For Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki, dyslexia prevented him reading music in the traditional sense. But that didn’t stop him playing it. Instead, he adopted a playful approach and created an installation that invites viewers to produce their own music using color markers. Visitors draw along the curvy lines on the floor, and then the robots translate their marks into one-of-a-kind sound pieces.
The robots are called Color Chasers, and they associate each color that they find on their path with a sound. This small, unique orchestra features five different machines that each have their own sound and shape. The Basscar has a Dubstep-like sound, the Glitchcar reproduces computer-like sounds, and the Melodycar, Arpeggiocar, and the Drumcar to add rhythm.
This imaginative work was recently selected by the New York MoMA for their collection. (Via Spoon and Tamago)
Stefan G. Bucher is a graphic designer, illustrator, author, creator of monsters, and pursuer of obsessions. The (sole) creative force behind 344, his clients have included art galleries, film directors, magazines, record companies, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Blue Man Group. If you’ve seen the Yeti themed Saks Christmas windows, you’ve seen Stefan’s work. The Daily Monster is his, too. The cover of The Matrix soundtrack; typography for Mirror, Mirror; Blue Man Theater. All Stefan G. Bucher.
Aside from his amazing and prodigious creative skills, Stefan is an astute observer of culture and a consistently funny writer. He agreed to be interviewed for Beautiful/Decay.
B/D: Thanks for talking with me, Stefan—I’m just going to jump right in. What’s the most interesting thing you’re working on right now?
Stefan Bucher: It’s my pleasure. The most interesting project I’m working on right now is the pitch for an animated show surrounding the Daily Monsters. It’s a long process of uncertain outcome, but it involves a lot of things I love—illustration, working with a brilliant writer and a genius animation producer, thinking about music and character design. It’s great! I’m also working on a solo gallery show for the spring. That’s just a big beast breathing down my neck. I don’t know how much of it will be retrospective and how much will be new work. I just want it to be a fun trip for the audience.
While, to most, the phrase “looking for a needle in a haystack” is merely a humdrum idiom, to performance artist Sven Sachsalber, it’s a challenge. That is why Sachsalber opted to devote 24 hours to handpicking his way through a pile of hay set in the Palais de Tokyo. The entire performance was documented as a video on a live feed, and–spoiler alert!–18 hours passed before the artist finally found the elusive bodkin.
While, as in the case of Looking for a Needle in the Haystack, Sachsalber tends to gravitate toward performance art, he also shows an inclination toward sculpture, film, and photography–a fact that is worth noting when considering this recent project. By placing an enormous haystack within the context of an art museum and filming himself interacting with it, the artist inadvertently transforms the mound into a piece that transcends traditional artistic description.
Galerie Rianne Groen describes his ourvre as “often funny, often serious and sometimes both,” and emphasizes that “his works have a universal poetic element that does not need much explanation.” And, with this literal, almost tongue-in-cheek interpretation of such a tried and true figure of speech, this statement undoubtedly holds true. (Via Hypebeast)
Renowned for its experimental installations and out-of-this-world designs, self-proclaimed “spatial laboratory” Loop.pH crafts site-specific, highly collaborative works all over the world. For their latest piece, Atmeture, the studio has created an illuminated structure that, through the use of vitreous, inflatable membranes and a system of air pumps and circulating smoke, appears to breathe.
Woven from thin fibres comprising a geometric trellis, the structure is cited as “an ephemeral luminous architectural tunnel that draws visitors into an open and animated form woven from lightweight fibres.” As viewers walk through the tunnel, they become surrounded by swirling smoke and ethereal luminescence and are able to interact with the seemingly sentient structure.
Like much of Loop.pH’s pieces, Atmeture was imagined and created as a site-specific piece. Commissioned by onedotzero, a cultural organization praised for “curating and producing memorable and engaging events, exhibitions and experiences,” Atmeture was intended for Letchworth’s ‘Fire & Fright Festival,’ which took place from October 28 through November 5, 2014.
While Atmeture’s glowing presence in the festival has unfortunately come and gone, you can still take a stroll through the otherworldly tunnel with the click of a mouse! Be sure to check out the video for the living, breathing experience. (Via The Creators Project)
Greek director, choreographer, visual artist and performer Dimitris Papaioannou has caught our attention with this strikingly simple video. Just under 4 minutes long, it is a short clip of the central segment of his longer show Nowhere (2009). Ominously lit, and eerily quiet, it is a strange experience to watch. The whole piece was performed by 26 people and is a testament to just how well Papaioannou can direct bodies to create unified, seamless actions. The arms of the performers stop looking like separate limbs belonging to humans and more like giant tentacles, or something very alien indeed. The arms are either moving on their own accord or in harmony with something unseen. It is both wondrous and unsettling to watch the action unfold.
