomboid ponds of chemical waste. We have gray and terraced landfills, 5-story tall wastewater digester eggs, and striped areas of the desert that look as though they rendered incorrectly until we realize that the lines are made of thousands of solar panels. Massive cooling towers of power plants slope away from dense, unidentifiable networks on the ground and are obscured in their own ominous fog. If there is something unsettling about these structures, it might be that they are deeply, fully human at the same time that they are unrecognizably technological. These mammoth devices unblinkingly process our waste, accept our trash, distribute our electricity. They are our prostheses. They keep us alive and able, for a minute, to forget the precariousness of our existence here and of our total biological dependence on a series of machines, wires, and tubes, humming loudly in some far off place.”

Drawing attention to our dependent, but odd relationship with this infrastructure Odell is also exploring what it has to reveal about our habits, patterns and the elements of our everyday life.  She is also interested in viewing this infrastructure in a way where it takes on the quality of being the remains from a time and civilization gone by.  In other words, her images take on “tragic air: they look already like dinosaurs, like relics of a failed time from the perspective of a time when we will know better—or when we are no longer here.”

Catch Infrastructure, on view at the Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco until March 29th 2014. In April the exhibition will travel to SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine and to NY Media Center in New York. In the summer it will appear at the Futur en Seine festival at the Gaite Lyrique in Paris.

Stunning Time-Lapse Photographs Document Colorful Night/Day Transitions

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Motion designer Dan Marker-Moore has a beautiful collection of collaged time-lapse photographs depicting the light and color transitions in the sky due to the movements of the Sun and Moon. In his series, “Timeslice,” Marker-Moore layers images taken within seconds or minutes of each other, demonstrating the spectrum of beauty to be found in the (mainly) Los Angeles skyscape. His talent for capturing time-lapse beauty first came to the attention of the internet when his images and short time-lapse video of the full moon rising in LA, a series of 11 still frames that were captured over a time period of 27 minutes and 59 seconds, were featured by art and science blogs. Since then, he has added more photographs to his “Timeslice” series, creating a gorgeous collection of the sky in transition. You can check out more of his images via his website or Instagram. (via jeda vu)

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David Datuna Creates The First Piece Of Interactive Art That Works With Google Glass

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David Datuna, a Georgian-born American artist, established his signature technique of laying a cascading veil of varying optical lenses over an intricate, multi-dimensional, interactive narrative. In December 2013 David Datuna became the first artist in the world to utilize Google Glass in a contemporary work of art with the piece ‘Portrait of America’- a part of his Viewpoint of Billions series.

The piece resembles an American Flag; the 12-foot ‘Portrait of America’, is made up of about 2,000 eyeglass lenses as well as 400 portraits of relevant Americans that either magnify or shrink underneath the glass.

The monumental flag, the first of 10 works in the “Viewpoint of Billions” series, is covered in Datuna’s signature style with hundreds of eyeglass lenses. Creating an experiential dialogue through a sculptural veil of optics, the artist uses different magnifications to draw the viewer to the thematic collage inside his work. The prismatic effects invite inspection, while offering a vehicle for observation, and expanding the definition of modern portraiture.

These embedded images include historical and contemporary American figures: George Washington, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs and Michael Jackson.

You must be wondering when and how the google glass factor comes into play here. It turns out that the premise of the piece comes alive when it is viewed with a pair of GG. It is then that the work turns into, what the artist calls, a living organism.

By working with Bricksimple, Datuna was able to construct a work that simultaneously worked as a standard tangible piece of art, to something that becomes alive digitally, through audio and visual clips presented on ‘our’ Google Glasses. By simply looking or speaking about the work, your voice and movement will trigger a series of short video clips and questions (to be answered by you) that further examine ideas of power and democracy and its relationship to the history and current state of the U.S. Ten cameras, embedded in the artwork, together with the built-in camera in the Google Glasses work to record your answers and to take your portrait. These clips of information, taken from you, will be archived as a part of the digital collage emebedded in the work. Your interaction with the artwork will also be sent out to the world via social media.

The work becomes, in a sense, a living and ever-changing archive that simultaneously works as a piece of art and a malleable and interactive biographical ‘text’ that takes shape into relevant historical (in both art history and world history) progress.

Gorgeously Creepy Chapel Made Of Thousands Of Human Bones

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Though it might look like any other Polish chapel from the outside, the Kaplica Czaszek chapel sets itself apart: behind a humble pair of wooden doors, it contains the bones of thousands. After visiting shallow grave sites commemorating the fallen soldiers and civilians killed in the Silesian Wars, the Thirty Years’ War, plagues, and cholera, a local priest named Vaclav Tomasek collected and cleaned skeletal remains, embedding them in the chapel walls.

Constructed between 1776 and 1804, the building’s architecture stunningly deconstructs the human skeleton; skulls and leg bones are meticulously arranged over the ceilings and walls, while other bones are hidden behind a trapdoor and kept in a crypt. The repetitive patterns that emerge from a single human bone laid out a thousand times over serves to remind us of our connectedness; while each individual femur or cranium stands in for a deceased individual, it takes on a deeper, more universal meaning as part of this expertly-constructed whole.

