As the famous designer Miuccia Prada once said, “fashion is instant language” — if worn with intention, fashion can allow us to express our inner identities without having to say a word. But what if our clothing was so in tune with our emotional lives that it responded physically to external stimuli — like the approach of another person? Anouk Wipprecht, a Dutch designer known for her explorations at the intersections of fashion and technology, has created an animatronic dress that does just that. Named the “Spider Dress 2.0” (an updated version of the original Spider Dress), this curious tech-garment embraces the torso in a spider-like carapace, while eight spindly legs shift from the shoulders. Eerie and enchanting, this specially-engineered dress should be approached with caution and consent, as Hep Svadja explains for Make:
“[The] Spider Dress 2.0 […] is a mechatronic dress with an Intel Edison chip that uses biosignals and learned threat detection to defend the wearer’s personal space. Mechanical arms extend and retract as a response to external stimuli, making it a truly intuitive system. As people approach, the wearer’s own breath will help to signal the defense posture of the robotic arms. The speed of the approach will also feed into defensive behavior; approach quickly and the arms will aggressively posture, but approach in a leisurely fashion and the arms will gently greet you.” (Source)
Wipprecht is known for her other cutting-edge designs, such as a dress that allows you to vanish in a smoke screen, and another that becomes transparent as one’s heartbeat increases (such as during intimate, interpersonal encounters). The Spider Dress 2.0 is her newest (upgraded) creation, unique in its mimicry of animal behaviour, and infused with the power to visually display deep-set emotions and experiences without a reliance on verbal cues. Words, after all, are typically put through a mental filter before they come out of our mouths; the Spider Dress communicates directly from the body via internal biosignals. It interprets and visualizes inner phenomena that may not be immediately known to the wearer. In this way, Wipprecht’s work imagines a future wherein fashion could be used to physically extend the expressive capacities of human body language.
Armed with his rake, a rope, an active imaginative and a willpower that will impress you, Andres Amador creates incredibly detailed ‘sand paintings’ around the coastlines of California. Creating designs that can reach up to 100,000 feet, he uses nature and his surroundings as inspiration and starting points for his large scale organic patterns. For the larger geometric patterns, he uses a rope as a compass to steady the design – but in general Amador loves to emerge himself in the act of creating and allows the artwork to grow without too much direction. Starting with a rough sketch in the sand, he makes sure he begins the process on either a full moon or at the very least, a low tide.
He works quickly and efficiently, completing most designs in around 2 hours. Depending on the beach constraints and the tides, he can take longer and can concentrate on perfecting the shapes and forms. Amador says he uses the contrasting shades of the raked sand, and non-raked sand to make designs that can resemble dried mud, honeycomb, flower buds, fern fronds, snail trails or snowflakes.
Used as a means of meditation, solitude, focus and reflection, Amador has been raking sand since 2004 and still finds pleasure in the activity. He revels in the impermanence of the material and enjoys the challenge of creating something so quickly that will be disappear as quickly as he made it.
Something big that comes with this art is the recognition of impermanence. I create with the knowledge of the impending erasure of my efforts, often while I am working. It has turned the artform into a practice of process over product. I am always striving for the perfect photo that I can share proudly. But when I get to the beach I have already let go of that expectation and surrender to the act of creation. (Source)
You can see many videos and mini documentaries of Amador creating his masterpieces here. (Via Honestly WTF)
Artist Giacomo Carmagnola uses digital tools to add a unique, glitchy twist to photos of the past. Faces and objects are obscured with long, colorful strands that seem to melt, as if it’s some sort of ooze that’s absorbing the rest composition. The crucifiction of Christ now has green trails that emanating from the cross. Likewise, a guillotine blades have been replaced with the same type of strands. The photographs are still recognizable, but now offer a colorful addition that changes their meaning. And depending on your point of view, make them funny or profane.
The Italian-born creative writes on Dazed Digital, “I’m completely absorbed by glitch art. I’ve always been attracted to its aesthetics; I’m not talking about philosophy or higher concepts, but just its plain visual pleasure.” One way to create this effect is with a processing pixel sorting script that’s applied to the image. “I see these images as an alternative beauty. I find it extremely fascinating how the same image can change so much by keeping its original ‘skeleton’. Of course they’re also visually impactful. But before this, I find them simply beautiful.” (Via Dazed Digital)
Using a unique surface Jason Middlebrook creates abstract motifs. He takes tree bark and combines its natural grooves with ideas which speak to nature in a way that celebrates its form and at the same time symbolically shows how man has put his stamp on it. In his plank series he takes different types of discarded wood such as maple, black birch and cottonwood to create paintings which follow the natural pattern of bark but in the process creates a beautiful design. They exaggerate what’s already there and makes beautiful process out of recycled materials.
In wall works Middlebrook takes it one step further and mimics the tree bark with materials such as bronze and stainless steel. These evoke more of a cave mystique. The darker surfaces and nature reference rocks and harder surfaces. The colors in a few are subdued hinting again at the random way things are formed in a natural state. While the wall works made of tree bark begin to resemble minerals found in rocks due to color and application of paint. Middlebrook finds a nice common ground to play with what’s found in nature and remaking it using another raw material. Middlebrook has been working with wood for many years. Some of the other projects he’s been involved include garden gnomes, park benches and birdhouses. He currently lives and works in Hudson, NY.
