Photography

An Aerial Tour of an Abandoned Chinese Fishing Village by Joe Nafis

April 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The small fishing village of Houtouwan on the Chinese island of Shengshan has been abandoned since the 1990’s. Due to increased competition with nearby Shanghai and a depleted fishing supply, residents were forced to find work in other towns, leaving their own coastal village to the whim of Mother Nature.

Today the ghost town is only visited by tourists curious to see the vine-wrapped homes and other buildings swallowed by untamed greenery. Shanghai-based photographer and videographer Joe Nafis visited the area last year with fellow photographer Dave Tacon. It took them nearly 36 hours to reach the village due to lack of ferries or connection with other towns in the area. Once in town, Nafis explored the area on foot, as well as from above with his drone.

“Using the drone to explore the village first was a good idea as the paths were not well maintained and overgrown,” Nafis tells Colossal. “Some of the buildings were in tatters, while others looked like they were going through a remodel. It was all very strange. On the Sunday there were a few tourists, about ten to fifteen, and then on Monday we were the only people in the village other than the three to four that still lived there.”

You can view drone footage from the photographer’s visit to the overgrown village in the video below. He recently released an aerial time lapse video focusing on Shanghai’s urban development over the last seven years on his website, and more video-based projects by Nafis can be found on his Instagram and Vimeo. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

    

 

 



Art Design

Banksy Releases New Miniature Walled Off Hotel Souvenir Series

April 17, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Banksy’s year-old project in Bethlehem, The Walled Off Hotel (previously), has just released a new set of souvenirs exclusively available in the hotel shop. The series of works, which are each hand painted by local artists, depict the West Bank barrier in a crumbling state. A hooded figure is featured beside the wall in several of the works—either contributing a fresh piece of graffiti or physically breaking through the wall with mallet in hand. Banksy views these works as anticipatory objects, pieces that might accurately depict the wall’s end.

The hotel also released a new album during last week’s Palestine Music Expo, featuring international musicians such as Brian Eno, The Black Madonna, Trio Joubran, Roisin Murphy, and Akram Abdulfattah. The work was produced by Block9 during a “Creative Retreat” at the hotel this past February, and includes seven collaborative songs inspired by Palestine’s history. The Walled Off Hotel Creative Retreat Album is now available for free on Soundcloud.

 

 



Art

Melting Memories: A Data-Driven Installation that Shows the Brain’s Inner Workings

April 17, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Media artist Refik Anadol’s work Melting Memories combines data paintings, light projections, and augmented data sculptures to visibly demonstrate how the brain recalls memories. The installation was created with a custom 16 x 20 foot LED media wall and CNC milled rigid foam, and was shown earlier in 2018 at Pilevneli Gallery in Istanbul. In the work, seething swirls move across the work’s surface, resembling cresting ocean waves, blossoming flowers, and shifting sand.

To generate the data, Anadol conducted experiments at the Neuroscape Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. An artist statement describes the technical process: “Anadol gathers data on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control from an EEG (electroencephalogram) that measures changes in brain wave activity and provides evidence of how the brain functions over time. These data sets constitute the building blocks for the unique algorithms that the artist needs for the multi-dimensional visual structures on display.”

Anadol is a media artist and director who specializes in site-specific public art that explores the intersection of physical and digital reality. Born in Istanbul, the artist is now based in Los Angeles, where he is a visiting researcher and lecturer at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. You can see more of his work on his website, as well as on Instagram, Vimeo, and Behance.

 

 



Sponsor

SVA’s Summer 2018 Continuing Education Courses Begin June 4 (Sponsor)

April 16, 2018

Colossal

Elana Goren

From one-day workshops to semester-long courses, take the opportunity to immerse yourself and be inspired with School of Visual Arts’ summer 2018 continuing education coursework. Develop your skills in Interior Design, Photography, or Fine Arts; hone your visual acumen with Visual Narrative, Design, or Visual and Critical Studies; advance your creative career with Film and Video, Illustration and CartooningAnimation, or Computer Art and Visual Effects; and stay on the cutting edge through studies in Advertising, Professional Development, and the Visible Futures Lab.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. SVA represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world.

Visit sva.edu for details on how to register or for advice on courses.

