with LED lights
A 2019 study notes that 1.8 million residents of Mexico live without electricity, while some sources say an additional five million have limited access. In an effort to provide affordable, sustainable solar power, six students from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey have designed lamps that can be constructed easily with materials commonly found throughout Mexico’s rural areas. Using wicker, agave plants, coconut bark, adobe, collagen, and black beans, the designers have created hand-held vessels powered by reusable solar cells and LED lights.
Inspired by artist Olafur Eliasson’s (previously) similarly sustainable Little Sun, Moisés Hernández, who led the project, told Dezeen that students were tasked with creating lamps with easily reproducible exteriors. “With these new material ideas that came from different sites across Mexico, where the weather and context are so different, the students visualized new scenarios where these type of technological objects can be assembled and distributed to local people,” Hernández said. When the lamps need to be replaced, users simply can remove the solar and LED components and position them in new vessels.
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German photographer Tom Hegen, who specializes in aerial photography, recently traveled to the Netherlands to document the country’s LED greenhouses. The greenhouses were developed as a response to the small country’s growing need for food both within its own borders and to the international market. Dutch exporters are second only to the U.S. industry for global food exports as measured by value. Although the greenhouses offer incredible efficiency in their design, cultivating food year-round through high temperatures and humidity levels, their round-the-clock use also gives off a great deal of light pollution. Hegen flew in a helicopter at night to capture the yellow and purple glow that the greenhouses give off, their geometric planes of illumination standing out from the dark atmosphere.
The photographer tells Colossal that his work centers around the topic of the Anthropocene (the era of human influence on Earth’s biological, geological, and atmospheric processes). “In my photography, I explore the origin and scale of that idea in an effort to understand the dimensions of man’s intervention in natural spaces and to direct attention toward how humans can take responsibility.” Hegen explains that aerial photography in particular helps convey the Anthropocene because it shows the dimensions and scale of human impact more effectively.
“I am also fascinated by the abstraction that comes with the change of perspective; seeing something familiar from a new vantage point that you are not used to,” Hegen tells Colossal. “I use abstraction and aestheticization as a language to inspire people and also to offer the viewer a connection to the subject as they need to decode what they are looking at.”
In 2018 Hegen published his first aerial photo book, HABITAT, and next year he will start working on a follow-up, the artist shares with Colossal. Keep up with Hegen’s travels and latest projects on Instagram and Behance.
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Pneuhaus (previously) builds inflatable structures and environments that give their audience a new perspective of the world around them. Recently, the Rhode Island-based design collective honored Providence’s history of textile manufacturing with a piece titled Pnit. The large-scale piece is illuminated by LED lights, and presents a macro exploration of a knitted form. Inflatable tubes cycle and out of each other along the wall of a concrete parking garage as they slowly rotate through different shades of yellows, greens, purples, and pinks.
“In our practice we push the boundaries of textile-based construction and so the image of the knitting swatch is also an ode to our love of fabrics, flexibility, and the strength of soft things,” Pneuhaus tells Colossal. “Pnit demonstrates these same qualities of textiles through its calligraphic curves and its weather ready durability.”
The installation was created for Providence’s art festival PVDFest, and will continuously introduce new color patterns throughout its five-month run. You can see a video of the color-changing tapestry in the video below, and view more work by Pneuhaus, such as their 2018 geodesic pinhole camera, on their website and Instagram.
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Nine rotating LED works light up the sky with full, waxing, and waning phases of the moon in a new installation by Taipei-based arts studio Whyixd. The work, #define Moon_, is installed on the campus of National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and provides a completely different visual experience depending on the angle. Utilizing motors, the LED lights spin to create each shape, providing a kinetic element to the satellite-shaped structures.
The name of the project, “#define Moon_” is based off of the computer directive “#define.” The underscore denotes a part of uncompleted code, thus asking the viewer to create their own interpretation of how the installation, or moon itself, serves as a contemporary influence. You can see other kinetic light installations by the art collective, such as their Shanghai-based whirling light installation Dandelion, on their website, Instagram, and Youtube. (via designboom)
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One of the must-see shows in Amsterdam this summer is the debut museum solo of Studio Drift (previously) at Stedelijk Museum, which balances elements of tech art, performance, and biodesign. The exhibition, titled Coded Nature, presents a wide range of transdisciplinary works from the Dutch studio that engage with topics from sustainability to issues raised by the growing use of augmented reality.
Founded by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, Studio Design typically creates installation, sculptural works, video projections, and interactive VR. One of the standout pieces in their new exhibition is Drifter, a floating concrete monolith measuring 13 x 6 1/2 feet, which tenderly levitates inside one of the museum galleries (the video below shows the work on display in 2017 at the Armory Show in New York). The puzzling effect of seeing such a familiar object floating through space is emphasized with a video projection of the film Drifters, which follows the same concrete sculpture as it floats through the Scottish Highlands.
Contrasting the effect of the large floating concrete block is the breathtaking installation Fragile Future Chandelier 3.5 which consists of countless bionic dandelions with glowing LED lights at their centers. The labor-intensive installation, like many of the studio’s works, challenges relationships between man, nature, and technology. Other works include the light installations Tree of Ténéré and Flylight, and kinetic installations Semblance and In 20 Steps, which are all based on naturally designed forms or movements.
Studio Drift: Coded Nature will run through August 26, 2018. You can see more site-specific installations and science fiction-inspired works on the studio’s website and Instagram, and take a deeper look inside the duo’s process in the videos below.
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Artist James Clar creates sculptural light systems that interpret the ways modern technology has altered our perception of reality and time. His multi-colored works often imitate society’s relationship to the screen, such as in his work Increasing Resolution, which shows the rapid incline of digital resolution on our TVs, computers, and phones, or his 2015 sculpture Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! which expresses the loosening of language structures due to an increasing dependence on communicating through technological devices.
“The majority of our daily experience and information comes from the artificial light sources of our screens and phones, shifting our habitat from the physical space around us to the non-physical space of online digital systems” explains Clar in an artist statement.
Clar received his masters in interactive telecommunication from New York University. He has an upcoming solo exhibition at Jane Lombard Gallery in NYC later this year. You can see more of the artist’s work on his Instagram and website.
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