Noah Scalin’s “Anatomically Correct” Guns

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Artist Noah Scalin has created a series of fantasized “anatomically correct” guns. Within his series Anatomy of War, the artist aims to humanize guns in order to depict gun violence as an even more sensitized and complex topic. He wants these pieces to provoke a discussion about the possibilities of violence if guns were “as fragile as the lives they can potentially take.”

Noah Scalin creates these “anatomically correct guns” with a mixture of polymer clay, acrylic and enamel. He has sculpted a handgun and an AK-47 from their own parts, literally making these machines from their own “guts.”These works act as tiny metaphors for the actual act of human choice within gun violence; as if the weapon is in fact a part of the human that uses it. These sculptures remind us that it is not the machine that commits an act of violence, but the brain that has decided to use it. These pieces take away the notion that a gun shoots someone, but in fact, a living thing does. He states “…too often the discussion around guns in America gets wrapped up in emotional terms around the 2nd Amendment. Anatomy of War brings the discussion back to the individual human level.” (via Lost at E Minor)

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Secret Friends: Photographer AnaHell Manipulates The Body Into Freaky And Cute Inhuman Creatures

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AnaHell is a photographer who portrays the body in ways that change the way we perceive it. Playing with unusual angles and wigs (see the My Little Phony series, for example), normative representations of bodies are broken down, resulting in images that are playful and often unsettling.

Featured here is a series titled Secret Friends, wherein AnaHell manipulates the appearance of bodies to create unique “creatures.” Each photo depicts people bent double with faces drawn on their backs, the subjects’ spines and ribs creating freakish contours. Adorned with hair and clothing and standing in ordinary rooms, they resemble domestic gremlins with a dual ability of charming and disturbing their viewers.

The following project statement explains—in fairly ambiguous terms—AnaHell’s approach and process:

“With a childlike fascination for rawness, flesh, and the absurd, photographer AnaHell plays with the ordinary and deconstructs it to reveal another perspective. She takes advantage of her immediate surroundings, often photographing close friends and family members in their own living spaces. Secret Friends are playmates, reflections, and villains—strange and wonderful creatures from another world, the kind that children create when they’re alone.”

Visit AnaHell’s website and Facebook to view more.

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Dot One Designs Unique Scarves And Prints Based On Your DNA

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London based company Dot One takes product customization to the next level. The company, named after the 0.1 percent of a genetic sequence that makes each human unique, uses your DNA samples to create one of a kind products (such as scarves and prints) from the very part of your genome that makes you distinct. The company requires a simple cheek swab DNA test (the type made popular by direct-to-consumer personal genome tests such as 23andMe). Dot One then outsources the lab testing to AlphaBioLabs, where they extract, identify, and use DNA profiling to distinguish the desired portion of the code. AlphaBioLabs does this by creating a genetic finger print through scanning for Short Tandem Repeats (STRs), which are tiny bits of genetic code that are different for every person (except identical twins, of course). Once Dot One has the genetic finger print, they use an algorithm to translate these codes into a color, resulting in a pattern that is personalized to your specific DNA. These patterns are designed to imitate what a DNA sample would  look like in a genetic gel test in a lab. While these products are made through a high technological process, they are reminiscent to traditional weavings and folk art patterns. They possess a true quality of something warm and special. You can even get a Tartan, which is created from the DNA of two people, or get a poster of your family tree. Cute. (Via HYPERALLERGIC)

BitPaintr: A Portrait Painting Robot With A Whole Lot Of Heart

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While most painters have probably assumed their line of work is safe from the technological take over — bitPaintr, a portrait painting robot, has proved them wrong. The robot has been designed by Pindar Van Arman, a technology artist, who over the last 10 years has designed a series of 5 artistically inclined robots. BitPaintr, the most recent of the group, uses a mixture of artificial intelligence as well as human direction in order to paint portraits with a brush on canvas. The machine gathers it’s source material from photographs that have been uploaded by it’s users. It then analyzes the photographs using value based algorithms and begins working on the painting. BitPaintr has made portraits of Gandhi, Einstein, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr, just to name a few. Pindar Van Arman plans to use this mechanism to create a interactive exhibition. Within the exhibition, the robot will be present and at the disposal of the audience to upload their own photographs, giving anyone a chance to interact with bitPaintr and collaborate with it’s artificial intelligence. The robot has different styles ranging from 5 minute sketches to a 24 hour studies. Probably the most frightening thing is that upon first glance, there would be no way to tell these portraits were not done by a human. They have a sort of amateurish but, dare I say it, genuine quality. The process of building color through layers of tonality does not vary much from the technique used by many printmakers and graffiti artists. The, perhaps, most important question, (besides, can this machine think?) that it raises is, is all art, in a way, formulaic? Perhaps even the most artistically talented among us all do still, in a sense, have an algorithm to make their works of art. Perhaps creativity is not, well, as creative, as we think it is. (via HYPERALLERGIC)

Björk Teams Up With Jesse Kanda To Create Dark And Psychedelic Music Video Shot Inside Her Mouth

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Once again, Björk has blown our minds. In her newest music video, Mouth Mantra, Björk teamed up with Jesse Kanda (known for his epic collaborations with artists FKA twigs and Arca) to create something truly unique, psychedelic, and well, frankly, a bit horrifying. The concept behind the video is quite literally being inside of Björk’s mouth. While being given a 3D scanned inside look of Björk’s molars, gums, and tongue, the picture plane twists and twirls, distorting the viewers concept of space and reality, ultimately creating something that is outstandingly awesome, yet simultaneously a little hard to stomach. In an interview with Dazed, Kanda explains, “if there’s one thing I’d like for people to take away from this video, it’s the power of vulnerability.” The push and pull in and out of various modes of discomfort and emotional states gets straight to the heart of Björk‘s new album, Vulnicura (meaning “cure for wounds”). Many of the artist’s songs and lyrics tend to do with more open ended and abstract modes of conceptual thinking, however, this album is much more emotionally driven as it is in reaction to her divorce with artist Matthew Barney. There is, along with her other videos released from this album, a true emotional rawness and purity that cannot be denied. Kanda further explains,

“it’s about having the courage to express yourself and seeing yourself in that mirror. Doing something that scares the shit out of you and sharing it, growing from it, spreading love and courage to others and making the world a warmer place to be and relate to each other.”

