Eric Johnson is a brilliant carpenter who designs and builds furniture out of completely salvaged materials. Armchairs from boat masts, rocking chairs from milk crates, lamps from moped scraps. A lot of “recycled” product design can end up looking not too different from the garbage it started out as, but Johnson does an incredible job of using clean, shrewd designs to make objects that stand on their own regardless of their history. The combination of his intelligent designs and recycled materials is inspiring in its own right too, quietly encouraging us all to see the potential in the mountains of discarded objects that overwhelm our modern lives. So kudos on three levels, Eric. Keep your eyes on Mr. Johnson, I smell a bright future.
At first glance the Stone Fields of designer Giuseppe Randazzo seem to be akin to stoic environmental art a la Andy Goldsworthy. Under closer scrutiny, however, these pieces are far from ‘natural’. Randazzo begins with optimal packing algorithms – algorithms that determine the most efficient way to fill a certain amount of space with various sized objects. He then modifies the algorithms to produce different arrangements of stones in the circular field. Further, the stones aren’t ‘natural’ – that is, they’re not real! Rather, the images produced by Randazzo are actually hyper-realistic 3D renderings.
Annika Frye is a young German designer making objects that are partly useful but mostly experiment. That modern cliché of “everything has been done”, or in this case, made, can be discouraging to some young artists and designers. But not everybody. Some people find in it a freedom– now that the difficult groundwork has been done, it is time to play. Annika is definitely in the latter group. Her designs are mostly about in what ways we can re-create the things we already have but in the wildest, most unconventional, and cheapest ways possible. Everything she does is at an angle– a table, made out of tape; a chair, that’s half blanket; a seat, that unfolds into a bed. Check out more of her designs and her descriptions thereof after the jump!
Yuri Suzuki is an English artist/designer/inventor who has been making some really remarkable objects. They’re not really “art” in a traditional sense, but they’re not products or inventions that would ever be used by The People, nor are they simple design ideas. What they are, is amazing–phonograph globes, flame organs, theremin radios. Yuri is also a big supporter of the DIY community, so if you’re wondering how to make any of his objects, he has instructions for most of them on his website. Suzuki’s is a very special brain. Check out videos of his objects in action after the jump! ( via )
Francois Leroy is a freelance illustrator from Paris, France whose digital works incorporate everything necessary to push art forward into generation upgraded. With ease he navigates the difficult territories of 3D typography, design, context, motion graphics, and execution – all while retaining his own identifiable aesthetic. His website not only offers a glimpse into his portfolio, but also several cool free downloads, which deviate from the norm. One is of a 100-layer Photoshop file that you can make a visual remix of and another is a asset-pack of transparent .PNG files you can use to add texture to your work. The crazy thing is that he actually shot the textures himself, which is really cool since you usually don’t get a chance to see the people behind things like that. (via)
At this point there’s no use denying the ridiculous amount of time most of us spend on a computer each day, and artist Bea Fremderman is among a growing number of contemporary artists that use this reliance as a tool in their practice. Much of (arguably all of) the imagery we see on a computer is an illusion. A digital fabrication or manipulation meant to simulate or document reality. But as our physical and digital worlds continue to fold in on one another – who decides what is real? We must become our own authorities on reality, and Fremderman seems keenly aware of this.
Fremderman may be young, but the elegance with which she blurs lines is anything but amateur. A range of objects and textures shift contexts as they face-off with their own physical and virtual counterparts. The end result of which is an aesthetically and conceptually dynamic body of work. Her practice is multifaceted, but focused. Fremderman chooses her media/mediums based on what will most effectively convey the ideas in her work, and I am eager to see what she comes up with next.
In the fall of 2009 artist Michael Anthony Simon left Chicago behind, and moved to the countryside of Korea. He wanted to experience a new place and culture that would hopefully inform a fresh body of work that could exist beyond the constraints of the western art world. In the spring of 2011, contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei was arrested on falsified charges of tax evasion by a notoriously conservative Chinese government. The claims were suspect to say the least, and many silent protests were organized throughout the world by major museums and institutions calling for his release. These silent protests became a louder gesture than anything anyone could have audibly said. This act of defiant solidarity became a source of motivation for Simon in the year to come. Realizing that by attempting to silence something you make it’s presence that much more apparent he commenced on a series entitled “The Silence Paintings”. Analyzing the design and significance of the word ‘silence’ in different languages lead him to the creation of an intuitive process that would allow for compositions to develop naturally, but with purpose and intention.
We can like status updates on facebook… we can favorite tweets on twitter… we can give videos a “thumbs-up” on youtube… but why can’t we cry? As the first part of an intensive study into the role of crying in a networked culture, the I cried button is an experiment conducted by Dee Kim & Bistin Chen. Using Google Chrome, you can install the button as a plug-in in youtube and press it when you cry while or after watching something from youtube. The button functions similar to the ‘like’ button, because it quantifies and saves your input, but instead of rating the material with a set of shiny stars, your emotions are gauged by tear drops…