For his MFA Thesis Exhibit last September, Pennsylvania artist James McNabb created a beautiful collection of architectural wonders using discarded wood. He describes his process as “sketching with a band saw,” and says initial intent was not to build skylines, but instead began with the creation of the individual wooden pieces which resembled tools or other strangely familiar objects. After he built nearly 250 of them in a day they collectively began to resemble a miniature city. You can see many more works from the exhibition on his website.
The Small Knocking Down the Big is a 2009 installation by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie made from hundreds of cut wooden dominoes meant to loosely demonstrate the effects of something that has become known as Domino Magnification (if you really, really enjoy physics see the recent work of J. M. J. van Leeuwen). The basic premise is that any domino can knock over another domino that’s roughly 1.5 times larger, meaning that if you gently pushed a normal sized domino into a chain of bricks that increase in size each time by 1.5, the 32nd object will be large enough to topple the Empire State Building. In the video example above it takes only 13 dominoes starting with an object the size of a bean to knock over a 100 lb. slab!
Zhijie’s installation is somewhat less mathematical and more visual, but the same mathematical principles hold true. Participants are invited to knock over the smalles dominoes at the outer branches of the installation which eventually gain enough momentum to knock over the thicker blocks at the trunk. (via lustik)
This incredibly detailed skull made from repurposed skateboard decks is one of several new artworks from self-taught Japanese artist Haroshi (previously) who will be opening his second solo show at Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York on January 12. Don’t miss it.
Launched less than a month ago, Below the Boat makes gorgeous bathymetric charts (the underwater equivalent of a topographic map) using laser-cut layers of Baltic birch that are then carefully glued together to create what you see here. They have over two dozens charts currently available organized by East Coast, West Coast, and Interior Lakes. (via gessato)
Points of Contention is a 2011 installation by Jonathan Latiano that was installed in a gallery space at the School 33 Art Center in Baltimore. The piece features an explosive crystal growth protruding from a rippling gallery floor that is meant to call into question the continued production of plastics, resins and polymers and their long-term impact on the geological landscape around us. Via a press release for the exhibition:
Driven by the exploration of time, motion and the physics of the natural world, Jonathan Latiano presents Points of Contention, a site-specific installation sculpture that investigates the increasingly blurred line between the organic and inorganic as well as the spatial boundaries of where the spectacle begins and ends. Convergent forms of crystalline growth and explosive impact reinforce the hundreds of shards of custom cut and painted elements used to create the centerpiece of the exhibition. Through the use of reclaimed and altered wood, plastic, Styrofoam and site-grown salt crystals Latiano explores the question: At what point do the controversies of the present become the “new norms” of the future?
Latiano will return to School 33 Art Center in September of 2013 as part of a collaboration with artist Jennifer Strunge who is known for her creation of totally bizarre and wonderful cotton monsters. Can’t wait to see what the two do together!
This impeccably detailed ceramic sculpture called Cycles of Decay was created by ceramicist Christopher David White who works out of Bloomington, Indiana. Even on close inspection the knotted and twisting veins of the tree branch look almost exactly like old wood, take a closer look on his website. (via sweet station)
Since 2006 Pittsburgh-based husband and wife Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth have run the Tugboat Printshop, a traditional printmaking studio where everything is made by hand, starting with the giant slabs of wood into which each of their images are carved. The Moon is their largest hand-carved relief print ever coming in at 36″ x 32″ (91 x 82 cm) and will printed using two colors. If you’re interested they documented the process of carving the beautiful illustration which is now available for pre-order, and I also recommend checking out their other prints. (via cloud junky)
Huge mounds of firewood are a common site here in the midwest, but in the capable hands of Michigan artist Michael McGillis a row of logs becomes a unexpectedly beautiful sight. Titled Wake the piece was originally installed back in 2006 at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota and consisted of a 95-foot long trench of cut trees painted purple in the middle as if to reveal a suprising new species of plant. A simple idea, wonderfully executed. (via my darkened eyes)