installation

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Art

Giant Ribbons of Wood Form Twisting Root Structures in Expansive Installation

January 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nugyen, shared with permission

For their recent installation “Study in Pattern,” artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen (previously) expanded on the idea of constructing an enormous tree comprised of long wood strips in studio. The result is an arboreal project that occupies almost an entire room with outstretched portions extending up to the ceiling and toward each corner of the space. Visitors to the exhibition were able to peer up through the spiraling trunk of the tree and walk beneath the wide-reaching roots.

The experimental project was developed for the Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah, a United Arab Emirates city that is part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. To engage the traditions of Islamic art, Kavanaugh and Nguyen told Colossal they incorporated Arabesque elements into “Study in Pattern.”

This work draws from the architectural cues of the site: the repetition of arches, overlapping linear patterns, and the viewer’s attention is focused as they pass through the interior of a dome, but the finished work ultimately took on the feel a gesture drawing, veering away from regularity of pattern and toward entropic wildness.

The artists say they are testing this installation as a small version before producing the complete project in Seattle. More about the duo’s massive nature-based works can be found on their site.

 

 



Design

Giant Seesaws Transform New York City’s Garment District into Light-Filled Urban Playground

January 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Alexandre Ayer/Diversity Pictures LLC, shared with permission

New York City’s Garment District recently received a dose of cold-weather fun with Impluse, an interactive installation of 12 oversize seesaws that glow and emit sound when someone hops on one end. Originally shown at the Place Des Festivals in Montreal in 2016 before traveling to cities like Chicago, Boston, Scottsdale, the installation allows users to produce their own light and sound shows that transform the city’s dreary January streets. The seesaws range from 16 to 24 feet and contain LED lights that vary in intensity and speakers that play random musical sequences.

Designed by Lateral Office and CS Design, Impulse encourages people to come together in a “public space all year round, both summer and winter months, by engaging ideas of urban play,” the creators said in a statement. “Inspired by the iconic cover of the Joy Division album ‘Unknown Pleasures,’ as well as Steve Reich’s serial, minimal music, which plays with repetition, rhythm and syncopation, Impulse project explores how architecture can visualize sound.” You can be part of the communal display by visiting the installation, which is on Broadway until January 31, or if you’re not in the city, by checking out the Garment District on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Color-Blocked Animals and Geometric Shapes Transform Neglected Home in Installation by Okuda San Miguel

December 16, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Justkids, shared with permission

Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel is bringing vibrancy once again to a formerly untended area of Fort Smith, Arkansas. His recent project, “The Rainbow Embassy,” was curated by global creative house Justkids for the Unexpected, an effort to revitalize dilapidated areas in Arkansas through a series of immersive arts initiatives. For the installation, Okuda painted a neglected house that occupied a lot adjacent to Darby Junior High School with a series of multi-colored geometric shapes and lines. The structure even has two faces resembling animals painted on its sides.

“This project gave me the possibility to expand on my previous work, adding in more architectonic dimension and completing my vision of mythical animals,” Okuda says. He wants his work to bring “a touch of imagination and play into the daily lives of the neighboring community and students and Darby Junior High, as they will get to enjoy the installation and watch as it evolves through the seasons.”

Okuda is known for his metamorphic projects, including his work on churches in Morocco and Spain and on a 19th-century French castle. If you’re in Fort Smith, head downtown to check out the permanent installation. Otherwise, find more of the artist’s vibrant transformations on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Dense Installations by Max Hooper Schneider Feature Vibrant Landscapes Scattered with Human Objects

December 6, 2019

Grace Ebert

Max Hooper Schneider‘s formal training in marine biology and landscape architecture is apparent in his recent installation titled “Hammer Projects.” Schneider’s work features rich landscapes overflowing with colorful natural elements that are interspersed with human objects, like a container of cheese balls, a rusting rifle, and strings of beaded necklaces.

The Hammer Museum describes the Los Angeles-based artist’s work as an attempt to decenter the human experience and challenge assumptions about how and why we classify objects. Through his installations, Schneider explores dichotomous relationships—like the human and nonhuman, construction and destruction, and the political and the personal—that traditionally have informed daily life.

