The Des Moines Art Center’s recent exhibit, Drawing in Space, highlighted four artists working in the medium of tape. The show included Numen/For Use (previously), an artist collective based in Vienna and Zagreb. Their interactive sculpture, called simply “Tape,” is made exclusively of clear packing tape, suspended within the art center’s I.M. Pei-designed architecture. Museum visitors are encouraged to explore the piece from the inside out—as long as they wear socks and move through the structure in a clockwise direction. Numen’s exhibit at the Art Center closed on January 21st, and we’re looking forward to seeing where it appears next. Previous iterations have been built in Paris, Frankfurt, and Vienna. See more of Numen/For Use’s work on their website and Facebook.
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For their latest dizzying interactive installation, Japanese collective teamLab (previously) brought the ocean indoors, creating a projected environment that reacts to the movements of visitors, all encased within the infinite space of a mirror room. Titled “Moving Creates Vortices and Vortices Create Movement” the work is inspired in part by the life cycle of the ocean, particularly the movement of plankton as represented by the reactive particle effects that spin like whirlpools as you pass through the exhibition space. The speed and direction of people’s movements are all factored into the projections and in the absence of motion the room gradually reverts to darkness.
The Vortices installation just opened at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia where it will remain on view through April 15, 2018. You can learn more on teamLab’s website. (via Designboom)
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Hundreds of pendulums swing through Paris’ Grande halle de la Villette for choreographer and artist William Forsythe‘s installation Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No. 2. The hanging plumbobs sway together in a series of timed sequences, which force visitors into choreographed movements as they avoid the ceiling-mounted works.
“The spectators are free to attempt a navigation of this statistically unpredictable environment, but are requested to avoid coming in contact with any of the swinging pendulums,” says an artist statement regarding Forsythe’s choreographic object. “This task, which automatically intimates and alerts the spectators innate predictive faculties, produces a lively choreography of manifold and intricate avoidance strategies.”
The work has previously been installed at the Circus Street Market as part of the Brighton Festival, the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, the Arsenale of the Venice Biennale, and will be displayed at la Grande halle de La Villette for le Festival d’Automne à Paris through December 31, 2017. You can see footage from an iteration of the installation at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany in the video above. (via The Kid Should See This)
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Artist Philip Beesley Merges Chemistry, Artificial Intelligence, and Interactivity to Create “Living” Architecture
Multidisciplinary artist and architect Philip Beesley weaves together such a broad array of technologies and systems in his artworks that they legitimately defy description, but the immediate impact of encountering these sprawling interactive installations is visceral and awe-inspiring. His latest work, Astrocyte, connects chemistry, artificial intelligence, and an immersive soundscape to create a living piece of architecture that responds to the presence of viewers. Comprised of 300,000 individual components, the piece was on view against the industrial backdrop at Toronto’s port lands for EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology last October. From a statement about the project:
The structure is made up of resilient, lightweight meshworks of thermally formed acrylic, laser-cut into geometrical patterns optimized for production with minimal waste. This unique space truss system is part of the Living Architecture Systems’ pioneering research into resilient and adaptable structures. Astrocyte’s structural mesh components use overlapping strands of material in doubly-curved conical forms that achieve extraordinary strength from minimal material. These innovative forms are clustered together in bundles that are similar to the multiple filaments spanning between outer and inner shells of natural bone structures.
The piece further incorporates 3D-printed lighting components and masses of custom glasswork that contain a combination of oil, inorganic chemicals, and other solutions to form a sort of chemical skin. At the core of Beesley research is the question of whether architecture can truly be “alive,” opening the possibility for self-repairing structures or deeply responsive organic environments, where artificial intelligence exists at almost every level of design. Regardless of the complexity and heady ideas, the works are deeply aesthetically intriguing, something directly out of science fiction.
