This beached whale sculpture by Argentinian Artist Adrián Villar Rojas is quite incredible. He creates enormous sculptural works, installations, that look like they’ve arrived out of a dream, a nightmare or even outer space.
This piece, called ‘My Family Dead’, was made in 2009 in a forest outside Ushuaia, Argentina. The whale seems pockmarked with tree stumps making you wonder whether it has been there for eons or simply fallen from the sky. An alien creature, who knows.
‘Under The Sea’, is a film about award winning stop-motion animator Hayley Morris and captures her creative process as she makes drawings for her latest film ‘Bounce Bounce’ which you can see below.
Here’s what the filmmaker had to say about Morris and her process:
Despite her scratchy line, Hayley puts down each stroke with confidence and vigor. Her drawing seems to pulse and vibrate. She layers her watercolor quickly, wet-on-wet, creating more vibration and vitality. I like the ease and spontaneity of the way she makes art — you’d think a stop-motion animator would be enormously controlled in her work but Hayley leaves room for reaction and response as she makes her art. In an era of CGI and digital processes, her work harkens back to stop-motion puppeteers like the Jan Švankmajer and the Brothers Quay. It’s beautiful and emotional.
Jacques Tati is regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and is one of Frances most renowned directors, actors and writers. His two most famous comedies, ‘Mon Oncle’ and ‘Mr. Hulot’s Holiday’, have themes running through them that are common in all his work; Western society’s obsession with material goods, particularly American-style consumerism, the pressure-cooker environment of modern society, the superficiality of relationships among France’s various social classes and the cold and often impractical nature of space-age technology and design.
He only made six films all of which are essentially silent films in the age of talking pictures. Sound and dialogue are secondary. Tati’s protagonists tend to mumble while communicating through mime.
The following short films have been rarely seen and all feature Tati as a performer.
This architectural design project by Garth Britzman was made using recycled drink bottles partially filled with coloured water to create a canopy under which you can park your car. It’s amazing how the simplest, cheapest objects can be used to create beautiful work. Simple, clean, smart.
‘Type City’ by artist Hong Seon Jang is created using pieces of movable type from a printing press. This minature cityscape is another great example of artists using materials out of context whether they be recycled, reclaimed, reappropriated. We may not be buying as many books anymore but as Jang has shown in this work there are still many things that moveable type can be used for.
The James Joyce manuscripts from the National Library of Ireland are now online for you to peruse whenever you like however it’s not quite as easy as you think. So before you fall head over heels to see the catalogue keep in mind that the library did a rush job on it so the photographs of the manuscripts are in low-resolution PDF form thus the quality isn’t great and Joyce’s hand, especially in the Ulysses manuscripts, is difficult to decipher.
The library has promised that the manuscripts will be available in ‘very high – resolution formats’ from June 16th and has said that it’s ‘developing new image – viewing software which will ensure that online images of the James Joyce manuscripts can be researched in minute detail by NLI website visitors’.
The other issue is that the manuscripts have been placed online in a very raw state, without any real context or annotation and are hidden on the National Library’s home page. In other words they’re practically impossible to find. If you want to find them you have to go to the NEWS section, then scroll down to ‘more service enhancements’ to find the catalogue. Then its a matter of clicking on numbers. All rather trying but they have promised to get this all re – organized by Bloomsday on June 16th.
This short animation film, ‘Rise Up’, was created by a team of students from The Community University of China, Beijing. It’s inspired by the steampunk style – that mash up of victorian industrial aesthetic and DIY punk values – and takes place in a factory in which a pair of worker robot friends destroy their evil supervisor.
Liu Jiahao, one of the creators of Rise Up, explains;
We go by the old saying, ‘the team is bigger than the work.’ We all struggle and work together in one direction and what we’ve derived from this project is the joy of friendship. The characters and their actions are not fully developed in the film. Other improvements, such as audio – visual language which will help tell a more interesting story, will be added in the next stage. We are really just beginning to learn what animation is.
Here are some common historical misconceptions from C.G.P.Grey such as; Viking helmets had horns, Lady Godiva rode through Coventry naked, Napoleon was quite short and so on. Yes, most of us assume these all to be historical facts when infact they couldn’t be further from the truth. So on a monday morning have some smart, intelligent, light learning from the wonderful, Mr. Grey.
