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.
Dutch artist Iepe Rubinigh and the Anonymous Crew took the term “street art” very literally with their piece Painting Reality. The group, equipped on bicycles, purposely spilled over 130 gallons of eco-friendly water soluble paint in a Berlin’s busy Rosenthaler Platz intersection. The cars then acted as brushes spreading the various colors through street. An abstract painting detailing the fluid-like flow of traffic unfolded over the next several minutes and 2,000 cars. Painting Reality introduced pleasantly bright color to otherwise drab asphalt. More than that, though, the “strokes” of paint documented the moving life of a city. Check out the video to the see paint drop and spread.
Artist Lisa Park‘s performance titled Euonia – a Greek word that can be translated as “beautiful thinking”. The title is apt as Park’s thought’s are central the beauty of her performance. She makes use of an EEG headset which monitors various brainwaves and eye movement. The resulting information is translated into sound directed to one of five speakers. A shallow pan of water sits on each speaker, vibrating and shimmering with each of Park’s various thoughts. Park associated each of the five speakers with a different emotion and would recall various memories of people important to her in order to manipulate the speakers. She had hoped to develop the ability, through practice, to end her performance in silence but could not – an outcome perhaps more interesting than she had intended. It may be the brain is much more difficult to quiet than it seems. Be sure to check out the video to see Lisa Park’s brain in action. [via]
Superstition aside, these sculptures made from shards of mirrors were created by artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen. If you look at the photographs carefully, in addition to the sculptures a person in a similar mirror-suit moves throughout the gallery. The gallery also projects a video for this exhibit featuring a person in this mirror-suit moving through commercial spaces in South East Asia and Denmark. It is interesting noticing the virtually universal nature of mannequins. Rasmussen brings out that they allow us to imagine the way clothes will look on us, but on a deeper level we project what we want to be on them. Similarly, these sculptures literally reflect those gazing at them. [via]
Londoner Petra Storrs is not just a set, prop, and costume/fashion designer– she’s an artist who collaborates with performers to transcend ideas beyond the ephemeral and into a sturdy cult of fantasy. The “reflective mirror dress” she designed for Paloma Faith, for example, not only sharpens the singer’s playful theatrical identity, but further investigates this concept of “the gaze”. In Dazed and Confused Magazine, Faith elaborates on the intention, “Obviously, as a performer, I am normally the observed, but I wanted to flip that dynamic around and make the audience the focus.” Storrs response, of course, was to whip up a garment that literally does just that.
But it’s not just creative camaraderie that gets Storrs’ juices flowing– she also finds inspiration from everyday objects and history, or everyday objects that hold history such as . . . tea. Camellia & the Rabbit, her latest design endeavor (collected here), involves performance artist Rachel Snider, who uses “tea as a central motif/metaphor” and a narrative “like sea shanties” to interweave “historical facts and stories of tea”– thus, evoking our own personal relationship to this British afternoon tradition.
Paraglider Gill Schneider had thought a while about arranging an unusual pair: his love of flying and the circus. After the jump a video captures the combination. At first Schneider incorporates his parachute into various circus acts. Before long, though, he takes a performer into the air, juggling gliding over the beaches. The highlight of the video, however, is trapeze artist Roxanne Gilliand. Hanging below Shcneider, Gilliand gracefully performs high over a small lakeside town. The pairing, though unlikely, is a fascinating one.
A good deal of contemporary art blends characteristics from disparate practices: sculpture and painting, painting and photography, video and installation. However, the work of Alex Schweder is a rare mix. Much of his work is equal parts architecture and performance art. Schweder investigates the way people interact with living spaces, and the way these spaces interact with their occupants. The result is often a playfully surprising structure. Some structures balance or rock depending on the movement of the inhabitants. Other structures are photosensitive, their inhabitants leaving stronger impressions the longer they linger. Regardless of the ‘performance’, his work encourages approaching ideas of the home and its occupants as almost a living relationship.
Artist Angie Hiesl‘s site specific pieces blend installation and performance. Her X-Times People Chair series elevates senior citizens to traffic-stopping heights. Hiesl installs a steel chair on the fascades of buildings about ten to twenty feet off the ground. Performers typically between sixty and seventy years old perch themselves on the chair. The perching senior citizens perform mundane daily routines such as reading the paper or folding clothes for the duration of the perfomance.