French artists Zim and Zou, comprised of Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann, took Spain by storm this May during EXPO Milan 2015 with their elaborate, thought provoking artwork. In store windows in the streets of Milan, the talented pair installed displays of intricate, three-dimensional work bursting with color and environmental messages. Created mostly out of carefully cut paper, Zim and Zou’s series illustrates the harmful effects GMO’s and aggressive farming can have on the environment, our own bodies, and the food industry as a whole. This fell in line with this years EXPO Milan theme for 2015, which is “Feeding the planet, Energy for life.”
The series in the display windows, titled Edible Monsters, reveals an array of sterile looking plants and animals, complete with mutant-like features and unnatural colors. Although these seemingly bright and cheery scenes evoke feelings of warmth and pleasantness at first glance, they all hold a bizarre aura, showing how the path that we currently are on can lead to terrible and irreversible effects on nature. One scene displays brilliantly colored, happy flowers that devour insects. In another window, one can see a fish swallowing harmful pills and a rabbit with a mutated third ear and crazed eyes. Each installation is beautifully done, but has a dark undertone of what effects chemical use and genetic manipulation can possibly have on our future. These eye-catching window displays shed light on the important subject of the world’s dietary habits and sustainability in a fantastical way. (via Design Boom)
US-based team of scientists has built a robot that folds itself into an origami-inspired shape starting from a flat sheet. The assemblage of such robot doesn’t require any human intervention. It is made from a polymer material which shrinks when heated, also has electronics and motors attached to it. When the heating elements affect the hinges made in paper, the robot starts transforming into a crab-like machine. The whole process takes about 4 minutes before the robot can start walking.
The team behind the project said their inspiration came from the complex 3-D shapes in origami: like in the Japanese paper art, various three-dimensional shapes are constructed from a single sheet of paper. This robot takes origami a step further. According to the developer team, such self-assembling robots can be greatly employed in construction or rescue works.
“[They could be delivered] through a confined passageway, such as a collapsed building, after which they would assemble into their final form autonomously,” states Marc Lavine, senior editor at Science.
Robot‘s small size makes is what makes it very useful because of the easy transportation and storage. Apart from search-and-rescue missions, a more advanced version of the robot could be easily used construction works, especially in places that are hard to reach. The whole project is said to cost $11,000 but with the initial designs in place, the mass-production robots should cost around $100 each. (via NPR)
Watch a short video about the project after the jump.
Kamolpan Chotvichai explores the limitations of paper by carefully hand-cutting portraits of herself and rendering an effect of dissolution based on the Buddha’s teaching on anatta (no self). Parts of Chotvichai’s human form appear warped and melted, almost glitchy, as if they are about to disintegrate; the artist’s careful attention to the direction and shape of her cuts produces an elegant illusory effect. Chotvichai explains,
One’s adhering to something can cause the greatest misery in life especially being attached to self-existing. The idea of this self-existing is actually self-formed and leads to variety of emotions. The temper, the mind and the body altogether gradually form the idea of being alive but when putting into consideration, without any substance, it is merely the thought that we think we are existing…The way I create my work is to set consciousness and concentration by slitting and cutting on the portrait of myself which is considered to be the unconditional action of effort and attempt. This action is therefore to destroy and create the emptiness which will lead to the stage of naught.
Chotvichai was born, raised, and educated in Bangkok, where she currently resides. (via my amp goes to 11)
Since the first photograph, photography has ushered forth in producing a consequential depiction of truths through the containment of fleeting moments in a tangible and archival format. Instances in time are revealed as light falls upon sensitized paper, asserting the presence of each photograph’s content. The picture plane remains uniform, constricted by its own variable, physical dimensions: a synthetic simulacrum of a three-dimensional reality that will forever remain in constant flux. And yet, in spite of presenting elements of proof based within reality, the upheaval of the actual authenticity of the photograph has found itself under siege.
Through a variety of executions, the following artists working with the photographic medium twist this truism in unique and awe-inspiring ways, abolishing preconceived notions of photography through a re-presentation of the photograph. In their reconsideration of the ordinarily static picture plane, form is pushed beyond the confines of the image through the destruction, manipulation or interference of the photograph.