Papaioannou is no stranger to directing large numbers of people performing synchronized movements. He has also co-ordinated the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. As we know, these shows are a finely tuned ballet of thousands of interconnected bodies and continuously changing patterns (the closing ceremony alone had more than 3500 performers).
His focus on composition and the overall harmony on stage probably owes itself to his training as a painter. Papaioannou has for a long time been interested in gestures; how the body influences mark making; or how we are able to express an emotion through the use of our skin and bones. Gradually though, he was drawn toward the immediacy of performing, and fell in love with the theatricality of the stage.
As a painter, [the Edofos Dance Theatre] was the place to create images; as a comics artist, this was where to tell my tales; and as a performer, this was the context in which to present myself. Furthermore, as I was to discover over time, this was the territory in which to inspire people, exercising my skills as a team leader. (Source)
Given his eclectic background in computing, painting, drawing, and sculpture, the work of French artist and scientist Patrick Tresset is anything but traditional.
With scientific experience and a narrowed focus on robotics, Tresset “investigates human artistic activity, computational creativity, and our relation to machines.” Although his artistic experience dates back to his childhood, Tresset unfortunately lost his ability to paint and draw in 2003. Unable to produce works by hand and forced to adapt to such a major lifestyle change, Tresset sought a new way to create.
That’s where Paul comes in.
Created in 2011, this seemingly artistically-inclined robot used a motorized eye and a mechanical arm to sketch what Tresset could not. While Paul proved to be a successful portrait artist and an effective prototype of the artist’s vision of a “computational system capable of autonomously producing artifacts that stand as artworks,” Tresset has since made improvements to his creation, resulting in Paul-IX, his newest automated bot.
Unlike portraitist Paul, Paul-IX dabbles in still life. Furthermore, in contrast to Paul,Paul-IX was not imagined merely as a helpful assistant. Instead, the newer model was created as an autonomous entity with an ability to decipher its surroundings through art.
While Paul-IX’s drawings are accurately rendered and undeniably evocative, Tresset emphatically notes that “the aim is not to invent systems that are capable of drawing precisely like a human, but for the drawing to have a certain aesthetic effect on the observer”—and, given the robot’s exciting appearance in Creative Machines, an exhibition at Goldsmiths University that “explores the twilight world of human/machine creativity in contemporary art” now through November 14, Paul-IX has made quite the impression. (Via The Creators Project)
The technological wizards at Burton Inc. have developed a 3D laser display that can project images onto thin air. By focusing laser beams onto a single spot and firing the lasers in bursts of 100 times per second, images appear out of nowhere like 21st century pointillist magic. So far, the images are rudimentary, looking for the most part like simple sketches in .GIF form. But it’s still a fantastic advancement of the technology.
“This is the only device that can show text and pictures in mid-air, without using a screen,” says Akira Asano, Burton Inc.’s director and head researcher. The first and foremost application of the technology has been for emergency warnings — such as in a tsunami scenario — or as signals in pedestrian-heavy areas, such as at a crosswalk.
Not only does Burton Inc. hope to see this technology implemented in public spaces but also in people’s personal cars, thereby transforming even civilian vehicles into portable 3D displays. (via This Is Colossal)
Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci are the duo that make up Gost + Cow Films who have created the world’s first drone filmed pornography (at least as far as anyone on the internet seems to know). This may have you wondering, ‘what does this have to do with art?’, but this project creates major implications for cinematography in general.
The video itself is not really an effective porno. Because it is filmed from so high up, the great majority of the eroticism is lost to lack of detail. The piece is epic, though, and it is quite beautiful and surreal to consider two people making love, or at least having sex, in a vast field, or on top of a strange construction somewhere in a quasi-natural landscape. It creates an entirely different context for the sexual encounters, which in itself is interesting. The artists acknowledge that the film is more an artistic exploration than a true pornographic piece:
“It’s an omniscient point of view, really. We did these shots in places where you couldn’t see much from the ground, but then you put the drone in the air and you can see what’s happening… I would never shoot a real porn like this. If you can’t masturbate to it, man, it’s not a good pornography film.” (Motherboard)
Drones are relatively affordable; you can own one for somewhere between $100-$300. This means that pretty much anyone could be making films like this, assuming they know two people willing to get naked for the camera. Incredible swooping shots of epic landscapes are no longer limited to the cinematographers of planet earth. In Drone Boning, LaGanke and Carlucci either chose not to rest over their subjects, or didn’t posses the knowhow to keep their drone in one spot, but I imagine that it could be accomplished. The idea of an omniscient point of view for film is a tantalizing one. If Drone Boning 2 is ever released, they should try to remain stationary when they reach the couple. Maybe scale the side of an ocean cliff to see two people fucking at its edge. (Via Motherboard)