A most fascinating thing has been found in Kazakhstan, Russia, by urban explorer Ralph Mirebs: the decaying shell of a space shuttle. The long-abandoned air craft was a part of a project called the Buran program. Launched in 1974 as part of the on-going international space race, this pet project of the Soviet Union was one of the largest and most expensive space exploration programs.
‘Buran’ is Russian for ‘snowstorm’ or ‘blizzard’ and a few prototypes of the shuttle were built (from plans stolen from NASA), but only one actually flew. Tens of millions of dollars were invested in this particular program, so it is such a shame to find the shuttle in such a demolished and forgotten state. Mirebs discovered this particular air craft in an old hangar that is still used by Russia today. It is located on a site called the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and is a launch pad for shuttles to reach the International Space Station.
This hangar is gigantic – at 433 feet long and 203 feet high, it has massive sliding doors on either end to let the shuttles out. Containing heavy duty cranes that can lift up to 400 tons, the building in itself is an incredible sight. Full of peeling paint, rusting beams and steel that can withstand shock waves from an explosion, the hangar is a piece of architecture that should be preserved.
Hopefully along with the publication of Mirebs’ photographs of this incredible discovery, someone will realize these historical artifacts need to be restored or at least protected from further decay and damage. Be sure to check out the amazing footage of the one and only shuttle launch in 1988 after the jump. (Via Bored Panda)
Come celebrate the 6th installment of the Dust La Rock-curated artist series, featuring new prints and photo-based artwork from our favorite talents, exclusive to the Fool’s Gold store. Artists will be in attendance and refreshments will be served.
Fool’s Gold presents: Artist Series #6: Lucky 13 Group Photography Show
Adam Amengual, Angela Boatwright, Kevin Devine, Fubz, Osvaldo Chance Jimenez, Jonathan Mannion
Thomas Murphy, Brooke Nipar, Ysa Perez, Will Robson-Scott, Nikki Sneakers, Josh Wehle, 13th Witness
Friday, June 22nd 7-9pm
536 Metropolitan Ave.
Did any B/D readers have a bad day today? Look at the above image. Stare at it for a minute. I defy you to not become happy. You can thank a French designer by the name of MDCCLXIV, who has a ton of really cool pixel art (a lot of which are GIFs) up on his flickr page. Be sure to check out his groundbreaking Microsoft Excel art, most of which I wasn’t able to post here.
You may remember the murder of French filmmaker/ photojournalist Christian Poveda in 2009, following the release of his documentary La Vida Loca, which depicted the lives and inner workings of gangs in El Salvadore. These very same gang members are now the subject of artist Renato Garza Cervera’s latest work “Of Genuine Contemporary Beast” depicts the MS-13 and MS-18 gangs in a series of hyper realist skin rugs. In this series, he depicts gang members in such a way that we are accustomed to seeing animals such as bears and, by doing so, he plays upon the notions of beasts and fear of such beasts.
His work offers a series of harshly realistic rugs and severed heads whose accuracy makes you question their nature. The “skins” of the gang members are splayed out, wit the heads included in order to make a sort of “gang skin rug”. His depiction of members of these specific gangs comes with a deeper ethical message in the sense that it allows us to determine the parameters of our definition of “beast”, such as we do with regards to wild animals and other aspects of nature.
In this thought provoking series, Cervera is underlining what he refers to as the “ world-wide scapegoating process”, and by this he aims to point our the ways in which certain minorities and groups are viewed as “dispensable people”.He allows us to examine a societal problem and, to a larger extent the ways in which we blame and sometimes demonize the things we do not understand.
From a distance the extremely dense photographs of Angelo Musco can be deceiving. From afar they look like organic abstractions but as you get closer you realize that the image is composed of thousands if not millions of tiny images of humans swirling into a never ending vortex. See detail shots of these dark and mysterious images after the jump.
Finland-based artist Iiu Susiraja has an interesting array of conceptual self-portraits featuring her posing, in an unorthodox manner, with household items. Shot in domestic settings, Susiraja seems to be mocking domestic lifestyle, or possibly mocking the framework we feel we must live within: the operative chores and habits that are considered normal. The work is silly but layered. Susiraja wears items in the wrong way; leggings on her breasts, or taping high heels around her knees, the images are reminiscent of a childs brash reaction to something that makes no sense, but is so ritualized we stop questioning the absurdity of something like the discomfort of tall heels. Why do we wear them?
Certain blogs on the internet have been deeming this the “anti-selfie”, although, conceptual portraits have been around for nearly as long as photography has. We all remember Cindy Sherman, don’t we? It seems attaching a hyped up word such as selfie, which the encompassing item we have thrown today’s self aggrandizing
A selfie is a shot of one’s self, yes, but it is characterized by the blatant self-importance of it, the self-promotion, the self-self-self. It is, generally, a tactless and shameless documentation of ME. The only statement being made, if any, is a call for attention. We have only recently, as a society, begun to feel comfortable enough to do something once considered impolite or, selfish. While art could easily be argued to be some of these things, such as egomaniacal (and this would be an eternally long argument), you could hardly consider a conceptual portrait to be in the same ballpark, or game, as a selfie. Susiraja’s work is not an anti-selfie, it is simply art. If we compare her work with a generic selfie, there are some major differences in intention, audience, and presentation. What is the intention behind the piece; is the artist working as a medium to transmitting a message that reaches beyond the mere documentation of her own existence, or is it tepid self-promotion? Is the audience Instagram? And finally, was it shot on an iPhone? Taking these things into account, it appears calling work like this an “anti-selfie” would be like calling a letter an “anti-email.” Are we in a place to recategorize “art” and limit it by simply referring to it as an antithesis to a trendy movement it predated?
Oakland based artist Christopher Blackstock creates the ‘The Lone Stranger’ a series of illustrations that explore the life of an imagined character who finds himself experiencing the ultimate journey of self-discovery in a hallucinatory, post-apocalyptic remote desert area. The vibrant, cartoonish aesthetic puts emphasis on the surrealism of it all. Finding yourself in a desolated space can become lonely but exciting all at once.
According to the artist, the stranger, the recurring character, has experienced his fair share of tragedy and is now in search for answers, and maybe some sort of redemption through a spiritual quest. His tale, one of existential turmoil, redemption and self-discovery coincides with the collapse of the ecosystem as climate change reaches a more advanced stage and renders California completely arid.
Blackstock, a muiti-media artist who works in painting, sculpture and illustration, rendered these as digital drawings first and then turned them into laser-cut panels which were then placed onto canvas and hand-painted with acrylic and spray-paint.
Blackstock’s ‘The Lone Stranger’ will be on view at Oakland’s Loakal, starting July 4th through July 30th, 2014.