neon

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Art

Dialogo: A Frenzied Short Film Translates Indiscernible Audio into Kinetic Sound Sculptures

December 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

Juxtaposing natural elements and mechanics, “Dialogo” harnesses the frenetic, indiscernible components of language into a synesthetic experience. A mix of stop-motion and live-action, the short film features entirely hand-crafted sculptures by the Madrid-based design studio blo que. Each motorized work translates human utterings into movement, whether through an undulating tube of neon or oscillating florals, generating new associations in a conversation between the senses.

To represent the original audio in a visual manner, blo que converts the speech waveforms into animation curves, which subsequently mobilizes the sculpture’s engines. “This is the voice of nature and order or the control of what cannot be controlled,” the studio says. “The passing of time in nature (freezing, rotting, etc.) is connected to the time of sound reproduction. This bond creates relationships between human emotions, language, and nature.”

blo que details the lengthy creation process for the film on its site, and you can follow future projects that merge the tangible and digital on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Neon Drips, Blobs, and Squishes by Artist Dan Lam Pour Over Shelves and Plop in Puddles

March 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Optimize Opportunity,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 22 x 30 x 11 inches. All images © Dan Lam

When a gloopy substance runs over a countertop or other surface, a common reaction is to grab a towel and wipe it up before it spreads farther and makes a mess. But for Dallas-based sculptor and painter Dan Lam (previously), the more dripping and oozing the better. The artist creates technicolor sculptures made of polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic onto which she pipes small spikes.

Categorized as drips, blobs, and squishes, Lam’s neon gradients appear to gush over shelves and drop into rounded puddles. Most are paired with optimistic names, like “Strong Genes” and “Just Lovely,” and consider the relationships between “attraction and repulsion, motion and stillness, seriousness and playfulness, softness and hardness,” said a statement about her work.

If you’re in Portland, Lam’s solo show Supernatural is on view at Stephanie Chefas Projects by appointment through April 25. Otherwise, follow the artist on Instagram, where she’s even given a peek at some of her upcoming plans to create phone cases that change colors and are covered in small points.

Left: “Strong Genes,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 16 x 14 x 13 inches. Right: “Good Traits,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 15.5 x 15 x 16 inches

“Signalling Theory,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 35 x 30 x 6.5 inches

Left: “He’s So Picky!” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 8.5 x 11 x 6 inches. Right: “Just Lovely,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 9 x 9 x 5 inches.

“Hidden Preference,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 39 x 42 x 9 inches

“Just Think,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 9 x 14 x 7.5 inches

Left: “#5,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic, 3.5 x 3 x 1 inches. Right: “#24,” polyurethane foam, resin, and acrylic
4.5 x 4 x 1.5 inches

 

 



Art

A Pulsating Neon Skeleton by Tavares Strachan Honors Scientist Rosalind Franklin

January 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Courtesy of Tavares Strachan, all photography and video by Tom Powel Imaging.

What Will Be Remembered in the Face of All That is Forgotten is a sculptural neon work by the New York City-based artist Tavares Strachan made between 2014-2015. The five-foot-tall piece includes pulsating neon that mimics the racing of blood through veins, stainless steel to hold the skeleton in place, and a total of seven transformers. The flashing circulatory system is a glowing reminder of English scientist Rosalind Franklin’s contributions to the field of science, mainly the discovery of DNA’s molecular structures. The work was originally included in the solo exhibition Seeing is Forgetting the Thing that You Saw at Anthony Meier Fine Arts in San Francisco, which examined individuals whose names have been omitted from common accounts of history despite their great accomplishments.

Strachan, in partnership with LACMA Art + Technology Lab and SpaceX, also recently launched a sculpture honoring Robert Henry Lawrence Jr., the first African-American to train as an astronaut with NASA. Although Lawrence never made it into space, a 24-karat gold urn with his bust titled “Enoch” will orbit the Earth for seven years in a sun-synchronous orbit. You can see more of Strachan’s sculptural work, and keep up-to-date on the location of Enoch, on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Nightshift: An Illuminated Glimpse Into Shanghai's Late Night Shops and Stalls

November 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

While in town for a shoot for Shanghai Photofairs this past summer, photographer Florian Mueller would wander through the city’s streets, meeting the owners of food stalls and other businesses that stayed open into the night. The series, Nightshift, observes the inviting glow that emanates from Shanghai’s after-hours operations in addition to showcasing those that staff the small shops during the humid evenings. Flowers, carbonated beverages, cell phone cases, and ripe citrus are just some of the illuminated items that appear in the suite of works. You can see more images from Nightshift on Mueller’s website and Behance, and follow his travels on Instagram.

         

 

 



Photography

The Neon Archives: An Exploration of Hong Kong's Fading Neon Landscape

August 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Hong Kong has long been infused with the glowing haze produced by its omnipresent neon signs and advertisements. Recently this saturated element of the city has begun to disappear as maintenance and rent costs rise and government regulation steps in. Local photographer Dennis Isip intends to preserve this aspect of his city’s history through a series titled The Neon Archives.

Started in 2017, the ongoing photography series captures this retreating feature of the city’s culture with images that preserve Hong Kong’s vivid nightlife. “Neon lights define Hong Kong’s character and without it, the city’s identity is lost,” he tells Colossal. “The Neon Archives hope is to capture each neon sign in Hong Kong before they fade away.” (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Photography

Aerial Explorations of International Cityscapes Washed in a Neon Glow by Xavier Portela

May 4, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

After a visit to Tokyo in 2014, self-taught photographer Xavier Portela became frustrated by how static and two-dimensional his images appeared. His photographs didn’t capture the emotions, acute stimulation of senses, or electric feeling one experiences while gliding through the bright lights of a foreign city with jet lag-induced insomnia. To explore this vibrancy and atmosphere Portela began to manipulate the colors in his images, amplifying their saturation to make each reflect what the brain remembered, but the original image couldn’t convey.

“When you are taking photographs on the streets you have way more than just a frame, you have variables like temperature, noise, people, smell,” Portela tells Colossal. “You have tons of details that make our senses and brain record a specific ‘scene’ of that moment. When you got home and you look at your photographs on screen, you only have a frame in two dimensions. It’s frustrating how much information you just lost… I wanted my shots to look like as if they came straight out of a manga. Vibrant and electric.”

Portela’s series Glow is an ongoing archive of urban images from his trips to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, New York City, and more. Each photograph is edited with a wash of neon-inspired pink, blue, and purple lights. Although previous series have included photography taken on the street, more recently he has begun to produce aerial views of the sparkling cities below. You can see more images from the Belgo-Portuguese photographer and filmmaker on Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)