Being on social media makes us vulnerable. Anyone can track down your present or your past; the information is there and it is available. Even by tweeting and facebooking about the most mundane of things, Google and whichever company buys information off Facebook are able to know what to sell to you. This feeling of you when you’ve had that dream about being naked in public, yeah, Facebook and Google’s privacy invasions sometimes feel the same way.
In hopes that they could provide a more visual picture of what it means to be part of this post-privacy world, Xuedi Che and Pedro Oliveira of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program create x.pose, a “wearable, data-driven sculpture” made out of flexible, 3D-printed mesh and layers of reactive displays which are controlled via Arduino, an open source electronics prototyping platform specially made for creative interactive objects.
The dress is divided into sections, each corresponding to whatever neighborhood the wearer is tweeting or posting to Facebook from. This means that when the wearer logs onto Facebook or sends a tweet via smartphone, the dress connects via Bluetooth and becomes less opaque in the “area” where he or she is currently active, revealing a part of the wearer’s body.
The more personal data is released via smartphone, the more transparent the dress becomes. (via The Daily Dot)
If you ever been intrigued by the world of Samurai, now’s your chance to learn more about the life and culture of these ancient warriors and the artisans that made their decorative armor. In Los Angeles until February 1st, one of the most comprehensive collections of headgear, masks, weapons and even horse trappings used by high ranking Japanese warriors from the 14th – 19th centuries in on display at LACMA. Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection is a fine testament to the artistry and functionality of Japanese battle art. Described by the curator Robert T. Singer as more than just a one dimensional cultural display, he says:
My story is not about the samurai. My story is more about the art, the idea that a samurai, a warrior class, would be so interested in such fantastic symbols and mixing together Buddhism, Shinto, and things which would not mix together outside this culture. (Source)
He also talks about his fascination with helmets in particular. To Singer they are a perfect example of the blend of utilitarian decorative art. They include symbols ranging from mythical figures to abstract motifs. The helmets include things like demon birds and eggplants, and all parts are made from precious materials like bear fur, iron, gold, silver, copper, bronze, and silk. Singer explains the complexity of the symbols a little further:
Animals, Buddhism, Shinto, they’re all mixed up. We really don’t understand why. This is performance, ceremonial, processional armor, and they’re showing off, they’re trying to be, sort of, outside the normal world. (Source)
If you are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles, you should definitely take the time to see these cultural artifacts, or you can purchase the catalog here.
Mark Todd is an illustrator based out of Los Angeles who’s revered as a mystical figure in the world of zines. His booths are always the most presentable and his work has this well-balanced dichotomy of childlike proportions and lucid clarity, which makes for a fun finished product. When he draws people, like he did in his book BAD ASSES, they not only look like perfect personifications of their originals, but also give off this nostalgic vibe as well. It’s like he’s able to channel the innocent energy of the kid in grade school who was the best artist in the class, while also being able to back it up with a vicious stealth attack. I mean, you try drawing someone random like Geraldo Rivera, getting a stranger to recognize it without giving them any hints, and then repeating it with others — so now the strangers not only recognize your subjects, but also your own style as an artist as well. Mark is a busy guy and when he isn’t influencing the crap out of young minds at Art Center or working on a commercial project, he and his wife, Esther Pearl Watson, run the publishing company Fun Chicken.
Polish photographer Maciek Jasik creates blurry, colorful compositions that feature both female and male nudes. Jasik’s subjects exist in a surreal, hazy and colorful landscape, one that nullifies their identity but exposes their natural state of being. The artist is particularly interested in conveying privacy, expression through a medium [photography] that, for the most part, focuses on revealing detailed and realistic portrayals.
Inspired by the emotionally charged impressionist painting of the 19th century, Jasik insists in creating work with photographic techniques that more or less do the same as a loose brushstroke on canvas.
“I began experimenting with an in-camera technique to dissolve the focus and saturate the space with color. There were several post-Impressionist paintings there that stunned me with how emotionally powerful they were, with scarcely any detail, I wanted to evoke that same feeling in photography by emphasizing color and movement.”
Double Meat Head, cast aluminum, cast bronze, urethane, paint, 2009, all images courtesy Tony Matelli
Tony Matelli’s hyper-real sculptures of meat and vegetable portraits, sprouting weeds, stacked cards, sleepwalking humans and malicious chimpanzees captures your attention with immediacy, a visual poignancy that would make it hard not to react with curiosity and amusement. This initial response opens the door to a slightly somber and disturbing environment where each series tackle concepts of death, resurrection, failure, pessimism, loss and reinvention. Matelli’s own personal concerns are projected onto these works buliding a relationship between object and artist that is further extended to the public.
In an effort to raise awareness about environmental degradation and decreasing water quality, Washington-based photographer Michael Dyrland turned some botched plans to go surfing into a series of disturbingly prophetic images. In October 2014, he traveled to Los Angeles to take photos for a friend who lives there. “I was really looking forward to this trip because I wanted to make the most of it and try my hand at surfing,” he explained in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay. After a night of heavy rainfall, Dyrland asked when they could head to the beach and his friend was aghast. Apparently, following a storm, the 10 billion gallons of runoff contains “sewage, garbage, oil, and shit” — the types of human-derived waste that transform the ocean into a cesspool of disease.
From this unsettling experience, Hazmat Surfing was born. Dyrland wanted to show the world in a creative way what a future of continued environmental abuse and neglect would look like, and how it would impact our lifestyles that we take for granted. Coordinating through email and Google maps, Dyrland chose LA’s famous Venice Beach for the shoot location. A lifeguard was posted to keep an eye on the surfers, and out they went, garbed in gas masks and full-body suits that glisten a sickly yellow against the storm-bruised sky. Capturing the surfers treading water, riding the waves, and gazing seaward, Dyrland has instilled sport photography with a quiet-but-powerful social message. It is not unrealistic to believe that our relationship with the sea might one day look as dark and alienating as this.
Dyrland hopes to continue Hazmat Surfing at different locations in the US and beyond. His next shoot is aimed for Rio, where he hopes to “focus on the water quality issues and let [his] photos speak louder then words.” Visit his website, Facebook, and Instagram to follow this fascinating project. (Via Feature Shoot)
Why paint the front of the canvas when you can turn it around, add a few more stretcher bars into the mix, and create work that blurs the line between sculpture and paintings. Well Maria Walker has done just that with her colorfield paintings covered with tumor-like bumps and protruding limbs.