Special Problems is a multi-disciplinary creative studio composed of Campbell Hooper, Darron Lilley and Joel Kefali. Their work fuses hand drawn, painted, video, animation and illustration–often recontextualized in new and surprising ways. They recently interviewed with Beautiful/Decay to discuss their design collective, their approach, and thought processes behind their videos.
Overloading, as you can clearly see, is a serious problem in China; about 80 percent of trucks (or any means of transportation used to transport goods) are overloaded. These vehicles have been damaging the country’s already-crumbling highways and they have been the cause of collapsed bridges in the past. This bizarre collection of photographs,published by China Foto Press, reveal the heartbreaking reality of the statistics, as we see here the incredible amounts of junk that these tiny transportation vehicles carry on a daily basis. Although amusing and puzzling at first, these colorful and peculiarly beautiful compositions beg for awareness and possibly a chance for change.
“Highway and bridge tolls in China are too high for transportation companies. Sometimes, they can account for as much as 20 percent of the total expense. Therefore, many companies carry too much freight to try to make trips more profitable and compete with rivals.” – Cui Zhongfu, secretary-general of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
The rivalry over transportation companies has cost China about a dozen collapsed bridges each year. For instance, Qiantang River in Hangzhou, a bridge that was designed for vehicles weighing only 30 tons and trailers weighing 55 tons, was abused by truckers carrying loads in excess of 100 tons. The bridge finally gave in and collapsed in July 2011, when a 129-ton truck tried to cross it. In the same month, a bridge in Yancheng and another 301-meter steel-arch bridge in Wuyishan, Fujian province, collapsed. Both bridges had been built about 10 years ago. (Via Amusing Planet)
Neil Krug produces images that make you wonder if you’re looking at photos that have been lost for years. Psychedelic imagery mixed with soft light tones make his work seem from a different era, but lovely imagery nonetheless. His work is very inspiring. Love his work? Krug has a book out named PULP Art and has directed a video for Ladytron.
Architect Zaha Hadid‘s new office building in Moscow, known as the ‘dominion office building,’ is a big, bold, futuristic M.C. Escher. This building is one of the first structures constructed in the up and coming district of Yuzhnoportovy. The structure marks a distinct direction for the desired path of the neighborhood: a place for visionary thinking. The exterior of the building is sleek, shiny, clean and practical, yet, it’s slight asymmetry characterizes it as an entity that deserves attention. While the building itself is striking, it is the building’s interior that is truly remarkable.The lobby and staircases have been constructed in black and white, creating an art deco reminiscent feel, yet nothing about this building’s design seems taken from the past. When looking up through the structure, the geometric shapes create a design of almost painterly accord, creating a playfulness with space that borders on optical illusion. The staircases look like winding piano keys marching through open space. The presence of light is truly considered, making it the perfect environment for forward thinking and inspiration. The building is not just progressive in its aesthetic design — it has also been created in a way to encourage and make expansion for small businesses feasible within the same space. Along with focusing on helping pave the way for small business to expand, it also fosters collaboration between companies sharing the same space; there is a ground floor café next door to the terrace — creating a communal space for exchanging ideas and socializing. (Via Design Boom and Fubiz)
I always thought that robots would one day make all the art in the world but I never imagined that the day would be so near. Benjamin Grosser’s Interactive Robotic Painting Machine uses artificial intelligence to paint its own body of work and to make its own decisions. While doing so, it listens to its environment and considers what it hears as input into the painting process. In the absence of someone or something else making sound in its presence, the machine, like many artists, listens to itself. Watch a video of the robot in action after the jump!
I found Tadashi Moriyama‘s work during Bushwick Open Studios this past June and fell in love with the intricacy and obsessive mark making process that is evident in each ink and gouache work. Each painting is rife with apocalyptic imagery rendered in countless repetitions of a few motifs including waffle-like gridded squares forming architectural structures and tubular wobbly connectors slithering in and out of buildings and bodily orifices.
Dara Scully is a Spanish writer and photographer who captures dark, poetic scenes verging on fairy tale and myth. Nude figures inhabit the faded forests. Esoteric rituals transpire on quiet leaf beds. Death is present in the form of insects, prone bodies, and bleeding wounds, and rebirth occurs as birds escape their abandoned cages. As beautiful and graceful as Scully’s images is her creative biography, which reveals her sylvan, literary essence:
“Forest creature, winter girl. I like birches and aspen leaves. In my other life, I was a white deer, a fox, or a swallow. I’ve never flown. I drink milk tea and my favorite word is chrysalis. My heart belongs to Chopin and my body to the horses, but I’ve never ridden any. I read Jaeggy, Nabokov, Duras, and Müller. I read because it saves me. […] If I have to choose a sound, I’d say: the wind shaking the branches of the trees. Or rain. I always wear dresses and man shoes. I [have] written since I was thirteen. I’m afraid of moths. I have six moles in my pale chest.” (Source)
The power of conceptual photographers like Scully lies in the ability to tell stories in a single frame. Just as she encapsulates an entire sensorial experience in the above paragraph, each photo is a compressed narrative overflowing with hidden meaning and an emotional presence—the innocence of youth, the pain of growing, the sorrow of death. Blending reality with fiction, Scully employs subtly powerful symbols—such as the dead birds—to speak their meaning. Deeply subjective, her ambiguous scenes allow the viewer to instill their own significance.
Magomed Dovjenko updates his portfolio site with all sorts of new illustration goodness. Keep an eye out for Magomed in the June issue of Beautiful/Decay along with a killer new shirt design by him.