Lexus’ gravity defying hoverboard is a perfect balance of science and art. From an aesthetic standpoint, the board resembles a classic skateboard deck minus the wheels and with a grooving underneath made specially for rail slides and other tricks of the like. It is the inner workings of the board that are a truly fascinating display of physics: The deck has superconductors embedded in it, the temperatures of which are regulated with the help of nitrogen coolers.
This particular combination, referred to as ”spectacular and complicated” by one of its creators is what allows the board to defy the properties of gravity and thus remain elevated. So far, the board has been tested out by various amateur and pro skaters on a specially designed magnetic skatepark. Although it may look like a smooth ride at first site, the Slide actually presents a number of challenges when it comes to maintaining balance. The fact that the board is devoid of contact from the ground forces the person riding it to adapt to the lack of balance. Pro skater Ross McGouran even said it felt like he was “learning all over again”.
The junction of art, design,and physics is what makes this project even more worth treading about. The artistic aspect of this hoverboard is truly trans medium in the sense that many people will be instantly reminded of Back to the Future, and the key presence of the hoverboard in the film’s depiction of the year 2015. With this, Lexus has already paved the way for innovation and swift progress towards a future where skateboards may not need wheels, magnetic surfaces, or even gravity.
A thousand chairs creating chaos in the middle of a plaza. Baptiste Debombourg is the messenger from the skies. With his installation ‘Stellar’ he transports us above and beyond infinity. A snapshot of a movement, dancing chairs all linked in the air to connect with the public once landed on the ground, is the artist’s vision for this temporary installation.
It took Baptiste Debombourg 1200 chairs, 300 meters of steel tubes and 11 months to set up the installation in the middle of plaza du Bouffay in Nantes, France. Chairs are an important part of the six coffee shops symmetrically facing the plaza, they are the symbol of conviviality. Imitating that concept, he created the installation, structured yet taking us elsewhere, a relaxing place. From each coffeeshops, the sculpture can be perceived from a different angle; creating a different point of view.
Baptiste Debombourg was inspired by the French artist Robert Delaunay’s installation exhibited in 1937 (see the black and white photo far below). The shape’s roundness and exhilarating feeling is reproduced, except the artist chooses to incorporate ordinary materials: chairs that come in six different colors. His purpose is to nourish the eyes, to get a reaction and to defy specific contexts. In many of his installations he is not afraid to deconstruct and recompose, preferring being close to reality and see his work alive.
Baptiste Debombourg’s ‘Stellar’ installation can be viewed at the plaza du Bouffay in Nantes, France until August 2015.
Artist Sarah Cameron Sunde’s recent performance project 36.5 is what she refers to as a “durational performance with the sea”. In this project, she stands in an urban bay for the duration of a full tidal cycle, during which the water envelops her body and then recedes, while she remains still. The whole process takes 12 to 13 hours, during which she does not shift her position. This underlines the major role of time in her work, which she refers to as a “time based art project” At first glance 36.5 looks like a display of great endurance but, it goes beyond this, in the sense that her endurance comes with a message.
Sunde is staging a commentary on the relationship we have with water as individuals and on a greater scale as a civilization. She illustrates the rapid change of climate, as well as the impact we have on water and the impact it has on us. Her project is deeply anchored in the notions of time and change which she materializes by her presence within the process of the changing tide. Through this, she also aims to examine the “temporary nature of things”, such as the changing tides, or our physical existence. Her project is all the more interesting in due to the fact that she allows and encourages the audience to participate, thus creating a dialogue and underlining the significance and impact of such a piece. She has the plan to make her project go global in order to paint a bigger picture on an international level.
Sarah Cameron Sunde’s 36.5 has already taken place in Main, Mexico and California and will be taking place in Amsterdam and Venice .Photographs by Gus Ford and Irina Patkanian
Off the coast of Hinoba-an in the Negros Islands region of the Philippines, artist Azuma Makoto has constructed a floating, 13-foot-tall bouquet of Heliconia flowers and banana leaves. Shimmering against the ocean horizon in stark contrasts of red, green, and blue, the installation rises like a paradisiac mirage. Entitled “In Bloom #2,” the project juxtaposes terrestrial environments with the sea, bringing art and floral life where there would otherwise be open space. The following artist’s statement describes the construction and context of the art-island:
“A 4-meters long botanical sculpture consist[ing] of approximately 10,000 red Heliconia [was] installed on a simple raft used by the local fisherman. With nothing block[ing] the harsh sunlight, blown by salted water, the sculpture of flowers quietly floated in the cobalt blue ocean. The ocean accounts [for] 70% of the surface of the earth, and therefore it created [a] magnificent stage for the project.” (Source)
Following “Exobiotanica” — an exceptional project wherein Azuma sent boticanical arrangements into the stratosphere — “Bloom #2” demonstrates his creative goal to explore the visual and thematic effects of putting flowers in “environments where nature does not allow them to exist” (Source). The result is a detached form of beauty. Azuma’s work brings up questions of nature and place, and, by doing so, fosters an appreciation for the Earth’s harsh, disparate, and yet ultimately connected environments.
The nightmarish sculptures of Italian artist Sasha Vinci are both alluring and unsettling. With the human body often being his subject, his work portrays a sense of longing, a palpable sense of a tormented soul. Having work with titles like The Eternal Wait and You Are Here You Exist, the suffering of human existence is strongly felt. Ripe with emotion, his mutated figures look for a sense of belonging in the world. His fleshy subjects seem to have skin that melts off their feet and hands, binding the two together. Vinci’s subjects are trapped by means of their own body, perhaps a metaphor for humanity’s own self-destructive nature.
