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Art

A Stadium in Austria is Filled with 300 Trees to Highlight the Tenuous Future of Natural Spaces

September 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“FOR FOREST – The Unending Attraction of Nature” (2019), Wörthersee Stadium, Klagenfurt, Austria. All photographs by Gerhard Maurer unless otherwise noted

Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift: all typical headliners for stadium attractions. Less common? 300 trees. In Klaus Littman’s public art installation, “FOR FOREST – The Unending Attraction of Nature”, at Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria, an arboreal group takes center stage. The Swiss curator worked with landscape architect Enzo Enea to arrange the temporary forest, which is comprised of a range of trees typical in the woods of central Europe.

Littmann was inspired by artist Max Peintner’s work, circa 1970, titled “The Unending Attraction of Nature” (some translations use unbroken instead of unending), which depicts a dystopian future where a group of trees is penned in like zoo animals, as a rare artifact and spectacle. The curator first saw Peintner’s drawing more than 30 years, ago and the concept of bringing it to life remained with Littmann over the past three decades.

Visitors to “FOR FOREST” can stop by any time between 10am and 10pm from today through October 27, 2019. Admission is free. Follow the project on its dedicated website and Instagram.

Max Peintner “The Unending Attraction of Nature” (1970/1971)

Photograph: UNANIMO

Photograph: UNANIMO

 

 



Amazing Art Design

Neighboring Communities Playfully Connect Atop Neon Pink Teetertotters Slotted Through the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall

July 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello have long worked in activating structures in projects that blur the line between art and architecture. The Oakland-based duo, who self-describe as pursuing “applied architectural research”, also have a longstanding interest in the United States-Mexico border wall. In 2009 Rael wrote Borderwall as Architecture, which features a conceptual drawing of a teetertotter. The concept relocates the classic playground equipment to the border wall as its fulcrum. Ten years later, this cover art came to life in the neighboring communities of Sunland Park, New Mexico and Colonia Anapra, Mexico.

Constructed by Taller Herrería in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, neon pink teetertotters slot through the wall’s narrow gaps, allowing citizens on both sides to playfully engage with their cross-border counterparts. The fundamental design of the teetertotter, while delightful and chuckle-inducing, also functions by each user literally feeling the weight of humanity of the person on the other side. In an Instagram post announcing the project Rael shared, “children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.”

Rael and San Fratello worked in collaboration with Omar Rios to execute “Teetertotter Walls.” Rael is a Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and San Fratello is an Assistant Professor at San José State University. Dive into an archive of nearly twenty years of the duo’s socially engaged work on their website, and follow along with their latest projects on Instagram.

 

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Art Craft

A 20 Foot-Wide Tapestry by Vanessa Barragão Recreates the World in Textural Yarn

July 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In celebration of a partnership between London’s Heathrow Airport and Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, fiber artist Vanessa Barragão (previously) was commissioned to create a massive botanical tapestry. Using a range of techniques including latch hooking, felt needling, carving, crochet, Barragão mapped out and built up a textural surface that emulates a map of the world.

Earth’s diverse climates and topography are represented in yarn: the deserts of Australia and Africa are conveyed in warm, low-pile colors, whereas Barragão represented the lush rainforests of South America and the high peaks of central Asia with shaggy deep greens and coiling crocheted ridges. The artist also incorporated native plants like China’s Gingko biloba, European Cypripedium calceolus (lady’s slipper), and the coffee of Africa.

