with virtual reality
A landmark collaboration between Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto (previously) and Tin Drum, a production studio and technology developer, brings an undulating, reactive installation to the 2021 London Design Festival, but the immersive artwork is only viewable through a headset. Falling at the intersection of architecture and virtual reality, “Medusa” is comprised of monochromatic pillars that appear to suspend from the ceiling in a rippling environment. As viewers move through Raphael Court at the Victoria and Albert Museum where the work is on display, the responsive structure shifts and alters its composition in light and shape.
The work draws inspiration from the dynamic displays of the aurora borealis and underwater bioluminescence, two phenomena that manifest through the animated qualities and shifting patterns of Fujimoto’s curved forms. “This is the first time I am designing architecture with non-physical materials—it’s using light and pure expanse of the space,” he said in a statement. “It’s an architecture experience but completely new and different.”
“Medusa” is on view through September 26.
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Illustrator James R. Eads (previously) incorporates elements of Impressionism and fantasy in his colorful landscapes. The Los Angeles-based artist builds imagined worlds with vibrant, short brush strokes, often featuring exotic birds, half-sunken boats, and swirling star-filled skies. Eads shares with Colossal that he is deeply connected to music, which consistently influences his work. His personal passion translates to client commissions, as he has created imagery for dozens of bands ranging from The Black Keys and Leon Bridges to Jerry Garcia and Iggy Pop.
“I’ve been really inspired by a lot of different things lately, including many worlds theory—the idea of multiple universes and timelines existing simultaneously,” Eads tells Colossal. “I’ve been working on a series of pastel paintings called Many, Many Paths that explores this idea through meandering paths in otherworldly gardens.” The artist shares that his most recent undertaking is a series called Cosma Visions, “which explores the idea of past lives and reincarnation reimagined on the traditional tarot. It takes the reader through the journey of the soul in the spirit plane after death.”
Eads also experiments with Virtual Reality artwork, an example of which you can see below, and runs a screen-printing studio in Los Angeles. He produces a range of limited edition prints and other buyable items that incorporate his colorful illustrations. The artist also recently successfully crowdfunded a Lenormand deck called Green Glyphs. Shop Eads’s online store and follow along with new work on Instagram and Facebook.
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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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Leap Motion describes their newest virtual reality demo, Cat Explorer, as demonstrating “the transformative potential of VR and natural interaction in fields as diverse as education, training, healthcare, and entertainment.” The interactive program allows the user to explore the inner workings of a friendly cartoon feline. Coordinated with the motion of the user’s actual hand and based on a virtual setting, you can see the cat’s skin, muscles, organs, vascular system, and skeleton. The San Francisco-based VR company shares their projects on YouTube and Facebook.
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