Texas based photographer William Hundley is really proof that 1) repetition is not a bad idea and 2) practice makes perfect. His project Entopic Phenomenon (“visual effects whose source is within the eye itself”) has gotten a bit of buzz but I also liked his other domestic art experiments with cheeseburgers’ stacking potential and the neatest most efficient ways to store a nude body in the house.
Photographer Nat Wilkins spent two weeks documenting the ceremonies and death rituals of the Troajan tribe in the highlands of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. In his series Dealing With The Dead, The Troajan Of Tana Toraja, he takes a close up look at this fascinating world and wishes to examine his own understanding of death and decay. The funerals carry on for a number of days and are one of the most important part of the culture in the highlands of Tana Toraja. When a family member dies, they are embalmed and lay waiting inside the family home until the ceremony can take place. Wilkins explains a bit more about the process:
When the time of the funeral comes illegal cock fighting, illegal gambling, buffalo fighting and the slaughter of buffaloes and pigs mark the occasion. The wealthier the family the grander the funeral, with this grandness being marked by the number of buffalo slaughtered, a minimum of one buffalo is required to pass to the land of souls but wealthier families will slaughter 10 to 20 sometimes 30 buffalo and the richest Torajan’s will kill hundreds.
To some these rituals may seem over-elaborate, and excessive, but to the Troajans, it is essential to ensure their loved ones cross over safely to the ‘land of souls’. Devoutly Christian, the tribe places great emphasis on life after death, or the treatment of the body and soul once dead. The living who are left behind, make great sacrifices to provide what is needed for those who have passed. But with the weight of this responsibility comes much hardship. Wilkins explains again:
From an outside perspective it can seem that to the living these funerals are used as a reflection on the importance of the deceased’s family, a status symbol for the rich. On the flip side though, death can be a serious burden on the poor. Every spare penny earned by the living goes to honoring the dead and the importance of a good funeral puts serous weight on the poorer Torajan’s with the poorest getting serious debt problems just to slaughter a buffalo.
Malaysian artist Jun Ong has implanted a glowing star within an unfinished five story building in the town of Butterworth, Malaysia. The awkward confinement of the large luminescent sculpture within the otherwise gaping desolate space offers an air of confusion. Almost as if the star was there by mistake, perhaps stuck. The installation was indeed informed by a notion of error — the star seems to mimic a glitch. Metaphorically, this “glitch star” represents the state of Butterworth. The town, which was once an prosperous industrial port linking the mainland and island, now finds itself desolate and suffering from decentralization. The twelve sided star, spanning over the the full five floors of the building, is comprised of five hundred meters of steel cables and LED strips. The piece is created in fragments, as it is divided by the floors of the concrete structure. When entering the installation, the viewer is forced to experience each floor as its own unit, creating a multi-faceted adventure. Each floor is an experience of just a mere piece of the whole, perhaps alluding to the overarching disposition of the town itself. However, despite the installation’s “gltich” reminiscent quality and fractured formation, the star is wondrous and uplifting. The project, presented as a part of the Urban Xchange Festival, was curated by Eeyan Chauh and Gabija Grusaite of Hin Bus Depot Art Center. (via designboom)
Amanda Merten makes you wonder what sorts of things you could cook up with the time you spend diving deep into the bowels of the internet in search of sacred, yet-undiscovered images of cats to turn into potential memes. From styling to modeling to photography– the skill she contributes to The Smartest Thing She’s Ever Said. Amanda seems to do it all and do it all pretty well. We talk to her here about being a do-it-all, the intriguing story she’s working out with her collaborator Alice Gregory, and the mythic lack of good Mexican food on the East Coast.
In Jati Putra’s world, gravity doesn’t apply. People, nature and urbanism move around in total freedom. The sky becomes the ocean, dolphins dive in between seas and people enjoy a day at the beach inside a stadium. The pictures’ new aspect and the washed out colors resemble surrealistic landscapes inspired by Salvador Dali.
The Indonesian graphic designer knows how to manipulate and distort the simplest sceneries and create bizarre yet reassuring new environments. Using photo manipulation, he flips the main subjects around, alters ‘normal’ angles and shifts his characters into intriguing scenarios. The process is achieved in an unpretentious manner. Each picture demonstrates the ability for Jati Putra to envision an imaginary set as close to reality as possible.
Playing with reality, changing perspectives and the way we look at our daily lives. Without extravagant scenarios, the designer creates entertainment that is subtle and graceful. A surfer on the surface of the earth, jellyfish flying over a mountain or a lady admiring the earth imitating a sun-set. There’s no logic in Jati Putra’s elements. Only an invitation to travel in between a dimensional space of his own, drifting the viewer’s unconsciousness from the earth up to the sky, from his reality to his dreams. (Via Design Boom)
Image maker Suzy Poling seems to believe in the unreal. Her work breaks the formalities of typical photography, by utilizing many different methods for production. Some of her work has hints of Andreas Gursky, while other parts have the the surreal air of Tim Walker. Her work feels like a documented rapture, where nothing exists where everything once did.
Austrian artist Anatlo Knotek is a self described visual poet who creates all his art with the help of the English alphabet. Knotek takes ordinary words and phrases and creates new visual puns and deconstructions. As words fall apart, come together, and reshuffle we see new meanings, poignant ideas, and revealed secret messages. (via)