Archive for references
I had to re-blog this post from Colossal. This is a mockumentary by German digital artist Till Nowak about impossible theme park rides built as centrifugal experiments to maximize human intelligence. The architectural renderings are simply mind-blowing – and treated with a hilarious retro 80s filter. I can imagine another life for these designs in some immersive stereoscopic game.
I always have a soft spot in my heart for virtuosity that doesn’t take itself seriously. In the words of the disturbed narrator, “these machines provide total freedom, cutting you off from all connections to the world you live in: communication…responsibility…weight. Everything is on hold while you are being centrifuged.” Well said.
via Laughing Squid : “Czech pranksters converted a massive rotating billboard into a three person merry-go-round (video). The prank was filmed by Vladimir Turner, and bravely undertaken by Vojtech Fröhlich, Ondrej Mlady, and Jan Simanek (making-of video).”
Mr. Cartoon’s delicious “Ice-Cream Truck” installation at the Los Angeles MOCA “Art in the Streets” exhibit is a paean to L.A. lowrider culture and the city’s cult of hedonism and entertainment. This exultant spectacle is proudly entrenched in the anti-pristine context of LA.’s mythically degraded urbanism. Mr. Cartoon’s revamped, tricked-out symbology is intoxicating: clown-faced, trench-coated policemen, the billowing, whirling orange smog that evokes ice-cream soda foam, the lowriding cadillacs morphing into dripping banana splits with pin-up bunny-face girls lounging in the back seats, and, most syrupy-caustic of all, the “illegal alien”, a sombrero-ed, mustachoed little green man on a popsicle stick. The truck is decked out with colorful video on lowrider culture and shown in a shallow pool of candy. Rarely has the city’s (or pop culture’s, for that matter) heady cocktail of subculture, politics, and flashy style found such viscerally pleasurable and yet mordant expression in Mr.Cartoon’s graffiti poem of sex, pollution, sugar and violence.
Beijing’s Aquatic Center constructed for the 2008 Olympics, aptly nicknamed the “Water Cube”, is a neo-Baroque folly whose skin consists of inflatable PVC bubbles wired with LEDs. As this video attests, the Water Cube emerges from the cityscape as a glowing, perpetually morphing mirage, casually radiating wonder amidst the more ordinary architecture of streetlights, trees, and apartment buildings. It is a hybrid entity that is both media and urban object – a 3 dimensional LED wall transformed into a building, or a gigantic inflatable light art installation put to public use. The Water Cube also participates in a neon aesthetic that has transformed the nighttime urban landscape from Vegas to Burning Man, to Wong Kar Wai’s movies, returning us to the industrial fascination for artificial lighting, recalling the phantasmagoria of the Electricity Pavillion at the 1900 World Fair. To what future avatar of the city does the Water Cube point to? The city as a topography of dimensional live, reactive, interactive wallpaper? An erasure of shape, the evaporation of mass into glittering, diaphanous texture? What is life in the Water Cube – a dream, a journey into hallucinatory spaces, a fairy tale, a series of sensorial electrocutions, a diversion, a hypnotic well?
Built with WebGL and HTML 5, this interactive animation allows users to create their own 3D objects and landscapes – which the system refers to as “dreams” – to add to the world of the animation. The player/viewer/modeler can also explore different poetic realms in the wake of exploding pixelated flowering animals. Part virtual painting, part modeling software, part music video, and part hallucinatory Second Life experience, Rome, much like Mindcraft, problematizes interactivity, fusing work, play, and poetry in a single experience.
In the vein of (immobile) light and space artists from earlier decades such as Dan Flavin or Robert Irwin, Licht makes sculpture from light and shadow. One can imagine an interactive variant where the play of bright, dim and dark is crowd-sourced by an online community, or algorithmically indexed to sensor information measuring the trajectories or body data of the visitors. Or offering a counterpoint to the natural time outside. In any case, presenting new expressive possibilities for data visualization.
The SOUND club in Phuket, Thailand, features architecture that brings a literal meaning to the term immersive. With nothing but round angles, pod-like seating arrangements, curvy corridors and dreamy, shiny, deep blue surfaces, the club recreates a surreal aquarium atmosphere. One can only imagine the synesthetic possibilities if a DJ were to play minimal dubstep, ambient, or deep house. Club architecture is one of many sites of themed entertainment / art environments where the affective potentialities of space are being experimented with and explored. The hybrid nature of clubs as venues for both social and artistic enjoyment – the two functions brought together in a sensual, hedonistic spirit that transforms both the experience of the art and the experience of others – makes them fascinating grounds for architectural experimentation, bringing us back to a Vidler-like (The Architectural Uncanny) notion of architecture as the design of different kinds of in-habiting, of being in space.
from the Toy Art Gallery website:
Toy Art Gallery is proud to present “Sacred Trip”, new work by Carlos Enriquez Gonzalez. “Sacred Trip” continues Gonzalez’s exploration of the divide (or lack thereof) between Man and God, man and woman, and toy and art. Gonzalez’s work challenges the viewer with an intermingling of grotesque, sexual, and childlike symbols, which together produce wholly original, substantially, and more importantly, beautiful works of art.