It is difficult to believe that the astounding, realistic sculptures of husband and wife duo Allen and Patty Eckman are cast from paper. Inspired by cast paper techniques of mid-20th century Mexico, the couple has developed and trademarked a unique process called the Eckman Method®. Pouring paper pulp instead of bronze into silicone moulds, they are able to produce lightweight sculptures with an astonishing level of detail. Allen’s work centers on the history of the American West and Native American civilization, content that blends seamlessly with Patty’s focus on wild flora and fauna.
Allen, who himself is of Cherokee descent, seems to pick up where 19th century American bronze artists like Hermon Atkins MacNeil or James Earle Fraser left off. Echoing the sentiment of these early settlers to the West, Eckman portrays the vanishing Native American population with dignity and reverence. Many of their sculptures are colossal, looming above viewers with magnificent authority. Others are miniature, precious to behold. The Eckmans capture scenes both active and pastoral with equal attention to detail; the cowboy, blazing ahead on horseback, lasso in hand, is seen with as much clarity as the native American hunter, who rests for a moment with his equine companion, absorbing the sights of the natural world. Like living specimens of times and cultures too rarely recorded by history, mothers and children dance in historically-accurate clothing.
In their stunning visual work, the Eckmans are able to merge a new, innovative process with subject matter as timeless as our country, breathing new life into the cannon of work created by great American sculptures of the past. (via BeautifulLife)
The work of artist Caroline Attan examines how objects form a part of our memory and personal history and identity. By combining hand-written text with delicately folded, colored paper installations, Attan plays with separate ideas of poetry, text and form, each “that function as loaded repositories of the past.”
Installed with text written directly onto the wall and the origami-like paper notes arranged in circular patterns, the results are visually reminiscent of mandalas (which represent wholeness, inter-connectivity and an organized cosmic diagram) or the sacred geometry found in Islamic art, Attan illustrates poetic language, and at the same time, brings attention back to the beauty of the words.
Says the artist, “Tantalizing snatches of memories and desire revolve endlessly over collaged backgrounds, encouraging the viewer along multiple strands of thought. The technique allows for ingenuity and flexibility. Some compositions disrupt or loudly announce their text or subtexts, while others absorb them into a calm coherent whole.” (via myampgoesto11)
Joel Cooper crafts paper masks and geometric shapes using the technique of origami. Cooper’s intricate three dimensional masks are created with a large number of folds out of one sheet of paper. He alternates between bright and muted colors and matte and shiny sheets of paper that all appear earthy in tone. On some of his pieces, his wife has collaborated with him by using painting techniques to enrich color and texture. You can check out more of Cooper’s work on Flickr and purchase available designs via his Etsy shop. He lives in Kansas. (via design taxi)
Aleksandra Domanović deals with sculpture that echoes monuments from the past from her native (former) Yugoslavia. While some sculptures take on more traditional forms of post-Communist leaders, the Berlin-based artist also began experimenting with unique materials in her work. 19:30 Stacks was created by piling size A3 and A4 paper with photos printed on their sides with ink-jet printing. First creating a massive PDF file of a photo, Domanović set the printer to ‘border-less print’ setting, which coated the ends of each paper, and when stacked upon each other, revealed the finished image.
For a time this work was open-sourced so that anyone could make one for themselves by downloading the file (now broken), printing it out, and then placing it between 1500 empty pages on the top and bottom of the printed stack. According to her artist statement, Domanović’s “work focuses on profound social and media-technological transformations, and their interdependence. Some of her projects give form to the relationships of meaning imposed by archival models. Others suggest alternate models that draw on her observations of shared memory and feelings of community. Domanovic uses material related to her autobiography — the television, music, and monumental art of Yugoslavia — as well as materials that claim transcendence of the personal and national, such as Getty Images’ database of stock photography and (on the blog Vvork, which she co-edits) international contemporary art production.” (via u1u11)