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Art

Constellations of Found Electronics Shape Faces on Vintage Rackets by Artist Leonardo Ulian

June 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Leonardo Ulian, shared with permission

London-based artist Leonardo Ulian (previously) merges two disparate elements in his sprawling assemblages: he speckles analog equipment with an array of electronic pieces found in digital devices. Created while in quarantine, Ulian’s Contrived Object series is comprised of vintage tennis rackets displaying intricate constellations of metal parts, microchips, and other found objects that form an abstract face.

The egg shape of the “head” of these vintage rackets reminded me of something yet familiar but at the moment lost. The result is a composition that resembles vaguely a human face made from a recycled object from the past, the racket, clashing with the rest of the elements, electronic parts, and the found objects. Then, an anomaly called “pareidolia,” the mechanism that leads our brain to bring things and objects of all kinds back to known and sensible forms does the rest. Will these be the faces of the future?

To view more of Ulian’s precisely arranged projects, follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Rope Twists into Massive, Fibrous Circuit Boards by Artist Windy Chien

June 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

(2019), cotton, 24k gold vintage Japanese thread, and walnut. All images © Windy Chien, shared with permission

California-based artist Windy Chien began her career with macrame before becoming frustrated with its limitations. “I gave myself an assignment to learn one new knot every day for one year, and thereby increase my vocabulary of knots and become fluent in what I now recognize to be a language—the universal language of knots,” she says. The year-long exploration spurred her more recent series of Circuit Boards, large wall hangings of winding rope with gold, red, and white thread wound around the strands’ ends. 

Spanning up to 24 feet, the fiber pieces resemble conductive pathways and tracks made from metal. While broadly inspired by electronics, Chien also is influenced by Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 redesign of the New York City subway map and fashion editor Diana Vreeland’s belief that “the eye has to travel.”

I find the metaphor of the journey to be potent and relevant here. For me, the visual pleasure derived from the Circuit Boards comes from choosing one rope end and following it to the conclusion of its journey through the work. Electronic circuit boards connect and conduct power; subway maps (maps in general) provide a kind of simulation of a journey, a guide to choices and paths. 

The artist tells Colossal that by examining the inherent tension in knots, she hopes to consider both their physical function and aesthetic value. “The neurosurgeon Leonard Shlain pointed out that art interprets the visible world, while physics charts its unseen workings. I think of my work as a fusion of the two,” she writes. “Art matters because it voices the unvoiceable—it is human experience distilled.”

Follow Chien’s work that imbues traditional craft techniques with technology on Instagram, and take a peek inside her studio.

 

(2020), 48 x 72 inches

2020), 48 x 72 inches

(2019), synthetic sailing line, leather, and walnut, 3 x 10 feet

(2019), sunbrella line and trim, walnut, 4.5 x 24 feet

(2019), sunbrella line and trim, walnut, 4.5 x 24 feet

“Lava Flow” (2019), synthetic sailing line, leather, and walnut

 

 



Design Music

Barcodes Function as Techno Instrument That’s Played with Reused Scanners

February 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

Designed to recycle outdated electronics, multiple musical projects by Electronicos Fantasticos utilize a version of the barcode system found on every package on store shelves. When scanned, each pattern sends a signal to its audio component, emitting the corresponding sound wave. The black and white stripes produce a variety of rhythmic and tonal noises in two instrumental projects: the Barcoder, shown above, and Barcodress, a pattern-covered gown that’s played when the wearer moves in front of the scanner. Artist and musician Ei Wada (previously) leads the design group, which said in a statement that its goal is to create an entire orchestra of similar instruments. To watch more of the barcode projects in use, head to Instagram and YouTube.

 

 



Animation Food

Stop Motion Cooking Tutorials by Omozoc Transform Sporting Goods and Electronics Into Unconventional Meals

May 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

YouTube user omozoc uses common household appliances both inside and out of the kitchen to craft his delightfully creative stop motion “meals.” A baseball glove becomes the bun of a strangely enticing hot dog, while a cracked-open computer mouse makes an unusual batch of scrambled eggs on the top of an open copy machine. Each video is composed of thousands of images compiled by the user, who does not use Photoshop or CGI, and features an array of satisfying sound effects. Watch more of his invented cooking tutorials, like a sushi meal created from a business suit and an iPhone, in the videos below, or on his YouTube channel. If you enjoy these animations, also check out stop motion meals by PES.

 

 

 



Design Science

Papier Machine: A Book of Six Interactive Electronic Paper Toys

January 16, 2018

Christopher Jobson

We’ve seen a wide gamut of paper project books lately, from shadows and cameras to planetariums and architectural models. Joining the DIY library today is Papier Machine, a collection of six interactive electronic paper toys all gathered together within the pages of a book developed by a trio of French designers. The various experiments are silkscreen printed on perforated paper and activated by button cell batteries, conductive silver ink, metal marbles, and other electronic components.

The six included gadgets include a piano “tuned” by hand-drawn graphite zones, a gyroscope, a marble track that plays sounds, a wind sensor, a centrifugal force track, and a tilt switch. Earlier versions of Papier Machine won Audi Talent and Red Dot Design awards, leading way to extra research and development in this final book which just launched on Kickstarter. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Design Illustration

Popular Electronics Brands Rendered as an Alphabet of Stylish Products

October 23, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Taking inspiration from a wide variety of electronic brands, designer Vinicius Araújo designed this alphabet of Helvetica letterforms, each modeled after a brand’s namesake product. The letter “N” for Nintendo becomes a retro-styled NES gaming system while the “B” for Beats grabs the aesthetic of comfy headphones. Araújo went even further with several of the letters to create a few brief animations. You can see the entire series titled 36days Electronics on Behance.

 

 



Craft Design

New Winged Insects Constructed from Video Game and Computer Components

June 2, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Before old circuit boards find their way to the landfill, Portsmouth, UK-based artist Julie Alice Chappell gives them new life as winged insects. Tearing the boards from old computers and video game systems she cuts and sculpts them into crawly creatures that resemble butterflies, dragonflies and even cockroaches. The upcycled bugs are further adorned with other electrical components that form various appendages. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and she sells them through her Etsy shop.

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