Among the materials used by the artist for his work are: fiber glass, plastic, automotive paint, crystal, gold, platinum, diamond, metal, raw meat, connecting an aesthetic three-dimensional finish with more organic materials. Mushrooms, eyes, monsters, brains, human parts, sacred elements, sexual organs are some of the symbols that refer to the artist´s intimate world in which also blend some of his concerns, energy, power, intuition, parallel worlds, multidimensionality, tunnels of time, all this reflected in his work represented in a provocative and transgressor mode.
Cakeland by Scott Hove: celebration of the artificial, of anxiety, delectability and beauty in danger
Hove’s work is unparalleled in his manner of viscerally soliciting contradictory emotions, both reptilian in their simplicity and existentially complex. You feel through the ramifications of the pieces rather than think through them: analysis through affect, perhaps a perennial goal of art and realized in Hove’s work with almost surgical precision.
interactive VR panorama: click on it to explore Cakeland!
from Scott Hove’s website mshove.com:
Cakeland is a series of sculptures and installations resembling perfect delicious cakes– wall mounted, hanging and standing– and walk-through cake environments complete with their own lighting. The sculptures have all of the appeal of the best cake you have ever tasted, but can never be eaten. The nature of edible cake is fleeting, lasting only as long as the brief celebration it was made for. These cakes last as long as the artist or society have the wherewithal to preserve them. Being such a destination of beauty, Cakeland requires that it be equipped with its own defense, because the reality of beauty and perfection is that people want to possess it. The sculptures, with their display of beauty and potential for satisfaction, lure the viewer into a sense of anticipation. The viewer will slowly notice that Cakeland contains defensive elements, not immediately seen, that create a sense of anxiety and fear. This in turn creates a visual and emotional resonance that is intended to represent what we all have to deal with in our lives everyday… the hunt for satisfaction, and the anxiety that we won’t get it. Cakeland is also a celebration of the artificial, and acknowledges our tendency to embrace the artificial in order to feel safe or receive emotional gratification. Cakeland also can serve as an analogue for the search for temporal love; the experience can be incredibly sweet and indulgent, punctuated by moments of insecurity and terror.
The sculptures are formed using carvable rigid polyurethane foam and plywood. The installations are constructed of cardboard, plywood, and any found object that has a suitable form. They are frosted with a variety of acrylic media, using traditional cake decorating tools, and accessorized with fake fruit and other objects found in stores or on the street.
DIY video reaches new heights: space footage recorded and retrieved with a camcorder, a iPhone and GPS equipment encassed in foam by kid and his dad
I think I’ve never identified so strongly with technology as when that tiny dinky camera contraption reached space, had the balloon burst in its face and started falling back to earth. I am reminded of the part in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when, through the mechanism of the “improbability drive”, a whale suddenly materializes above a planet and then goes through an inner monologue of existential questions as he plummets to the surface. In this case, however, the brave little device survived, bearing the 1rst person view/memory if not the consciousness of an unimaginable experience.
A blend of absurdist dadaist humor, a popcorn screwball low-brow low-budget aesthetic, fantasmic soiled candy-colored space design (including a spaceship moded like a glowing circus tent) and 80s synth rock, Killer Klowns from Outer Space is oxymoronic hybrid of film genres, gleefully mashing up science fiction, horror and the amusement park.
Singer’s documentary Dark Days about the homeless men and women living in an abandoned section of the New York subway in the 90s has the stark, stunning beauty of flashlights and engulfing shadows passing over shards of human life, sheds, garbage and rats, tagged walls, camping stoves and personalities defined by grit, humor, horror and a trace of romanticism.
Shot single-handedly by Singer, who lived for two years with his subjects – who also by default constituted the film’s crew – Dark Days is a document of life in black in white, where the bleakness and harshness of this world of shadows can also take on the stillness and possibility of a womb, a thread of existence shot through with pain but also with unknowns, flickering like the trains that repeatedly interrupt the film.
