Soaring

I do so love to travel to new places, to old places, I really just love getting out of town. Even traveling for business (although that is way less fun).

Every time I land at LAX I just want to get back on another plane. It probably doesn’t help that the arrivals areas at LAX are so dank with low ceilings and they always smell like exhaust. I have written about/ranted about this before… The LAX passenger pickup lanes are my fifth circle of hell (aka Wrath – everyone is always angry, including me).

Elevate 1

On the other hand, the departures areas at LAX are generally lovely, and lots of them have new artwork installed. This work, Elevate by Joyce Dallal, is displayed in the terminal 3 departures atrium, on either side of the escalators. I pass it when I fly Frontier Airlines on my way to visit friends in Denver.

Elevate 2The hundreds of paper airplanes are printed with excerpts from the third and fourth Geneva Conventions as well as text from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These documents, these accumulations of words, are simultaneously powerful and fragile. The ideas that they represent are lofty. Without people standing behind them and defending them they are useless.

Elevate 3These paper planes spiral up and around, like a flock of birds, like a formation of soldiers.

Elevate 4

Elevate 6They also reference the ancient Japanese legend that says whoever folds one thousand origami cranes will have wishes granted, luck, and long life.

And isn’t that why we travel? For wishes granted. For long lives. For full, lucky lives.

 

All Photos from Joyce Dallal’s Facebook page

Photos by PanicStudio LA

Categories: Art, Wanderlust | Leave a comment

Unspooling

My parents bought a movie theater when I was in second grade and just recently sold it.  It was one-screen, one-movie-a-week, no-movie-on-Wednesday-or-Thursday. So, a pretty small operation, especially compared to the 15-plexes that are common in urban and suburban areas. We were in an extremely rural, sparsely populated area. “Going to the Show” was for sure what people did (probably still do) on Saturday night.

One of the coolest things my parents did for me in high school was to make a preview-watching party for my senior class. My dad had saved years worth of previews (or trailers) in the back room. He spiced them together and made at least 2 hours of “movie.” We invited everyone (the whole class, that’s about 50 people; see rural, sparsely populated area above) to come to the theater the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.

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It was great. We ate popcorn and watched trailers and even as self-obsessed teenagers we knew this was a pretty special thing that we go to do.

After the party, when most everyone had gone home, dad took the reels of film and unwound them from a second story window into the auditorium below. It was kind of a second show for my family and best friend. The film landed in giant spirals and loops all over the floor.

h9hijb2abmwenepoxlldThese photos are from a piece called “Falling Records” by Japanese artist Ei Wada. It was displayed last year at the 17th Japan Media Arts Festival.

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tape-4The piece is nostalgic and beautiful – the tape falls in such a way that is intrinsically lovely.

tape-2And then the players rewind and it all happens again.

 

Photos by Ars Electronica

via Spoon & Tamago

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Carpet Party

I say it again and again and again. Repetition and organization can make anything into art. I can even express it like as an equation R+O= ART.  You have a lot of plastic cups? Arrange them thoughtfully and bam – art!

Pretty awesome art actually.

Museum Valkhof 1So, with that in mind Suzan Drummen has upped the ante in the organization department.

Museum Valkhof 2She works not in paint or stone, but in bright circles of color and mirror. In most of her installations the components are just sitting there, loose on the floor.

2012 amstelveel 1

2012 amstelveel 2I love how each circle is quite different when you get up close, but from a bit of distance they look very similar.

CBK Emmen 2

CBK Emmen 1

From her artist statement:

“The works are a playful investigation of space, illusion, optical effects and other visual phenomena as part of a broad exploration of visual perception and the limits of beauty.

The installations for example, are made from crystal, chrome-plated metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass. From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli. That moment, of being able to take it all in or not, is explored, time and time again.

The visual perception is challenged, requisitioned and intensified.”

Gallery Maurits The Hague 1photo by Eric de Vries

Tentoonstelling Kus Heerlen 2 These last two images really highlight the visual cacophony the viewer experiences when close to the work – it is intense!

Tentoonstelling Kus Heerlen 1

 

all images from Suzan Drummen’s website

 

Via Artboom

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As It Grows

The human figure (especially the face) is pretty sacred to us humans. We see faces in inanimate objects everywhere. An easy way that sci-fi movies indicate a space alien is to alter the face or head of a human.  So I am always fascinated when artists take on the human figure and change it in odd and interesting ways.

aganetha dyck 1

These figurines are the work of Aganetha Dyck (and her honeybees)

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I love the juxtaposition of the frilly, fussy porcelain and the raw, natural wax. It does look otherworldly, alien.

aganetha dyck 2

This work is called The MMasked Ball - She has an exhibition open now at The Ottawa School of Art titled Honeybee Alterations.

aganetha dyck 4 In a similar vein sculptor Morgan Herrin has merged natural rock and coral formations with human figures.

