Designer/Artist/Self-Obssessor JK Keller really knows how to make use of his tools. Witness his curious expertise as JK wills the computer to create these amazing works of art. With a conceptual work ethic that borders on mischief, Keller humorously exposes to us the inherent beauty within the hidden structures in our lives.
For over 25 years, Woods Davy has worked with natural materials (primarily stone) as his medium of choice. In an incredible balancing act, he places the stones in fascinating formations that intrigue the mind. With his work with stones, he became one of the first “green” Postmodern artists. Even artists go green! You can catch Woods Davy’s exhibit at the Craig Krull Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA until October 9th.
At the live show for Flying Lotus‘ ‘You’re Dead’ tour, audience members were treated to a visual spectacle few were expecting. Using his artist name of Strangeloop, David Wexler joined forces with John King (Timeboy), not only to produce hypnotizing visual art, but to transform the whole experience of FlyLo’s new stage show. Calling the sculpture Layer³ (pronounced Layer Cubed), this multi-screen set up is an expansion of an earlier project called Layer 3.
Working under the label Brainfeeder, Ellison and Wexler reconnected and began combining their respective talents of creating memorizing tunes and animations. Recognizing that most moments we remember are cinematic ones, Ellison knew he wanted a strong visual component to his stage show. With none of the animations pre-programmed, Timeboy and Strangeloop are responding to FlyLo’s tunes in real time, trying to visually produce something that reinforces the audio experience. Wexler describes the logistics of making the animation cube:
It’s essentially two projectors—a rear projected screen and a front projected screen. You can get a certain amount of three-dimensionality because we have a foreground projection, Flying Lotus performing in the mid-ground, and a background projection. (Source)
For FlyLo, to play in between the screens and not be able to engage with the audience in a conventional way allows him to delve into his set more; really trying to communicate the story he wants to tell through his music. He is trying to find the place that reminds him of being a kid, and wants to transport his fans to the same magical place he loves.
I think as we get older that idea of magic is taken from us, there’s just less and less of it as we get older. I really try to dabble in things that feel magical. (Source)
I recently discovered Tara Donovan’s work and was blown away by her microcosmic creations that reference organic forms. Using mundane objects such as simple plastic buttons or number 2 pencils, she finds beauty in multitudes. Like schools of fish banding together to seem much larger than they are, Donovan transforms the singular and ordinary into grand and ostentatious.
Sculptor Andy Yoder spent nearly two years on his piece, Early One Morning, painstakingly applying thousands of painted matches to create a globe with the implied potential to catch fire. The matches, which were individually hand-painted, recreate the continents and oceans, but also swirling weather patterns (of note, Hurricane Sandy is seen off the west coast of North America).
The wooden matches are connected to a food and cardboard base, held together by a plywood skeleton (as a precaution, Yoder covered the piece a flame retardant chemical). Yoder’s piece can be seen Winkleman Gallery at this year’s PULSE New York Contemporary Art Fair, May 8–11. (via from89 and junk-culture)
Photographer Donna J. Wan’s ongoing series “Death Wooed Us” is gorgeous, unsettling, and deeply empathetic. “In 2011 after the birth of my daughter I developed a severe case of postpartum depression and considered taking my own life,” she writes in the description of the work, all photos taken in “suicide destinations”—places where people have taken their lives.
“Using research gathered from media reports, I found several locations in the Bay Area and travelled to them. I walked along the paths taken by these people before they ended their lives. Most of these photographs were taken from bridges, including the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most well-known ‘suicide destinations,’ but also lesser-known beaches and overlooks. I purposely photographed from the perspective of looking up at the sky, down at the water or crags, or straight ahead but far away, thinking that these views might have resembled the ones seen by others moments before dying. Many of my images have a hazy and elusive quality, which I believe reflects the clouded state of mind of the suicidal.”
Suicide is such a sensitive subject. There are many people—probably the majority of people—who cannot imagine losing the will to live. Whether because of religious beliefs, or ties to family and friends, or just the innate need to stay alive, these people believe that they would never end their own lives. Then there are others, who have lived with pain and grief and the loss of hope. Those who, because of sickness of body or brain, struggle through every day. Once you have crossed this line, between life at all costs and death as a merciful end, the world never looks the same to you again. In Wan’s series, her experience is what makes the photos haunting and peaceful. She has looked into the cracks of her own soul, and that has enabled her to walk in the footsteps of those without hope and capture their last sights with kindness. The last view of a suicidal person could be macabre, an intrusion into someone else’s pain. These photos offer beauty, the acknowledgement of despair, and the desire for peace.
“There are some who may think that my photographs romanticize these places of death. I can understand that point of view, although that is not my intention. Death is not beautiful – in fact, jumping from a bridge 200 feet high is a very painful and violent way to die. Yet the sublimity of these places continues to lure people to them. I do not intend for my work to glorify the allure of these places. Instead, I hope that it may offer a glimpse into the minds of those who may have thought that dying by these beautiful places was a peaceful way to end their suffering.”