Art

Colorful Strands of Thread and Beads Highlight the Contours of Human Skulls

February 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Jim F. Faure, who goes by Jim Skull, introduces his decades-long practice with his pseudonym. The Paris-based sculptor focuses exclusively on human skulls. Using innumerable strands of colorful thread, Murano glass beads, rope, and even porcupine quills, Faure creates an entirely new “skin” for the skeletal forms. Each skull’s covering also trails off into dramatic cascades that shape-shift depending on how the skull is displayed.

Faure transforms the surface of an object that often strikes fear into a visually enticing decorative object, inviting the viewer to study the divots and contours of our shared anatomical structure. In an artist statement, the sculptor cites his upbringing in New Caledonia in the South Pacific, followed by wide-ranging international travels in New Zealand, India, and Hong Kong as informing his fascination with the ritual and cultural aspects of the human experience. You can see more of Faure’s work on his website.

 

 



Design History

A Dozen New Stamps Celebrate Leonardo da Vinci’s Drawings

February 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The head of Leda (c.1505–08), on view at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The innovative yet timeless drawings of Leonardo da Vinci will soon be arriving in mailboxes around the U.K., thanks for a special stamp release marking the quincentennial anniversary of the Italian artist’s death. In tandem with the special stamp edition, twelve cultural institutions throughout the United Kingdom will be showcasing a total of 144 of da Vinci’s works in the dispersed show Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. The exhibitions opened at the beginning of February and are on view through May 6, 2019 in Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, and other U.K. cities. Stamp sets are available from Royal Mail. (via artnet)

The skull sectioned (1489), on view at Ulster Museum, Belfast

A star-of-Bethlehem and other plants (c.1506–12), on view at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Studies of cats (c.1517–18) on view at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

The skeleton (c.1510–11) on view at Cymru/National Museum Wales, Cardiff

The fall of light on a face (c.1488), on view at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The head of St. Philip (c.1495) on view at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

The skeleton (c.1510–11) on view at Cymru/National Museum Wales, Cardiff

 

 



Art

A Programmable 8-Bit Computer Created Using Traditional Embroidery Techniques and Materials

February 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The Embroidered Computer by Irene Posch and Ebru Kurbak doesn’t look like what you might expect when you think of a computer. Instead, the work looks like an elegantly embroidered textile, complete with glass and magnetic beads and a meandering pattern of copper wire. The materials have conductive properties which are arranged in specific patterns to create electronic functions. Gold pieces on top of the magnetic beads flip depending on the program, switching sides as different signals are channeled through the embroidered work.

“Traditionally purely decorative, [the work’s patterns] defines their function,” explained Posch on her website. “They lay bare core digital routines usually hidden in black boxes. Users are invited to interact with the piece in programming the textile to compute for them.”

The piece is a reference to the historic similarity between textile creation and computing, for example the Jacquard loom being an important influence on the evolution of computing hardware. Posch is a researcher and artist with a background in media and computer science who explores the how technological seeps into the fields of art and craft, and Kurbak is an artist and designer who investigates the hidden politics of everyday spaces and routines. You can learn more about their work and partnerships here or here. (via Kottke)

 

 



Design Food

Dazzling Gradients and Geometric Designs Baked into New Pies and Tarts by Lauren Ko

February 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Seattle-based pie baker Lauren Ko (previously) has a multitude of non-edible inspirations that influence her creative pastry designs, including textile patterns, architecture, and string art. These elements are woven into her colorful, and often geometric, fruit pies and tarts topped with thin, undulating strips of apples, precisely placed pomegranate seeds, and triangles of radiating strawberries. Often Ko will color a portion of her dough with natural food dyes like beet butter to add even more color to the finished dessert. You can learn step-by-step instructions for how Ko creates her enticing sweets in this video made by Tasty, and follow the evolution of her pies on Instagram.

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A Full Spectrum of Waves Course Through Warren Keelan’s Aquatic Photography Edited With the HP ZBook x2

February 12, 2019

Colossal + HP

“Firewater”

Whereas many people see the world’s water-covered surface as a monolith, photographer Warren Keelan (previously) makes a living seeing the ocean’s constant changes, day to day and even moment to moment. Keelan, who is based in New South Wales, Australia, suits up in neoprene to capture ocean water from inside, above, and below. In Keelan’s luminescent photographs, the aquatic environment is framed by glinting sunlight, crashing waves, and glimmering rainbows.

The photographer captures a range of macro and micro shots, detailing both the tiniest bubbles emerging at the water’s surface and the grand scale of tall wave walls. Keelan then brings his treasure trove of fieldwork back to his studio and gallery to fine-tune each photograph, ensuring that it captures the fullest version of the moment he experienced in the water. For his most recent photographs, we equipped Keelan with an HP ZBook x2 to see how the workstation’s innovative structural design would support the artist with his post-production process.

“In order to produce my best quality work, I require a computer that is not only fast and reliable, but a system which provides a professional viewing platform for image editing and processing,” Keelan explains. “I have used many HP laptops, monitors and peripherals throughout my career as an ocean photographer, and I can honestly say the new release HP ZBook x2 is the most powerful and versatile digital darkroom I’ve worked with.”

