This short video by French artist Marc-Antoine Lucatelli features dancer Lucas Boirat as he uses his body to manipulate an image of shape-shifting geometric light that is sourced from his hands. The energy behind Boirat’s dancing paired with the abstract energy of light gives this video and these gifs the effect of a push and pull between Boirat and the light. Boirat seems to dance to effect the balance of power between light and shadow, with the light ultimately returning to dust at the hands of Boirat. These modern martial arts inspired dance moves paired with the dreamy experimental music of EdIT create an experience that feels at once primal and futuristic. I find myself completely engrossed with Lucatelli’s video and the way he beautifully captures this stunning power struggle. (via my modern met)
Amy Congdon is a designer and researcher whose speculative “Biological Atelier” project brings fashion into the laboratory. The question driving her work is as follows: “What role will textile design play in the creation of biological products of the future?” (Source) Can we use tissue engineering to literally (and sustainably) grow fashion products, without creating waste, and without killing animals for their parts? As Congdon describes in the above video interview with Dezeen, her prospective collection would include a broach grafted onto the skin, and a collar attachment grown from an “an exotic mix of scales and leather.”
By combining textile design with tissue engineering, the possibilities for fashion products are virtually endless. “You could engineer specific properties into them,” Congdon explains. “They could be water repellent, or you could engineer the colour into them so you’re not having to dye them.” Furthermore — and here we enter the realm of a maybe-not-so-distant sci-fi future — Congdon hypothesizes that we could create hybrid materials, textiles deriving from combinations of organic tissues that have never occurred in nature.
While the conceptual pieces are beautiful, they may produce a sense of unease for some. Fashion, after all, usually involves commodities we put on and over our bodies, not ones that we graft on, and certainly not those made of materials birthed in a laboratory. This creates fascinating questions for the future of our bodies (and our consumer habits) — we could conceivably become hybridized by our fashion. As Congdon writes compellingly on her website:
“With one of the most controversial sets of materials becoming available for manipulation, i.e. our body, and those of other species, it could be argued that future fashion is grown from the ultimate commodity.” (Source)
Whether the concepts behind the “Biological Atelier” project fascinate or unnerve us (or both), Congdon points out the necessity for such speculative work. “We really need to acknowledge that we are living on just one planet, so we have finite resources,” she explains in the video. “So we really need to think about new ways that we might produce materials and products.” Such research, after all, may one day mean less suffering for the people, animals, and environments harmed by commodity production.
Thomas Allen, of Michigan, uses pulp fiction novel covers to his advantage. Instead of staring at the busty women on the covers, Allen creates amazingly simple literary dioramas. Using the characters, he fabricates whole new stories in one frame of film.
Akira Beard, a San Francisco based artist and teacher at the Academy of Art University, is well known for his engaging watercolor portraitures of pop culture icons. The messages that usually accompany these illustrations are often centered around the issues of cultural topics, such as, identity, society, and race.
“It’s Hardly Noticeable explores the world of a character who navigates living with an unspecified anxiety-based mental illness. He negotiates situations constructed to highlight the impacts and implications of his differences on his thoughts and behaviors, and by doing so raises question of normalcy. Through constructed tableaus and metaphorical still lifes, the series reveals the relationship between reality and perception, and highlights issues of pathology while questioning stereotypes of normalcy.
In 2009 economist Bill Gross used the term New Normal to define the American economic landscape of the very recent past. In ensuing years, the term resonated with culture at large and became an umbrella term for changes in cultural and societal practices, identifying a shift in held notions of what is commonly viewed as acceptable.
These images question the legitimacy of applying the term normal in a societal context by prompting a reconsideration of what, if anything, is normal, or at least what is perceived and labeled as such. Is it possible for a society to have a commonly held idea of what is normal, when few individuals in that society actually meet the criteria for normalcy?” – John William Keedy‘s artist statement for this series.
What musings I have read by Peony Yip – aka The White Deer – express her true passion for drawing, something she has pursued, as she says, because it is the only thing she knows. The Hong Kong native of only 21 honestly asserts that she is no professional artist, instead describing herself as just a recent college graduate, broke, and looking to freelance a bit. Of course, the young woman can claim what she would like, but I think her talent is undeniable. Amateur or not, I have been loving her varied works. Take a look at some of her creations here, and maybe show this up-and-coming artist a bit of love after the jump.
Iconic Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei has never shied away from political ideas in his art. His contributions to this year’s Venice Biennale are no exception. Bang utilizes 886 stools to create this sprawling installation. Such three legged stools were traditionally handcrafted and a common item in many Chinese households. They had numerous uses and were often passed down through generations. With the onset of the Cultural Revolution and modernization such stools soon disappeared. The enormous structure seems to have grown uncontrollably but organically – much like the explosion of growth in population urban centers, and consumer products.
Straight addresses the tragic 2008 Sichuan Earthquake and specifically the thousands of children’s lives claimed by the disaster. Ai Wei Wei straightened 150 tons of mangled steel rebar and neatly stacked in the project space. While bringing to mind the suspicion of shoddy school construction the installation also serves as a vehicle to mourn, remember, and address. Straight reflects Ai Wei Wei’s desire to straighten out the complexities and problems surrounding the massive casualties. [via]
Artist Zane Lewis, an elusive and evolving talent, has reemerged within the New York art scene with a fresh and new aesthetic. When you stand before one his newest works, among the Shatter Paintings collection, you are presented with a kaleidoscopic garden of glass, a reflective playground for the eyes. With a minimal, neo-conceptual execution, his mirrored “paintings” offer a glistening ensemble of hued splendor. A discourse between notions of the “natural” and the “industrial”- due to organic reflections coupled with pre-fabricated found material- engages the viewer. Lewis also adds a twist to this aesthetic, in that each painting subtly renders human abstractions of life, death, and wraith of the intangible.