Two years ago we stumbled onto the story of a girl in Japan who was going through her father’s old belongings when she discovered a hand-drawn maze rolled up in a tube. Kazuo Nomura spent 7 years drawing the sprawling labyrinth while working as a janitor and it hadn’t seen the light of day since 1983. After posting photos of it to her Twitter account, Nomura’s work went viral around the web, and it was quickly turned into a print so others could have a try at solving it.
Responding to pressure from his daughter to draw a second maze, Nomura initially said he had “had enough of mazes.” But, after a 32 year hiatus, he finally sat down to try again earlier this year with the hope of drawing a puzzle that was a bit clearer and easier to solve. After two months of drawing he’s finally done, and if you posess the patience of a saint you can try your hand at solving it: Papa’s Maze 2.0. Nomura assures the maze has a solution, but according to reports from people insane enough to try, it’s actually more difficult than the last, and takes about two days to work through. Read more on Spoon & Tamago.
Arist and illustrator Karina Eibatova (previously) just partnered with LUX Cards to create this phenomenal set of playing cards inspired by her bird and feather drawings. The cards will be printed by the United States Playing Card Company on official Bicycle card stock. The deck is called AVES (Latin and Spanish for birds) and is quickly gaining steam over on, yes of course, Kickstarter. Couldn’t back this quick enough.
For his thesis project in “Interface Culture” at the University of Arts and Industrial Design Linz, designer Javier Lloret converted the entire facade of the Ars Electronica building in Linz, Austria into an interactive Rubik’s Cube called Puzzle Facade. Lloret created a handheld device the mimics the function of the ubiquitous puzzle toy which then wirelessly communicates with a computer that controls the network of lights installed on the building. From his website:
In Puzzle Facade the player interacts with the specially designed interface-cube. The interface-cube holds electronic components inside that allow for it keep track of its orientation and the rotations of each side of the cube. This data is sent over Bluetooth to a computer that runs the Puzzle Facade designed software. This software changes the lights and color of the large-scale Ars Electronica’s media facade in correlation to the handheld interface-cube.
Due to the nature of this building and its surroundings, the player is only able to see two sides at the same time. This factor increases the difficulty of solving the puzzle, but as the player is able to rotate and flip the interface-cube, it is not a blocking factor.
Although Lloret was the primary designer for the project he relied on a huge team of people to realize the idea. You can learn much more here. (via Vimeo)
Almost 30 years ago a Japanese custodian sat in front of a large A1 size sheet of white paper, whipped out a pen and started drawing the beginnings of diabolically complex maze, each twist and turn springing spontaneously from his brain onto the paper without aid of a computer. The hobby would consume him as he drew in his spare time until its completion nearly 7 years later when the final labyrinth was rolled up and almost forgotten. Twitter user @Kya7y was recently going through some of her father’s old things (he’s still a custodian at a public university) when she happened upon the maze and snapped a few photos to share on Twitter. She was quickly inundated by requests from friends and eventually strangers who had endless questions, the most obvious being: are you making prints!? I’m not sure if prints will be made (I’ll definitely let you know if I hear anything), but it still boggles the mind simply looking at these few snapshots. (via spoon and tamago)
Update: Prints now available over in the Spoon & Tamago shop, just $40.
From the pendulum-based drawing machine by Eske Rex to the art of Tim Knowles who attaches writing implements to trees, I love when the seemingly random lines of chaos (or maybe just physics) are rendered visible using ink or pencil. This latest project titled STYN by Netherlands-based graduate student Sam van Doorn is no exception. Using modified parts from an old pinball machine van Doorn created a one-of-a-kind drawing device that utilizes standard flippers to control a ink-covered sphere that moves across a temporary poster placed on the game surface. He suggets that skill then becomes a factor, as the better you are at pinball the more complex the drawing becomes. See much more on his website, here. My drawing would have a single line that goes between the flippers and then have TILT written all over it. (via lustik)
I was walking in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood a few weekends ago when I happened upon an enormous stack of Monopoly ‘Chance’ cards made from plywood and bolted to the sidewalk announcing a marriage proposal at a nearby church. It was awesome. Immediately I started wondering if it was a genuine proposal? Was it a joke? Or could it be… ART?! Chicago has a fair amount street art if you know where to look, but it’s mostly spray painted stencils and paste-ups, and it’s extremely rare to see something three dimensional or sculptural.
As it turns out I wasn’t the first blogger to make the discovery. Nate Berg from the Atlantic found several sets of cards and actually went to the Armitage Baptist Church nearby to ask if they knew anything (they didn’t). He did figure out that the Monopoly pieces originally appeared back in April and several people on Reddit had a field day trying to piece the puzzle together. Everyone realized there were even more installations around the city, and not only that, the messages on the Chance and Community Chest cards were occasionally being painted over and replaced with other humorous and obscure messages.
After a few desperate tweets and some emailing, I finally got in touch with the artist (or artists!) known as Bored. The person (or group) chooses to remain anonymous but expressed via email their dissatisfaction at the lack of quality street art around Chicago. Saying specifically that “the goal of this entire project has been to present something different than a stencil painted on the ground or a poster pasted to a wall. Something 3-dimensional that can be picked up, beaten down, kicked, yanked, grabbed, and broken. And if someone ever put forth the effort to remove it, like a weed it will always grow back. And if left alone it will evolve into something different.”
While there are a number of good street artists in Chicago, this is definitely a welcome change of pace. I’m really excited to see this project evolve and hope they have more ideas brewing.