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Miniature Scenes of Industrial Japan Sculpted Using Human Hair

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Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki, seen previously meticulously carving topographical maps from electrical tape, has created a new body of work that’s equally as detailed. This time, the artist uses cloth fibers, human hair, and dust to depict miniature scenes of large refineries and power plants. The works were apart of an exhibition at the Kawasaki City Museum earlier this year entitled Out of Disorder.

The charcoal-colored landscapes look like they’ve been under a lot of pressure and are on the edge of collapse. This inspiration came from the industrial rise of Japan, and Iwasaki used satellite images from Google Earth to recreate its old cityscapes. He began forming these sculptures by first soaking towels in ink and then dirtying them to create rags, serving as the base for the delicately-constructed generators and gantry cranes; it’s meant to signify the lands that were leveled in the WWII air raids. These gritty and melancholy scenes depict an era of post-war Japan that is now past, but still recalls the labor and sweat that went into it. (Via JunkCulture, Spoon & Tamago, and Azito Art)

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Lilli Carré’s Whimsical And Surreal Moving Comic Drawings

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Interdisciplinary artist and illustrator Lilli Carré‘s “Moving Drawings” are simple and abstract and capture, in looped form, the surreal whimsicality to be found in her comic illustrations and animations. Based in Chicago, Carré has created several comic books and is a co-founder – along with her animator husband, Alexander Stewart – of the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation. Carré’s animations are playful, evocative of childhood, and deal with themes of mundanity and transformation. Aware of the way animated gifs command attention and provoke feelings of delight and curiosity, of her gifs, Carré says, “They help me get little images in my head — like a woman incessantly eating flowers — out of my mind and into moving forms. They don’t have to be part of bigger projects; they can just exist on their own and live forever on the Internet. They’re like little breaths of fresh air.” You can find a collection of Carré’s animated films over on Vimeo. (via juxtapoz)

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Nicole Gastonguay’s Cute Characters That Resemble Mundane Objects

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Wouldn’t you just love it if all your everyday interactions with household items were as fun as looking at these cute crochet creations? Nicole Gas­tonguay, a graphic designer and fiber artist, replicates mundane objects- food, toast, pickles, and even boom boxes- by using yarn. She puts a smile (or a frown- depending on what the object is) and a pair of big googly eyes in all her creation. (via Brown Paper Bag)

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Women Take To The Streets Wearing Menstrual Blood Stains

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Fed up with the shame surrounding their periods, the Spanish performance collective Sangre Menstrual took over the public streets in sets of white pants stained with menstrual blood. This performance artwork was politically motivated; as the group writes in their “Manifesto for the Visibility of the Period,” the taboo surrounding menstruation serves to oppress women and reinforce patriarchal systems.

By making a public display of their shedding uterine linings, the group hopes to reclaim the female body and free normal bodily functions from shame and judgement. Since the earliest books of the bible and before, menstruation has been viewed as unclean, and often women have even been kept separate from men during their periods. Sangre Menstrual, whose name literally translates to “menstrual blood,” intends to change all that. In their manifesto, the group of women write, “I stain [my pants], and it doesn’t make me sick. I stain [my pants] and I don’t find it disgusting.”

The implications of Sangre Menstrual’s street performance extend beyond menstruation and into larger debates surrounding reproduction and the female body. Like the feminist artist Barbara Kruger and her legendary print “Your Body Is A Battlefield,” the blood-stained performance aims to present the body as a political act of defiance. The manifesto states, “the visibility of the period [is meant] to increase the visibility of the body, as political space.” Do patriarchal, sexist institutions persist in part because of the repulsion with which we treat menstruation? Is this work of art a groundbreaking innovation or a silly shock tactic? (via BUST)

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Quirky Photographs Of Off-Beat Clubs Like The Poodle Club And Merriment Pipe Smokers’ Club

Tupperware Party

Tupperware Party

Poodle Club

Poodle Club

Coffee Cream Lids Swap Meet

Coffee Cream Lids Swap Meet

Hat Club

Hat Club

Clubs exist for nearly everything, even things you that wouldn’t expect because they’re so strange. Ursula Sprecher and Andi Cortellini document the off-beat organizations that make it possible for people share their interests.Hats, pigeons, nudity, and Santa Claus are all real clubs that make up the series titled Hobby Buddies.

