Tommie Smith’s Iconic Protest Salute Immortalized in Gold by Glenn Kaino

June 25, 2018

Andrew LaSane

Starting in 2013, Los Angeles-based conceptual artist Glenn Kaino has had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a man whose act of protest had long inspired him. “Bridge” is Kaino’s 100-foot long construction featuring two hundred casts of former American track and field runner and Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith’s arm, which he raised as a human rights salute during the National Anthem after taking gold at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Kaino’s work will be installed as a part of a larger exhibition at the High Museum in Atlanta in fall 2018. We spoke with the artist to learn more about how his collaboration with Smith came to be.

On the podium of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico, African American medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos went from being top-performing athletes representing the United States to legendary activists with a simple yet powerful gesture. The photograph of Smith and Carlos with their heads lowered and their leather-clad fists raised is one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, and Kaino tells Colossal that it is one that he used to have taped to the side of his iMac.

A friend of Kaino’s noticed the picture and referred to Tommie as “Coach Smith,” revealing that he knew the former athlete from his days as track coach. The friend set up the meeting, and Kaino soon found himself at Coach Smith’s home in Atlanta, watching tape of the race in slow motion as Tommie broke it down almost frame by frame. “I didn’t have a pitch,” Kaino said of the way he finally approached the topic of collaboration with the gold medalist and his wife, “but I did have an observation.” He noticed that Tommie Smith’s home was like a “time bubble,” with memorabilia and references to his career and to his most famous moment. Kaino says that as someone who was born after the salute, the image has always been symbolic, but for the Smiths it was personal. “You shook my hand with that arm, you brush your teeth with that arm,” he said to Tommie.

Through the conversation, Kaino convinced Tommie to collaborate on a project that would remove the icon (the arm) from his body and help him see the salute the way that others do. Back in Los Angeles, after experimenting with what Kaino believes to have been the arm of an Aquaman figure, they got to work casting Smith’s arm and clenched fist. He used the cast to create hundreds of fiberglass arms, which he then painted gold and hung from wires to form, according to the artist’s website, “a golden path leading forward from the present but connected to the past, a spectacular reconciliation of a historic record, an individual memory, and a public symbol all renegotiated in an infrastructure of time to creates stories of the now.”

As for connecting the past and present, it is interesting to consider Kaino’s work and Smith’s salute as it relates to Black athletes today, like Colin Kaepernick, who are criticized for publicly protesting similar issues 50 years later. Kaino tells Colossal that he is working on a documentary to tell Smith’s story that goes deeper than the one image that everyone knows. For those who want to see “Bridge” in person, the exhibition, titled With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith, opens in Atlanta, Georgia at the High Museum on September 29, 2018. (via Artnet)

Smith and Kaino hosted drawing workshops in educational spaces around the country where students learned the history of the event and drew frames from the momentous race.

Smith and Kaino hosted drawing workshops in educational spaces around the country where students learned the history of the event and drew frames from the momentous race.

 

 



Studio Drift’s Solo Exhibition ‘Coded Nature’ Floats a Concrete Monolith Above Museum Visitors

June 25, 2018

Sasha Bogojev

Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij. Meadow (2017), choreographed in 2018. Aluminum, stainless steel, printed fabric, LEDs, robotics. Collection Studio Drift, Amsterdam, courtesy collection DELA, Eindhoven.

One of the must-see shows in Amsterdam this summer is the debut museum solo of Studio Drift (previously) at Stedelijk Museum, which balances elements of tech art, performance, and biodesign. The exhibition, titled Coded Nature, presents a wide range of transdisciplinary works from the Dutch studio that engage with topics from sustainability to issues raised by the growing use of augmented reality.

Founded by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, Studio Design typically creates installation, sculptural works, video projections, and interactive VR. One of the standout pieces in their new exhibition is Drifter, a floating concrete monolith measuring 13 x 6 1/2 feet, which tenderly levitates inside one of the museum galleries (the video below shows the work on display in 2017 at the Armory Show in New York). The puzzling effect of seeing such a familiar object floating through space is emphasized with a video projection of the film Drifters, which follows the same concrete sculpture as it floats through the Scottish Highlands.

Contrasting the effect of the large floating concrete block is the breathtaking installation Fragile Future Chandelier 3.5 which consists of countless bionic dandelions with glowing LED lights at their centers. The labor-intensive installation, like many of the studio’s works, challenges relationships between man, nature, and technology. Other works include the light installations Tree of Ténéré and Flylight, and kinetic installations Semblance and In 20 Steps, which are all based on naturally designed forms or movements.

Studio Drift: Coded Nature will run through August 26, 2018. You can see more site-specific installations and science fiction-inspired works on the studio’s website and Instagram, and take a deeper look inside the duo’s process in the videos below.

Photo: Sasha Bogojev for Colossal

Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij. Flylight (2009). Glass, custom made fittings, LEDs, algorithm, electronics, sensors. Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London.

Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij. Gazm and Studio Drift, branch of Tree of Ténéré (prototype 2017). Steel, hand modeled epoxy, paint, rubber, LEDs, electronics. Collection GAZM, courtesy Pace Gallery, New York.

Fragile Future Chandelier 3.5 (2012), manufactured under the control of Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Fragile Future detail modules. Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

Ghost Collection

Photo: Tom Cornelissen. Drifter (2018), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Courtesy of Pace Gallery.

 

 



Lovely Photo Manipulations Utilizing Stock Photography by Justin Peters

June 23, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Graphic designer Justin Peters has an uncanny ability to compose fantastical landscapes and creatures by combining stock imagery using Photoshop. The 22-year-old German digital artist says that he’s often driven by the famous Picasso quote “Everything you can imagine is real,” choosing to use photography found on stock imagery sites as the source material for his digital collages. You can see more of his recent work on Instagram.

 

 



MIT Engineers Design Responsive 3D-Printed Structures Remotely Controlled by Magnets

June 22, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

A new concept for 3D printed structures designed by engineers at MIT can be remotely controlled with magnets. The innovative gadgets include a smooth ring that wrinkles up, a long tube that squeezes shut, and a sheet that folds itself. The most impressive structure is a spider-like “grabber” that can crawl, roll, jump, and snap together fast enough to catch a passing ball or wrap up and carry small objects. Each piece is created using 3D printable ink infused with tiny magnetic particles that are directed into a uniform orientation via printer nozzle retrofitted with a electromagnet.

Researches believe these magnetic concepts could one day find applications in the realm of medicine similar to implanted stents or pacemakers. “We think in biomedicine this technique will find promising applications,” explains Xuanhe Zhao, the Noyce Career Development Professor in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “For example, we could put a structure around a blood vessel to control the pumping of blood, or use a magnet to guide a device through the GI tract to take images, extract tissue samples, clear a blockage, or deliver certain drugs to a specific location. You can design, simulate, and then just print to achieve various functions.” (via digg)

 

 



The Mind Reimagined in Paper Brains by Elsa Mora

June 21, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Paper artist Elsa Mora (previously) contemplates the brain in a new series titled Mindscapes. The collection of eight paper works show birds-eye views of the brain, rendered in different techniques. Carefully layered grey dots, intricate nets of delicate floral designs, embossed squiggles, and colorful stripes that leap off the page all offer a different interpretation of the heady world that is our mind. Mora’s Mindscapes will be shown in her solo exhibition at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Oregon this fall. The show runs from August 29, 2018 to January 20, 2019. You can see more of the artist’s diverse array of paper art on Instagram.

 

 



Toy Stories: Portraits of Children and their Toys Around the World

June 21, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Cun Zi Yi, age 3 – Chongquing, China. All photographs provided by and © Gabriele Galimberti

Gabriele Galimberti spent more than two years traveling the world, visiting over fifty countries to photograph young children with their toys. The Italian photographer shares in a statement on Toy Stories, “I recorded the spontaneous and natural joy that unites kids despite their diverse backgrounds. Whether the child owns a veritable fleet of miniature cars or a single stuffed monkey, the pride that they have is moving, funny, and thought provoking.”

In addition to documenting the socioeconomic range of families around the world, Galimberti’s colorful portraits capture the unique personalities of each young person before his camera lens. The photographer has published a book, also called Toy Stories, which compiles all of the portraits from this series. His other titles include My Couch is your Couch, about how people live around the world, and In Her Kitchen, which documents grandmothers and their culinary traditions. You can see more of Galimberti’s work and travels on Instagram. (via Booooooom)

Maudy Sibanda, 3 – Kalulushi, Zambia

Gabriel Pascoal, age 3 – Sao Paulo – Brasil

Norden Brahke – age 5 age – Morocco

Alessia Pellegrini, age 5 – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy

Virginia May Salisbury, age 5 – American Fork, Utah

Radhika Vachani, age 6 – Mumbai, India

Noel Hawthorne, age 5 – South Dallas, Texas

Abel Sientes Armas, age 4 – Nopaltepec, Mexico

Naya Gutierrez, age 3 – Managua, Nicaragua

Arafa and Aisha Saleh Aman, age 4 – Bububu, Zanzibar

Ralf Mazulis – age 4 – Riga, Lettonia

 

 



The Graceful Movement of Dancing Tulips Showcased by Carl Kleiner

June 20, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Carl Kleiner creates sleek editorial content for fashion and lifestyle brands, and that sensibility shows in his photo and video series Postures which features artfully arranged tulips. Using minimal metal rods, bent at strategic ends and angles, Kleiner showcases the graceful curves of the flowers’ long necks and gently ruffled petals and leaves. A further sense of movement is instilled through the stop-motion video, which combines still photos of the blossoms’ subtle changes into a dramatic dance. You can see more from the Swedish photographer on Instagram and Vimeo. (via Yellowtrace)

Film credits: Editing by @josephcolley Sound by @ekstrajournal. With assistance from @andrea_portoles