Morgan Herrin 2

I think is is kind of great how much the coral looks like honeycomb in this one!

Morgan Herrin 1Aganetha Dyck’s website

Morgan Herrin’s website

all photos are from the artists’ websites

via Colossal and Booooooom

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The Burned Bits

Are all children fascinated by fire and burning things? Yes? Or are there some children who are scared of fire? Actually as I write this I can think of a couple of my friends’ kids who are scared of fire. I had no such preservative fear. On the contrary, I was (am) always trying to get closer to the fire. There was an unfortunate incident with a bonfire that melted the bottoms of my boots because I was too close…

myriam dion 1This fascination helps explain why I love welding. At one point, my job title was actually just “welder.”

When you are melting steel together there are these tiny pieces of molten metal that get thrown from the weld. They usually land on the wooden surface you are working on, or on your leather gloves and apron, and they leave little burn marks in the surfaces they land on.

myriam dion 4This work, For Small Fires, by Myriam Dion is inspired by the art and craft of ornamental blacksmithing.  She took a large photograph of a storefront facade (formerly La Forge Cadieux – a blacksmith’s workshop) and burned tiny holes in intricate patterns into the photo paper.

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myriam dion 2

The burns define the silhouettes of decorative wrought iron. She sees this work as a homage to the to the traditional, painstaking, manual techniques that need to be passed from person to person in order for the knowledge to survive. When the places such work is done are destroyed or allowed to fall into ruin, the heritage of the craft is allowed to disappear as well.

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myriam dion 7I love how the delicate, lacy effect from far away turns into burn and ruin up close.

myriam dion 6

all photos from Myriam Dion’s website

via My Modern Met

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The Barriers We Construct

In my last year of grad school I had the pleasure of designing the set for a play called Venus. It’s about a South African woman who was exhibited in a side-show setting, in England and France, in the early 19th century. We were interested in constructing different cages and framing devices (she was technically free, but most likely forcibly coerced). We made a human-sized birdcage from bent pipes, a proscenium from gold tassels, screens from burlap and gauze; all barriers that seem solid, but can be easily circumvented or broken.

Jeppe Hein constructs playful, interactive artistic experiences. Much of his work has a sense of humor about it, and is in fact about making people smile. However, as I spent some time looking through his website, I find his work speaking to me about barriers.

some are liquid;

Encircle 2013 Permanent installation at Place Lapérouse, Albi, France

Hide and See(k) 2013 Permanent installation at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Hide and See(k) 2013
Permanent installation at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Spaces Between Trees and People 2013 Permanent installation at Munich-Pasing, D

Spaces Between Trees and People 2013
Permanent installation at Munich-Pasing, D

Water Island Morsbroich 2010 Permanent installation at Museum Morsbroich, Leverkursen, D

Water Island Morsbroich 2010
Permanent installation at Museum Morsbroich, Leverkursen, D

some are solid but because they don’t obstruct the view they seem inconsequential;

Cage and Mirror 2013 Wanås Konst , Knislinge, Sweden  Exhibition

Cage and Mirror 2013
Wanås Konst , Knislinge, Sweden
Exhibition

Cage and Mirror 2013 Wanås Konst , Knislinge, Sweden  Exhibition

Cage and Mirror 2013
Wanås Konst , Knislinge, Sweden
Exhibition

some are so loose you can push them aside with a hand wave;

Light Pavilion 2009 Hello? Shall I call you back?, Jan Mot Gallery, Brussels, B

Light Pavilion 2009
Hello? Shall I call you back?, Jan Mot Gallery, Brussels, B

Light Pavilion 2009 Hello? Shall I call you back?, Jan Mot Gallery, Brussels, B

Light Pavilion 2009
Hello? Shall I call you back?, Jan Mot Gallery, Brussels, B

some are mirror, which seems transparent, but is in fact solid.

Semicircular Mirror Labyrinth 2013  Permanent installation at Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund, Denmark

Semicircular Mirror Labyrinth 2013
Permanent installation at Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund, Denmark

Semicircular Mirror Labyrinth 2013  Permanent installation at Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund, Denmark

Semicircular Mirror Labyrinth 2013
Permanent installation at Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund, Denmark

Follow Me Bristol 2009 Permanent installation at Bristol University, UK

Follow Me Bristol 2009
Permanent installation at Bristol University, UK

I especially like his use of mirrors. They can almost disappear into the landscape, but when the viewer approaches them they become apparent. Kind of like a lot of barriers in modern society. Most of the time you don’t even notice they are there.