The photographs are staged portraits featuring a variety of clubs. Each image features the members, either in their costumes or with the items of interest. The coloring and lighting looks dated, and these pictures look like they could be out of a Wes Anderson film. They are quirky, humorous, and endearing, especially when you consider how connecting with people who have the same interests can make someone not feel so alone in this world. And, that’s Sprecher and Cortellini’s point. The images are dedicated to the “joy of pursuing a common cause or shared idea.” (Via It’s Nice That)

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Precious Dioramas Built Inside Tiny Sardine Cans

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Packed within the four walls of a tiny 6 by 10 centimeter sardine can, the miniature characters created by sculptor Nathalie Alony for her project Home Sweet Home are both humorous and poignant. Arranged in a massive grid, the artist’s sardine can dioramas serve as a metaphor for the confined apartments in which we nest. These intricate figurines—men, women, children, beloved pets—each exist within the limits of their aluminum enclosure, building complex family and personal universes that seem to operate independently of the outside world. Despite the isolation of each piece, together Alony’s cans form a complex network that wakes and rests as a unified community, separated only by thin, delicate metal.

Like strange dollhouses, these precious sardine can apartments allow us to navigate and to find meaning in the rituals of domestic life. Much of the action portrayed here is banal: the routine laundering of children’s clothes, the checking off of days on a calendar, the painting of walls. When seen in miniature, intricately rendered by the artist’s masterful hands, mundane home improvement tasks become endlessly enthralling. Here, we can be voyeurs in the most innocent sense, entering the intimate confines of the homes of others with tender curiosity.

Alony’s brilliant little worlds capture the lonesomeness of modern living; seeing the fourth aluminum wall pulled back to reveal precious, private lives, we yearn for a similar intimacy in real life. A home, carved out lovingly from a tiny industrial box, contains all the secrets and wonders of families that are not our own. What goes on in the cherished homes of others? (via Junk Culture and Lost at E Minor)

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Someone Made A Living Replica Of Vincent Van Gogh’s Severed Ear

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We all know the story of Vincent van Gogh’s ear, an organ that the artist is rumored to have severed from his own head in a fit of lovesick madness. For her project Sugababe, the artist Diemut Strebe has recreated the living ear of the legendary Post-Impressionist. Teaming up with scientists and using an advanced 3D printing technique, Strebe constructed the true-to-life organ from a sample of the late artist’s DNA found in an envelope that he had licked in 1883 and live cartilage from the ear of Lieuwe van Gogh, a grandson of the painter’s brother. The replicated ear, now on view at The Center for Art and Media in Karlshruhe in Germany, is kept alive by being suspended in a solution laced with nutrients.

Strebe’s installation includes a microphone into which viewers can speak. The sound is then carried to the ear, which hears speech as a crackling noise that is projected through speakers for all to listen. For the artist, Sugababe is a physical manifestation of Theseus’ paradox, wherein the ancient Greek hero was asked if a ship would remain the same if all its individual parts were replaced with new ones. Here, Strebe asks if this clone of an ear might in fact be considered the same ear worn by van Gogh. Tragically unable to respond the viewers who speak to it, the organ seems startlingly alien. Though it is composed of the same elements as the original ear, it lacks the humanity and the romance we ascribe the artist whose molecular biology it shares.

Given the tragic history of the artist, Strebe’s work carries with it a sense of loss and poignancy. Where the living van Gogh was unappreciated— reviled, even—in his time, here even his tiny organ is preserved with the utmost care, his body transformed into a valuable work of art in and of itself. (via Design Boom and The Daily Beast)

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