Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: art, bio art, chlorophyll prints, cremation, dan harvey, death, ethics, grass, grass photography, heather ackroyd, wick effect
This might be some of the tightest stuff I’ve come across in a long time [via io9]. Artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey have discovered and developed a photographic technique which essentially imprints grass with an image. Science class taught us that grass is green because it produced chlorophyll from sunlight right? So it follows that when denied said light – with a shovel left on a lawn for example- the grass on the other side isn’t greener but rather various shades of faded. They discovered the technique in a similar way – an installation which featured a wall of living grass in which someone had left a ladder leaning against the wall. Underneath it was grass of a slightly different colour. Playing around with negative light projection, they found the grass could produce wonderful ranges of tonalities, replicating a photographic image. Problematic was the fact that it faded after a few days.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: beirut, brownbook, dissemination, headspace, july war, lebanon
[photo by Piax]
Beirut. A beautiful seaside city between cedar lined mountains, replete with forgiving blue skies and beaches. The ‘Paris of the Middle East’; the sparkling jewel in Lebanon’s crown. Breathily multicultural and sometimes painfully hip, its boxy nightclubs, falafel joints, shisha cafes and tiny galleries provide the regional answer to NYC’s ice cream, brownstones, boomboxes and beer. The city is definitely buzzing, yet sometimes all that can be heard is the faintly uneasy static hiss of a radio stuck between channels. Earnestly ignored, it continues in the background, a little like the hum of an air conditioner that you’ve already grown accustomed to
Yet in a city decimated by fifteen years of civil war, sometimes the past is hard to forget. The fast growing skyline of stylishly glassy towers remains underscored by bullet-ridden buildings – once impossibly elegant in their characteristic French-Ottoman style but now quietly falling down. Like much else in Beirut, it forms a strange hybrid: neither nor, but something in between. Like much else in Lebanon, it reflects a society of contrasts and contradictions: one that is always shopping, and one that is always at war…
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ☭☭☭, childhood, dash snow, die fetten jahre sind vorbei, endings, every heart is a revolutionary cell, poloroids
Sometimes when I think of poloroids I think of dash snow and the amazing photo below by Dave Schubert. But sometimes poloroids can also be lovely. Or the shots from the very first Antifrat gig that fell on something hot and are warped, transience like that particular guitar! +bass! +drums! + girlpower! incarnation of the band. And later on, ditto with the Sparkplugs, albeit on a different stage. I think the first time I ever came into contact with poloroids actually was when I was far littler than now, at the Wafi centre’s annual it’s-Christmastime-you-should-be-buying-more extravaganza, replete with air-imported pine tree and fake snow. Of the smilingly sit/struggle with all the dignity of a very small person on Santa’s lap for posterity kind, even though you’re really far too large (in your head) to be doing so.
Soon, though polaroids may go the way of polar bears, Santa’s reindeers and all things once-wintry once global warming’s karmic punchline kicks in. This is saddening.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: appropriation, art, dubai, german panther, germany, inges idee, public art, street art
|If only all tanks looked like this. And deflated like so; balloons robably don’t bulldoze homes very well. I can’t understand the German, but this is a pretty inspiring 2007 piece from the Berlin based public art collective, Inges Idee which I found via formfiftyfive. Compromised of four successful artists in their own rights – Hans Hemmert, Axel Lieber, Thomas A. Schmidt and Georg Zeyit, has focused on ‘site-specific public art projects’ since its 1992 founding.
It’s pretty interesting to see public art done from (someone who works commercially as) an artists, as approached to a more street art approach. I can’t tell if these projects were commissioned or their sites granted, but it definitely seem to have a rather more polished, less clandestine approach. Similarly, it seems rather more based on aesthetic theory than the maybe politically or ideologically motivated street stuff. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing. Still, how possible is it to depoliticise public art?
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: art, childhood, henri cole, jenny holzer, london, mahmoud darwish, palestine
|Jenny Holzer used to be one of my favourite feministish artists as an angsty have-discovered-riotgrrrl-will-rip-the-patriarchy 15 year old. I was especially infatuated with her truisms, even setting myself the task of learning them one summer ( I don’t think I ever made it to the letter C). Although I kept vague tabs on her in the years that followed it wasn’t until last summer that I came across her again, in the form a little electronic billboard tucked away by the lifts at the Tate Modern flickering with my beloved truisms.
