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)
Rich Tu definitely has a style. His illustrations are engaging and contemporary, though they harken back to the tradition of the beautiful Japanese painting style that so many of you had in poster form in your dorm room (myself included.. Tsunami, anyone?). Tu twists the idea to a modern feel, using muted colors with stark black, and dark and pensive subjects.
Designer Armin Blasbichler‘s work is often jarring. His series ORSON, I’m Home strikes a special chord, though. The series is composed of three “dining sculptures” created primarily from the bodies of various farm animals. While we may be more accustomed to farm animals adorning plates on the furniture, seeing them as taxidermy furniture makes for a surreal juxtaposition. The furniture confronts its users with the consumption it usually facilitates. Interestingly, for the series Blasbichler features a quote from professor and writer Don Slater: “In talking of modern society as a consumer culture, people are not referring simply to a particular pattern of needs and objects […] but to a culture of consumption.”
The Painted Desert Project amazingly unique project bringing street art to the Navajo Nation and Native American culture to street artists. Impossibly interesting artist and doctor, Chip Thomas lives in the Four Corners area and organized the project. Thomas invites various street artist to the area in order to create original art reflecting different aspects of Navajo culture. However, Thomas requests the artists research Navajo culture, interact with the community, and even attend sweats with tribal elders prior to conceiving and creating their work. In this way, the street art illustrates each artists personal interaction with the culture.
Toronto native Jessica Thalmann is a photo-based artist with a curatorial presence. Her pieces bear witness to narratives of the past, overlaid on the reality of the present, capturing the intensity of these personal stories.
In a country with literally dozens of celebrated historical monuments, photographer Antonio La Grotta pays tribute to a different sort of relic: discotheques, abandoned and decaying. In their repose, there is an otherworldliness quality about them, looking as though they are the remains of crash-landed disco spaceships.
Mostly built in the 1980s, the buildings are sometimes daring with the occasional swooping bold line here and a vaguely extraterrestrial silhouette there. However, the design borrows more from chintzy Las Vegas glamour. One discotheque — fittingly named “Last Empire” — is decorated with reclining Greek statues and columns. Another takes the form of a giant boat, marooned on land and in time. Some are a little more abstract, such as the “Woodpecker,” which is comprised of a system of round covered pavilions in a marshy swamp.
Why photograph these places now that the glitz has turned to dust? La Grotta said in an interview, “I like to photograph what you cannot see, the suggestions a place can give you, even if it doesn’t declare it in a clear and open way.” He describes the discotheques as “inhabited by echo,” something that is certainly true in a number of ways. The dance halls are optimistically spacious, and the occasional pop of neon color is a reminder that this, too, had its heyday.
These discotheques are neither disco World Heritage Sites nor astounding feats of engineering, but they are nevertheless time capsules from life in the not-too-distant past.
Argentinean artist and designer Francisco Miranda creates work in a variety of media from digital animations to graphic design. However his geometric wood collages are what really catch our eye. Miranda creates multi-layered wall objects and spatial installations from elaborately cut wooden forms. Reflecting on the architecture of his native city Buenos Aires, he looks at how the old has evolved into the new. His work combines elements of art nouveau and art deco to create an intricately ornamental species of caryatids to shape a futuristic Argentinean metropolis. (via Ignant)