sculpture

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Art Design Science

Artist Philip Beesley Merges Chemistry, Artificial Intelligence, and Interactivity to Create “Living” Architecture

December 8, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Astrocyte, 2017. All images by Philip Beesley and Alex Willms / PBAI.

Multidisciplinary artist and architect Philip Beesley weaves together such a broad array of technologies and systems in his artworks that they legitimately defy description, but the immediate impact of encountering these sprawling interactive installations is visceral and awe-inspiring. His latest work, Astrocyte, connects chemistry, artificial intelligence, and an immersive soundscape to create a living piece of architecture that responds to the presence of viewers. Comprised of 300,000 individual components, the piece was on view against the industrial backdrop at Toronto’s port lands for EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology last October. From a statement about the project:

The structure is made up of resilient, lightweight meshworks of thermally formed acrylic, laser-cut into geometrical patterns optimized for production with minimal waste. This unique space truss system is part of the Living Architecture Systems’ pioneering research into resilient and adaptable structures. Astrocyte’s structural mesh components use overlapping strands of material in doubly-curved conical forms that achieve extraordinary strength from minimal material. These innovative forms are clustered together in bundles that are similar to the multiple filaments spanning between outer and inner shells of natural bone structures.

The piece further incorporates 3D-printed lighting components and masses of custom glasswork that contain a combination of oil, inorganic chemicals, and other solutions to form a sort of chemical skin. At the core of Beesley research is the question of whether architecture can truly be “alive,” opening the possibility for self-repairing structures or deeply responsive organic environments, where artificial intelligence exists at almost every level of design. Regardless of the complexity and heady ideas, the works are deeply aesthetically intriguing, something directly out of science fiction.

Beesley is the director of the Living Architecture Systems Group and a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. You can explore much more of his work on his website and along with several videos and interviews on Vimeo. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art Photography

Interactive LED Sculpture Projects Visitors’ Faces 14-Feet-Tall in Columbus, OH

December 7, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

As We Are is a 14-foot interactive sculpture by artist Matthew Mohr. The head-shaped work slowly rotates through a database of faces, displaying a range of Columbus residents and its visitors on 24 horizontal bands of LED screens. The monitors wrap nearly 360 degrees around the piece, leaving a gap for a photo studio where guests can pose for pictures that will be featured on work’s screens.

The sculpture is currently installed in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, a public venue primed for eager visitors who wish to see their faces projected more than two times their height. Its appearance reflects a few other body-centric public sculptures, namely David Cerny’s banded replication of Franz Kafka’s head in Prague, and Chicago’s Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa which also displays a rotating cast of faces across a series of LED screens.

“‘As We Are’ presents Columbus as a welcoming, diverse culture where visitors and residents can engage on multiple levels through an interactive experience with public art,” says Mohr in an artist statement about the interactive structure. “It is an open-ended, conceptual piece that explores how we represent ourselves individually and collectively, asking participants to consider their identity in social media and in public. It asks all viewers to contemplate portraits of people from different ethnicities, and gender identities.”

Mohr also explains that the scale and location of the sculpture brings monumental recognition to each featured face, allowing the individual to be memorialized, if only for a few seconds. You can see more projects by the artist and Columbus College of Art and Design professor on his website, and view a video documenting several participants’ interactions with the sculpture below. (via Designboom)

 

 

 



Art

80-Year-Old Wooden Escalators are Repurposed as a Sculptural Ribbon by Artist Chris Fox

December 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Photos by Josh Raymond / Chris Cox

Artist Chris Fox was tasked with repurposing two pairs of timber escalators that were first installed at Sydney’s Wynyard Station in 1931. The escalators have carried passengers for over 80 years and slowly became an iconic symbol of the city’s identity. Fox’s solution is Interloop, a twisting, accordion-like ribbon that is now suspended from the station ceiling, stitching together 244 wooden escalator treads in an otherworldly design.

Fox says Interloop is intended to permanently enshrine the motion of the escalators while also communicating that passengers remain stationary while riding them. The piece is the final step in a significant overhaul of the station that now features new elevators and escalators, a larger concourse, and improvements to ventilation and ticketing.

You can read more about Interloop and the history of Wynyard Station in the Sydney Morning Herald, and see more photos and behind-the-scenes process shots on Chris Fox’s website. (thnx, Evan!)

 

 



Art

New Porcelain Vessels Densely Layered in Leaf Sprigs and Other Botanical Forms by Hitomi Hosono

November 21, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Ceramicist Hitomi Hosono (previously) creates porcelain vessels layered in hundreds of leaf sprigs and other botanical forms. These monochromatic elements are based on plants Hosono encounters during walks through East London’s greenery. “It is my intention to transfer the leaf’s beauty and detail into my ceramic work,” she explains, using it as my own language to weave new stories for objects.”

Her technique is inspired by Jasperware, a type of stoneware covered in thin ceramic reliefs invented by Josiah Wedgwood in the late 18th century. Like Wedgwood, she carefully applies her delicate forms to a porcelain base. From start to finish a larger work will take Hosono nearly a year and a half to complete. Much of this time is spent drying, as her densely layered works often need 10-12 months to completely dry.

Hosono’s solo exhibition, Reimagining Nature: Hitomi Hosono’s Memories in Porcelain, is currently on view at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in London through December 15, 2017. You can see more of her layered botanical sculptures on the artist’s website and through her gallery Adrian Sassoon.

 

 



Art Design

Quirky Cartoon Toys and Vases Carved from Wood by Yen Jui-Lin

November 21, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Taiwanese artist Yen Jui-Lin carves delightful cartoon-like figures from wood that are almost guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Some of the pieces function as flower vases or key hooks, while many of the objects are one-off toys that he gives to his children as gifts. You can see many more on Jui-Lin’s Facebook page. (via Lustik)

 

 



Art

Bordalo II Opens the Doors to ‘Attero,’ a Giant Exhibition of Animal Assemblages Built with Trash

November 17, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Within the confines of an abandoned warehouse in Lisbon, artist Bordalo II just opened the doors to his largest body of work to date, dozens of animalistic assemblages comprised of his trademark medium: trash. Using locally-sourced waste plastics, car parts, construction materials, and other found detritus, Bordalo has become famous for his uncanny depictions of animals—those most vulnerable to the side effects of our disposable economy. While scale often plays a large role in his outdoor wall-mounted street pieces, the artist also created considerably smaller assemblages attached to old doors, siding, and windowpanes.

“Whether on a large or small scale, his unusual sculptural creations oblige us to question and rethink our own role as actors in this static, consumerist and self-destructive society, which exploits, often in an abusive way, the resources that nature offers us,” shares Attero curator Lara Seixo Rodrigues.

With well over 8,000 visitors in its first week, Attero (Latin for waste) opened on November 4, 2017 and runs through November 26. You can see many more photos on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Liquid Gold Appears to Flow, Drip, and Drain Through Galleries by Vanderlei Lopes

November 13, 2017

Christopher Jobson

In this ongoing body of sculptural works, Brazillian artist Vanderlei Lopes creates temporary interventions where his polished brass objects appear to pour and drain like gold from the walls or floors of galleries. Much of Lopes’ work plays with aspects of transformation, be it through the tension of liquid and solid forms seen here, by subtraction, or experimenting with orientation. You can see much more of his work on Artsy and Athena Contemporânea.