Art

Quippy Interventions by Michael Pederson Are Camouflaged as Legitimate Street Signs

September 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Michael Pederson

Working as Miguel Marquez Outside, artist Michael Pederson (previously) installs signage around urban areas that at first glance, might appear as an average city-issued nameplate or placard. His clever interventions mimic official warnings and notices in design and placement, disguising their witty messages and unusual purposes. In some of his more recent pieces, Pederson dubs a sagging bench the “Endless Waiting Area,” marks a grassy runway as a pigeon terminal, and installs a miniature wonderland down a drainage tube. Although the artist primarily works in Australia, you can find his unexpected projects in cities around the world, which you can see more of on Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation

A Superstitious Cast Kicks Off Montréal's 13th Annual Stop-Motion Festival in a Carnivalesque Animation

September 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

To launch its 13th year, a bizarre animation for the 2021 Festival Stop Motion Montréal evokes eerie tropes and superstitions: a drooling pug morphs into an unfriendly black cat, a gardener reveals a sharp scissor hand, and a once-vibrant fire turns into clouds of soot. Set to a lively track by Nick Lavigne that quickly bends into a sinister tone, the claymation teaser by Rome-based animator Gianluca Maruotti opens the festival, which will show 93 short films from September 10 to 19. You can find the event’s lineup—which includes appearances by Andrea Love’s Tulip and the modest product-testing rabbit named Ralph—on its site, Vimeo, and Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Photography Science

A Spectacularly Colorful Shot of an Oak Leaf Tops Nikon's 2021 Photomicrography Competition

September 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

By Jason Kirk, trichome (white appendages) and stomata (purple pores) on a southern live oak leaf. All images coutesy of Nikon Small World, shared with permission

Unless they were under a microscope, it would be difficult to see the shimmery barbs of a louse claw or cracks running through a single piece of table salt. The winning entries of the 47th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition unveil these otherwise imperceptible features, showing the unique textures, colors, and shapes in stunning detail. We’ve chosen some of our favorite images below—these include the crystal-like webbing of a slime mold captured by Allison Pollack (previously), the first-prize winning glimpse of an oak leaf by Jason Kirk, and the kaleidoscopic head of a tick revealed by doctors Tong Zhang and Paul Stoodley—and you can find more from this year’s competition on the contest’s site and Instagram.

 

By Frank Reiser, rear leg, claw, and respiratory trachea of a louse (Haematopinus suis)

By Alison Pollack, slime mold (Arcyria pomiformis)

By Saulius Gugis, table salt crystal

By Martin Kaae Kristiansen, filamentous strands of Nostoc cyanobacteria captured inside a gelatinous matrix

By Sébastien Malo, vein and scales on a butterfly wing (Morpho didius)

By Jan van IJken, water flea (Daphnia) carrying embryos and peritrichs

By Dr. Tong Zhang and Dr. Paul Stoodley, head of a tick

By Oliver Dum, the proboscis of a housefly (Musca domestica)

 

 



Jen Stark's Colorful World Comes to Life at 'Cascade' in Brooklyn

September 13, 2021

Colossal

“DRIP CASCADE” (2021), concept and direction by Jen Stark, animation by David Lewandowski, and sound by Charlie Scovill. All images by and courtesy of Jen Stark, shared with permission

An immersive experience by multimedia artist Jen Stark is coming to Williamsburg. From September 17 through October 24, visitors can experience Stark’s colorful dreamworld Cascade through interactive mind-bending projections, 3D-mapped environments, murals, and sculptures presented across 6,000 square feet of exhibition space at the William Vale Hotel in Brooklyn, New York. Cascade will also introduce a series of NFTs available for auction, as well as $STARK coin, a social token promoting community involvement in the artist’s pursuits.

To bring her hypnotic visions and sacred geometries to life, Stark collaborated with a team of highly skilled computer programmers trained in augmented reality and projection mapping. As visitors walk through Cascade’s portal gallery and waterfall room, they will be enveloped by kaleidoscopic environments suffused with kinetic, undulating patterns that showcase the artist’s signature drips and alien forms.

Throughout the duration of the exhibition, select animated projections featured in Cascade will be minted as NFTs and auctioned online. Stark’s “Multiverse” NFT auctioned for 150 ETH ($343,071) in March of this year, with the sale catapulting her onto the leaderboard as the first female artist in NFT platform Foundation’s top 10 highest selling creators. She is partnering with Rally.io to launch the $STARK coin at Cascade, holders of which will have exclusive access to a gated Discord community, a custom social media avatar, and virtual studio visits. $STARK coins can be purchased with a debit or credit card, cryptocurrency, or by converting $RLY tokens, Rally’s default currency, into $STARK coins. Powered by the ethereum blockchain, Rally.io is an open network dedicated to fostering vibrant independent economies between creatives and fans.

For further information on NFTs, show hours, ticket pricing, and conjunctive programming, visit cascadeshow.com.

Cascade was organized and produced by Art Market Productions in association with United Talent Agency and Joshua Liner Projects.

 

 

 



Art Food

Mammoth Straw Creatures Populate Japanese Farmland in the Annual Wara Art Festival

September 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Wara Art Festival

If you visit Japan’s Niigata Prefecture during the region’s annual rice harvest, you’re likely to find enormous tarantulas, eagles, and dinosaur-like creatures stalking the bucolic landscape. The towering sculptures are part of the Wara Art Festival, a summertime event that displays massive animals and mythical creations fashioned from the crop’s leftover straw.

Traditionally, the byproduct is used as livestock feed, for compost that revitalizes the soil, and to craft household goods like zori sandals, although farmers increasingly have found themselves with a surplus as agricultural technology and culture changes. This shift prompted a partnership between the people of the former Iwamuro Village, which is now Nishikan Ward, and Tokyo’s Musashino Art University (known colloquially as Musabi) in 2006. At the time, Department of Science of Design professor Shingo Miyajima suggested that the unused straw be used in a collaborative art project between the university and local farmers, resulting in the first Wara Art Festival in 2008.

Today, students design the oversized characters—you can see previous year’s creations in this gallery—and artisans from Nishikan Ward construct the wooden armature and thatched bodies. The monumental figures stand as high as 30 feet, looming over the green landscape in a playful celebration of local culture.

Although the festival paused in 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s back for its 13th edition at Uwasekigata Park. This year’s motley cast includes insects, animals, and even legendary monsters like the Amabie, all on view through October 31. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Art

Artist Thierry Mandon Lives in Suspended Domestic Scenes Within the Ghost Rooms of Severed Buildings

September 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Tableau vivant” (2007-2008). All images © Thierry Mandon, shared with permission

Multidisciplinary artist Thierry Mandon casts himself as the subject of his satirical works as he reads in a bed hazardously suspended feet above the ground or sips a glass of wine at a halved dining table. The humorous and discomforting pieces, titled “Inside–Outside” and “Tableau vivant,” respectively, unveil a series of slow, solitary activities that, once outdoors, become a performative spectacle rather than a mundane moment. They speak to Mandon’s “search for harmony and for a stable unity between humans and their environment,” he says, as he literally slices and adheres domestic objects to a building’s facade.

“Each video portrays a character that, as a kind of archetype of the individual, is confronted by his human condition, his limits, his power, and helplessness,” Mandon writes to Colossal. “These themes are rendered by works where two elements, two worlds are exposed in a precarious balance.”

Mandon lives and works in Ardèche, France, and you can find a larger collection of his works on his site and Vimeo.

 

“Inside–Outside” (2015)

“Tableau vivant” (2007-2008)

“Inside–Outside” (2015)

“Inside–Outside” (2015)