Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata has been creating beautiful light art while aboard the International Space Station. Using long exposure photography and a spiral top equipped with LED lights designed by light artist Takuro Osaka, Wakata produces light paintings in an atmosphere of zero gravity. In 2009, Wakata flew as a crew member of the ISS where he first experimented with the Osaka’s spiral top (also pictured here). In 2011, Wakata was assigned as a Flight Engineer for ISS Expedition 38 and the Commander of Expedition 39. Wakata is the first Japanese astronaut to command the ISS. You can check out more of Wakata’s incredible space photos on his Twitter feed. (via i09)
Brandi Strickland’s collages are a mixture of photographs, painting, and drawing. Exploring different themes, Strickland fills her compositions with people and textures, utilizing a lot of old, faded papers, and National Geographic-like magazines. Inner Space is a series about the galaxy and our world, examining topics such as overcrowding, our relationship to our planet, and our perception of space.
Strickland combines a dizzying amount of black and gray tones, playing with scale of stars and fractured light. Each work in Inner Space seems to illustrate a different aspect of space. In one work, The Duat, (directly above) the artist has included pair of eyes, signifying fear of intergalactic exploration. In that same piece, Strickland has a woman diving, as if you say we should embrace these fears.
The piece titled Inner Space (below) focuses more specifically on Earth. It is a visual magpie; Strickland has collected shiny, colorful, manmade, and natural imagery to represent a world that’s focused less on the great unknown and more about ourselves. The sphere takes up most of the composition, too – it’s just all about Earth. Amulet (also below) has the same thematic considerations that Inner Space does, but it recognizes that we are just a very small but valuable part to the greater universe. Scale-wise, the Earth that was so large in Inner Space is significantly smaller by comparison. An amulet’s most important characteristic is its alleged power to protect from evil, so the title suggests that we are either in need of one or we are one.
Strickland describes her work, stating, “For me, collage begins with collecting, saving, acquiring, searching; then, as if they were memories, I meticulously sort, separate and organize them into something new, something that is both happily accidental and tediously arranged.” The series demonstrates a meditation on this theme, and I’d be curious to know what conclusions she drew.
French artist Julien Spianti‘s oil paintings almost look like watercolors. The way he blends and creates depth, color, and texture creates a dreamy and familiar aesthetic. His work often features human figures in various environments that seem to bleed into the canvas. Spatial relationships are deconstructed and appear fluid, a sense of disappearing space and the blurring of boundaries. Landscapes and interiors blend into each other, and the effect created is mythical and resonant. Each painting’s evocation depends on what element of the composition he chooses to blend or blur into cloudy ambiguity. Spianti’s paintings remind me of dream images that are familiar, but hard to place, an image that lingers after you wake, knowing for certain that particular people were present, though their faces are unclear. Spianti’s work is largely influenced by his immersion in aesthetic philosophy, a field of study in which he holds a Master’s. Spianti lives and works between Brussels and Paris as a painter and filmmaker. (via two headed snake)
Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe’s Black Acid Co-op is a large scale installation of contrasting rooms and objects. The space is accessed through a large hole in the wall in the gallery space, requiring viewers of the work to physically climb through the entrance in order to experience it. While some space is sparse and empty, with evidence of abandonment and decay, others resemble a meth lab, a foreign shop, and a space of retreat. All spaces recontextualize the idea of installation space as a place of continual decay and renewal, calling upon viewers to directly engage with the various spaces. Deitch Projects commissioned this particular piece that was available for viewing in 2009.
For anyone who grew up in the 80′s & 90′s, Hiroyasu Sakaguchi’s House T will look vaguely familiar, namely because House T is laid out like a level in Mario, or most other Nintendo games for that matter. All the spaces in a house that we have gotten used to as individual, semi-private rooms have been stripped of their walls and joined into one long inter-connected space. I love it because it reminds us of the tension between psychological and physical space, how we compartmentalize various aspects of our life into respective spaces. House T reminds me of Gordon Matta Clark’s work, albeit much cleaner, Japanese, and way less punk rock, but the altering of our perception of space is in them both. (via)
Shaun Kardinal transforms found and scavenged postcards into geometric altered spaces that are hypnotic. His site is full of places, people and things that he’s created on found images and redistributed into the world.
Yup. That’s Charles Barkley. Yes, he’s in a space suit. Yes sir, he’s in outerspace with lens flares behind him. Yes ma’am, I know it’s awesome. What’s even more awesome than Charles Barkley in a spacesuit, in space with lens flares? Maybe a video of him in a animated, auto tuned rapping, and going bonkers. Be amazed by the full video after the jump.
Tanya Johnston is a graphic designer and illustrator whose work explores the realms of reality and the illusion of reality.