Generally speaking, mushrooms are fascinating organisms. As part of the fungi family, they are neither plant nor animal and have an incredible capacity for growth. As evidenced in these stop motion gifs, we witness the mushroom cap or fruit, sprouting out of the ground in various shapes and sizes. The fruit is made up of 92% water allowing for its rapid maturity and part of the fungi you would normally throw onto pizza and salad. It’s this top section, which makes for an interesting visual specimen, as seen here in phallic, veiled and bumpy shapes, credited to nature’s grand design. The part you don’t see, called the root or mycelium, can remain dormant and underground for years. These are the real heroes, acting as nature’s garbage disposals, devouring all that is dead and decaying. Some fungi lore to speak of, includes the toadstool known for its red color, and white dotted spores. Those who grew up playing Nintendo, will remember these colorful blobs as part of the landscape in Super Mario Bros. and incarnate to “Toad” a figure in the game. Psilocybin or “magic mushrooms” are the rebels. In existence since prehistoric times, the fungi first appeared during the mesolithic period as evidenced on rock paintings taken from archaeological finds. Known for its pleasant, hallucinatory effects, studies have shown psilocybin can not only give you a nice high but help with OCD and clinical depression. (via boredpanda)
HAPPY LOVERS TOWN is the portfolio of Italian designer and illustrator Jonathan Calugi. I love his character design and intensely adorable patterns. I profess that Illustrator is not my strong point so I find it especially amazing when people have a special knack at wrangling smooth vectors.
Wyatt Kahn’s wall sculptures are built from a series of stretcher panels and raw canvas beautifully pieced together to make one collaged structure. The crevices and peeking back wall help create compositional depth, captivating the eye, revealing clean and simple, yet geometrically intricate work, which is devoted to the complex juxtaposition of space more so than color.
Of Kahn’s art, Sam Cornish writes, “Broadly the type of illusion Kahn employs is one that comes after the reduction of minimalist painting. The flat, object quality of each part is in one sense simply accepted. There is no hint of the surface being broken, of a window open to an atmospheric or light filled space beyond (however shallow).”
Microbiologist Christina Agapakis and scent artist Sissel Tolaas‘ science-meets-art project “Self Made” seeks to challenge the way we think about microbes, scent, and the nature of disgust. Most cheese is made by taking milk and spoiling it with the bacteria, Lactobacillus. This bacteria transform milk sugars into acid, causing it to coagulate. The chunks are removed from the liquid and aged with specific yeast that creates specific cheeses. Lactobacillus and yeast can be found all around us, including our own skin. Agapakis and Tolaas take microbes from people’s skin – like Michael Pollan’s belly button or artist Olafur Eliasson’s tears – and add them to milk in order to create a human microbial cheese portrait (a cheese selfie?).
“The idea was to recognize, how do we get grossed out? Then to think about it and move beyond that initial idea of disgust,” Agapakis says. “Why are we more uncomfortable with bacteria on the body than we are with bacteria in cheese?”
From the artists’ statement, “Many of the stinkiest cheeses are hosts to species of bacteria closely related to the bacteria responsible for the characteristic smells of human armpits or feet. Can knowledge and tolerance of bacterial cultures in our food improve tolerance of the bacteria on our bodies? How do humans cultivate and value bacterial cultures on cheeses and fermented foods? How will synthetic biology change with a better understanding of how species of bacteria work together in nature as opposed to the pure cultures of the lab?”
“Self Made” is currently on view (and smell – the project is for thinking, not eating) at Gallery Science in Dublin until January 2014 as part of the “Grow Your Own” exhibition along with other synthetic biology projects including a mouse cloned from Elvis Presley’s DNA, a yogurt drink that yields disease-diagnosing feces, and a project that proposes a future in which humans could give birth to endangered species. (via huffington post, npr, and la times).
Kirra Jamison has a new site and a new series. This Australian artist creates works in series that are visually striking and unexpected. Her series of gouache drawings on paper are reminiscent of intricate Chinese paper cuts to a monumental scale. She is an artist to watch, continually moving forward and diversifying her body of work through new mediums and new series, each even more intriguing than the last. Her past works explore themes of mystical narrative, isolated places, and decorative patterns.
Michelle Devereux is a contributing artist for Austin multi-media label, Monofonus Press, a member of a female-centric video collective called Austin Video Bee, is a co-founder of an art-circuit tap troupe known as What’s Tappening?!, and plays drums in an apocalypse inspired chick band called Storm Shelter. When Michelle isn’t busy working on the many projects listed above she makes mind blowing, 80’s video arcade inspired drawings focusing on themes of innocent fantasy and finding beauty in the obvious and the embarrassing. Her drawings have to me one of my favorite new discoveries so I really hope that she makes more very very very soon!
Ari Saarto’s IN SITU documents the temporary structures and shelters that the homeless create. These primitive structures are reminders of how fragile life can be and highlights the instinctual need for man to have a place called home, regardless of how basic or unrefined it is.
You’ve seen his beautiful videos for Lana Del Rey (Blue Jeans and Born to Die) and now director Yoann Lemoine aka Woodkid brings his own musical experience to life with a few live shows in the US next month including a stop at New York’s Irving Plaza on Nov. 1, Bimbo’s in San Francisco on Nov. 2, and LA’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex on Nov. 3. I recently watched his performance from Le Grand Rex in Paris via our friends at The Creators Project and it blew me away. Woodkid recently spoke with Filter Magazine and said, “We will be eight on stage, two symmetrical drummers, one keyboard, one ‘machine’ guy who plays percussions on a computer and three brass. There will also be massive projections, yes, the same one I developed on the Grand Rex Show I just did in Paris. The whole show is about symmetry and black and white, it recalls visuals from the videos but in a more abstract way.” Are you excited yet? Watch the performance below and definitely get your tickets via Ticketmaster to what’s sure to be an amazing night.