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 The use of paper to recreate outdated technological objects also confronts the current modern tension between print and digital media.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)
Jon Kessler’s installations respond to our current information-saturated culture where the search for the self often occurs within the realm of digital media. His most recent exhibition, “The Web“, immerses viewers in our technology obsessed world. Cameras and surveillance equipment abound, constantly capturing and clicking photos and videos of participants. The installation itself is a conceptual clusterfuck that suggests our importance of ritualistic clicking over what’s actually being captured with the clicks. His other work similarly addresses themes of capture, surveillance, fame, and mass media by using related techniques. These installations confuse us and ask us to consider the nature of reality and the authority we grant to technology and mass media with regard to our own identities.
New York artist James Clar lived in the globalized city of Dubai from 2007-2012 where he was immersed in the arts and culture scene. Fueled by an interest in visual media communication, this experience and the larger themes of globalism, nationalism, and pop culture are apparent in his work. Clar’s light-based installations address the boundaries of technology and the way that it creates and limits new communications within our culture. Some of his work uses light more directly than others, but they all respond to the relationship of light with its surroundings. Clar’s line or geometric-based designs reflect the connections and networks that abound in our culture. His manipulation of this technology expresses the softness of light and the hardness of the forms that contain it.
According to Ray Kurzweil, scientist & Singularity theorist, “We [as human beings] can ‘go beyond’ the ‘ordinary’ powers of the material world through the power of patterns . . . It’s through the emergent powers of the pattern that we transcend.”
Similarly, these concepts of materiality, patterns, technology, and transcendence haunt the mixed media paintings of Nick Gentry, who hails from the London street art scene and beyond.
As far as process goes, Gentry engages in what he calls a “social art project”, whereas people mail archaic technology (film negatives, floppy disks) to his studio/gallery to help build the base of his work. Instead of just relying on a pictorial image, Gentry allows the “history” and “variety of unique memories contained in used objects” to also serve as the subject of each piece. The result is reminiscent of 1990s Electronica and aches of a strange collective sense of contemporary loss.
Deep Fried Gadgets is a recent series from Brooklyn photographer Henry Hargreaves. For the shoot, Hargreaves fried foam reproductions of popular tech gadgets like Ipads and Gameboys. Aside from drawing on the perverse joy of destroying expensive things, the series provides a nice commentary on sustenance, technology, and our current value system. Tasty. Click past the jump to see more Deep Fried Gadgets. (via)
Radical Friend is a directorial duo comprised of Kirby McClure and Julia Grigorian, which makes colorful music videos, commercials, and films that literally rock your socks off. By combining their obvious love for the wildest aesthetics of the late 70’s and early 80’s with the modern technology of interactivity, Radical Friend have been the only ones to really push the boundaries of how to even conceive of, let alone execute promotional standards like the music video. Their uniqueness is seriously unmatched and while a majority of people may not understand what they’re doing now, they will soon be immersed in the kind of things that Radical Friend probably dreamt of years ago. To get a small taste of Radical Friend’s world, I suggest you watch the pieces in this article and then play around with THIS interactive Black Moth Super Rainbow extravaganza.
Dane Lovett mixes retro and modern electronics with the tried and true classic, floral still life, to create a completely modern take on the idea of “still life”. His work looks into modern relationships with technology and pulls at the strings of technology of days past. Each piece is serene and intriguing, feeling both familiar and new all at once.
An amazing project taken on by two groups/individuals which I very much revere: Champagne Valentine & Aaron Meyers (responsible for YouCube)’ latest collaborative creation uses augmented reality (and a QR code which you download and print out) to create a virtual musical instrument. The future is so promising!