In his latest exhibit, Iced Flowers, Makoto Azuma plays into a cryogenic aesthetic. The principle behind cryogenics is the study of material at sub zero temperatures. Azuma uses this theory to encase exotic bouquets in frozen water and photograph them in various stages of melting. The end result is nothing short of dazzling. Behind a solid block of ice, the flowers become even more alive (than dead), transforming into an army of alien creatures before our very eyes.
On his website, Azuma describes himself as “a flower artist” who has been working with unusual arrangements since 2005. During the course of a decade, he has run a haute couture floral shop in Tokyo, called “Jardins des Fleurs” and his own gallery. He currently operates a botanical research institute under his name. This is where all his present studies take place. An experiment he conducted last year, where he sent a rare bonsai tree into space is right up there with the frozen flowers.
A lot of people confuse the study of cryogenics with the science of cryonics. Both are related but the latter is specific to preserving human life in very low temperatures in accordance with other sciences, in order to prolong and continue good health until better technology comes along. It’s surprising that it hasn’t gotten more mention in recent years. Azuma’s petrified flowers are a type of cryogenics and example of his ability to create art out of a temporary chilled moment. (via mymodernmet.tumblr.com)
Philadelphia-based artist Mike Tanis produces intricate paper sculptures using a combination of origami and kirigami techniques. If you’re not familiar with what those are, they’re Japanese art forms that fold and cut paper in complex ways without the help of glue. Here, Tanis has used these methods to create abstract structures that appear soft and wavy as well as splintered and fractured. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell that they’re made of paper.
Tanis tells Quanta Magazine that he uses a scalpel to make any cuts and doesn’t use directions or crease patterns. “I start with a folding technique or principle and improvise once I start to feel the 3d form developing,” he explains. The results are dramatic forms that are reminiscent of architecture and nature. His taller, cut-paper structure mimic skyscrapers while his completely-folded pieces conjure images of the beach or a mountainscape.
The works of Julian Feeld — a Paris-based (but internationally-experienced) photographer — are shrouded in mystery. This particular series, titled La Forêt, is especially cryptic. The images immerse you in a dark, wet forest, and at first you may not be entirely sure what you are seeing — or how you feel about it. Gradually, shapes take form: a naked body lying prone on a rock; human legs splayed open amongst the undergrowth; genitals encroached by moss. Some of the images are beautiful, appealing to that romanticized idea of the “natural” body in tandem with nature; others are dark and disturbing, fragmenting the body into an inhuman shape as if it were just another dead tree lying motionless on the forest floor. What Feeld is doing here is an exercise in perception, capturing us in our own moment of subjective interpretation; we have to make sense of these photos, we have to determine whether we feel “peaceful” or “alarmed,” we have to decide if the bodies are part of what we call “Nature,” or separate from it. The critical beauty of Feeld’s work is that it reveals to us our deeply personal signifying practices.
It goes without saying that Feeld’s images are much different than your typical nude photographs. Speaking to this, Feeld writes: “For La Forêt, I wasn’t interested in taking ‘nudes’ in the classical sense, but rather in creating a sort of chimera, an impossible ‘thing’ using human flesh as the provoking visual element.” The chimera — that mythical hybird with a lion’s head, goat’s body, and serpent’s tail — embodies the sort of categorical ambiguity that Feeld is driving at; the naked bodies in his photographs are so interwoven with the environment that the boundaries defining what is “human,” “nonhuman” (the trees) and inert (the rocks) become obscured. The result is slightly troubling to the imagination, as we so often narcissistically imagine ourselves as separate from the world in which we exist.
The darkness and obscurity of La Forêt comes to a head in its sister film, Le Chien, filmed in collaboration with Feeld’s partner, Mathilde Huron. In the film, a naked man (played by Feeld) scrambles desperately at a dense thicket, panting heavily. Something seems to be barring his entry, but he continues to writhe and push anyways. Feeld explains that this film was inspired by a story told by Huron about her dog, “how she watched it try to dig itself into a giant pile of wood and debris, seeking death, pushing itself into the next world.” Like the photographs, Le Chien troubles the idea of what is “human”: this man is behaving like an animal bent on completing an unknown objective. The audio track is similarly disturbing, in that it sounds like a multiplicity of human voices panting, gasping, and overlapping in different octaves. The result of both La Forêt and Le Chien is an indescribable uncertainty; a visceral, pre-intellectual state wherein we must make meaning — or accept that there is none.
Follow Feeld’s Twitter to keep up with his thought-provoking art. More of La Forêt after the jump. (Via Art Fucks Me)
A new invention redesigning sticky notes has a 50/50 chance of becoming successful. Switch Notes by suck uk stationary store, was created with the same thought in mind as a refrigerator magnet or bulletin board; used as a simple tool to help remember “things to do”. The original sticky note was invented in 1968 by 3M chemist Dr. Spencer Silver. At the time, he was looking for an adhesive that could stick to things and be reused or repositioned multiple times. He proceeded to invent low-tack tape. This was released on the first sticky note marketed as Press ‘n Peel back in 1977. Its yellow color came from the scrap paper used in tests and in 1980, the product was reintroduced as Post-it Notes.
The new and improved humorous design of Switch Notes is slightly different from post-its, because it has a light hole switch in the middle. This added feature enables the user to put it on a light switch doubling the reminder value. The design is greener and saves paper, but according to initial feedback, isn’t sticky enough and tends to fall off when placed. If so, it kinda defeats the purpose of “no brainer convenience”. Does it really make sense to take another step and place something deliberately on a light switch? And what if you forget to shut off the light, then what? Late fee.