The intimacy of this work is something to be in awe of. Björk, a master at shock and obscurity, uses each video to take the viewer into her strange yet beautiful and clever world. The intensity of her heart wrenching vocals paired with a montage of visual distress and alien like images mimics a sense of anxiety, confusion, and isolation. Despite her bizarre take on expression, the artist, who is undoubtedly one of a kind, always perfectly gets her point across clearly and profoundly.

Kanda thanks Prettybird UK, Dentsu Lab Tokyo, Rhizomatiks Research, and One Little Indian for helping out with developing the technology used to create the video. He and Björk plan to release a 360º version. (via The Creators Project)

 

Innovator Guy Ben-Ary Developed An Interactive Synthesizer From His Own Stem Cells

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Inspired by a childhood dream to be a rockstar and fueled by a “narcissistic desire to re-embody” himself, innovator Guy Ben-Ary has developed a synthesizer using his own stem cells. The project, titled “cellF,”  began with what the artist is calling a “new materialist” quandary: Through using both biological and robotic technologies, what sort of responses can one achieve “in regards to shifting perceptions surrounding understandings of ‘life’ and the materiality of the human body?” Or, in other words, how can one explore one’s biological selfhood via means of a technological interface? Or, even further, how can one “clone” oneself into a robotic entity? And, what does that mean for the purpose of the human body?

The machine acts as a “biological self-portrait,” a literal doubling of the artist that is meant to act and behave as Ben-Ary, using his own cells. After receiving the “Creative Australia Fellowship,” Ben-Ary was able to research and develop his project, which he divided in two parts; the first being to grow his own external “brain,” and the second was the development of the robotic interface that would interact with said brain.

To develop the brain, Ben-Ary gathered his cells through a biopsy of his arm. He then used Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell technology (iPS), a method that manipulates cells back into their embryonic state, which would allow him to “reprogram” the cells.

To development of the robotic interface, he created a machine that would serve as a real time feedback loop between itself and the cells. The robotic interface acted as a sound-producing “body” through an analogue synthesizer that is able to reflect “the complexity and quantity of information via sound.” When noise is fed to cellF, the cells then respond using the synthesizer and “perform” live. Pretty cool. (via The Creators Project)

A Step Closer To Being A Cyborg: Tech Tats Are Cyberpunk Tattoos That Monitor Vitals

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Chaotic Moon, an Austin based software design company, has created cyberpunk “tattoos” that monitor vitals. As a new addition to the “quantified self movement,” Chaotic Moon’s new invention, Tech Tats, invites a creative answer to the Fitbit. Using ATiny microcontrollers and electroconductive tattoo paint, Tech Tats are temporary tattoos that exist directly on the skin and, through sensors, gather information that can measure temperature, heart rate, hydration levels and others of the likes. When connected to a smartphone app via Bluetooth Low Energy, Tech Tats can allow users to keep track of their bodies as well as send data directly to doctors. Unlike it’s predecessors which are wearable devices, Tech Tats offer a lightweight low-key option that can be hidden under clothes if so desired. Or, the on the other hand, Tech Tats also offer the ability to self design a cyberpunk tattoo that can be worn anywhere on skin. The design is still in the prototype phase, however, the company has high hopes for the product. Chaotic Moon aims to some day replace the nuisance of the annual trip to the doctor’s office. They also foresee a use for the military, as they could detect injuries, toxins and other stresses. Another use could transform banking as the microchips could store credit card information within our skin instead our wallets. The product has potential to be a step further to cyborg-hood, just as it’s aesthetic suggests. (via hyperallergic)

 

Monica Piloni’s Dark Humor Sculptures Of Skeletal Fruit

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Brazilian artist Monica Piloni creates sculptures of skeletal fruit. Her work consist of dissected papayas, figs, oranges, and peaches that’s innards expose each fruit’s meat to be structurally held together by a spine and rib simulated structure. The tiny fish-like skeletal structures within each piece of fruit is created from vinyl and acrylic. Though the pieces are indeed manmade, the delicate nature of the work truly provokes the viewer to second guess his or her knowledge of reality. Illusion as everyday object seems to be a common theme within Piloni’s work. Her sculptures mimic ordinary items and manipulate them into sculptural puns. For example, other pieces of hers play with a sort of post-modern fragility of the body, a literal “plastification” of the human form. For instance, one of her sculptures is a muscular body as a dining room chair. Another piece consists of what looks like a mass genocide of naked barbies. It seems, perhaps, that Piloni’s work aims to, with an air of dark humor, remind us of the underlying reality of our comforts. Do these pieces of skeletal fruit remind us to be mindful of our consumption? Do we even really truly think about where what we consume comes from? What it’s made of? What death and harm simple everyday products causes to those who don’t have the luxury to partake on the demand side of capitalism? Simultaneously fun and disturbing, Monica Piloni’s work is provocative and inquisitive. (via designboom)