Jason Mitcham paints scenes from everyday America, and for The Avett Brothers’ new music video, he was commissioned to use his paintings to tell the story of an American city. For the video, Jason made an animation by painting each “frame” over one another on the same canvas thousands of times over. I love it because you get to see the painting process in a really unique way–normally we only get a finished product, but in the video we get to see strokes that make something and are then covered, erased, and made into another image ad infinitum. Half of the pleasure of this video is watching the ghosted images from previous frames. It works in a more figurative way too, in that the trace images represent the lingering of history in the present. Check out the video after the jump!
Based out of England, Marc Kremers is a designer/net-artist who manages to incorporate the same sense of schizophrenic randomness apparent in his works to all facets of his internet persona. The website itself is a long scrolling photo-dump of projects (flash clips, audio files, etc) and more or less half-formed thoughts. Personally, I think his website is really clever, it transforms the monotonous text and image portfolio into something more resembling a museum and Marc, posited as the curator.
What may be most affecting about Richard Renaldi‘s series Touching Strangers is how clearly he captures something that can’t even be seen. For the series Renaldi posed strangers together to be photographed in poses with an intimacy typically reserved for families or friends. Arms around shoulders and waists, hands on hands, fingers interlocked are subtle gestures. Between strangers, though, they reveal a powerful privacy we carry around with us, a sacred space rarely breached. Once a viewer discovers the subjects are strangers, these otherwise banal photographs suddenly become intensely unsettling.
Brazilian artist Rafael Silveira’s paintings are a cabinet of curiosities mixed with the worlds weirdest circus side show.
In his project Original/Ideal, British photographer Scott Chasserot tries to answer the question “What would we change about ourselves if no one were looking?” Using photography, image manipulation software, and an Emotiv EEG brain scanner, Chasserot’s project attempts to discover each individual’s ideal self-image without having the subject utter a word. It’s an interesting combination of art, science, and perception.
The first step of the process is to remove or reduce accessories and enhancements from the subject being photographed. Makeup is removed, hair is pulled back, clothes are adjusted so as not to appear in the frame—the goal is neutrality. The photograph is taken, then manipulated into 50 versions, each with tweaks to facial features, head shape, coloring, and more. The subjects are then hooked up to the Emotive scanner which records brain activity while they are shown the altered images. The scans are examined for signs of “engagement”—particular mental focus which Chasserot interprets to be a positive reaction. The image that produces the most positive brain reaction is thought to be the subject’s ideal version of his- or herself.
“What do we find instinctively beautiful in the human face, and how does this translate to self-image?”
It’s interesting that Chasserot equates an unvoiced preference to instinct. After all, even though the person’s reaction to his or her images is ungoverned, societal influences, cultural ideals, and pre-existing ideas about attractiveness are all learned, not instinctive.
“The methodology is still in pilot study phase,” Chasserot told The Creators Project. “There is plenty to be improved upon. The ‘Ideal’ image is simply the one with the greatest positive reaction immediately after presentation and that cannot be distinguished from any theoretical, specific ‘ideal self’ reaction.”
In the photos below, the original image is on the left and the chosen “ideal” version on the right.
In a series titled Light Rorschach, photographer Nicolas Rivals paints with light in dark spaces. Using a torch light and a camera with a long exposure, the artist draws and contours an arresting image. When I look at these photographs, I instantly see a face. But, Rorschach can refer to a couple of things. There is the Rorschach inkblot test, which is a psychological test. Additionally, a character, the anti-hero in the graphic novel Watchman has the same name. Knowing this and studying Rival’s work, his interpretation seems to be a combination of the two influences.
According to his website, Rival wants us to question the reality of the photographs. Could these things possibly exist? And, if they do, what are they? Rival insinuates that the beings in in Light Rorschach exist, referring to subjects as masks, meaning that they have some sort of identity. And, they observing us as we look at them. He writes:
…turns observer and observed through the eyes of spirited but ultimately see some of your own personality and therefore yourself. Cross between the work and the viewer as an introspection looks these masks seem to shout.
“Tell me what you see and I’ll tell you who you are.”
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the soul of these light masks are serious and demand your attention. The lines of the painted light frame the neon blue, red, and green discs.They definitely aren’t human, and seem like they belong in a sci-fi story.
If you follow B/D on a regular basis you know we’ve been long time fans of Skinner and his grotesque and monstrous world of zombie vikings, heavy metal soldiers, and gnarly warriors looking to rage on the closest village of innocent soft rock listening peasants. We’ve featured Skinner in Book 3 and countless times on our blog but our minds were completely blown when we stumbled across his latest collaboration with one of our favorite snowboard brands, CAPiTA Super Corporation! Not only are CAPiTA boards some of the best on the market but they feature some of the most brutal graphics available. Needless to say that if you’re part of the Cult of Decay you need to get rid of that tacky neon board from the 80’s and slash n’ burn in style with CAPiTA & Skinner.
If you’re still not convinced just head over to the CAPiTA site to check out some of the other boards that Skinner designed along the rest of CAPiTA’s range. Even if you’ve never snowboarded in your life you’ll love CAPiTA’s art direction as every page of their site is a spaced out, psychedelic, visual mind explosion- from the zombie astronaut team page , to the motion page where you can watch the CAPiTA team shred, kill, and destroy everything in its path. CAPiTA is definitely a kindred spirit of the Cult of Decay, if B/D were to start a snowboard company CAPiTA is what it would look like.