San Francisco-based artist and designer Wei Li is making tasty treats with unpalatable connotations. Would you lick a cactus? Suck on a virus? Would just the idea of it change your experience of a dessert? In “Dangerous Popscicle” Li makes desserts in the shape of cacti, MRSA, influenza, chicken pox, escherichia coli and HIV from just water, sugar and coloring. To make the popsicles, Li created a series of one and two part silicone molds modeled in Rhino and printed on an Objet 3d printer. She writes on her website bold or italic:
“What will happen when we put these dangerous things on one of our most sensitive organs, our tongues? Does pain really bring pleasure? Is there beauty in user-unfriendly things?
Dangerous Popsicles create a unique sensory experience. Before tasting with your tongue, you first taste with your eyes and mind. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti are enough to stimulate your senses, even before your first taste.”
There are inherent contradictions in this project—the colors of the items look delicious, but the subject is unappetizing, but the surface is pleasingly tactile, but the structure is painful.
Aside from making the molds and freezing the pops, Li is also interested in the social interaction this project fosters. How do people react to the frozen unsavories? Try it yourself—find directions on how to make this project at Instructables. (via The Creator’s Project)
Sol Calero‘s work investigates the ancestral through a visual language which includes fabric constructions, found objects and images, archives, painting and drawing. Family clippings and photos overlap with house-plants and altered images of ancient ruins, tools for remembering and misremembering. Her recent project “Column Study” includes research into the origins of found West German ceramics, notated on their bases, which are assembled and disassembled, unclear if they constitute an ancient column discovered by archaeologists or a domesticated kitsch Brancusi sculpture. Her fabric works include capes used in abstract ritual performances and also wall pieces which operate in the vernacular of painting, often created with the discarded clothing of her family members. The work is often balanced between worlds, warm traditions with cold minimalism, personal narratives with pages torn from children’s craft books, the hot chaos of Venezuela with the cold European winter. Her project-based practice also includes running the gallery space Kinderhook & Caracas in Berlin with frequent collaborator Christopher Kline.
Last but not least is Polish artist Wojciech Kosma who spent took some birthday shots with us last Friday. Wojciech lives between Berlin and London, working between art and composition. His artworks and performances are often spatial, sonic, obliquely interactive and poetic, creating speculative aesthetic interventions and oft times deal with pain and endurance: how long an audience can extend their short attention span to “endure” an image that does not change drastically, how long a female performer could perform the act of oral sex on a microphone, or how to “Count down and come or fail to come on one.” Wojciech’s answers were brief but to the point, you can check a more in-depth interview by Johanna Reed (who performed his piece Friday night).
From subliminal messages to product placement, advertising is no stranger to double meanings, and this is just what the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR for short) had in mind when they teamed up with Grey Spain to create a new cutting-edge campaign which speaks directly to children suffering from abuse– even in the presence of their abusers.
Just how is this possible?
Well, using “outdoor lenticular” technology, a dualistic message is transmitted. Adults see a simple clean awareness message while children see a slightly bruised variation on the advert, directing them to a help crisis line.
James Loveday’s project about the people who use Craigslist documents who they are, why they respond to the ads and what eventually happens when they get in front of the camera.
Over a period of several months James placed adverts on Craigslist offering a free portrait to anyone who wanted to come by my studio in Brooklyn and have it taken. Each time a person would come, he’d have everything set up and take their portraits. Some people would show up ready, knowing what to wear and what they wanted, others had a vague idea of getting famous and wanted to have pictures of themselves for their future careers as actors and models and some people were just intrigued, or bored.
Everyone filled out a questionnaire about themselves and why they wanted to be a part of the project. Their answers are included with their photo.
Mark Jenkins’ sculptures occupy the uncanny valley. His work, in which he recreates the human body, places “people” into odd and often disturbing situations. Some of them are as fantastic as they are strange. One of the most interesting parts of Jenkins’ work is the way they are installed. His people are on the streets. They are life sized and dressed in conventional clothing, so they look as though they belong in the landscape. In reality, they don’t. His sculptures are standing in trash cans, on the edge of buildings, face first into a public fountain, and more.
Seeing Jenkins’ work amongst people is partially what makes it so successful. Seeing the reactions of others to these sculptures is both amusing and at times discerning. People walk by them as if they are nothing, as if they are completely normal. Sure, they stare at them, but they are never captured intervening on their behalf. Some, of course, aren’t believable. Others, like a woman stuck in a trashcan or laying on the top of the billboard would elicit some reaction. But, instead, she remains in the can.
The subversive nature of Jenkins’ installations is satisfying, especially if you are in on the joke and know it’s all fake. You could watch people for hours as they pass by, try and interact with the sculptures, and ultimately fail. The artist is taking the art outside the gallery and entering a world that combines art lovers and non-art lovers alike. (Via Hi Fructose)
We have blogged Swedish artist Fredrick Akum‘s work here in the past and featured him in Beautiful/Decay Book: 8 Strange Daze. He continues his series of psychedelic acrylic and vinyl on MDF paintings that look like they are being disintegrated by the sun. The work has an ethereal glow. Like a daydream they exist between reality and the imaginary. His pieces seem to encapsulate slowly dissipating memories.