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Miraculously Ruined Polaroids Made With A Broken Vintage Camera

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For Ruined Polaroids, William Miller uses a broken polaroid SX-70 that he stumbled upon at a yard sale; quickly discovering that its decades-old gears mangled the film and transformed the exposure, the artist submitted the the whims of the photographic relic, allowing it to form blurred and unpredictably patterned abstractions from his shots.

Within the “ruined” images, we find a surprising emotionality, with the faulty chemical process producing expressionistic renderings of a less literal kind of photographic memory. Cataloging the accidentally lovely results of mechanical happenstance, each shot enters a richly moody realm evocative of the work of mid-century abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko. As the spastic movements of gears, chemicals, and fingers become the subject of the work, the artistic process overrides a predetermined result. Rather than serving as a record of a particular instant, Ruined Polaroids poignantly archives the accidental deterioration of a camera past its time.

Ultimately, the conceptual work also serves to refute contemporary understanding of the photograph. In her seminal work On Photography, published in 1977 at the height of polaroid popularity, Susan Sontag discusses the illusion of a photographic truth, theorizing that the photographer, unlike all other artists, is capable of disguising subjectivity for objective fact. Miller’s work expertly challenges this assumed power of the photographic medium, acutely presenting each image as evidence of its failures. The immediacy of the polaroid image only accelerates this process; printed instantly and held against some imagined reality, the bleeding lights and darks veer jarringly from what we expect from the camera. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor and This Is Paper)

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Dwayne Bell

Scottish illustrator Dwayne Bell recently launched his portfolio full the brim with analog and digital works.

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E.V. Day’s Tongue And Clam Sculptures Ooze With A Grotesque Eroticism

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Untitled (2005). Abalone, coyote tongue, black mother of pearl, and resin.

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Pearl (2005). Rubber coyote tongue, fresh water pearl, and resin.

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Tongue Tied 5 (2008). Cast rubber, nickel-plated rings and chains, on wood panel. 11 x 12 x 5.5 inches.

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Doublestuff (2004). Clam with mink and raccoon tongue and resin.

E.V. Day is a New York-based installation artist and sculptor who knows how to stimulate the senses while engaging the mind. Recognized for her bold explorations of gender and sexuality, her works ooze with a critically-engaging — and sometimes grotesque — erotic energy. This particular series is an ongoing project that Day began in 2003, and it features intriguing combinations of animal tongues, clamshells, and resin. Drenched and dripping with saliva, muscular tongues extend out of and into open, opalescent clamshells. Some are mounted on walls, with piercings and chains pulling them together; one even incorporates a nylon thong, which has been made to look grossly visceral. Most of the sculptures feature a glistening pearl as a finishing touch.

It goes without saying that the sexual imagery in this series is intensely palpable — the tongues are seen as phallic, and the clamshells and pearls evocative of female genitalia. However, Day’s work goes beyond representing biological sex in a reductionist way, and in fact resists such dualism. As her biography states, her work is aimed at “transform[ing] social stereotypes and playfully illuminat[ing] contradictions of gender roles by re-animating the recognizable into new forms and new meaning” (Source). With tongues and clams, Day has constructed a clever, dark, and almost humorous subversion of the male/female binary by creating abstract hybrid pieces; we identify sexual symbols in her sculptures, but they are fused together, interacting in surprising and unexpected ways that challenge heteronormative representations of sex. The fact that they are animal tongues adds an additional layer of categorical ambiguity and discomfort, but — aside from the initial shock and aversion — the result is a set of artworks that provoke us into reinterpreting the body’s relationship with sex and desire.

Visit Day’s website for a catalogue of her varied and fascinating work. Well-known for her suspended sculptures, other projects include animal skeletons hovering in dynamic poses, and a wedding dress exploding into abstract shards. More tongue-and-clam hybrids after the jump.

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Diftype

Swedish illustrator Niklas Lundberg AKA Diftype creates dense digital collages that transport you to another world where everyone and everything is constantly changing, morphing, and manipulating. His alternate digital worlds are so convincing that I wonder if even his business cards shape shift once they exchange hands.  Guess I’ll have to go to Sweden to find out.

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Guitardom Superhero Ben Simon

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If you thought the key-tar or Steve Vai’s triple- neck guitar was cool, try the outlandish custom musical creations of Ben Simon. They kind of look like the instruments muppets would fraggle-rock out on. The above piece also kind of looks like what San Rio’s Twin stars would shred on a cloud to. It even has a speaker built in with a sound circuit that makes a thunderclap sound! Talk about harnessing the power of Zeus! Hmm….what would your guitar look like? Mine might have to be a rhinestone studded silver leather lightening bolt that plays Queen’s “We Will Rock You” every time I do a powerslide! What’s yours…?

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JeongMee Yoon

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JeongMee Yoon’s current work, “The Pink and Blue Projects” explores the trends in cultural preferences and the differences in the tastes of children (and their parents) from diverse cultures, ethnic groups as well as gender socialization and identity. The work also raises other issues, such as the relationship between gender and consumerism, urbanization, the globalization of consumerism and the new capitalism. The topic seems to be well tread territory already but it’s still crazy to visualize. Some of the poses that these kids strike are interesting too.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Röyksopp’s Got Drugs

In the future buildings will crumble and burn, graffiti will warn about the end of the world, drugs will be rampant, creepy guys with black eyes will lurk in the dark, and skinny european bgirls with airbrushed t-shirts will roam earth. Oh and faint electronic music will be the soundtrack to our lives.

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Andy Freeberg

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Commercial photographer Andy Freeberg deals mostly in, well, commercial work, but recently has been exploring fine art photography as well. In his series “Guardians” we get a look at the female guards who watch over the art museums of Russia. Freeberg says, “When you look at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artwork itself. I found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over.” Indeed, the contrast between these women and the work they’re sitting next to can be quite captivating.

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