Tova Mozard’s works elicit the uncanny feeling of cinematic conflation and collapse. They’re like stills straight out of dreams you can’t remember, surrealist, hallucinatory, at times slightly comedic in their implausability. They all, somehow, seem to deal with mortality, what lays behind the curtain, absence, death, the supernatural…there is a haunting Lynch-ian tendency that I like too. In particular I love her photo after the jump of Pappy and Harriet’s restaurant, in Joshua Tree…a cheery bbq joint with country bands I have been to many a time…though I almost didn’t recognize it as Mozard makes it look like an ominous place from a horror movie. Many look like lost out-takes from Twin Peaks (she did name her solo exhibition after the Giant’s message to Agent Cooper….”the owls are not what they seem.”) I also like her ’cause she’s Swedish. Unsettling and seductive.
The creative geniuses at Architectural Elements (AE) have created a torturous-looking metal cage that will give its “prisoners” a taste of near-death. Known as a Faraday cage, the device is used in conjunction with Tesla coils to channel 4 million volts of electricity. Locked in the trap, participants are forced to stand still while the glowing current strikes the barrier inches away from their face. The stamped steel mesh allows the electricity to flow harmlessly around the cage. Even though the device is engineered to be safe, such a close encounter with a lethal force is sure to spike the adrenaline.
Several celebrity magicians — such as David Blaine, Chris Angel, and Penn & Teller — have used Faraday cages in their suspense-filled performances. AE, however, has put their own creative spin on the apparatus, invoking the gothic, “mad scientist” aesthetic of Frankenstein: complete with gears, leather, and aged-looking metal, the cage looks cold and sinister. Below is a further description of the imagination that went into this creepy creation:
“Solid head rivets, accurate involute gear tooth geometry, 3D printed bronze logo and specifically designed brass details, manually distressed reclaimed fir, sculpted hexagonal mesh, expert patination, hand crafted leather work and a thousand other details went into the creation of this masterpiece. These details taken individually are insignificant but as a package turn heads and demand distinction in any setting.
‘It was great to have a project where our staff was able to flex their design and fabrication muscles and make it exactly the way we wanted it,’ said AE owner Joe Clark.” (Source)
The video above shows the construction of the cage, concluding with a brief visual of the electric bolt. It is scheduled for installation at the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention located in Bellingham, Washington, so be sure to check it out. Read more about AE’s Faraday cage here.
The work of Chinese artist Wang Zhiyuan turns our attention to the overlooked and discarded. Whether he is using garbage to make art or making art look like garbage Zhiyuan’s art attempts to draw out a double take, a second slower look. Zhiyuan has also created giant pairs of underwear – some of huge swaths of fabric others carefully carved. Some seem like large and ancient bronze panties adorned with a relief addressing the AIDS pandemic. He’s also made use of refuse to create a dizzyingly high tower stretching to be nearly four stories tall. He says of the project:
“I thought it would be difficult to make these dead objects interesting or beautiful. But I discovered that if you bring order to them, you can create beauty.”[via]
Even through a computer screen Tauba Auerbach‘s work is wonderfully confusing. To answer the question that you may likely be asking right now: Yes, these are paintings. Auerbach folds, rolls, crinkles, and otherwise manipulates the canvas prior to stretching it. She then sprays it with various colors of acrylic paint from different angles. The resulting paintings are definitely two-dimensional work. The process, though, produces an extremely realistic three-dimensional effect, as if the painting were indeed folded and wrinkled then lit by colored lights.
Jason Hackenwerth has taken the long tradition of balloon animal making, and has come up with what my 12 year old self might have imagined the Yeerks from Animorphs might have looked like, only in gigantic, horrific, beautiful form.