“The combination of its 4K LED-backlit touch screen and powerful Intel i7 processor makes it the ideal workstation for Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop. Until now, I’d never used a tablet-style device for my gallery workflow, but since I switched from touchpad-and-mouse to ZBook’s touchscreen-and-pen combination, my editing has become significantly faster. The HP ZBook x2 is a game changer for me as a photographer and image creator.”

Though the artist is lucky to have easy access to the ocean, he also embarks on further-flung adventures to capture aquatic moments. This fall, Keelan headed to the Kingdom of Tonga, an archipelago of islands in Polynesia, to capture the majesty of humpback whales in their natural environment. Keep an eye on his Instagram to catch glimpses of his larger-than-life trip. Keelan also offers prints of his photographs in his brick-and-mortar gallery (don’t worry, he ships worldwide!).

Learn more about the HP ZBook x2 at hp.com.

“Vortex”

“Zenith”

“Spheres”

“Emanate”

“Exhale”

This post was sponsored by HP. 

 

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History

An Online Atlas Tracking Disappearing and Endangered Languages Across the Globe

February 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The Yi alphabet, a script created during the Tang dynasty in China (618-907 AD), all images via the Atlas of Endangered Alphabets

The Yi alphabet, a script created during the Tang dynasty in China (618-907 AD), all images via the Atlas of Endangered Alphabets

In 2016 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 2019 would be the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The declaration’s goal was to raise awareness for disappearing language systems around the world, while mobilizing a coordinated global effort to help preserve them. At the time of the meeting it was estimated that 40% of the world’s 6,700 languages were at risk of disappearing. This threatens the history of the associated cultures, while also erasing thousands of years of knowledge systems valuable for protecting the environment, peace making, and national resource development.

The Endangered Alphabets Project is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization that supports endangered, minority, and indigenous cultures by helping to preserve their writing systems. For the past six years they have researched and compiled information on endangered languages, exhibited artwork using the cultures’ sayings, proverbs, and spiritual texts, and partnered with organizations to publish educational materials and games in endangered languages. Through their research they have also created an interactive website that tracks these languages across the globe. The Atlas of Endangered Alphabets is a clickable map compiled from languages across the world. Many of these scripts do not have an official status in their country, state, or province, and are not taught in government-funded schools.

“My goal is to include scripts from indigenous and minority cultures who are in danger of losing their sense of history, identity, and purpose and who are trying to protect, preserve and/or revive their writing system as a way of reconnecting to their past, their dignity, their sense of a way ahead,” explained Tim Brookes, the founder and president of the Endangered Alphabets Project. “A traditional script is a visual reminder of a people’s identity—as we can tell by the number of cultures that continue to use their script as an emblem (on printed invitations, on shop fronts, even on the national flag) long after most people have stopped using it for everyday purposes.”

As a general rule, the atlas is guided by Article 13 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which says: “Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.” The project is therefore not necessarily about the language, but about the people that speak and continue to carry these writing systems as tradition.

You can begin your own search into writing systems and their origins, or take a look at a list of languages the atlas needs help researching on their website. (via Kottke)

An oil barrel sculpture installation with Afaka script which reads "Save our Drinking Water" by Marcel Pinas

An oil barrel sculpture installation with Afaka script which reads “Save our Drinking Water” by Marcel Pinas

An example of Mandombe, an indigenously-created script of sub-Saharan Africa, which is said to be the only writing system in the world that looks like a brick wall.

An example of Mandombe, an indigenously-created script of sub-Saharan Africa, which is said to be the only writing system in the world that looks like a brick wall

"The One and The Many" is a 24-tonne sculpted granite boulder by artist Peter Randall-Page inscribed with many of the world's scripts and symbols. It includes Bassa Vah, an alphabet for writing the Bassa language of Liberia (highlighted in light grey), among many others.

“The One and The Many” is a 24-ton sculpted granite boulder by artist Peter Randall-Page inscribed with many of the world’s scripts and symbols. It includes Bassa Vah, an alphabet for writing the Bassa language of Liberia (highlighted in light grey), among many others

A bilingual plaque in Portuguese and Javanese

A carving by Tim Brookes in Ojibwe, a Canadian Aboriginal syllabic language

A carving by Tim Brookes in Ojibwe, a Canadian Aboriginal syllabic language

A street sign in Thaana, the script of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, image by Eric Lafforgue

A street sign in Thaana, the script of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, image by Eric Lafforgue

A Siddham manuscript of the Heart Sutra

A Siddham manuscript of the Heart Sutra

 

 



Art

A Pair of Two-Story-Tall Pigeons Make a Home in Delhi During This Year’s Lodhi Art Festival

February 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images by Pranav Gohil, via Street Art News

All images by Pranav Gohil, via Street Art News

Artist Adele Renault (previously here and here) creates large-scale paintings of pigeons, highlighting the spectacular feather patterns and hues that might otherwise go unnoticed at the birds’ small scale. Recently the Belgian artist completed a mural of two grey and blue-toned pigeons for St+art India’s Lodhi Street Art Festival in Delhi. The bird on the right has its mouth agape, squawking at the one on the left from the other side of a window that peers into a courtyard. Programming for the festival runs through the end of March, 2019. You can view more of Renault’s large-scale paintings on her website and Instagram, and take a look at her Amsterdam-based space Unruly Gallery which she runs with collaborator Niels Shoe Meulman. (via Street Art News)