From Hein’s wikipedia page:

Jeppe Hein is a Danish artist based in Berlin and Copenhagen. Hein is widely known for his production of experiential and interactive artworks that can be positioned at the junction where art, architecture, and technical inventions intersect. Notable in their formal simplicity and frequent use of humor, his sculptures and installations engage in a lively dialogue. Hein’s works often feature surprising and captivating elements which place spectators at the centre of events and focus on their experience and perception of the surrounding space.

All images are from Jeppe Hein’s website

via Yellowtrace

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Spiraled Double Helix Balloon Sculpture

So this is awesome:

Jason Hackenwerth 1

This is the work of New York artist Jason Hackenwerth at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Jason Hackenwerth 2

The sculpture took over 10,000 balloons, six days to construct and it is breathtaking.

Jason Hackenwerth 3

It represents the artist’s interpretation of the legend of Aphrodite and Eros and the double helix structure hangs over 40 feet tall.

Jason Hackenwerth 4

Jason Hackenwerth’s website

Lots more images on Flickr

via Colossal

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Dust

Is there anything more satisfying than using your finger to write your name on a polished surface covered with thick dust, and then wiping wiping it clean? I think not.

Dust is everywhere, most of the time it is a nuisance, but sometimes it is beautiful.

oscar santillan day break 4

This amazing dust art is the work of Oscar Santillan. He created a “window” by scrapping off the paint and some of the concrete from the wall and then arranging that dust in the same pattern on the floor, as if light was streaming through his window.

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oscar santillan day break 3

I love how the edges of the “light” are fading away as the dust moves.

oscar santillan day break 5

 

oscar santillan day break

via My Modern Met

Oscar Santillan’s blog

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Painting with Denim

I wear jeans about 99% of my waking time. Working, out to dinner, church… the only significant time I spend in other pants is when I am working out. I love my jeans – durable, flattering, and depending on the cut, appropriate for most any event in southern California.

Since about 1999 I have been saving my old denim jeans, and I have asked my family to save theirs as well. The idea is that one day I will make a denim rag rug. I am not exactly sure how I will do this. I don’t want to braid it, and I can’t imagine there will be a loom involved. Maybe some sort of crochet technique? With strips of cloth and a huge crochet hook? I don’t know – but it will happen. It’s #30 on the life list.

Denimu 1

Because this project has been in the development phase for over a decade, we have collected a lot (really a lot) of denim. When my parents moved house this fall they moved a few really heavy boxes labeled “Sarah’s fabric.” I might have heard it mentioned a time or two over Christmas.

It’s probably time to get on that. Or at least time to figure out the technique.

Denimu 2

I started thinking about that back burner project because of these awesome images by Denimu.

Denimu 3

These are scenes that have been created entirely from recycled denim. British artist Ian Berry takes weeks to painstakingly construct each image with the right shades of fabric.

Denimu 4

I am blown away by the sheer awesomeness on display here.

Denimu 5

Denimu 7

Denimu 8

Denimu 9

Denimu 10

The work could turn a little crafty – kind of like quilting – but it feels very far from that to me. It has something to do with the urban scenes that Berry has chosen to depict.

All images from the Denimu website.

via My Modern Met

Categories: Art, Cool Hunting, Life List | 2 Comments

Wide World of Web

Raw and Wild - Alison Johnson

This week on the Wide World of Web:

Yeah, pretty much everyone I know (or would care to know) would love a secret passage bookshelf.

I am not usually all that excited about end of the year lists, but this one: 50 Wonderful Things From the Year in Pop Culture, is indeed wonderful.

This interview with Lois Lowry is #35 and it made me cry, a lot. “She realized that day that she could talk to kids or she could talk to adults, but not to both: ‘And so I chose the kids.’ ”

After years of listening to his stand-up, I finally saw Mike Birbiglia’s  Sleepwalk with Me – I was pleasantly surprised to see it also stars Lauren Ambrose, it is both hilarious and touching.

Small people or big world?

Cheers to all the crunchy moms!

Every month I don’t know how the photos could get any better and then they do.

Film locations revisited.

How to build a Rainbow Igloo.

Along those same lines: Ice palaces and larger-than-life animals at The Snow World Festival.

Netflix always suggests the Ballet Documentaries to me (I do love them) and First Position is the best one I have ever seen. Among others, it stars Michaela DePrince, a Sierra Leone war orphan turned dancer, battling racism in the ballet world.

 

Painting by Allison Johnson buy it here – there is lots more awesome work on her website.

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