The first Tokyo Hotaru festival was held last weekend and was kicked off with an incredible display of 100,000 LED lights – made to resemble hotaru (fireflies) – floating down the Sumida River through central Tokyo. These LED lights, known as ‘prayer stars’, were designed to light up upon contact with water and were, apparently, solely powered by solar energy.
Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Lightning Field photography series captures electrical light and frames it in intriguing patterns. Like many artists who capture high – tech looking results using low – tech methods Sugimoto uses the gelatin silver print technique.
In the same way that early scientific pioneers spent a long time studying the physical nature of electricity the photographer set about constructing an artifical environment in order to study his subject matter. He got hold of a Van de Graaf Generator and began firing off high – voltage electrical charges indirectly onto film.
What you see is the end result of this process – an image seemingly grabbed from nature, a study of that element that drives our world.
Aren’t these cityscape sculptures by artist Liu Wei breathtaking? The Beijing based artist has made this series, called ‘Foreign’, that depicts dually utopian and dystopian metropolises built from new and repurposed materials such as books, doors, scrap metal and hardware. In these artworks Wei has created replicas of iconic structures such as St.Peter’s Basilica and the Pentagon in addition to cityscapes familiar to the general public.
The other part of the exhibition features a collection of abstract works which revolve around the concept of perspective – the fragmented and horizontally lined pieces displaying a highly modern interaction between humans and colour as seen through a technologically advanced lens.
Artist Bonseok Koo has created these LED city nightscapes called ‘City of Illusion’. The concept follows the theory of French philosopher Jean Baudrillard who saw technology and media as the key phenomena that blur the distinctions between reality and simulacra, things that are similar to reality. Bonseok has literally and figuratively applied these ideas to his work in which he has illuminated thirteen different city skylines – visions of today’s metropolitan cities.
Each piece, with its own depth of colour and detail mimics the nighttime noise and life of city traffic and skyscrapers. Fabricated from hundreds of LEDs these ’cities’ remind us of the continuity and vibrancy one expects of a city. Koo’s point is that his ‘cityscapes’ only remind us of reality, they are merely derivatives of an actual place, a simulacra of a shared reality.
Imagine, Duke Ellington and Joan Miro, two of the 20th century’s greatest artists, meeting in a garden devoted to the arts in the south of France. Who would have thought it? Well like many things in life fact is often stranger than fiction.
The meeting was arranged by legendary jazz impresario Norman Granz who was producing a music festival at Juan-le-Pins while working on a documentary film project he had started in 1950, called ‘Improvisation’. Granz thought he’d bring Ellington and his trio to play in the garden at the Fondation Maeght where, by sheer luck, Miró happened to be working as artist in residence.
The two men couldn’t understand a word the other said - Miro explained his work in French which Ellington didn’t understand while Ellington spoke to Miro in English which the Spanish painter couldn’t speak – but nevertheless they talked, walked, pretended, played along and when you see it on film they make a convincing job of it. Miro took Ellington on a tour of his sculptures and Ellington and his trio played a couple of tunes for Miró.
Recently John Lamb, Ellingtons bassist was asked about meeting Miro to which he replied;
It didn’t mean too much, because we were in the limelight all the time. It was just another thing.
He goes on to say about working with Ellington;
There was a complete marriage between the piano and the bass, he didn’t do anything to surprise me too much because I had worked with him awhile and I knew what he would do. I sort of anticipated. That’s what bass players have to do–anticipate what the piano player is going to do. So I watched him in case he decided to do something different.
Lamb who toured with Ellington for three years wasn’t fully apreciative of the elder musician’s style – it was a new time in Jazz, a revolution in music and Lamb said about the time;
our next DIY arts festival, the Trash Culture Revue, will take place sometime towards the end of the year. So if you want to create, produce, get involved, play, experiment, try stuff out, have fun, design, administrate, organise, volunteer or just come along then let me know
we provide free creative and production skills for your arts projects and events through our skills exchange so you can experiment, fail, make and play no matter who you are, where you are, what you do or when you do it