Within this celebration of oneness, Tomasek set apart strange and unusual bones, placing them on the church altar. Alongside the skull of a mayor and the chapel founder, sits a skull morphed by syphilis, one of a rumored giant, and a few penetrated by bullets. In this way, the structure daringly elevates the macabre—and those who suffered from uncommon maladies—to the spiritual level of relics left behind by local religious and political leaders.

Within the context of the church and its representations of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, the remains offer a potent juxtaposition between the spiritual and the corporeal. Visitors cannot escape this powerful reminder of mortality, but if they so wish, they are poignantly invited to consider the possibility of salvation and eternal life. (via Lost at E Minor and Smithsonian Magazine)

Photographer Swallows 35mm Film, Allows Digestive Fluids To Create Astounding Images

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In an unusual attempt to explore their own digestive tracts, student artists Luke Evans and Joshua Lake swallowed single frames of 35mm film, folding each piece in a brightly colored capsule that allowed for the acids and bodily fluids to process the film with minimal risk of colon damage. Once excreted, the negatives were recovered, cleaned, and studied in detail by an electron microscope; ultimately, they were printed into giant black and white works.

The project, titled “I turn myself inside out” is an almost uncomfortably intimate and human exploration of the photographic medium. Normally, images are produced and processed by machinery, light, and chemicals, but this provocative series substitutes the artists’ own bodies and their fluids for the impersonal metal gears and glass lens of a camera.

The images themselves are so strong because of their unexpected three-dimensionality; while most film photographs flatten space, condensing foregrounds and background to create a compelling work of art, Evans and Lake’s work does the opposite. Each frame looks like a scientific image taken from a microscope. The digestive process and the resultant breakdown of the film’s emulsion afford each image its dimensionality, transcending the medium’s traditional reliance on light and shadow to convey space.

The most miraculous aspect of the work lies perhaps in the tension that arises between the intimate and vulnerable bodily process and the somewhat impersonal aesthetic of the resultant images. Once printed, the images become abstract explorations of tone and space, their apparently inhuman, unemotional form subverted only by the knowledge of their painfully visceral creation. What do you think: gross or cool? (via Wired and Oddity Central)

Sipho Mabona’s Life Size White Elephant Origami Made With One Sheet Of Paper

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Swiss Origami artist Sipho Mabona creates a full-scale white elephant by using a single sheet of paper. By using one slice of white paper measuring 15 by 15 meters (50 by 50 feet), the skilled artist was able to craft up this grand ‘white elephant’, which stands more than 3 meters (10 feet) tall.

The project, apart from being living-proof of outstanding talent, was also treated as a performance; this live video [posted here] shows Mabona doing what he does best. As we intently watch it, we see a slow progression, a focused Mabona, and a paper-elephant slowly taking shape. “There is no limit in origami”, says Mabona.

Mabona financed the project through Indiegogo, the Internet-crowdfunding platform. He raised over $26,000 from 631 funders. In order to share with the donors, a webcam was installed where Mabona worked. The artist ran into some major challenges like figuring out how to spread a huge sheet of paper, measuring 15 meters by 15 meters (or 50 by 50 feet), in a hall, to transform the sheet of paper into the body of an elephant. There were moments during the folding process wherehe had to get the help of up to ten people to lift and fold the paper. (via My Modern Met)

 

Susan Dobson’s Abandoned Buildings Are Timeless Reminders That It All Turns to Dust

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In photographer Susan Dobson’s series Sense of an Ending, she taps into our fascination of abandoned buildings. We ask ourselves, what happened to these places? Why is no one there, and how did they come to be in such disrepair? The once majestic-looking structures now sit among ruins and overgrown vegetation, and these haunting images remind us that everything built will eventually turn to dust. Dobson often frames her compositions so the homes look tiny when compared to a large, ominous-looking sky.

The photographer’s intention was that these works were timeless. They could point to a post apocalyptic future or relics of the past. In a short statement about her work, Dobson explains:

I am interested in how photographs have the ability to sit outside of any definitive time period, and to feel dislocated in time. It allows for associations to be made with a range of historical periods. For me, the series evokes images I have in my mind of the ruins from WWII that were still evident in Germany when I lived there as a child. (Via Flavorpill)

 

Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy’s Haunting Photoseries Erases Buildings, Leaving Only Their Facades

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Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy is a French photographer whose Facades series is a personal exercise in land and city-scape photography, with one major difference. In each photo, the Lyon-based Gaudrillot-Roy digitally edits each image so that building itself is erased, leaving only the structure’s front, or facade, present. Now on his third iteration of the series, each village or city building carries ominous, almost surreal connotations of civilizations being abandoned, wrecked by recession, or left to slowly disintegrate. However, the images retain a still, quiet beauty, and are haunting in their simplicity.

Says the photographer, “The façade is the first thing we see, it’s the surface of a building. It can be impressive, superficial or safe. Just like during a wandering through a foreign city, I walk through the streets with these questions: what will happen if we stick to that first vision? If the daily life of “The Other” was only a scenery? This series thus offers a vision of an unknown world that would only be a picture, without intimate space, with looks as the only refuge.” (via skumar’s)