Still, those who love anything new and different will buy into it. The company suck uk who makes Switch Notes, specializes in unique items for the home. Some of their bestsellers include an LED light which turns old bottles into lamps and an umbrella which changes colors when rain hits it. (via lostateminor.com)
This past year at Warwick Art Gallery in Queensland, Australia featured a cozy site-specific installation called the Knitchen. As the name suggests, it was a kitchen adorned with knitting (some referred to it as a yarn-bombing). Yarn-covered chairs, sinks, coffee cups, and even a turkey occupied the space from July until August. This endeavor was the result of 50 artists working over the course of seven months. And, it shows. Nearly everything – from a phone cord to the label on a jam jar – is the result of a meticulous attention to detail.
Karina Devine, the Warwick’s gallery director told ABC Southern Queensland that the installation was inspired by an old-fashioned kitchen (hence the phone). “I got a new oven last year, and kept my old oven so I could wrap my oven,” Devine said. “The most exciting part for me was creating the crocheted gas flame, and hand sewing the orange flecks.That gives me a little bit of a kick every time I see it.” (Via Lustik and ABC Southern Queensland)
This new interactive installation Oil by Moscow media-artist, musician and engineer of ‘strange-sounding mechanisms’ ::vtol:: (Dmitry Morozov) is an exciting opportunity for participants to create something new and original from destroying used personal objects. Inviting people to use whatever object they are carrying at the time (headphones, sunglasses, keys, cosmetics), he places them underneath a hydraulic press and proceeds to crush them into something unrecognizable. He records what happens next with a microphone mounted closely to the hydraulic presses. The sound from the act of destruction is turned into a 20 minute record and presented to the participant to take away with them.
The project is intended to provoke visitors into spontaneously ridding themselves of material consumer objects for the sake of creating their own individual work of art via deprivation, divestment and destruction. Sound has been taken as the chief medium here with good reason, since sound art is perhaps the least material and most abstract of all genres in art. The technological aesthetic involved constitutes an ironic attempt to make the process of art production into a technological process, but the result, unlike that of mass production, demonstrates a contrary phenomenon – this is a work involving programming and code in the context of generative art, with the potential to broaden the range of instruments at art’s disposal. (Source)
You can also hear one of the 1574 tracks recorded during exhibition here. And see more innovative work from :vtol::, including different instruments here.
Somewhere between sculpture, fashion, and performance art lies the curious work of Daniel Ramosobregón. This Colombian designer’s wearable art takes the form of dismembered components of the human body in a pure white slate. Each piece is created from porcelain casts of the particular body part that it represents. Then, they are attached to gold plated brass metal and appropriately worn almost always directly attached to the body segment it mimics, creating a deeply psychological affect. It is as if each human body section is jumping out of its place into the air only to be confronted by it own body once again. Ramosobregón’s series is titled Outrospection inspired by the philosopher Roman Krznaric, who claims that humans must live towards the outside to truly know themselves. This meaning, experiencing life is how we discover and form our identities. The designer further explains the meaning behind his wearable limbs.
I have appropriated his concept while relating it to out-of-body experiences more commonly known as astral projections, by seeking to represent -in a metaphorical way- the mind being projected inside out of the body as a way of self-expression and representation.
These “out-of-body” experiences are represented in his work as ghostly and unnerving fractions of the body unnaturally detached. The most startling piece is the white, porcelain tongue that is only attached to the subject’s body by part of it being held in his mouth. Ramosobregón’s series Outrospection is a perfectly balanced mix of beautiful craft and amputation. Although the photos of his crisp white and well-designed sculptures appear somewhat unsettling, Ramosobregón’s work is unarguably delicate and stunning.
TOMAAS is a Paris-based fashion and beauty photographer whose stunning works explore the way man-made materials and objects accompany us in our daily lives. This particular series, titled Plastic Fantastic, incorporates plastic bags, forks, tubing, straws, bottles, and more into the creation of surreal and cinematic imagery. His white-washed models are both alien and beautiful; with plastic adorning their bodies and faces, what is most often seen as a functional and/or wasteful material becomes the luminescent fabric of space-age fashion.
Throughout his work, TOMAAS is interested in imagery that presents multiple themes. Plastic Fantastic is one such series, wherein he examines the prevalence, significance, and artistic versatility of plastic in our modern-day world. While conceptualizing this project, TOMAAS wanted to emphasize “the design and design choices behind such man-made products” (Source), and furthermore, explore what happens when such functional objects are removed from their normal contexts; take plastic forks and tubing into an arts and beauty studio, arrange them in unusual ways, and suddenly they become eerily beautiful and expressive crowns and dresses.
This approach to plastic as desirable or aesthetically-pleasing may be a bit difficult for us, given its noxious status in environmental discourse. But this is TOMAAS’ intention, to show beauty in unexpected places (and perhaps challenge some ethical perceptions in doing so). “There is no denying that [plastic] is one of the most commonly used materials in today’s society,” TOMAAS writes, describing what inspired him to create the series. By synthesizing plastic with fine art photography, he allows us to see — perhaps with a bit of resistance — beauty in a synthetic material that has become deeply integral to our human habitat.
Check out TOMAAS’ website for more of his works, including a series called Eco-Beauty, wherein he integrates other materials (such as straw and rope) into his photographic narratives. (Via Art Fucks Me)