Beesley is the director of the Living Architecture Systems Group and a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. You can explore much more of his work on his website and along with several videos and interviews on Vimeo. (via Colossal Submissions)
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As We Are is a 14-foot interactive sculpture by artist Matthew Mohr. The head-shaped work slowly rotates through a database of faces, displaying a range of Columbus residents and its visitors on 24 horizontal bands of LED screens. The monitors wrap nearly 360 degrees around the piece, leaving a gap for a photo studio where guests can pose for pictures that will be featured on work’s screens.
The sculpture is currently installed in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, a public venue primed for eager visitors who wish to see their faces projected more than two times their height. Its appearance reflects a few other body-centric public sculptures, namely David Cerny’s banded replication of Franz Kafka’s head in Prague, and Chicago’s Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa which also displays a rotating cast of faces across a series of LED screens.
“‘As We Are’ presents Columbus as a welcoming, diverse culture where visitors and residents can engage on multiple levels through an interactive experience with public art,” says Mohr in an artist statement about the interactive structure. “It is an open-ended, conceptual piece that explores how we represent ourselves individually and collectively, asking participants to consider their identity in social media and in public. It asks all viewers to contemplate portraits of people from different ethnicities, and gender identities.”
Mohr also explains that the scale and location of the sculpture brings monumental recognition to each featured face, allowing the individual to be memorialized, if only for a few seconds. You can see more projects by the artist and Columbus College of Art and Design professor on his website, and view a video documenting several participants’ interactions with the sculpture below. (via Designboom)
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Transport Cats Across an Animated Countryside With Alexander Perrin’s Interactive Illustration ‘Short Trip’
Short Trip is an interactive illustration by Australian artist Alexander Perrin. The meditative simulation places the player in the conductor’s seat of a cross-country train, allowing the user to use their arrow keys to go forwards or backwards through the game’s peaceful black and white countryside while delivering a series of animated cat passengers.
The illustrated simulation took Perrin five years to complete, from researching how a graphite-based drawing could be presented on a digital platform, to creating all the necessary components of the train’s journey by hand. His interest for this particular scenery came from riding on the Hakone Tozan Railway in Japan, one of his favorite ways of travel.
“It’s a magical, rickety switchback railway that ascends a forest shrouded mountain all throughout the year,” Perrin told Colossal. “There’s something about the beautifully crafted forms of the railway in sculpted union with the cliff faces and trees that just hits such a therapeutic, aesthetic sweet spot. It’s a little bit like riding an enlarged miniature railway, if you know what I mean. You remain passive and enjoy the ride for the sake of the journey.”
The game was built with this passiveness in mind, the only “goal” of the project to get to the other side of the railway while you enjoy the scenery and relaxing soundtrack of gentle bird chirping and cable car as it softly rumbles across the tracks. We recommend make the game full-screen with audio to get the full, tranquil experience of Short Trip.
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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's newest tech tool allows any smartphone user to gain access to the artworks hidden behind their archive doors, a collection so large that it would stretch 121.3 miles if you placed each artwork end-to-end. With only 5% of this collection on view, the museum decided to create Send Me SFMOMA, a texting service that delivers an artwork to your phone based on a sent emoji or phrase. For example, the first emoji I decided to text was a goat, for which they return Takuma Nakahira's 2008 Untitled image of—you guessed it, a goat.
To participate, text the number 572-51 the words “send me” followed by either a keyword (such as a color, emotion, or type of art) or an emoji. A quick response will bring your phone an image of an artwork from SFMOMA’s vast collection, in addition to a caption containing the artist, artwork title, and year. Within the first four days of the program over 3,000 artworks were generated, a larger number than the amount of works currently on view.
The system isn’t perfect, more of my inquiries came back with an error message than an artwork, however the intrigue of seeing a piece that has been tucked away from the public is quite addicting. I especially loved seeing what some of my most used emojis resulted in, such as the single eye which brought Tomoko Sawada's Early Days (1996) to my inbox. (via Hyperallergic)
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Editor's Picks: Architecture
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.