Art

Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto

August 12, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Japanese artist Yamamoto Motoi was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1966 and worked in a dockyard until he was 22 when he decided to focus on art full-time. Six years later in 1994 his younger sister died from complications due to brain cancer and Yamamoto immediately began to memorialize her in his labyrinthine installations of poured salt. The patterns formed from the salt are actually quite literal in that Yamamoto first created a three-dimensional brain as an exploration of his sister’s condition and subsequently wondered what would happen if the patterns and channels of the brain were then flattened. Although he creates basic guidelines and conditions for each piece, the works are almost entirely improvised with mistakes and imperfections often left intact during hundreds of hours of meticulous pouring. After each piece has been on view for several weeks the public is invited to communally destroy each work and help package the salt into bags and jars, after which it is thrown back into the ocean, a process you can watch in the video above by John Reynolds & Lee Donaldson.

Yamamoto recently finished a new installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina and will soon be in Los Angeles at the Laband Art Gallery where he’ll begin work on a new piece. You can stop by the gallery August 29, 30, 31 and September 4, 5, 6, 2012 from 12-4pm to see the work in progress which will finally open in its completed state on September 8th. You can follow along via his blog. (via fastco)

 

 



Photography

Remarkable Tintype Portraits by Michael Shindler

August 10, 2012

Christopher Jobson

In August of 2011 photographer Michael Shindler did something that to some might sound a little ludicrous. He had spent the last six years learning a cumbersome photographic process invented in the 1850s called Wet-Plate Collodion process that relies on metal plates to print photographs, and decided to use his unique skills to open the world’s only tintype portrait studio called Photobooth on Valencia street in San Francisco. In an age when even the use of regular film has taken the backseat to an exponential explosion of megapixels, Shindler was going to go seriously old school, opening a kind of commercial portrait studio that hadn’t been seen since the 1930s. To get some perspective this is like a musician announcing that their next album was coming out exclusively on phonograph. Here’s some more information on the process:

The Wet-Plate Collodion process, first introduced in 1851, involves coating an enameled metal or glass plate with a collodion mixture, which is then sensitized, exposed and processed all within a few minutes and while the plate is still wet. The resulting image (while technically a negative) is made up of extremely fine silver particles that are creamy-white in color, which allows the image to be viewed as a positive when seen against a black background.

So what happened in the 12 months since? Nearly 3,500 people have stepped into Shindler’s studio to sit for one of his truly wonderful portraits. Shindler recently posted some of his favorites online over on Behance and shared some more exclusively with Colossal for this post. Photobooth will be celebrating its one year anniversary on the 24th and you can stay tuned to their website for updates.

Update: As it turns out Shindler had a run-in with a famous dog last week. Photographer Theron Humphrey stopped in with his dog Maddie and she was quickly immortalized in the tintype portrait seen above. So awesome.

 

 



Art

Paper Bag Trees by Yuken Teruya

August 10, 2012

Christopher Jobson

As part of a new group exhibition at David B. Smith Gallery in Denver, artist Yuken Teruya created these two wonderfully intricate trees cut from the humble paper of a McDonald’s carryout bag. Teruya has frequently demonstrated that even the most mundane paper materials can be used to create extraordinary art including his work with toilet paper rolls, newspapers, and currency. You can stop by David B. Smith through September 1st to these pieces and new work by Colossal favorite Jason Thielke.

 

 



Art

Water Light Graffiti: A Moisture-Sensitive Surface Embedded with LEDs Creates Illuminated Art

August 8, 2012

Christopher Jobson

For the past few weeks artist Antonin Fourneau has been working at the Digitalarti Artlab in Paris creating what’s being called his Water Light Graffiti system. The device utilizes a giant matrix of LEDs embedded in a moisture-sensitive panel that when exposed to water causes the lights inside to instantly illuminate. The fun thing is that almost anything becomes a temporary paintbrush: a wet hand, a squirt gun, a paintbrush or even an atomizer. Water Light Graffiti was recently put on display in Poitiers, France and you can watch the video above to see it in use, and here’s a short clip (in French) of Fourneau showing how the entire thing was constructed. Many more photos here.

 

 



Art

Ball: A New Short Film from The Mercadantes

August 8, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Ball is the latest video from film-making team The Mercadantes whose previous films have been widely shared online including Symmetry, Words, and many more. In this new clip directed by Daniel Mercadante, hundreds of ball and ball-shaped images taken from Google image search are placed in a rapid sequence creating a sort of visual poem. Very cool.

 

 



Art

Mechanical Sculptures Built from Discarded Objects by Andrea Petrachi

August 8, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Milan-based Artist Andrea Petrachi creates bizarre characters and insects using reclaimed objects such as old cameras, calculators, pliers, knives, and even electric razors. Despite their sleek design, the characters are quite whimsical, often taking the persona of faces and heads removed from dolls and other children’s toys. Petrachi says his work is generally a symbol of our cultures out-of-control consumerism. See much more in his portfolio. (via daily art fixx)