recycling

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Art

A Christmas Tree Made from 5,000 Donated Ceramic Dishes and Cups in Belgium

December 11, 2012

Christopher Jobson

I’m a huge fan of alternative Christmas trees in urban centers, from last year’s plastic bottle tree in Lithuania to the abstract tree currently up in Brussels, any idea seems better than heading out to the local forest and hacking down a pine tree older than my grandparents. This year in Hasselt, Belgium a pair from the design firm Mooz created this concept of an enormous tree covered in 5,000 pieces of ceramic donated from local residents. Called the “Taste Tree” the piece was meant to be a sort of communal celebration as residents were invited to contribute unused dishes to the tree that now stands nearly 30 ft. tall in Hassel’s main square. (via designboom)

 

 



Art Music

Artist Fabricates 50 Functional Instruments from Destroyed Drug War Weapons

October 29, 2012

Christopher Jobson

As part of his latest project Imagine, Mexico City based artist Pedro Reyes acquired some 6,700 weapons that were scheduled to be buried (as is customary in mass weapon disposals) and instead collaborated with six musicians to create 50 working instruments as part of a statement regarding increased gun violence in Mexico. The numerous firearms were cut down, welded and formed into a variety of string, wind, and percussion instruments over a period of two weeks last month. Via his blog Reyes says:

It’s difficult to explain but the transformation was more than physical. It’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons; as if a sort of exorcism was taking place the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost. […] This is also a call to action, since we cannot stop the violence only at the place where the weapons are being used, but also where they are made. There is a disparity between visible and invisible violence. The nearly 80,000 deaths by gun-shot that have occurred in Mexico in the last 6 years, or the school shootings in the US are the visible side of violence. The invisible side is that one of gun trade-shows, neglecting assault rifle bans, and shareholder profit from public companies. This is a large industry of death and suffering for which no cultural rejection is expressed.Guns continue to be depicted as something sexy both in Hollywood and in videogames; there may be actors who won’t smoke on the screen, but there has not been one who would reject the role of a trigger-happy hero.

Surprisingly this is not the artists first project involving the reuse of guns. Back in 2008 he was provided with 1,527 destroyed weapons which he melted down to build shovels to plant 1,527 trees as part of his Palas por Pistolas project. If you liked this also check out the work of Al Farrow. (via my amp goes to 11)

 

 



Art Design

Chandeliers Made from Salvaged Bicycle Parts

September 28, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga constructs impressive chandeliers using chains, wheels and other parts from old bicycles as part of a series she calls CONNECT. Alzaga has lived in Brazil and Mexico and now works out of a studio in Los Angeles where the Etsy Blog recently caught up with her to conduct the interview and tour above.
Of her work she says:

This developing body of work draws inspiration from the aesthetics of victorian era chandeliers, DIY and Bike Culture, and follows an art tradition of utilizing non artistic materials for sculpture.

This series addresses class codes, power dynamics, reclaimed agency, and ecological responsibility. The traditional chandelier is seen as a bourgeois commodity, a cachet of affluence, excess, and as such power. The recycled bicycle parts become a representation of the dismissed, invisible, and powerless, but are also an affirmation of self-propelled movement. The bicycle chandelier thereby creates a new third meaning of reclaimed agency.

I think if I ever had need for a chandelier it would definitely be one of these. Alzaga has a number of pieces currently available in her shop. (via laughing squid)

 

 



Art Documentary

An Austin Man Builds a Cathedral of Junk

September 20, 2012

Christopher Jobson

This is a fascinating and touching glimpse into the ongoing art installation of Austin, Texas resident Vince Hannemann (aka the Junk King) who since 1989 has been collecting thousands of discarded objects and turning them into a giant cathedral of junk. In 2010 the city closed the structure claiming it was unsafe and demanded Hannemann obtain proper building permits for his “auxiliary structure”. He was then forced to remove nearly 60 tons of materials before finally obtaining the approval from an engineer. Over seven months hundreds of volunteers stopped by to lend a hand and the cathedral has begun expanding once again. Shot and edited by Evan Burns. Last photo by Blake Gordon. (via vimeo)

 

 



Art Design

Terrifying Deep Sea Angler Lamp Made from Recycled Objects

September 13, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Probably not for the kids room, but I appreciate the effort that went into this wicked assemblage light by Justin La Doux made of bicycle parts, knives, a shovel, and other objects. The piece was entered as part of the 2010 ArtPrize contest. (via my amp goes to 11)

 

 



Craft Documentary

Everything is Incredible: A Man Ravaged by Polio Spends his Life Building a Helicopter from Trash

September 11, 2012

Christopher Jobson

I honestly have no idea where or when I first saw this film, but it’s stuck with me for over a year, and unable to find it again after searching the past few days I turned to Jason Sondi over at Vimeo. Armed with my vague description, and despite never having seen it himself, he found it in about 10 seconds.

Everything is Incredible is a short documentary by Tyler Bastian, Trevor Hill and Tim Skousen about a man named Agustín from Siguatepeque, Honduras who was struck with polio at a young age. His body ravaged from disease, he was left unable to walk and spent most of his life working as a shoemaker in what is described as near-poverty. Possibly plagued by childhood dreams of flight, in 1958 he embarked on his life’s work: the construction of a crude, custom-designed helicopter made completely from trash with the exception of a few pieces of rebar purchased from a hardware store. Even the chains he uses to power the propeller were forged by hand. The filmmakers do a wonderful job interviewing local residents and family for their reactions that vary from hope to despair. I find this video to be both very beautiful and very sad as it discusses what is gained and what is sacrificed through the act of devotion and creation, yet I’m left feeling a profound sense of love for Agustín, which is perhaps why it’s stuck with me for so long. Definitely worth 10 minutes of your time. Thanks Jason.

Also, if you liked this, check out the exceedingly bizarre Welcome to Planet Earth: The UFO Welcome Center.

Update: In response to recent attention the filmmakers have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise enough funds help Agustín with living expenses by purchasing the helicopter and his home. He will of course retain both through the end of his life, but with the funds raised from the campaign the helicopter itself would be preserved in his memory. Go donate, I did.

 

 



Art

Mechanical Sculptures Built from Discarded Objects by Andrea Petrachi

August 8, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Milan-based Artist Andrea Petrachi creates bizarre characters and insects using reclaimed objects such as old cameras, calculators, pliers, knives, and even electric razors. Despite their sleek design, the characters are quite whimsical, often taking the persona of faces and heads removed from dolls and other children’s toys. Petrachi says his work is generally a symbol of our cultures out-of-control consumerism. See much more in his portfolio. (via daily art fixx)