If you’re in Los Angeles, you can see Schneider’s work at the Hammer Museum through February 2, 2020. Otherwise, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

A Traffic Jam of Sand Cars by Leandro Erlich is Blocking Miami Beach

December 5, 2019

Grace Ebert

All photographs © Greg Lotus

There’s a traffic jam on Miami Beach thanks to Leandro Erlich (previously). Erlich’s installation, titled “Order of Importance,” is an effort to put conversations surrounding climate change front and center. Commissioned by the city of Miami Beach and curated by Ximena Caminos and Brandi Reddick, the installation features 66 life-sized cars and trucks erected on the beach at Lincoln Road. Made of sand, the vehicles blend in with the surrounding beach and highlight the temporary nature of their construction. They will be allowed to deteriorate until the exhibition closes December 15.

“The climate crisis has become an objective problem that requires immediate solutions,” Erlich says. “As an artist, I am in a constant struggle to make people aware of this reality, in particular, the idea that we cannot shrink away from our responsibilities to protect the planet.”

Caminos added that the exhibit, “like an image from a contemporary Pompeii or a future relic, also alludes to our fragile position in the large universal canvas. It interacts with the climate crisis facing the world, particularly the rising sea level.”

Erlich, who resides in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, is known for combining architecture, sculpture, and theater to create surreal works that alter traditional conceptions of natural environments. “Order of Importance” is his largest installation to date. You can find more of his work on Instagram and his site.

 

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Art Science

Our House is Flooding: a Semi-Submerged Life-Size Home Floats Down the River Thames

November 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs by Guy Reece, courtesy of Extinction Rebellion

Over the weekend of November 10, activist group Extinction Rebellion launched a dramatic installation in London’s River Thames. “Our House is Flooding” was comprised of a life-size brick house, complete with flood lights, a security camera, and a satellite dish, sunken into the British capital’s major waterway.

“Sadly, climate-change is something that affects every one of us. We want to respectfully raise awareness of the severity of the impending human-made disaster,” said Katey Burak and Rob Higgs, who co-built the house. “We wanted to make something that people can visually connect to, whilst leaning on the government and the experts to make the changes that need to be made. Until they make the big legal and financial changes, it’s very hard for people like me or you to make significant changes to protect ourselves and the world around us.”

The impact of climate change on the oceans is inextricably linked to the safety and health of land-bound humans and animals as well. In another chilling example of the immediate effects of climate change and rising sea levels, the world’s foremost art event, the Venice Biennale, was shut down just a few days after “Our House is Flooding”, due to damaging sea surges and floods in the fragile Italian city.

Keep up with Extinction Rebellion’s actions that fight for ecological and social justice on Instagram and Twitter, and find ways to get involved on the organization’s global website. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



Art

Site-Specific Installations Accentuate the Geometric Architecture of Mies Van Der Rohe

November 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

German Pavilion. All photographs: Kate Joyce

Chicago-based duo Luftwerk (previously) partnered with architect Iker Gil and sound designer Oriol Tarragó for “Geometries of Light,” two coordinated installations celebrating the architectural forms of Mies van der Rohe. Both displayed in 2019, the shows were separated by one continent and approximately eight months; the German Pavilion display was on view in February 2019, and the second installation took place this fall at the Farnsworth House outside of Chicago.

The concept was was inspired by the structure’s apparent weightlessness, as it “seemingly floats perfectly on its pedestal”, Petra Bachmaier of Luftwerk tells Colossal. After an initial site visit to Barcelona in 2018, the artists decided to use “a specific tool to accentuate the clarity of the architecture with the laser level, a tool mainly used for construction sites to keep things level,” explains Backmaier. (Bosch Powertools provided the bluetooth-enabled three-plane lasers for both installations.)

Farnsworth House

For both sites, the designers were inspired by the history and context of each location. The German Pavilion was built in 1929 and demolished a year later; in 1986 it was rebuilt based on drawings. With bright red lines cutting through rooms and wrapping around walls, “Geometry of Light heightens the illusion of physical and material boundaries,” says Bachmaier. This effect also reflects the morphed history of the building, and retracing its form, from physical to two-dimensional drawing, to physical once again.

In the autumnal installation at the Farnsworth House, the artists explored the relationship between the architecture and its rural setting. “It uncovers the forgotten history of the site and remnants of earlier landscape by revealing the underlying geometries that relate the renowned house to its river floodplain, topography and key trees that no longer exist,” the artists tell Colossal.

Explore more of Luftwerk’s site-specific installations on their website and Instagram, as well as projects by Gil and Tarragó.

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

German Pavilion

German Pavilion

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House