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Quiet Ensemble Creates An Orchestra That Plays The Sound Of Light

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Italian sound designers Fabio Di Salvo and Bernardo Vercelli, together known as Quiet Ensemble, create work that features insignificant sounds that we wouldn’t give a second thought to. They focus their energies on the “greatness of small events,” and the subject of their most recent project is a lamp. Specifically, lamps used to produce a musical event. Titled The Enlightenment, the duo calls this performance a “hidden concert of pure light” that uses a bevy of different lighting elements like stage lights and high-powered bulbs. “Instead of violins are neon lights, to replace drums are strobe lights and instead of clarinets we will see theatrical headlights illuminating the audience,” they explain in the video’s description.

The Enlightenment was performed in October for Bologna’s Robot Festival, where it included 96 lamps. Each was fitted with its own copper coil that received various electric currents set at specific intervals, as well as a sensor. This produced an electromagnetic field that was captured and turned into sounds. Salvo and Vercelli accompanied the buzzes by modifying and amplifying each lamp’s electric output in real time. The result is a clash of blues, greens, and yellow flashes with the poetics of a familiar buzz. (Via The Creators Project)

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Katherine Akey’s Stunning, Dreamy Photographs Of Natural World Wonders

Katherine Akey- Photograph Katherine Akey- PhotographKatherine Akey- PhotographKatherine Akey- Photograph

Katherine Akey’s works traces the delicacies of life on this planet in various ways. Through photograms and photographs, she narrates the whimsical beauty of nature. These smokey, sparkling greys are from a body of work titled Aurora, where she captured the mysterious movement of the night sky. Her penchant for unearthing, discovering, and a curiosity about the sacred aspects of voyage have imbedded in her a unique way of viewing the world, one she projects masterfully from glass lens to gelatin. Outfitting herself to visit Svalbard in the next year, she will no doubt deliver a new body of work that is even more sophisticated and compelling.

Akey is a beautiful writer, and her this excerpt from her blog shows her motivations and what led her to commit to the upcoming Arctic Circle Residency in Svalbard. Beautiful and compelling, it reads like poetry:

“These questions and their associated emotional valences could be analyzed using the machines and tools of a scientist; I choose, however, to use the events of the past, the texts left behind, the myths generated, and, hopefully, my own foray into those parts of the world as material for art making. My work also confronts the reality that adventure as we have long thought of it is just about snuffed out. Astronauts go to the safety of space stations instead of venturing into the infinite universe, and robots have taken the place of humans to explore the dusty surface of Mars. The ambitions of so many of these men who went north to explore were complicated and compelling; what drove them to embark, what kindled the hope that kept them alive, and what they give credit to for their success once they return are all completely different things. The North Pole itself is elusive and misleading; there’s a geographic north pole, a magnetic north pole, the celestial North Pole, and a northern pole of inaccessibility. The Arctic, unlike the Antarctic, is a frozen ocean, not a continent; there’s no land mass, just sea ice. The mythic explorer hero is also a foggy, misleading concept; these men were egotistical, driven by ambition, and many of them died miserable, needless deaths alone. All of my interests and works come out of this deep respect for the Human; I see it so clearly in these fevered moments of triumph-cum-horror, like the World Wars or the Golden Age(s) of exploration.”

(Excerpt published with permission from artist)

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Susan Copich Stages A Darkly Humorous And Disturbing Family Life In “Domestic Bliss”

Bath Time

Bath Time

Mommy Time

Mommy Time

Happy Days

Happy Days

Reaching middle-age, photographer Susan Copich was feeling disillusioned with her acting career, disenchanted with her marriage, and, when she noticed her absence from every family photo, as if she were disappearing. Her solution was to create the series “Domestic Bliss,” staged photos featuring her in darkly humorous scenes from an exaggerated life.