Barragão spent 520 hours on the piece, which is completely handcrafted and spans nearly 20 feet wide. The work is on view at Heathrow Airport’s departure area, echoing the diverse and globe-trotting guests who cross its path. To see more from the Porto, Portgual-based artist, follow Barragão on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Design

Cloud-Like Clusters Form THEVERYMANY’s Pillars of Dreams

May 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs by NAARO, courtesy of THEVERYMANY

A new cloud-like collection of bulbous towers stands on a building campus in North Carolina. The sculptural creation, titled Pillars of Dreams, is by Marc Fornes and his New York-based studio THEVERYMANY (previously). Located outside county buildings in Charlotte, the public art piece stands 26.5 feet tall and 43 feet wide, and required 54,000 rivets to hold together over 3,500 individual metal sheets. Pillars of Dreams is composed of eight columns that merge at the top in spherical formations, and hues of pink and blue on the interior peek through in perforations that add to the airy quality of the structure. In a statement on the sculpture, the studio describes it as “a soft landing in a field of quiet moments and curious interactions” that is “meant to be moved through rather than appraised as an object.” Explore more of THEVERYMANY’s ethereal structures on Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 



Art

Monochrome Figures Drip and Slice Into Chromatic Layers by Gina Kiel

May 20, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Wellington, New Zealand-based artist and designer Gina Kiel creates large-scale murals of black and grey figures with layers of concentric colors bursting from their core. The works are often set against a bright blue background which blends the colors of New Zealand’s sunny skies with its surrounding sea. Kiel’s psychedelic palette also includes an array of yellow smiley faces, which can be found layered behind realistic human faces or other segmented body parts. You can see more of her murals and design work on her website, Instagram, and Behance.

 

 



Art

Dozens of Mirrored Prisms Respond to Movement with Dazzling LED Lights

April 2, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Alan Tansey

All images © Alan Tansey

Mirror Mirror, a recent commission by the Alexandria, Virginia’s Office of the Arts, is a reflective semi-circular structure which hides a prismatic array of mirrors at its center. The multi-colored panels are placed at sharp angles within the round sculpture, and refract dazzling, geometric patterns of light as the sun hits its interior. The work was produced by New York-based design studio SOFTlab, who was inspired by the lens used in the city’s historic 19th-century lighthouse. The Fresnel lens was an advanced technology at the time, and uses a series of prisms to create a bright and direct light source as a navigational aid.

In addition to reflecting Alexandria’s waterfront and the surrounding urban environment, the outdoor installation has LED fixtures that respond to visitors’ voices and bodies. Each vertical component of the structure is activated to produce light, allowing the work to be brilliantly illuminated, even after the sun sets. A demonstration of how the sculpture reacts to human movement can be seen in the video below. You can view more works by SOFTlab on their website and Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

Over 10,000 Tree Samples Compose a Modular Cave-Like Installation at the Royal Fort Gardens

March 21, 2019

Anna Marks

Credits: Katie Paterson & James Cohan, New York. Photos by Max McClure

Credits: Katie Paterson & James Cohan, New York. Photos by Max McClure

Situated within the Royal Fort Gardens at The University of Bristol, British designer Katie Paterson and architects Zeller & Moye collaborated on Hollow, a wooden installation that illustrates the diversity of tree species found across the globe. From the outside the sculptural work appears as a series of rectangles made from a similar, light colored sample of wood, yet when one enters the modular elements break into wooden blocks of all shapes, sizes, and hues. Clustered rectangular structures emerge from the ceiling and floor of the cave-like public art piece like stalactites and stalagmites. The structures are composed of a range of wood samples, including ones that evolved millions of years ago to far more recent examples. 

During three years of research and sourcing Paterson collected over 10,000 tree samples from various sources, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University and Yakushima, known as one of the wettest, forest-filled islands surrounding Japan. The collection also features a piece of wood from the Indian Banyan Tree, a fig tree where Buddha achieved enlightenment, the Japanese Ginkgo tree, and the Metuselah tree, found in the White Mountains in eastern California, which at 4,850 years old, is believed to be one of the oldest trees in the world.

Hollow is an ethereal environment for both play and meditation, and resembles a forest canopy with patches of light dappling in from the ceiling. The construction illustrates the detailed beauty of the natural world, and is poignant reminder of the importance of appreciating and maintaining our fragile natural environment. To step virtually into the permanent installation, visit Hollow‘s website