“To accurately portray the reality of living with mental illness for prisoners in an effort to call attention to the increased imprisonment of the mentally ill in the US” is the stated goal of Jenn Ackerman’s series Trapped.
Ackerman began photographing inside Kentucky State Reformatory in 2008. Over the course of her time there she gained trust of the inmates and guards and unprecedented access to their facility and procedure. The resulting series is a stunning look inside the experience of the mentally ill shuffled through a prison system not equipped to withstand, care for, or rehabilitate them. A system in dire need of attention and reform. (via)
Experimental design/art studio Cohen Van Balen‘s new project 75 Watts features an actual factory, assembly line, and workers. However, the product the assembly line workers are constructing does absolutely nothing. Well, almost nothing. The purpose of the product is simply to choreograph the movements of the workers as they construct it. 75 Watts illustrates the complex dance of production, consumption, and the human relationships therein regardless of the product. The project received its name from a rather creepy quote from the book Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers: “A labourer over the course of an 8-hour day can sustain an average output of about 75 watts.” Check out the video to see the dance of the pointless product.
“A meditation on green light – inspired by the dense horizon of lights found on the top of cityscapes. Specifically the red blinking lights for warning aircrafts which have always felt to me like some kind of living, breathing ecosystem. Continuing my fascination with geographies constructed or revealed by light during the night, I started thinking more about the “breathing” lights as rhythms.” – Gary Breslin
We’re absolutely loving these clever and graphic billboard alterations by Parisian street artist OX. Not only do they cover up the ugly advertising that we are bombarded with on a daily basis but they also interact with their surroundings in witty visual plays that construct and deconstruct space, depth and optical illusion. (via)
My good buddies at Two Rabbits Studios have recently updated their site and online store. If you haven’t heard of these fellas, you should put your ears to the ground more often. Though they may be named after a small gentle animal, they are a stampeding herd of buffalos who will trample you with their design and printing skills. They’ve done concert posters for all of your favorite musicians and probably your mother’s favorites as well. (P.S. They silk screened one of the inserts in Book 2).
Celebrity photographer Blake Little has taken his love of portraiture to new heights. Pouring honey all over his models of different ages, races and genders, he has created a series of dramatic images that look like photos of wax models. While he normally snaps pictures of famous faces like Kevin Spacey, Tom Cruise, Glenn Close, Samuel L. Jackson, Jane Fonda, Gwyneth Paltrow, this time he placed a Craigslist ad asking for some not-so-familiar faces. Seeing over 90 people, all ranging in age from 2 – 85 years, he asked them to take their clothes off and get covered in a thick gooey layer of honey. Little talks about his process:
Preservation began through a process of experimenting with honey. Initially, I started shooting the way it pours and drips on just the face or specific areas of the body. After several sessions, it became clear that completely covering the figure as much as possible and with varying thicknesses created a quality that I had never seen before. The honey has a way of diffusing the personal qualities of the subjects, often making them unrecognizable and democratizing their individual traits into something altogether different and universal. (Source)
The result of the intense studio session is hypnotic. The models look like they have been frozen in amber, or resin, or caught in the volcanic eruption of Pompeii. All of the subjects in his new book Preservation look like they are in a deep slumber, and all have lost any idiosyncrasies they may have had. It seems like Little has compiled a reference of what is it to be human – a kind of catalog of frozen specimens where we can, in the future, look back and compare similarities and differences between us all.
His show accompanying his new monograph opens at Kopeikin Gallery in Culver City, CA from March 7.
Peter Nitsch’s latest photographic series, “Shophouses,” documents Nitsch’s trip to Bangkok, where he became fascinated with the way in which many Southeast Asian city dwellers live; combining their work and living spaces. In this project, Nitsch explored the diverse cultural and social mix of a rapidly urbanizing Thailand, in order to uncover the basic human qualities that connect his subjects to his work’s viewers.