In an empty loft space, somewhere deep in the bowels of the Brewery Arts District, Eric Gradman, Brent Bushnell and Doug Campbell are plotting the future of Los Angeles night life. These tech- and culture-savvy guys are thoroughly bored with L.A.’s bar scene, and they are scheming to bring interactive art, real-time games and dynamic technology to your next cocktail hour, where new ideas flow as liberally as the alcohol. They are, in fact, already manifesting this future social scene — and they call it Mindshare.
Every third Thursday of the month, Gradman, Bushnell and Campbell play host to a forward-thinking cultural salon that’s part tech-geek meet-and-greet and part playground of cutting-edge interactive art — all with an open bar. Started in 2006 by Doug Campbell and Adam Medford, the idea of Mindshare came out of their shared experience at the annual TED Conference. “We came back totally inspired,” says Campbell. “At the same time, we were really unimpressed with the typical bar-and-club-related social scene, and we thought, we’ve got a great network of people involved in science, technology, arts — let’s bring them together.”
But Mindshare is not just a boozed-up networking event. The evening starts out with a series of presentations that cover social robotics, apocalyptic survival cognitive neuroscience and even pole dancing. After all guests are thoroughly overstimulated, Mindsharians are let loose to mingle, drink and play with the “toys” made by the Mindshare Labs collective, a recently formed right arm to the Mindshare event. Gradman and Bushnell (among others) head up Mindshare Labs, and have been coming out with creations almost each month since last November. Somewhere between game, gadget and art installation, these innovative, cheeky inventions encourage people to lower their social inhibitions. Because, while we give a lot of credence to social networking on the Internet, geeks want to be social creatures in real life too.
After the jump: some of Mindshare’s latest inventions.
Laser Maze: Want to add some “Mission: Impossible” to your mixer? Bushnell’s game challenges partygoers to jump and duck through a room filled with angled laser beams. Using 3A lasers, Arduino circuits, Python and Linux programming plus a 1,200-watt fog machine, the Laser Maze is soon to be part of a multi-person game.
Cloud Mirror: Step in front of Gradman’s specially programmed video camera and projector at your own risk. Thanks to facial-recognition technology and what he calls “gentle data scraping” from social networking sites, tidbits of personal information appear above the projected person’s face in a cartoon-like “thought cloud.” Didn’t want the whole room to know your Facebook relationship status? Surprise! Too late.
ShadowSmoke: Imagine visuals that look like a digitally produced lava lamp projected on an entire wall of a club. Add Gradman’s computer-programming magic and suddenly whoever sashays in front of the screen can manipulate the swirls of colorful, virtual liquid-smoke with the movement of shadows. Wallflowers, beware: This project is meant to lure the dance-bashful out into the limelight.
Game Table: Bushnell has turned an ordinary dining table into a six-person video game platform that can play a number of classic games like Tron and Pong. Why six? Bushnell explains, “I think six is kind of an unstable number. People usually socialize in groups of two or four, so the Game Table encourages you to go invite others — maybe people you don’t know — into your circle to play. It’s a way less awkward way to flirt than the whole ‘Can I buy you a drink?’ thing.”
— Ramie Becker
Top photo: Eric Gradman stands before his interactive fluid simulation, “ShadowSmoke.” Credit: Josh Reiss
Gritty short films, music videos and docs from Kourtrajmé Productions, a Paris-based collective of emerging visual artists, filmmakers, actors and musicians.
Kourtrajmé Productions is a collective of emerging French and Francophone visual artists, filmmakers, actors and musicians. The brainchild of internationally acclaimed directors Mathieu Kassovitz and Vincent Cassel, this production house and artist collective has garnered increasing attention and acclaim after getting millions of hits on online sites like Dailymotion and YouTube. Founded by Kim Chapiron, Romain Gavras and Toumani Sangaré, Kourtrajmé produces playful innovations and cutting interventions in popular culture and society that represent the cultural dreams, lives and crises of transnational urban and peri-urban French youth today.
breaking down the ontological divide between the virtual and the material…another piece of interactive architexture to consider as flora and fauna for the electronic ecology of the future city.
Peter Sarkisian, Extruded Video Engine n°=1. the impersonation of the arcade mentality! a new techno-animal emerges from this fizzing bleeping volumetric toy…
I like the idea of using fabric to transform the geometry of a space: multiplying the possibilities for interaction yet flexible, mobile and eminently adaptable to other architectures
Architecture turned into enjoyment and participation.
instead of contemplating the void of the guggenheim museum‘s central space,
JDS architects have proposed an experience which sees a trampoline net spiraling down
the institution’s rotunda. this idea plays on frank lloyd wright’s original scenography
for the guggenheim in which he envisioned patrons visiting the exhibition from the top,
note to self: when thinking about video art and projection techniques, think SMALL