Brooklyn-based graphic designer Victoria Siemer, also known as Witchoria, has an ongoing photography series updated weekly called ‘Human Error” in which the artist digitally overlays an existential or lovelorn computerized error message over a scanned Polaroid. The error message prompts the viewer for an action or to wait, illustrating the futility of this technological exercise when perceived in the context of heartbreak or ennui. Siemer’s series elegantly pairs new technology, represented by the computerized message, with older technology, represented by the vintage mode of a Polaroid photograph, combining the nostalgia evoked by a Polaroid with the technological angst that fuels many of our modern relationships.
London-based Japanese photographer Chino Otsuka has created a series of time-traveling photo manipulations that allow her past and present selves to exist in the same time and place. Titled “Imagine Finding Me,” the series is a result of Ostuka digitally splicing her image into old photographs from her childhood during the 70s and 80s, creating seamless collaged manipulations. These photographs represent a doubled identity for Otsuka, reflecting both her Japanese roots and the heavy influence of Western culture. They also raise questions about how we remember our pasts and how these stories intersect with our modern lives. Otsuka explains, “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.” (via my modern met)
Zim & Zou are a French design studio created by Thibault Zimmermann and Lucie Thomas. In addition to paper sculptures, they also explore graphic design, illustration, and installation work. Rather than use a computer, the duo prefer to use paper to design and sculpt many of their images before photographing them. From a series entitled “Back to Basics,” these brightly sculpted electronic devices represent 80s and 90s nostalgia and employ color schemes that remind me of the Nickelodeon shows I grew up watching. Each item is meticulously sculpted to real-life size and shape dimensions and includes thoughtful details that give the appearance of full functionality. The use of paper to recreate outdated technological objects also confronts the current modern tension between print and digital media.
The duo told Don’t Panic, “…[A]t first sight it’s a tribute to vintage technologies which marked the technological evolution of the last years, and all the nostalgia of the memories that each have with them. By bringing those ‘dead’ objects back to life, we tried to highlight the very fast evolution of our everyday objects. The devices we use nowadays will, in a few years, be considered as relics too. We wanted to ask a question as well: where will this evolution lead us to?
What inspired us personally for this project are the original objects themselves. Every day we use some of those objects, such as the Polaroid camera and we often play Tetris on the original grey Gameboy.”
Their website has a gallery full of other paper sculpture designs, including paper birds, food, spaceships, and a Higgs Boson. You can watch a time-lapse video of their construction process here. (via unknown editors)
Take a stroll along the High Line in NYC and you can’t help but notice Chelsea’s very own eye-popping mural by Eduardo Kobra on 25th and 10th. This towering piece of street art infuses a rainbow bolt of color into Manhattan’s skyline, emoting nostalgic imagery: re-imagining Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1945 classic photograph “VJ Day in Times Square.” Likewise, if you live along the west coast in LA, you might have noticed Kobra’s psychedelic Mt. Rushmore redeux at 1255 La Brea Ave, exposing the art of democracy.
Interestingly, this artist is not from America, but São Paulo, where his passion for blending vintage or classic iconic imagery into contemporary settings first emerged in the late 1980s and has traveled internationally ever since. The intention was and is to pay homage to the parts of a country’s past or remind the city inhabitants of their historical precedents– emphasizing a certain level of romanticism.
Japanese photographer Takeshi Suga captures dreamlike scenes that remind of warm summer days and tranquil walks beneath branches arrayed with cherry blossoms. Each photograph is like a sweet confection, served with a healthy helping of nostalgia and comfort and ready to be enjoyed. (Via The Fox is Black)
Sif Itona Westerberg, working out of Copenhagen, crafts organic, twisted sculptures and nostalgic textile work infused with elements of delicious 80′s hardcore. And for good measure, she also renders tributary graphite drawings in a cemented, clear-cut vision; you know, just so we stay on the same page. She’s recently exhibited such work within immersive gallery installations that economically work toward the creation of an overall effective, dripping ode to the last two decades of the twentieth century (she pulls off the backlight).
But what business does Westerberg, born in 1985, have in the composition of a body of work based on iconography and experience that had all but died by the time she reached her teens? Perhaps, a good amount. This work is a wonderfully executed exercise in the common experience of conjured nostalgia- pining for experiences you never had. For through the process of remembering that which you don’t actually remember , you are able to present an account much more infused with spirit and holism. When did facts ever help anyone, anyway?
Sif Itona Westerberg is currently showing a series of collaborative work with Asbjørn Skou (Armsrock) at MOHS exhibit in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Michael Willis‘ visual language doesn’t consist of any single point of reference. Rather, it is a syncretic blend of multiple styles and influences – a sort of hodgepodge of 60s psychedelia, 80s computer graphics, and a modern view of pop culture. Imagery sometimes includes figures that are in the American cultural unconscious – Frank from Blue Velvet, for example, makes an appearance in a drawing. But more often than not this outlook on pop culture, especially looking back towards the 60s and 70s, is expressed through the utilization of stock imagery of anonymous, yet clearly old, photographs of people from days of yore.