That was one of the few times I’ve actually ever felt reverent in front of a piece of art in the flesh – Klimt or Degas might do it for other people (suprised inflated fame-proximity to originalpainting equation aside), but it was Holzer for me. The picture is, by the way from the same summer – I found it scrawled on a door a few streets away from Brick Lane in Londons east end. It’s tempting to update the now-mecca with something like ‘Dear chronic hipster, we’re not in Brick Lane anymore either’. But then again, you could probably say that of most places. perhaps fittingly, St Marks street in NYC now sports a Pinkberry and a Chipotle.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: art, ☭☭☭, banksy, cctv, china, civil liberties, film, FISA, free speech?, privacy?, spy bill, street art, surveillance society, western freedoms
[photo by view-askew]
So everyone’s all up about their western freedoms and civil liberties, post-Sweden. The FISA affair can only mean another little Democratic heartbreak, though perhaps nothing will top the ‘Public Finance? Eh, No Thanks’. Chris Dodd remains a kind of baller though, or as much as once can be while still plugged into recementing electoral politics? While they’re busy buttressing up the telecoms anyway, some more cctv related stuffs, including a Manchester band that filmed a video entirely on CCTV, for want of cash. Is this what post-lofi looks like?
In Montreal, even the fashion police are in on the act, using it both to track suspected criminals and, ridiculously, monitor the brand spreading of corporate logos. I wonder if it would make people start dressing more consciously – a kind of Hearst/ Condé Nast elevator effect? Hopefully those ridiculous Louis Vuitton and Gucci monogrammed prints will be the first to come under fire?
Above is a sweet stencil found in Marseilles by Tai Bright. It’s a little scary how similar they are in shape. I guess photography can be kind of violent though, with all the shooting terminology?
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: eugenio recuenco, fashion, laundromat, laundry, origami, rabbits, trauma, washing machine
Someone once described the doing-your-laundry vibe as coming out smelling faintly of fabric softener and boredom. For me, this lately involved adding mild terror into the mix. Cue trauma in dollar-swipe increments, with clothes that bleed rather profusely. Which is probably to be expected if I don’t ever sort my stuff by colour or shade gradiations but eh why now? Conversely, I’ve never managed to successfully shrink anything (on purpose) except jeans, which I suspect might be a function of the denim anyway and would happen regardless of any input on my part. Is there some kind of secret laundry code I’m not in on? Dry cleaning, meanwhile is a near-myth around these parts. Maybe it’s not just me – I know someone who lugs her comforter/bedding home to Boston a couple of times a semester to escape similar trauma.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: breaking the chains, coney island, islamophobia, jean paul gaultier, marxism, mermaid parade, mermaids, unionizing
This might be the best thing I have come across all week, maybe even month. Marxist mermaids! I was super excited for a bit there but I’m told they’re Wobblies – IWW Union 460, aka Starbucks. I suppose the giant coffee cups in the background are a good sign? I also completely didn’t realise Starbucks has a mermaid for a logo? It’s coming under fire for its new one, at that. The picture itself is from last year’s 25th anniversary Mermaid Parade, and is by tugster, who has a pretty sweet blog too. He writes about “New York harbor, the sixth borough”. That’s kind of a wonderful way to look at it, no?
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: art, ☭☭☭, billboard, billboard liberation front, BLF, civil liberties, consumerism, culture jamming, FISA, obama, privacy?, spy bill, surveillance society, western freedoms, wiretapping
|I’m not much of a Kant fan to be honest. Or of universal morality in general (sorry Megan, Sarah, that guy at the next table who moved to the other end of the Hungarian Pastry Shop). This culture jammed billboard by the aptly named Billboard Liberation Front, however, I can definitely get behind.|
A pretty rad anticonsumerist (and often anti-smoking, it seems) group, the BLF have been altering/improving billboards for a few decades now. I especially like that the original advertisers of each project are listed as the ‘clients’ that these subversions are executed ‘on behalf of’. You can find their pretty solid anti-advertising manifesto here.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: coney island, gentrification, mermaid parade, rezoning, savitri d
[photos by Kurt Dietrich]
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pasties in my life. This was the first time I’d been -and with Coney Island continually being reslated for redevelopment, I’m glad I made it this year. Soon, there’ll probably be glitzy hotels, condos and malls in its place. The Mermaid Parade itself is an annual affair, flooding the place with mad kinds of mermaids, sea creatures and amusement park iconery every summer. Started in 1983, it’s apparently the largest art parade in the US. Free, faboulous, and above all, super-fun.
We got there towards the end of the parade, and spent some time wandering around the boardwalk before heading to the beach. The water – I think the Atlantic Ocean – was a little irresistable, despite being murky and probably near-miasmic with toxic sewage. It did make for an uncomfortable subway ride home. The paraders themselves were wickedly creative, the dancers wonderful and mostly ultraglam (we didn’t stay for the burlesque show afterwards). (Hopefully I can get to my own photos soon). Despite the deceptively- ripoff food and drink prices and the somewhat questionable ‘shoot the freak’ attraction, this was probably among the best days of this summer. Everything that New York was and/or should be? (if only in your head).