British artist Tony Cragg unveiled a new die covered sculpture at FIAC 2011 in Paris last week (top three images). Cragg has created a number of organic figures using dice over the past several years as seen above, and you can see a few more here. (photos by charlotte mazalérat, daniel milliner, annie guilloret, frank alexander, and orlando henriques)
Using thousands of meticulously painted dots (“ten-ten” in Japanese) designer and photographer Miharu Matsunaga has been exploring the interconnectedness of people and places in these two recently completed projects. The first, a series of mottled portraits was completed as part of her graduate work at Tama Art University. The delicate white dots are meant as a visual display of the often neglected and forgotten interconnectedness between “family, parents, sister, friend, man, woman, adult, baby, race,” and people of different languages. Matsunaga continues this organic, dotted exploration in Ten-ten wherein the dots are used to cover interior walls, vehicles, and other objects. Stunning work. (via spoon and tamago)
An incredible, brand new installation made from 1,000 bicycles by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei who emerged four months ago from a prolonged detention by the Chinese government for alleged economic crimes. The installation is one of 21 artworks on display as part of “Ai Weiwei Absent,” that opens tomorrow at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and runs through January 29th. Weiwei will not be present. (via msn photo blog)
It never ceases to amaze me: just when I think I’ve seen every possible permutation of an artform or technique—be it figurative sculpture, stop motion animation, or in this case, high speed photography—somebody comes along and manages to do something radically different. German photographer Heinz Maier says that he began taking photographs less than a year ago in late 2010. He claims to not know what direction he’s heading in just yet, right now he’s experimenting with macro photography, mostly insects, animals, and these delicate high speed water droplets. Personally, I think he’s found a great direction. There are so many things happening here to make these photographs simply outstanding: the lighting, the colors, the occasional use of symmetry in the reflection of water, let alone the skill of knowing how to use the camera itself. It’s hard to believe these aren’t digital. See much more of his work here.
New Jersey artist Joshua Kirsch has just completed work on his latest interactive sculpture, Concentricity 96 which was on display at the Grand Rapids Art Prize earlier this month. The wildly futuristic device presents the viewer with a glowing white handle that can be moved in any direction resulting in a fantastic, close-quarters light show. Reed switches embedded in the sculpture’s circuitry sense the magnetized handle and translate its movement into a massive array of 96 red/white LED lights. Over the past four years Kirsch estimates he’s spent nearly 800 hours on the piece, machining almost all of the aluminum and steel components by hand.
Kirsch has previously created other interactive artworks including Sympathetic Resonance, a musical device using marimba components that has been shown in various configurations since 2009, a beautiful donor wheel for the Arts Council at Princeton University, and early explorations of the concentricity series such as Oculus. Via phone he says much of his work stems from a desire when entering an art museum to touch and interact with the exhibitions which is generally not possible. In that light, ahem, his artwork exists in stark contrast to the “no touching” rule in that it can only be experienced fully with direct physical manipulation. Concentricity 96 is not currently on display, so if some curator would like to bring it to Chicago so I can play with for a few hours, beers are on me. Seriously.
My wife, who is the most amazing person on Earth, and a brilliant writer, has just written a book called Everyone Remain Calm. It’s a collection of short stories published by the Joyland imprint at ECW Press, and is now available on Amazon. It’s a wonderful read and you should definitely check it out if you enjoy things like laughing and feeling like a better person.