School of Visual Arts, Division of Continuing Education
sva.edu/ce, E-mail: [email protected], Toll-free telephone: 877.242.7200

 

 



Art

Colossal Curates ‘Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art’ at San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum

April 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Fantastic Planet by Amanda Parer. Photo by Parer Studio

Colossal is thrilled to announce the summer show, Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, a museum dedicated to science, art and human perception. Led by our founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Colossal has worked closely with the Exploratorium team to curate the museum’s summer 2018 exhibition. Inflatable brings together artists from around the world who work in the mediums of textiles, technology, and air.

Jason Hackenwerth (previously), renowned for his massive balloon sculptures that often simulate the universal biology of living things, will be building an inflated sculpture comprised of thousands of hand-tied balloons. Cauldron Veil will be built in front of the public at the Exploratorium in the days before the exhibition opening, and hoisted up to the ceiling where it will be suspended over visitors.

Tasmania-based artist Amanda Parer (previously) examines the relationships between humans and our natural surroundings in her large-scale white inflatable sculptures. Parer’s series, Fantastic Planet, includes two enormous humanoid figures that will be hard to miss as they tower over gallery walls.

Jimmy Kuehlne taps into interactivity, wonder, and humor in his diverse range of artworks. For Inflatable, he’ll be building a forest of glowing air-filled columns that invite museum-goers to explore his art from within. The Cleveland-based artist describes the spirit of his creations: “If I can make something that you can’t quite put in a category, then maybe there’s going to be a short circuit and you’ll have a genuine interaction.”

Inflatable visitors will also have the chance to step inside a fly’s eye as built by Rhode Island-based design collective PneuhausCompound Camera  is a uniquely functional geodesic dome that turns the world upside down and inside out using 109 inflated spherical camera obscuras.

Technology, electronics, and everyday materials collide in Taiwanese artist Shih Chieh Huang‘s responsive sculptures. Huang, who is based in New York, will be installing Guardian of the Disphotic, a fleet of interconnected sculptures that move and breathe in response to their environment.

Pisces by Jason Hackenwerth. Photo by the artist

Please, No Smash by Jimmy Kuehnle. Photo by Robert Muller

Compound Camera by Pneuhaus. Photo by Cassidy Batiz

Reusable Universes by Shih Chieh Huang. Photo by Steve Briggs

The Exploratorium is a unique public learning laboratory with a mission to create inquiry-based experiences that transform learning worldwide. Centrally located on San Francisco’s waterfront Embarcadero, the Exploratorium is filled with hundreds of explore-for-yourself exhibits. These interactive stations will be on view alongside Inflatable. We’re also developing public programming and family-friendly evening events specifically for the summer show—stay tuned! Inflatable opens on May 26 and is open through September 3, 2018. Find out more and plan your visit on the Exploratorium website.

We’re also partnering with Hyperallargic to offer US residents a chance to win a trip for two to see Inflatable in San Francisco over Memorial Day weekend. Find out more and enter to win.

 

 



Art Illustration

Mysterious Anthropomorphic Illustrations of Dogs, Foxes, and Deer by Jenna Barton

April 16, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

American designer and illustrator Jenna Barton combines watercolor and digital processing to create mysterious anthropomorphic scenes of dogs, foxes, deer, and other four-legged beings. These eerily rendered creatures often have blank glowing eyes which suggest the animal is possessed or hiding a deep inner world.

Barton is based in Utah, which translates into her work through broad sweeping pastures and farmland illuminated by twilight. These settings add to the heightened tension presented in the animals’ demeanor, while providing a fitting background for her editorial illustrations, album art, game artwork and custom tattoos. You can buy select prints through her online store, and view more of her animal-based illustrations on Instagram and Tumblr.

 

 



Animation

Arena: A Short Film That Weaves Together Images of Man-Made Shapes Collected Through Google Maps

April 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Arena is a short film by Ireland-based artist Páraic McGloughlin which explores the similarities of international roadways, farming infrastructure, and urban design. In the minute and a half work, McGloughlin presents thousands of aerial images collected from Google Maps to create a series of winding pathways and geometric shapes that snake across the screen.

“I put a lot of focus on imagery containing flat lines, symmetry and grids as they are so different to the patterns/shapes made by nature, and hoped in turn that this would be most effective,” the artist told Directors Notes. “It wasn’t until I started messing with some images that I thought to allocate the idea of the game of life – ‘Arena’ to the theme as it fit perfectly in my opinion.”

The fast-paced video is set to a soundtrack by the director in collaboration with his brother Pearse McGloughlin. You can see more of Páraic McGloughlin’s work on his website and Instagram.(via The Kid Should See This)