with Daniel Agdag
Daniel Agdag’s Playful Rollercoaster Takes a Miniature Approach to Monumental Amusement
Although riders aren’t able to board Daniel Agdag’s rollercoaster, the Australian artist (previously) ensures that his recreational design is structurally sound. Agdag recently completed his largest project to date, a nearly ten-foot big dipper with an elaborately cross-hatched base that mimics the rides. Created during a two-year period, “Lattice” is a miniature rendition of the monumental pastime, built from vellum and “897,560 individual hand-cut cardboard members in the truss section alone,” a component that took about eight months to complete.
The intricate sculpture—which was a commission from the New York City Department of Education and NYC School Construction Authority Public Art for Public Schools in collaboration with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art program—references Luna Park, a now-defunct chain that began in Coney Island before expanding to locations worldwide. “In fact, the Melbourne Luna Park still has one of the oldest wooden rollercoasters in the world, and this work was very much inspired by a wooden rollercoaster. I thought that was a nice way to link the work’s origin and its destination,” Agdag shares, noting that the “House of Mirrors” section is an ode to the Peter Wiederer Mirror Company that originally occupied the Staten Island site.
Now permanently housed at the Evelyn Lewis Campus—given its location on school property, there’s no public access to view the work—”Lattice” engages with the metaphor of life as a rollercoaster, perpetually moving forward through a series of twists, turns, dips, and peaks. “But this is but one metaphor,” Agdag tells Colossal, explaining that the piece also references a collective spirit. He says:
To me, the representation speaks of systems hidden within the amusement, a considered structure. Constructed of many individual stems and beams, I interpret it as the many people that need to contribute to making society not only function but thrive. The individual structural elements laced together to form a beautiful lattice of strength. Independently they carry little weight, but together they are strengthened and resilient against the forces that try to tear them down.
Agdag shares glimpses into his process and studio on Instagram, where you can follow along with his latest projects.
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Fantastical Mechanisms of Land and Sea Built from Cardboard and Hand-Blown Glass by Daniel Agdag
Australian sculptor and filmmaker Daniel Agdag (previously) builds fictionalized architectural objects that could find their home in the sky, on land, or under the sea. The cardboard, timber, and hand-blown glass structures are inspired by the hidden mechanics found in everyday industrial forms, and consist of miniature models of fans, gears, and pumps. Inflated balloons like The Southeasterly carry small ship-like vessels, and a 2018 work titled The Second State looks like an early roller coaster model complete with billboard-like signage that spells out the word “LUCKY.”
Agdag received a Master’s degree in Film and Television from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2007. His recent solo exhibition States wrapped at Messums in Wilshire on June 30, 2019, and selected sculptures from the exhibition will travel to the gallery’s London location from July 3 to 13, 2019. You can see more of Agdag’s sculptural objects on his website and Instagram.
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New Whimsical Cardboard Machines and an Art Deco-Inspired Stop Motion Film by Daniel Agdag
Australian artist Daniel Agdag (previously) produces invented contraptions and antiquated flying machines from cardboard, timber, and trace paper, turning his whimsical fantasies into highly detailed sculptures. The works seek to connect his audience with the mechanics located beneath the exterior of modern machines while emphasizing the complexity present in our everyday experiences.
New sculptural works include a flying caboose that combines the visual language of locomotives and hot air balloons and a turbine-assisted car that moves horizontally along a raised track. In addition to these new pieces, Agdag has also released a short film with producer Liz Kearney titled Lost Property Office. The stop-motion animation follows a custodian named Ed through his solitary work in a large city’s Lost Property Office, exploring the whimsical creations he builds from discarded objects and machines. Over 2,500 sheets of recycled cardboard were utilized over the course of the film’s 18-month production, which translated into 1,258 hand-crafted and Art Deco-style set pieces and props.
Agdag and Kearney’s film is currently being screened at film festivals all over the world. Next month Lost Property Office will travel to the New Zealand International Film Festival for Animation Now! on August 2 and 6, 2018 and the Palm Springs International Animation Festival from August 22-26, 2018. You can watch the trailer for the short in the video below, and see more of Agdag’s sculptural objects on his website and Instagram.
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New Fantastical Miniature Flying Machines Forged From Cardboard by Daniel Agdag
Melbourne-based Daniel Agdag (previously) produces fantastical models of machines as a way to explore his own daydreams of what may be lurking inside our most basic structures, the machinery kept hidden under steel or concrete. Agdag wants to draw attention to the complexity of the everyday, highlighting the gears and systems deep inside the objects that make our lives more convenient. Agdag builds these imagined contraptions from cardboard rather than metal, meticulously constructing the objects to appear much more durable than their actual materials suggest.
“Aesthetically, the driving force behind the creation of works I make stem from a need to see and imagine objects, machines and environments in a way I’d like to see them, to imagine how I think they work and expose their inner workings,” said Agdag. “All too often, the most amazing feats of human engineering are kept hidden and disguised under shiny facades or reinforced concrete.”
The flying vessels are also inspired by Agdag’s mother who migrated alone from Europe to Australia. The sculptures romanticize the feeling of being alone in the sky, unsure of what adventures may come. “I think of the airships as a vehicle to escape with, an attempt to cross a divide, to be the captain of my own journey,” said Agdag.
Agdag’s last exhibition was the group exhibition “Model Urban” at Manningham Art Gallery in Australia last fall, and he showed work with MARS Gallery at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair last September. You can see more of his detailed cardboard sculptures and in-progress works on his Instagram.
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Imaginative Industrial Flying Machines Made From Cardboard by Daniel Agdag
If you want to create detailed and imaginative flying machine sculptures that look like they’re about to take flight, cardboard is hardly the material to use. Unless, of course, you’re artist Daniel Agdag (previously), who has been toiling away creating a series of new works each more detailed and fascinating than the next. “The Principles of Aerodynamics” is Agdag’s first solo exhibition where his series of cardboard contraptions that portray his “ongoing pursuit of escape through the metaphor of flight” will be on display through Aug 31, 2014.
As he’s done in the past, Agdag forfeits all blueprints, drawings and plans choosing, instead, to work only from mind and scalpel. His industrial beasts–get close and you can almost smell the oil and smoke; hear the clanking and buzzing–come together only from sliced cardboard hinged with glue.
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Sets for a Film I’ll Never Make: The Unbelievably Intricate Cardboard Sculptures of Daniel Agdag
If you ask Melbourne-based artist Daniel Agdag what he does, he’ll tell you that he makes things out of cardboard. However, this statement hardly captures the absurd complexity and detail of his boxboard and PVA glue sculptures that push the limits of the medium. Agdag is an award-winning creator of stop-motion films and this new series of work, Sets for a Film I’ll Never Make, feature a number of his structural experiments which he refers to simply as “sketching with cardboard”. Miraculously, each work is created without detailed plans or drawings and are almost wholly improvised as he works. You can see these latest sculptures at Off the Kerb Gallery starting October 26, 2012, in Melbourne’s inner north suburb of Collingwood.
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