Unstable Matter is kinetic sculpture by Finnish artists Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen, a.k.a. Grönlund-Nisunen. The moving table contains thousands of small ball bearings that move and crash within the confines of a giant wobbly table, sort of a modern take on a rain stick. The table is part of several kinetic and magnetized works by the duo that were recently on view at Esther Schipper in Berlin.
Towering 23 feet (7 meters) into the sky, Karma is a recent sculpture installed in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art by Korean sculptor Do Ho Suh (previously). Captured here in a series of photographs by Alan Teo, the piece depicts a tower of piggy-backed men, each successively covering the eyes of the man below him, creating an illusion that the blinded tower seems to stretch to infinity like a fractal, although technically it was made from 98 cast stainless steel figures. The artist is known for his work with multiple figures, creating tornadoes, chain link fences, and frequently multiple small figures supporting the weight of what appears to be a pair of corporate or governmental shoes. A smaller broze version of Karma is also on view at the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo. (via my modern met, alan teo)
U.S.A. (burnt/unburnt) is a 2011 installation by Paris-based artist Claire Fontaine (previously) constructed from thousands of green matches that were inserted into a wall at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art as part art of “Evidence of Bricks” at the 2011 Time-Based Art Festival. Fontaine has made somewhat of a name for herself with her match installations and flaming geography, most recently completing a similar U.S.A. map at Queens Nails Gallery in San Francisco. Unlike the installation in Portland above, the Queens Nails artwork was actually set on fire, and while it may not have gone exactly as intended, the final post-flame artwork is impressive nonetheless. Photographs above for PICA by Dan Kvitka.
Update: Hyperallergic has the scoop in the latest US Map fire.
Using hundreds of second-hand shirts Finnish environmental artist Kaarina Kaikkonen creates site-specific installations suspended above roadways or inside large warehouse spaces. Her most recent work Are We Still Going On? (top images), was conceived at Collezione Maramotti, a private collection of contemporary art in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and involves hundreds of children’s shirts hung in rows to resemble the interior hull of a giant ship. The shirts are organized by color on each side of the skeletal boat to represent a sort of symbolic dialogue about gender. You can learn more over on Art Texts Pics and see a brief video of the piece here. (via global art news)
Like a pixelated holodeck, Submergence is an immersive array of 8,064 suspended LEDs built by an international group of artists and designers known as Squidsoup. This particular installation is currently on display at Gallery ROM for Art and Architecture in Oslo, Norway and is comprised of a light field with motion sensors that responds to your actions and illuminates as you move through it. The piece was created by Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell, Chris Bennewith, Liam Birtles and Ollie Bown and you can see many more photos here. Submergence is on view through February 13, 2013. (via juxtapoz, notcot)
As part of his first exhibition at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, artist Ai Weiwei (previously) has installed 760 stacked bicycles in a sprawling installation on a raised stage within the gallery. It’s important to note that the bikes are not simply “stacked” but have been physically attached creating a single cohesive structure which can be explored from within, similar to his 2011 work Forever Bicycles. The exhibition is comprised of several sculptures, installations, video and photographs from the Chinese artist who was bestowed last May with the inaugural Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation. Last year Weiwei was also the subject of the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry directed by American filmmaker Alison Klayman, which follows the artist through several nasty scuffles with Chinese authorities while he creates several new provocative artworks and organized social actions. Easily one of the best documentaries of 2012 and I highly recommend it (stream it on Netflix).
The exhibition at Galleria Continua is on view through February 16th, and you can see many more images here. All imagery above was provided courtesy Galleria Continua.
South Carolina-based artist Jessica Drenk was born and raised in Montana where she developed an understanding and appreciation of the natural world that has since deeply influenced the course of her artistic career. Her installations and sculptures often imitate organic shapes, patterns, and textures even when using a medium that is often manufactured by human hands. Drenk’s most recent sculptures are a series called Implements, each of which begins with a mass of standard No. 2 pencils that have been tightly glued together. Using an electric sander she then molds the piece into a form that seems more likely to have originated in a dark cave or deep within the ocean than from a school desk. Of her work she says:
By transforming familiar objects into nature-inspired forms and patterns, I examine how we classify the world around us. Manufactured goods appear as natural objects, something functional becomes something decorative, a simple material is made complex, and the commonplace becomes unique. In changing books into fossilized remnants of our culture, or in arranging elegantly sliced PVC pipes to suggest ripple and wave patterns, I create a connection between the man-made and the natural.
You can find her work at Paia Contemporary in Hawaii, or Foster/White in Seattle, and see many more images over on Facebook. All images courtesy the artist. (via booooooom)
Media architect Claudio Benghi and light artist Gloria Ronchi joined together in 2006 to form Aether & Hemera, an interdisciplinary collaboration that seeks “to research the aesthetic challenges of light and its power to trigger emotions and response, creating a sense of identity or setting a mood.” Their latest installation in London’s Canary Wharf is this beautiful fleet of 300 illuminated boats called Voyage. Each floating light is reminiscent of a paper-folded origami boat that is illuminated from within, and I’m told there is a wireless network in the vicinity that allows you to join with your mobile device and somehow alter the color of the entire installation.
Voyage will be up through February 15th, 2013, and while the lights are on during the day, the viewing is probably best at night. I want to thank photographers Sean Batten and Ian Docwra for providing the images for this post.