Although monochromatic, we can almost see the color of flesh and blood absent in many of his sculptures. In his artwork titled The Eternal Wait, the drips of flesh coming down from the entire body add an intensely graphic, carnal element that is extremely alarming. We cannot see the face in this or any of Sasha Vinci’s figures, adding another layer of isolation to these already lonely creatures. One of Vinci’s more disturbing sculptures is The Hung, where a person’s body, or what’s left of it, is being hung. The body has been disfigured, with half of its limbs missing from its faceless body. The artist’s work forms a truly ominous atmosphere that draws you in while at the same time chilling you to the bone. Sasha Vinci, being a multi-talented artist, also creates work in mediums such as installations, performance, painting, drawing, and writing.
(via Hi Fructose)
Self Portrait in Black Lingerie with Camera and Mirror, 1955
Bettie Page Reclining on Sofa at Coral Gables, FL, 1954
Self Portrait in Polka Dot Bikini with Rolleicord Camera, 1963
Original personal and behind the scenes photographs of infamous pin-up models Bettie Page and Bunny Yeager are now on view at the art gallery Gavlak, in Los Angeles as part of the exhibit How I Photograph Myself. You may think this is a strange title, but it actually refers to a book that Bunny Yeager herself wrote during her lifetime. Born in 1929, Yeager was not only a wildly successful pin-up model, but also a photographer herself who very often took her own photographs. She came into modeling after meeting actress Bettie Page shortly after studying photography at Lindsay-Hopkins Technical College. Bettie Page asked Bunny Yeager to photograph her, and Yeager eventually began modeling herself. She was not only an accomplished photographer and model, but also a scriptwriter and author, publishing How to Photograph Nudes and How I Photograph Myself, hence the exhibition title. These books went on to influence such well-known photographers as Cindy Sherman and Diane Arbus.
What is so interesting about these photographs, besides the obvious appeal and seductiveness of the pin-up style clothing and curvy women, is that Bunny Yeager was able to become so successful both as the photographer and model; the artist and the muse. Her femininity and beauty was laid out on a silver platter as a model, yet she could be taken seriously in a time when men dominated almost any scene. To portray yourself in such a sexual way and also sought after as a woman in your craft would still be an accomplishment today, let alone in the 1940s and 50s. Bunny Yeager was able to work against the traditional male gaze, and create her own photographic style that is both delicate and alluring. How I Photograph Myself will be on view at Gavlak from July 25th to August 29th.
Henri Darger left 15,000 pages of stories and more than 700 pages of illustrations created in the dark. A fantasy tale blending horrific scenes of war and colorful innocent boys and girls all drawn with penises as the main characters. A world full of meanings and feelings where the silver lining is survival.
In order to understand the illustrations painted by Henry Darger, we need to understand his story. His mother died while giving birth and his father sent him to an asylum where he was allegedly abused at an early age and from where he escaped at age sixteen. He spent the rest of his life working at Catholic institutions by day, secluded in his room by night where he would secretly enter his imaginary make-believe world, a pen in his hand. A self-taught man, he learned how to draw by collecting advertisements, newspaper illustrations. He made collages, layering and tracing the outlines of his precious characters.
The interpretation of the drawings, lets us inside of Henry Darger’s inner turmoil. The heroines are the Vivian girls, blond cute little girls defying furiously and heroically adults, the Glandelinians. They appear dressed up with colorful outfits or naked with a penis. They lead armies, hide, and spy on their opponents; crossing fields of strangled, disemboweled and dismembered children’s corpses. Suffocation and awkwardness emerges from the scenes and let us feel a glimpse of the strong harsh almost cruel and unbearable emotional state the author endured.
Henry Darger says in his autobiography, In the Realms of the Unreal that he hated the perspective to watch himself become an adult. He never wanted to to grow up. The chaos of his narrative, combined with his violent drawings all turned against adults are the terrifying trace of his past. Never able to recover, he chose to shut down this part of his spirit to any kind of other human beings only to let it come to life as pure art. He demonstrates the powerful reason to be of art: to express with any kind of means the distress trapped in a human’s soul into something beautiful.
Documentary photographer Nina Berman’s recent “Eat To Win” series is not for the faint hearted. Through her observation of eating competitions across the United States, she documents what she calls “the ferocity of consumption” and delves into the notions of frenzy and excess while depicting food as more than a necessary part of human survival. In these competitions, food becomes a source of competition, not in a necessary sense, but for entertainment. The series is comprised of close up of contestants, with their faces covered in food and savage expressions on their faces.
The competitions themselves unfold within 2 to 6 minutes, which underlines the way in which time is the most vital element of the competition. Berman’s photographs are interesting in the sense that she has chosen not to document the end result of the competition but the competition process in itself. This has resulted in a series full of intense facial expressions, a loss of manners and a visceral illustration of unbridled humanity.
Berman’s high definition close up allow you to step inside the world of eating competitions in an almost tangible manner, that brings you quite literally, face to face with the more disgusting side of being a human. She brings you into a high contrast world of overconsumption and excess and does not stray away from the greasy details. She places eating competitions at the junction of pleasure and pain, and by doing so establishes a subtle and somewhat humoristic critique of consumer society at its peak.