Pratt student Melanie Hoff connected cables carrying 15,000 volts of electricity to a large plank of wood and then documented the results. Surprisingly the areas around each contact point don’t simply catch on fire or burn in a circle, but rather traverse outward in a fractal-like pattern, like lighting in slow motion. Watch it all unfold above. (via colossal submissions)
South Korean artist Wang Zi Won constructs intricate mechanical figures of Buddha and bodhisattva that appear to be lost in meditation or enlightenment. The electrically-powered figures are fused with numerous mechanical components which at times resemble halos or lotus flowers and simultaneously move the humanoid figures through repetitive motions (see videos above). The artist says his intention is to examine a future where humans and technology merge, something he views in a particularly positive light. Via Shin Seung-ho of Dukwon Gallery:
The artist predicts that in the future humans will evolve and adapt themselves to enhanced science and technology just as men and animals in the past evolved to adapt themselves to their natural circumstances. He sees this future as our destiny, not as a negative, gloomy dystopia. His work is thus based on neither utopia not dystopia. Wang represents the relations between man, technology and science through the bodies of cyborgs.
The artist considers it important to escape from human bondage in order to achieve harmony between men and machines. He thinks this harmony can be achieved through the process of religious practices and spiritual enlightenment. In Buddhism, the Bodhisattva of Compassion helps people attain enlightenment, Arhat is a spiritual practitioner of asceticism, and Buddha is a being who reaches the highest level of enlightenment. Through them, the artist intends to follow the path of enlightenment, breaking away from anxiety, agony, and pain. The artist has no intention to emphasize religious connotations through these Buddhist icons but to reflect his own or our own existence between utopia and dystopia.
While it may be difficult to grapple with the artists intentions I find the figures and their motions to be really quite beautiful and indeed meditative, somewhat reminiscent of the robots used in Chris Cunningham’s amazing All is Full of Love video for Bjork. If you have some patience (the site loads quite slowly) there are many more examples of Wang’s work and several more videos over on his blog and you can learn more at Art Nova and Hanmi Gallery.
Take a few steps back or perhaps just squint your eyes and these images by artist Yao Lu might resemble traditional Chinese landscape paintings of cliffs, waterfalls, and mountains. Look a bit closer and your perspective may change. Lu digitally assembles each of her images using photographs of landfills and other aspects of urbanization draped in green mesh to mimic idyllic scenery. Similar to the recent work of Yang Yongliang featured on this blog just last week, Lu seems to be making a thinly-veiled commentary on the encroaching ecological threat of urbanization. See much more over at Bruce Silverstein Gallery. (via beautiful decay)
Artist Vik Muniz (previously here and here) has three new works made from gold scrap metal that will be on view as digital prints at the Armory Show in New York starting March 7th, 2013 through Rena Bransten Gallery. Muniz is known for creating images using multitudes of discarded objects and trash, and you may have seen his work in the 2010 documentary Waste Land.
Side note: for the first time ever the Armory Show has partnered with Artsy to offer a gorgeous full-blown preview of the fair featuring hundreds of works in beautiful high-definition. For those of us who can’t make it to many of the art fairs, more like this please? (via hyperallergic)
Released three weeks ago after a year on tour at various film festivals, Choros is the latest experimental art film from director Michael Langan the explores the movement of the human body, specifically the motion of dancer Terah Maher. Choros follows in the steps of Eadweard Muybridge, Etienne-Jules Marey, and Norman McLaren, all of whom spent years studying the physical moment of animals and humans through film. Langan takes the next step using new digital innovations to layer some 32 sequential instances of a single movement and then stretch it out over time. Set to Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, the 13-minute video is pulsating, hypnotic, and flat out lovely to watch. You can read more about it over at Short of the Week.
According to the New York Times sculptor Mario Ceroli is one of the least known yet most influential artists of the Italian post-war scene. His work spans over forty years and I encourage you to take a deep dive into his website to explore his wide range of installations and sculptures. Two of his most beautiful works depict crashing waves sculpted from thin layers of precisely cut wood and glass titled La Vague and Maestrale. The energy present in the works is remarkable as if any moment the materials are going to crash into the gallery floor. Also, if you’ve ever been to the Adelaide Botanic Garden in Australia you may have seen a similar piece by sculptor Sergio Redegalli called Cascade. (via connaissance des arts, claudio, and tate_ellen)