“I use proverbs, idioms, and biblical scriptures as a conduit to reach my inner creativity while grounding it to something real. Social observation continues to fuel my inspiration. The use of humor allows me to mock the worlds I traipse through while permitting the viewer to live vicariously through the character. I project my thoughts into a frozen a moment in time, allowing the story to continually unfold in front of you.”

She tackles topics like unsupervised children with access to guns, women and food, and homicidal anger, as well as lighter topics such as Christmas cards and crying over spilt milk. Some of the images are very dark, indeed, such as “Bath Time” with its implication of double murder/suicide, and “Anger Management,” which depicts Copich, with unkempt hair and Diane von Furstenberg dress, in the act of wringing the family dog’s neck in front of her daughters.

“I dwell in the dark thoughts and recesses of my mind to create character and subject, in order to project them into a frozen moment of time, allowing the story to continue to unfold bilaterally for the viewer. I feel a certain freedom to live vicariously through these characters to engage, seek to navigate (and, no less, avoid), both my own personal imperatives as woman, artist, mother, and wife, as well as those – personal, social and cultural – that are imposed on me by others.”

The photos are funny and disturbing, polarizing and attention-grabbing. It seems that Susan Copich is in no danger of disappearing any time soon.

All photos by Susan Copich, courtesy of Moen Mason Gallery. (Via Demilked)

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Hana Knížová Photographs The Ambitious And Aspirational Youth Of Hollywood

Hana Knizova

Hana Knizova

Hana Knizova

Hana Knizova

London based photographer Hana Knížová‘s new series Young Hollywood focuses on the dreams, goals, hopes and aspirations of the optimistic youth of L.A looking to make a break in the industry. Noted for it’s cut throat competitiveness, Hollywood is no child’s playground. These portraits capture a time of these people’s lives when they are aware of the challenges ahead, but not intimated enough to stop trying. Knížová says of her inspiration:

I am interested in the topic of youth and its ambitions, as it’s something which develops and changes as we grow older. Our motivation and priorities change. Some personal goals might not be achieved for several different reasons – it can be quite disappointing and bitter, but other goals might gradually and naturally start lacking relevance in one’s life. Only time will show.

Stylistically the photographs are shot in various locations, either in personal cars, or homes, local diners, street corners or burger joints – all seeming very personal. It is a rare look at a performer’s inner emotions. It is easy to see boundless optimism and hope, but somewhere niggling doubts are also lingering. Knížová goes on:

I also asked my sitters to fill a short questionnaire about their current situation, about their aspirations, and what “fame” and “success” mean to them. This serves for my personal record, although it was certainly challenging for them verbalise the thoughts. Sometimes we catch ourselves in auto pilot or chasing a dream without forming some sort of context, this exercise is both reaffirming and acknowledging of these big picture goals they set for themselves.

It will indeed be an interesting social experiment to see just where these young Hollywood star and starlets end up down the track. To see more of Knížová’s beautiful work visit her tumblr site. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Yoshitoshi Kanemaki’s Surreal Hand Carved Sculptures Of The Super-Ego

Yoshitoshi Kanemaki - Sculpture

Yoshitoshi Kanemaki - Sculpture

Yoshitoshi Kanemaki - Sculpture

Yoshitoshi Kanemaki - Sculpture

Yoshitoshi Kanemaki sculpts incredible life-sized metaphors from camphor wood. Once he finishes chiseling in each furrowed brow and dabbing on painted flesh, what stands before him is a character that is beyond human. All of Kanemaki’s subjects seem to be between thoughts, complex humans who are plagued by existential terror while simultaneously wondering if they left the stove turned on.

One sculpture, a many-headed girl, shows every shade of expression from happiness to surprise. A six-eyed woman glances left, right, and straight ahead at the ground. It’s almost as though Kanemaki has sought to capture the various elements of the psyche in action — a glimpse of id, ego, and super-ego at play.

