“My most recent sculptural installations are constructed with discarded electronic materials: computer, telephone and electric cables, thousands of burnt-out bulbs, meters of videotape, old slot machines, celluloid, DVDs, etc. The installations explore the short life expectancy of the technologies we cast off and their relationship to organic mortality.
These installations also seek to reanimate the lifeless. Light animations projected onto the installations appear to free the energy stored in the electronic waste, awakening in it memories of its past.
Through my work I try to bring dead materials back to life, reveal their secrets, revive the collective memory they contain to construct an accurate portrait of a society and an age.” – Daniel Canogar.
Andrew Myers‘ uses unique medium to interesting effect. His pieces are built of many carefully placed screws – up to nearly 10,000 in just one piece – inserted to just the right depth. He then uses oils to pain the image on the heads of the screws. Myers accepts the challenges of depicting soft surfaces, movement, and light with a material as hard and utilitarian as screws. The result is an intriguing mix between painting and relief. The screws add to the depth to that typically found in oil painting.
There is something desolate about Ryan Pierce’s woodblock-style paintings, although they’re filled with color and often the riotous bounty of nature…maybe it’s the lack of human presence that makes all of his scenes feel somewhat abandoned. A couple of the pieces below, in particular, are very Van-Gogh-ish in their paint handling and palette, a reference I feel I haven’t seen explored much out of young contemporary artists. Ryan seems to update the expressionist ethos into a post-industrial landscape.
Photographs of abandoned toy factories are haunting. Taken by various photographers around the world, we see what’s happened after production has stopped and employees stop showing up to work. Some places are left in mid-production, while others have been ransacked by graffiti. In other places, they were defeated by nature.
Illustrating a range of factory conditions, the most unnerving photos are ones that depict these places as ghost towns. They feature cracked doll heads, broken doll arms, and soiled teddy bears. There is an air of mystery about them, and beg the question of, “what happened?” Why did they suddenly pick and leave?
What makes these photographs unnerving is the juxtaposition of toys and abandonment. We think of things like dolls and bears as being innocent. They signify childhood, a time in our lives that shouldn’t be so dark. Instead, we see toys having to face harsh realities of time, wind, snow, and more. Nothing depicts this better than the Isla de las Munecas, or the Island of the Dolls (above). While actually a floating garden, this space of land is occupied by several hundred dolls that have severed heads, limbless bodies and with empty eye-sockets. It was originally conceived as a memorial for a girl that was drowned in a canal, but has since fallen in disrepair. (Via io9)
In a culture addled with conspiracy theories and apocalyptic prophecies, photographer Thomas Brown thinks a red herring could do us all some good. Exploiting the hyper-paranoia he sees in today’s society, Brown’s “Meteor” series is a collection of clean, tranquil images resembling doom-wreacking meteors at first glance, that upon further inspection manifest as simply crumpled pieces of paper. Just like the overwrought fears that constantly inflict anxiety on our population, these “meteors” too may initially appear violent and threatening, but ultimately both prove to be as inconsequential and harmless as discarded pieces of paper.
“The majority of apes and monkeys I photographed were privately cared for, contributing to the diversity of relationships, environments, and personal possessions in the photographs.
I incorporated elements from paintings, illustrations and my fantasy images into the photographs and tried to show each primate had a unique personality. I usually photographed within three feet of each primate, with a 35mm lens, never through bars or plexi-glass cages. I made friends with the primates and made subsequent visits. Developing a relationship was essential to capture the intensity of eye contact, which shows a consciousness of me.
I sought moments and edited for photographs that do not represent the everyday world of monkeys and apes in captivity, but my dream world of primates. Meeting the vast variety of primates and encountering the generosity of the owners, anthropologists and keepers was the experience of a lifetime.”
When I’m in SF I always wonder who the hell works in this town. It’s not the crust punks begging for change to feed their dogs, it’s not the new age hippies hugging trees in the parks, it’s not even the bike messengers who were hip to fix gears 10 years ago when Amaze and Twist were painting up a storm. Apparently it’s the worms.