Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum collaborate to create beautiful, acrylic-encased computers that are also Tor nodes, anonymizing data that passes through them, and install the in art galleries all over the world, so that patrons can communicate and browse anonymously, while learning about anonymity and Tor. Read the rest
I was excited to read this article about Jacob Collins, an artist working in the style of the old masters--so many oil glazes!--as it's the effect I often aim for (albeit with ersatz digital shenanigans, though I did receive formal training back in the day). But, at least in James Panero's telling, he seems really humorless and severe about the whole thing. Read the rest
Slovakian artist Terézia Krnáčová produced a series of toast slices called "Everyday Bread," in which each slice is embroidered in a different pattern. Read the rest
Karen Hallion, a frustrated Disney animator, has updated her brilliant Princess Leia/Haunted Mansion mashup from 2014 with an inspired, complete set of Star Wars inspired Haunted Mansion stretch-gallery portraits. Read the rest
Artist Matthew Herbert has successfully created edible record albums that he laser-etched into a variety of foodstuffs, then played and displayed at London's Science Gallery.
My favorite professor, the one who influenced me personally the most, was Michigan-born artist David Barr. He created iconic public sculptures and conceptual art that can be found throughout the world. If you've ever been to Detroit, you've seen his work without knowing it.
Back in the 1970s, a 14-year-old boy walking down a residential street in Springfield, Missouri found a cool-looking handmade, hand-bound book in a pile of trash. He opened the book to find 283 drawings, each on a ledger sheet with either “State Hospital No. 3” or “State Lunatic Asylum No. 3” printed at the top. The drawings depicted people in 19th-century clothing, Civil War soldiers, steamboats, antique cars, animals, and brick institutions. The boy held on to the book for 36 years.
In 2006, the boy (now obviously a man) decided to unload the art portfolio. He also wished to remain anonymous and, after contacting a retired professor of Missouri State University about the book, he vanished from this story without a trace. After a couple of bounces, the book ended up in the hands of art dealer and artist (fabulous sculptor!) Harris Diamant, who researched and traced the mysterious art book back to its original owner.
The creator of the book was James Edward Deeds Jr., born in 1908 and raised on a farm in southwestern Missouri. He resisted working on the farm, butt heads with his authoritarian father, and by the time he was 28 he was labeled as “insane.” He was admitted to the State Hospital No. 3 and stayed there for 37 years.
Maddscientist39110 is a sculptor and electronic artist who creates beautiful, functional, and, above all, improbable synthesizers and lamps (and such) out of shiny metal and found objects. Read the rest
I’m a gigantic snoop. I love to peruse people’s bookshelves, rifle through the magazines on their toilet tank, look at their media Likes on Facebook, etc. I am endlessly fascinated by people and the media, tools, and ideas that inspire them. I also like workshops and the unique way in which people set up and use their spaces. These interests converge to great effect in artist and author Joe Fig’s Inside the Artist’s Studio.
Given my nosey proclivities, I have read a number of similar collections of artist studio tour books. This book has a slightly more satisfying weight to it. The questions Fig asks are more interesting and far ranging, from childhood memories to working techniques to each artist’s working “creed.” And the photographs he takes are especially lovely, artful, and create a distinct mood that reflects each artist.
The really special dimension to this book is Joe Fig’s artwork. Fig is known for being an artist whose subjects are often art, artists, and art spaces. In this book, after interviewing and photographing such artists as Ellen Altfest, Byron Kim, Laurie Simmons, Adam Cvijanovic, Tara Donovan, and Roxy Paine (24 artists in all), Fig creates a piece of art inspired by that artist, their studio, and their work. The subject of each piece is the artist’s studio. All of this works to create a surprisingly rich, intimate, and informative collection. Read the rest
Concetta Antico, who made the paintings above and below, is an artist known for being a tetrachromat, meaning a genetic difference in her eyes enables her to see approximately 100 times more colors than an average person. "I see colors you cannot perceive or imagine," Antico says. (Previous BB posts about Antico here and here.)
While the vast majority of peoples' eyes contain three kinds of cone sensitive to different wavelengths of light, tetrachromats have four. Apparently the genetic difference isn't very rare, but only a tiny fraction of those who have it actually develop unique perception. Why? UC Irvine researcher Kimberly Jameson and University of Nevada's Alissa Winkler studied Antico, another tetrachromat, and an artist with regular vision. From David Robson's article at BBC Future:
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The experiment tested the participants’ sensitivity to different levels of "luminance! at certain wavelengths of light; put simply, with Antico’s eye’s extra cone, she should be picking up more light, meaning that she could see very subtle differences in the brightness of certain shades. Sure enough, Antico proved to be more sensitive than the average person, particularly when looking at reddish tones – a finding that perfectly matched the predictions from her genetic test.
As Jameson had suspected, Antico also performed much better than the other potential tetrachromat who was not an artist – supporting the idea that her colour training had been crucial for the development of her abilities.
Using these results, Jameson then reconstructed some photos to give us a better idea of the way the world may look to Antico.
Brooklyn-based artist/designer Scott Albrecht has launched a new series of limited t-shirts designed in collaboration with a variety of other rad artists. Each shirt in the project, called Artifact, is only available for a week and a half. Above is the first offering, by the esteemed Nathaniel Russell.
"I was thinking about secret clubs and not-so-secret societies like the Masons, the Odd Fellows, Schriners, The Optimist Clubs, Book Clubs, Quilting Bees, etc. and was thinking of a new imaginary but as-real-as-we-want-it-to-be club, whose membership you could join just by wearing a shirt or button or waiving a flag or by writing "PEACE FRUITS INTERNATIONAL" under your name when writing checks or signing the electronic credit card machines," Russell says. "I want there to be a union of people that i know and am inspired by. A fellowship for peace and art and music and jokes and for keeping the spirit of weirdness and curiosity alive. This is the shirt for that."
CGI artist Jim Kazanjian's work is both surreal and hyper-real, looking for all the world like photos of true, improbable things. Read the rest
Rentdownstairs was expecting a new baby, so they commissioned Atlanta woodworker Garrick Andrus to carve this amazing tentacled crib out of walnut for the impending bundle of joy. Read the rest