Just as his previous sculptures, Kanemaki riffs on the theme of emergence. Mirror images are attached like siamese twins. A peculiar case of mistaken, misplaced, or misremembered identity, it’s diffiult to tell which is real and which is doppelganger. (via Laughing Squid)

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Georgios Cherouvim’s Robotic Installation Intimates Debates Between Political Figures

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Multidisciplinary artist Georgios Cherouvim’s installation titled Debate looks like your average conversation between two political candidates. But, there are some big differences: the figures’ heads are replaced with flashing geometric forms and they talk using unintelligible robot noises (think a series of beep boops). And of course, these aren’t people – they are realistic-looking plastic mannequins that are animated by an Arduino micro-controller with a custom “conversation” – stimulating program.

Cherouvim says that he entered the world of visual arts through computer animation, which explains the complex nature of Debate. The triangular and rectangular “heads” are controlled by an algorithm that changes lights and sounds based on parameters like how long one of them has been talking, if there was any silence, and the last time one was ignored by the other.

In his artist statement, Cherouvim writes:

My work is a visual representation based upon my perspective of social and political issues. I question established ideas of the modern lifestyle and how common social behaviors and ideologies have turned us against our environment and our selves. I want my work to invite the viewer to step back, observe our actions from a different perspective and associate them to the consequences.

“The act never reaches a conclusion and it is performed in a non-deterministic way,” Cherouvim told The Creators Project. “Their language is incomprehensible, causing the viewer to lose interest in the conversation and politics all together.” (Via The Creators Project)

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Rebecca Rütten Uses Greasy Fast Food To Recreate Exquisite Renaissance Paintings

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Photographer Rebecca Rütten is interested in the paintings from the Renaissance period and contemporary fast food culture like Taco Bell and McDonalds. You wouldn’t think that the two would intersect, but in Rütten’s series Contemporary Pieces, they do. The German artist combines elements of the traditional with greasy burgers and fries. ”I became enamored with the eroticism, presentation and charisma of paintings from the Renaissance Period. In the Late Renaissance, Italian and Dutch painters dealt with the middle and lower classes,she writes in a statement about the work. To Rütten, fast food represents the two social groups. “To eat healthy is expensive,” she continues. “However, one can buy large amounts of food at a fast food restaurant for a comparatively low price.” 

Rütten asked tattooed and pierced friends to model for her and recreate the poses of laborers, gypsies, and prostitutes in Caravaggio paintings. The exquisite and dramatic images are simultaneously beautiful and repulsive. For every flower or fancy goblet there are mounds of saturated fat. It’s not only a culture clash, but a fusion of foodstuffs associated with lower class and fine items for the upper crust of society. (Via iGNANT)

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Shi Jindian’s Ethereal Life-Size Wire Sculptures Take Years To Complete

Shi Jindian- Sculpture

Shi Jindian- Sculpture

Shi Jindian- Sculpture

Shi Jindian- Sculpture

Shi Jindian makes wire sculptures that are precise, intricate, and collect to form impressive items in their actual size and shape. The Chinese artist uses steel wire to twist together these delicate pieces, which encompass the complexity of the actual item whether it be the human body, a motorcycle, a bicycle, or a cello. To create this ethereal effect, Jindian first makes a wire covering over the actual object, then destroys and removes the object from within it to have only the shell leftover. Viola! A sculpture is born.

As another arts writer commented,

“The result, he says, is a kind of fiction, a virtual reality that can be walked around and touched. His Blue CJ750 (2008) is a replica of the Chiangjiang [Yangtze], a military bike based on an early BMW and for decades reserved for the military. Beijing’s Shadow (2007) translates the chassis of an army jeep into an object of pure contemplation, an airy fantasy which a car long was for millions of Chinese. Each of the works is accurate to the smallest detail. They took years to make, but he found serenity in the toil. When people touch his sculptures, he says, they also touch ‘the state of mind that emerges from the labour of my hands: tranquillity and calm’.”(Excerpt from Source)

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