Photographer Pavel Samokhvalov captures intriguing images of the nearly-nude body set against day-glow neon lighting. The provocative photos feature models clad in see-through hosiery and whose bodies are bent and contorted towards the camera. Often, their faces are obscured by hair or poses. Samokhvalov will also only shoots part of the torso, zeroing-in on a small tattoo or glitter-covered nipple.
The photographer does a lot of editorial work, specifically in the fashion realm. His background is cinematography from the Moscow Film Institute, and this training can be seen in his work. The images tell a story, and each fuschia-colored background is one piece of a larger puzzle. They double as character studies, showcasing a product while at the same time providing subtle clues about the nature of the pieces and the people who wear them. (Via Scene 360)
Culinary artist Annabel de Vetten creates, bakes, and sculpts incredible, artistic edibles that tend to be on the dark side. She makes sinister sweets that look exactly like bird skulls, animal insides, and the exposed organs of a cadaver. All of her detailed work would be impressive as a sculpture, but to make it with chocolate, cake, and icing takes a very unique set of skills. Her morbid, graphic style of cake making grew from a background of fine art and, not surprisingly, taxidermy. During this practice, Vetten became very familiar with the site of guts and bones, which is why the inside of her human and animal corpses appear so real, even though they are actually desserts.
You may wonder who would want to eat something that looks so horrifying, but Vetten’s business is booming! Her business, clever named Conjurer’s Kitchen, is wildly successful and only continues to grow. This means that her cooking not only looks amazing, but it must taste great as well. In order to accurately construct each bone and blood vessel, Vetten must only use the finest ingredients. For her chocolate sculptures, she must use high quality Belgian chocolate, so that the features won’t melt away. For the coloring, she invents deliciously creative ways to integrate food that naturally has the hue she desires, making both her technique and her subject matter equally innovative and unique. Vetten’s sickening sweets may display a deathly subject matter, but more importantly display unbelievable artistic skill. (via Munchies.Vice.com)
At the end of the world, if all of our waste, memories, and collective knowledge were to be resurrected into living masses, it would look something like this. In an exhibition of metaphorical power and desolate beauty, artist Philip Ob Rey (in collaboration with Louie Otesanek, who inspired the movement, and photographer Mailie Viney) brings us V, an installation/photography project currently on display at the Cell63 in Berlin. Featured in V are black-and-white photographs of faceless, monolithic giants plodding aimlessly through an apocalyptic wilderness, here represented by the vast and darkly beautiful horizons of Iceland. Made of tangled VHS rolls — along with natural artifacts (feathers, stones, shells, and dry seaweeds) Ob Rey found amidst the fjords and active geothermal areas of Iceland — the bodies of the mysterious, god-like beings rip and tear in the wind. Elsewhere, eerie cocooned beings sit in silent, candle-lit caves encroached by snow, emanating a sense of wisdom and despair.
For Ob Rey, the giants manifest the five essential elements in a post-apocalyptic context, as well as the voices of lost generations trapped within the magnetic rolls. With their withering, film-wrapped bodies and their ancient-yet-futuristic appearances, the giants stand as mute omens that warn against current cultural and environmental trends. “They are covered with a black toxic skin, [a] chaotic flesh of magnetic encoded images,” Ob Rey explains. “I built in 5 essential elements, creatures made of VHS, dreamlike and disfigured in reaction against the growing dictatorship of the mass media and the unstoppable plastic pollution due to the overconsumption of the new technologies.”
At once cautionary and retrospective, Ob Rey’s V provides a beautiful, neutral medium in which to envision the earth pre- and post-human life. As temporally indistinct visions, the summoned giants allow us to emotionally explore the idea of our own end, when one day our bodily traces linger as non-recyclable materials floating around on the earth’s desolate surface. If you are in Berlin,V is showing until May 8th. You can see more of Ob Rey’s work on his Facebook page and website, where he works under the title “Humantropy” (a word referring to the nature of universal chaos and the decline of humankind). More stunning shots from V after the jump. (Via beautiful.bizarre)
Mandarin Duck (Aniko Koleshnikova) hand carves one-off book covers inspired by fantasy and supernatural stories. Using colorful polymer clays, the Latvian artist sculpts dragons, frogs, owls, leaves, beetles, skulls, roses, and vines. She adds crystals, Swarovskis, or resin details to her creations to accentuate the features, and engraves or indents different patterns into the surface of each cover. Each design is so intricately made and beautifully finished, you can see the amount of hours put into each piece.
Koleshnikova doesn’t only customize book covers – she also uses her carving skills making jewellery and decorative sculptures. She makes beads, pendants, earrings, and also cases for pocket mirrors and large vases. If you want to try it out for yourself, she has many tutorial videos on Youtube you can follow and learn from. Or you can visit her Etsy shop here. Furthermore, Mandarin Duck also takes custom orders if you would like your own personal journal covered. (Via Bored Panda)