The future is here folks. We manage our entire life on a small rectangle that we keep in our pocket and there is a mysterious machine with a secret location that you can ask any question and it will answer it immediately. Now you can add LED wallpaper to your list of high-tech innovations that you don’t need but want. The folks at Architects Paper have created a wallpaper that actually lights up to create tiny patterns and lights for home and office dwellers to enjoy. If this doesn’t mean we’re living in the future I’m not sure what will. All we need now is food that comes in the form of a pill.
In collaboration with the Vatican, a coalition of artists and humanitarians from the documentary Racing Extinction projected a stunning light show on the edifice of St. Peter’s Basilica. The videos display endangered animals and ecological crises from around the word, including whales, pandas, imperilled rainforests, and melting icebergs. As pointed out on My Modern Met, this demonstration follows a letter released from Pope Francis that makes clear the role humans play in the destruction of natural environments and non-human species. The goal of the light show was to foster awareness from the public, and on a political level, to encourage other influential figures and world leaders to acknowledge the loss and devastation.
Helmed by Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove), Racing Extinction features never-before-seen images that explore endangered species and the threat of mass extinction. Much like the light show—which is part of an ongoing (and vital) campaign to provoke action—Racing Extinction seeks to change the way we view the planet and the global beauty and vitality we will lose in the pursuit of our unsustainable practices. Such projects remind us that no matter where we are situated, even in our urban, human-centered habitats, we are always responsible and capable of changing the world’s grim outlook. (Via My Modern Met)
With regular vinyl tape, Glasgow-based artist Jim Lambie transforms any given space into a colorful, mesmerizing landscape that often create optical illusions. There is no beginning and no end, no contraction and no expansion- in turn, Lanbie says that his construction “somehow evaporates the hard edge off and pulls you towards more of a dreamscape.” Much like the iconic, giant works of the Abstract Expressionists, its composition is hypnotic, abysmal, and sometimes spiritual, but always bit disorienting at first.
The labor intensive intallations take up to several weeks to complete, but that is no excuse to stop making them. As a former musician, the artist draws on musical references as inspiration. Often time, the titles of his pieces refer to iconic bands or songs, including The Doors, Morrison Hotel (2005), and Careless Whisper (2009). The design of his installations depend on the architecture of the space; each and every one of these are unique and transient installations that cannot be exactly reproduced anywhere else.
In Vietnamese cities, a motorbike is the preferred method of transportation, even when hauling many large items. In 1991, photographer Hans Kemp visited Vietnam where he was overwhelmed and captivated by the streams of motorbikes rushing to prepare for the Vietnamese New Year. “I couldn’t believe my eyes…There were entire families on a bike, guys in suits, girls dolled up. I stood there mesmerized, intoxicated by this all-permeating scent of petrol mixed with perfume, sound, color, and motion. There was an incredible vibrancy to it all,” Kemp tells Slate.
In 1995, Kemp decided to move to Ho Chi Minh City from Hong Kong, and in 2000, a commercial client of his commissioned him to photographs some of the loaded motorbikes. Though Kemp found it difficult to capture all of the motorbikes he wanted because of safety, speed, or traffic concerns, he kept up with bikes’ paces pretty well.
His incredible book documenting these ambitious motorbikers, Bikes of Burden, was published in 2005. (via slate)
Yevgeniya Kilupe, a Holocaust survivor and self-taught artist, started making masks to supplement her pension after a life of working in the factory. Around six years ago, artist Christine Jurjane discovered Yevgeniya and her otherworldly masks at a market and immediately recognized Yevgeniya’s talent. Christine introduced Yevgeniya to Linda Luse, the owner of Galerija Istaba, and they soon put on an exhibition of these fantastical papier mache “characters” to wide acclaim, eventually supporting Yevgeniya to open her very own Etsy shop. Watch the full documentary after the jump.
In his giant installation art / performance Para-Production, artist Ni Haifeng reverses the common global process of production. A massive movement of commodities takes place each day often beginning in the country of Ni Haifeng’s birth – China. Many companies defer production of their goods to the country which are then often exported for consumption in the Western world. In Para-Production, however, a large room is filled with loose garments and sewing machines. Gallery visitors are then invited to work, to sew these items together. In a way, the installation becomes a performance of labor – people that are often the consumer of Chinese-made products instead produce a product for a Chinese artist. [via]
It was a unique call for submissions: “Please send me your best nudes so I can draw them while I figure out my next move.” Seeking inspiration, Brooklyn-based artist Frances Waite posted this message on her Instagram, along with her phone number. Men and women responded enthusiastically, sending her intimate nude selfies of themselves sprawling on beds and squatting over mirrors. Choosing the images she found especially playful and unique—or rather, the nudes “where people [were] being themselves and posing in a way they [thought was] sexy and beautiful”—Waite began recreating them as illustrations, translating mischief and bodily expression into skillfully-drawn portraits (Source). The result is a fun, provoking, and ongoing series titled NUDES.
Waites’ project is one of empowerment, seeking self-expression beyond voyeurism, objectification, and the boundaries of heteronormativity. “I do think that I give people an opportunity to perform a part of themselves they might not display otherwise,” she explains in an interview with The Creators Project. “I’m some weird girl on the internet that wants to draw naked strangers, and I already have a repertoire of images that, I hope, make people feel comfortable doing whatever the hell they want.” (Source) She seeks to create a safe space where people can celebrate their bodies and sexual identities with agency and anonymity.
Cara Phillips got the idea for her Ultraviolet Beauty series from the beauty industry. Medical spas and dermatologists use the same ultraviolet light that she did, with a very different effect. The ultraviolet shows every imperfection of your skin not visible to the naked eye, and dermatologists use it to show you a glimpse into the ‘future’ of your skin. In reality, there is no way to know how many of the blemishes will surface, but it’s an effective scare tactic, and apparently ensures the sale of cosmetic products to ‘prevent’ the catastrophe that is imperfect skin.
Phillips’ focus was to use the same ultraviolet technology, but with a different outcome. She took portraits of people on the street in New York, offering them for free to anyone willing to sit (it’s unclear if they had to pay to have a print, so free might be a liberal term here). She encouraged them to close their eyes to soften their expression. The images are beautiful, and you can’t imagine that someone could look at themselves portrayed in this style and feel alarmed by the look of their skin. Phillips’ photographs are taken in black and white large format, presumably not the technology a medical spa would employ, but the original images taken by the skin professionals are in black and white, so Phillips’ photos are not far from the truth. (Via MTL Blog)