Though born without the ability to perceive color, artist and activist Neil Harbisson’s work, career, and life are anything but monochromatic. Recognized as the world’s first cyborg, Harbisson boasts an unusual aesthetic aid: an antenna implanted into his skull that enables him to “hear” colors.
“I am not using technology, or wearing technology.
I am technology.”
Extending from the back of his head forward, the appendage is comprised of a rod, a chip, and light sensor. Located at the tip of the antenna, the sensor picks up the frequencies of colors before him, and then sends them to the chip in the back of his head. The chip then transposes the frequencies into vibrations, which translate into sounds in his ears.
Through this process, Harbisson is able to create works of art—namely, his Sound Portraits. To create a portrait, Harbisson simply stands before an individual and aims his antenna toward his or her facial features. Each color found on the face creates a specific note, which he writes down on manuscript paper. Thus, the end result–unique microtone chords–become individual “portraits.”
With portraits of prominent figures ranging from Prince Charles to Woody Allen, it is clear that, through his unique practice, Harbisson has his art down to a science. (Via BBC News)
Korean Artist Lee Kwang-Ho portraits of cacti, succulents and other plants take a deeper look at the living objects around us that we take for granted. Lee’s work recalls that of Georgia O’Keefe’s in the way that their zoomed-in focus creates abstractions and make us look at these objects in a different way. Lee’s ability to capture light and movement while maintaining a soft focus on the subject gives the paintings an ethereal, dream-like quality.
You may remember when we first featured French artist Miguel Chevalier’s work back in September for his Paris construction tunnel light installation and musical collaboration with Michel Redolfi. Revisiting traditions of Islamic art, namely mosaics and carpets, Chevalier and Redolfi have joined forces again to create a similarly interactive digital/sound project earlier this month at the Sacré Coeur church in Casablanca, Morocco. From April 3-6, “Magic Carpets” transformed the church’s floor into an interactive user interface featuring graphics evolving along with the movements of visitors. The digital light display features generative graphics that multiply, divide, grow, and transform, reminiscent of cellular and organic systems. Visitors’ shadows become a part of the light and graphics display, allowing users to become a part of the installation. The effect of combining organic and digital technologies renders the installation almost psychedelic, enhanced by the accompanying ambient music by Redolfi. To view the installation in action, be sure to check out Claude Mossessian’s video. (via design boom and inhale mag)
John Parot, who was featured in our B/D Book 3, and Rachel Niffenegger currently have exhibitions up at Chicago gallery Western Exhibitions./(which, coincidentally enough, also stocks B/D Book 3!) John Parot, with his exhibition “Hobbies,” continues his poetic musings on gay urban living, and focuses in on internet dating to reflect how identity, meaning and love are constructed under the auspices of Web 2.0’s arrow. A multi-hued pie chart displays Facebook-esque likes and dislikes: “hot fudge sundae,” “enough with the man-scarves,” and “no beige!”
Rachel Niffenegger, in Gallery 2, creates sculptures and ephemeral-washed paintings dealing with the grotesque nature of the human body, executed with a hauntingly beautiful hand. Drawing its title from an ancient epitaph, “As you pass by and cast an eye as you are now so once was I,” the exhibition seems to conjure the ghostly spirits from beyond the gravestone she references.
This is a bizarre yet interesting project by Russian photographer Igor Starkov. Here is a description of the project in the photographers own words:
Vladivostok amateur photographers often go to the countryside for photo sessions. Anyone can be a model but in general they are young girls and photographers are men of different ages.
The larger and more expensive the camera and the longer the lens, the bigger the chance to find a girl for a photo session.
I was photographing what they have created. Postures, looks, everything was as it would be on amateur photographs with the only difference that I was using film and medium format and perhaps was composing my frames more professionally.
And photographers are eager to touch young girls with their hands, put down a bretelle and may be get to know her closer. There is even a certain competition between the photographers – who managed to take pictures of more beautiful girls, and whose pictures are sexier. To persuade her to pose naked requires mastery not everyone has.
We all know that advertising is an illusion, and built around pandering to our desires. But, it would be safe to say that a majority of us aren’t fully aware of just how far that mirage extends. Russian compositor Ashot Gevorkyan is helping remove the wool from our eyes by exposing the secrets of the industry that he himself works in. In his series of composited GIFS, he demonstrates just how the final image is built up. He shows us the initial shot, and also the steps completed in post production to achieve the end result.
We are able to see how 3 actors in front of a green screen in a studio are eventually placed in a post apocalyptic city, hectically shooting at a crowd of zombies surrounding them. Bodies are unnaturally lengthened; artificial skies added behind groups of people; lighting effects are fabricated; even the color of clothing is transformed.
It is an interesting experiment in raising awareness of just how critical we need to stay of the media around us. Just because we are consuming more media, doesn’t mean we should try what we see and hear any more than in the past. Mocking up these images, Gevorkyan demonstrates just how easily and efficiently it is for professions to advertise a completely make believe world. For more eye opening images, see after the jump.
Feast your eyes on Chris Burnside‘s exquisite cut/panel pieces. At first glance, his lines seem to be painted with black acrylic. However, upon closer inspection, you will find that these lines are actually tiny cracks formed via Burnside’s unique breaking-apart-and-reassembling process. It’s like piecing together an aesthetically pleasing, super abstract puzzle with colors highly reminiscent of graffiti.