Photography

A Sharp Look at the Surprisingly Complex Process of Pencil Manufacturing by Photographer Christopher Payne

November 13, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Christopher Payne /Esto

Photographer Christopher Payne (previously) spent several years building a relationship with the owners of General Pencil Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, one of the last remaining pencil factories in the United States. His dedication to working with the factory paid off, and between fall 2015 and summer 2017 Payne was granted access to the production floor for photo-documentation more than thirty times.

The photographer, renowned for his cinematic images that show the architectural grace of manufacturing spaces, shares that he has held a lifelong fascination with design, assembly, and industrial processes. “The pencil is so simple and ubiquitous that we take it for granted,” Payne tells Colossal. “But making one is a surprisingly complex process, and when I saw all the steps involved, many of which are done by hand, I knew it would make for a compelling visual narrative.”

Payne received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture, though he has long focused on photography in his professional life. He has published three books and exhibited his work widely, most recently at the Wellcome Collection in London, U.K. and the Museum of the City of New York. You can see more of his work on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Origami Lava Pours from the Window of an Abandoned Building in Catalonia for LLUÈRNIA

November 12, 2018

Christopher Jobson

As part of the recent LLUÈRNIA festival of light and fire in Catalonia, collaborators David Oliva of SP25 Arquitectura and Anna Juncà of Atelier 4 created this spectacular flow of lava using common fortune teller origami figures. Over 10,000 folded pieces of paper were needed to create the work that was illuminated from underneath and further brought to life with smoke machines. Titled simply “Origami Lava,” the piece was affixed to an abandoned building in Olot, a town surrounded by dormant volcanoes. You can see more at SP25 Arquitectura. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Two Hundred and Seventy Plastic Bags Rhythmically Inflate in a New Installation by Nils Völker

November 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Two hundred and seventy white garbage bags hang like ghosts in the columned hall of Vienna, Austria’s Museum für agewandte Kunst (MAK) for the exhibition Sagmeister & Walsh: Beauty. The piece is by Nils Völker (previously), and is titled after the number of bags present in the installation. Over 1000 precisely installed fans and 45 circuit boards keep their movement on track, helping to rhythmically inflate and deflate the hanging plastic objects. The repetitive crinkling fills the vast hall, creating an audio texture akin to the rustling of tissue paper or the sound of the tide on a sandy beach.

The concave installation is divided into nine segments that each contain two columns of plastic bags. While viewing the piece from the front you can only make out the white mass of plastic. Viewing it from the side or rear however, reveals the massive amount of cables and circuitry needed to make what appears to be such an effortless piece of art function. Two Hundred and Seventy is on view at MAK in Vienna through March 2019.

 

 



Photography

Nightshift: An Illuminated Glimpse Into Shanghai’s Late Night Shops and Stalls

November 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

While in town for a shoot for Shanghai Photofairs this past summer, photographer Florian Mueller would wander through the city’s streets, meeting the owners of food stalls and other businesses that stayed open into the night. The series, Nightshift, observes the inviting glow that emanates from Shanghai’s after-hours operations in addition to showcasing those that staff the small shops during the humid evenings. Flowers, carbonated beverages, cell phone cases, and ripe citrus are just some of the illuminated items that appear in the suite of works. You can see more images from Nightshift on Mueller’s website and Behance, and follow his travels on Instagram.

         

 

 



Design Food

Cartoonish Bread Faces and Other Wheaty Characters by Sabine Timm

November 8, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Have your kids been complaining about what’s in their lunchbox lately? They must be following Sabine Timm on Instagram. The self-described “artist, creator, beach-trash collector, flea-market lover and photographer” shares a wide variety of work inspired by everyday and found objects. One series in particular is a clever cast of characters formed from sandwich bread.

Timm uses sliced white and whole wheat bread, along with rye crisps, pumpernickle, and baguettes to form the base of endearing, ephemeral faces. Some slices take the shape of humanoid characters, with chives for hair and raspberries for noses, while others, like her canine quartet, feature shiny black olive eyeballs and noses. You can see more from Timm’s eclectic output on Flickr. (via Swiss Miss)

 

 



Art

Bursts of Stylized Flowers by ‘Ouizi’ Transform Buildings Into Floral Canvases

November 8, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photograph by Tom Loonan

Artist Louise Jones (previously), known professionally as Ouizi, focuses on flowers in her multi-faceted practice. Whether creating towering outdoor murals, carving linoleum prints, completing indoor mural commissions, or painting on more traditional canvases, Jones creates groupings of real and imagined blossoms. In addition to painting in her home base of Detroit, where she has completed over 40 murals, Jones travels widely to execute work, including in Los Angeles (her hometown), Shanghai, New Zealand, and New York.

The artist’s largest mural to date, titled Wildflowers for Buffalo, was recently completed in Buffalo, New York as part of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative. The enormous work is the largest mural in Western New York. For this commission and other site-specific projects, Jones researched and incorporated native flora in her designs. She works in a distinctive aesthetic that merges botanical realism with a stylized, sinuous technique that draws from her Chinese heritage.

In an interview with Shinola, Jones explained, “Flowers are a vehicle for me to explore color and shapes. They remind me so much of my own body — they’re very feminine. I consider myself to be feminine, but haven’t always felt that way. As I get older, I’ve learned to embrace my femininity, and I find myself increasingly drawn to flowers with age.”

Jones studied drawing and printmaking at UC Santa Cruz. You can see more of her work on Instagram, and watch a behind-the-scenes video and interview of Jones’ Buffalo mural below.

 

 



Art

A 46-Foot-Tall Minotaur Roams the Streets of Toulouse, France in La Machine’s Latest Urban Opera

November 8, 2018

Sasha Bogojev

The French creative company La Machine recently premiered their latest creation, a nearly 50-foot-tall robotic Minotaur, in Toulouse, France. The beast marched through the labyrinthine streets of the city’s old town accompanied by a 42-foot spider for the group’s latest production The Guardian of the Temple. The pair of machines performed an operatic interpretation of the myth of Ariadne, a Cretan princess who helped Theseus overcome the Minotaur, to live music. These impressive kinetic sculptures are La Machine’s latest project from their oeuvre of mechanical bestiary which has operating worldwide since 1999.

Bringing together artists, technicians, and show decorators, this unique group of enthusiasts and experts construct atypical show objects, and movement is the key factor for their awe-inspiring performances and creations. La Machine’s animal-like works turn the cities into dream worlds. “We always work on movement,” La Machine’s head of marketing, Frédette Lampre tells Colossal. “It’s our artistic line and we always use the fine material such as wood, leather, copper, or glass, and never use plastics.”

The mechanical spider was constructed over the course of two years by a team of around 60 people. The mythical Minotaur machine is half electric and half combustion, and moves around the city with the help of 17 operators. Although this technical beast weighs over 10,000 pounds, it still has the capacity to move smoothly and realistically between the city’s large buildings and blast steam out of its large nostrils.

The performance was organized as an introduction of the newly repurposed Toulouse Aerospace district. After presenting their creations and projects throughout Germany, Belgium, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Japan, China, and Canada, their upcoming shows are scheduled for Nantes and Calais in France. You can see a portion of the Toulouse-based performance in the video below and view past productions on La Machine’s website, Instagram, and Youtube.  (via Dioniso Punk)

 

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Astérion a parcouru @toulousefr au pas de charge pour accomplir sa quête #gardiendutemple

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