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Kotama Bouabane’s Words Will Melt You

Kotama Bouabane’s melting word series says everything you’re thinking in you’re head but are afraid to say out loud with the help of some water and a bit of cold air.

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Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam’s Hand-Knit Playground

Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam began her career as a textile artist.  While exhibiting a piece titled “Multiple Hammock No. 1” a couple of children in the gallery asked if they could use it.  Surprisingly she allowed the children to play on her sculpture.  The amusing incident led to an idea, and her work has since become much larger and fun.  Adding color, size, and interactivity, her work soon transformed from sculpture to public art and finally to playground.  The playground pictured here is hand knit by MacAdam and located in Tokyo.

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Diana Scherer’s Photographs Exposes The Secret Root Systems Of Potted Plants

Diana Scherer - Photography

Diana Scherer - Photography

Diana Scherer - Photography

Diana Scherer - Photography

In artist Diana Scherer’s series Nurture Studies, she used soil, seeds, and photography to produce her work. Letting flowers grow in vases rather than the ground, she matured the plants and later broke the glass, exposing the dense roots that took the shape of their containers. They were then photographed at the peak of their lives; Flowers had bloomed, plants grew tall, and nearly all the flora was green.

Scherer’s work is visually very tight. The dirt is packed against the roots, and even out of their containers, the plants hold their shape. Although the plants look highly controlled, there is very little that Scherer can actually manipulate.  Aint-Bad Magazine wrote about this Scherer’s photographs, highlighting this fact. They state:

There is an inherent contradiction in Scherer’s working method. Although she is dedicated to the project and keeps a close eye on whether the roots are developing as desired—checking them carefully and with the utmost precision—her ability to manipulate the plants’ growth is limited. She has to accept the impossibility of total control. This contrast between almost obsessive monitoring and an inability to fundamentally influence events becomes an intense, almost ritual presence in her work. Scherer’s photos are carefully rationed, showing a single moment as the culmination of a long process of growth.

Scherer’s presentation of the plants is very straightforward. There is no extreme lighting and the background is devoid of anything but a color. With the a series with the word “studies” in the title, I see Scherer’s work as specimens, the result of an exercise in timing, and, for lack of a better word, nurture. (Via Aint-Bad magazine)

P H I L L I P K A L A N T Z I S-C O P E’S On The Plane

Being in flight is one of the most unnatural, extraordinary, ordinary experiences of modern life. When we climb to 30,000 feet, our perspective looking down at the world becomes that of a deity, and the rules of time and space are altered as we rush over the earth. In flight we are able to view the most remote corners of the natural world and the vast spread of the world we have constructed. It gives us the unique perspective to look at the interaction of the natural and constructed in a truly holistic way. In its totality, the unnatural or extraordinary experience produces great fear and excitement. We confront death a little every time the doors close – and this closeness to death intensifies the extraordinary experience of being in flight. On the other hand, our ‘in flight’ experience is filled with the most unremarkable daily activities: reading a comic book, finishing a crossword puzzle, eating, sleeping. The cabin becomes our shared world, temporally removed from the world that we’ve left back on land. What connects the ordinary and the extraordinary is a powerful trust in the human capacity to take us beyond the mundane. The plane becomes a temple of humanism, where we put faith in all that get us and keeps us up in the air – engineers, pilots, researchers, air traffic controllers – a web of people, underwritten by collective knowledge, keeping us alive, together.- Phillip Kalantzis-Cope

Funk Rumble Block Party!

Beautiful/Decay - Funk Rumble Block Party

Join Beautiful/Decay as we celebrate the 1st Annual Funk Rumble Block Party in LA’s own historic Chinatown. Get ready for THE block party of the summer!

Flock Shop & Spectrumega Media Present…
The Funk Rumble Block Party
Saturday, July 11th, 2009
12 pm – 10 pm
$5 before 4 pm, $8 after
Kids under 10 years old in free
All ages, fenced event
947 N. Broadway, LA 90012
Street & Lot parking available

More details after the jump!

Best of 2011: Ray Young Chu

Ray Young Chu makes beautifully detailed paintings that don’t take themselves too seriously. Cute animals and laughter are always a good mix in my book.

Liza Lou’s Incredible Sculptures And Room Sized Installations Created Out Of Beads

Liza Lou - installation

Liza Lou - installation

Photo Credit: Tom Powell

Photo Credit: Tom Powell

Liza Lou’s art making process seems a bit obsessive, to say the least.  She first came on the art radar when she exhibited Kitchen (1991-96), at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.  A 168 sq. ft. beaded “kitchen” that took five years to create and incorporated 30 million beads, Lou created the ultimate homage to the domestic.  The space contained beaded walls, tables, cereal boxes, etc. –everything created from glass beads.

In 2002, at age 32, Lou was awarded the MacArthur “genius” award.  In 2005 she founded a collective with Zulu artisans in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  Although she doesn’t incorporate specifically African beadwork tradition, she finds within it a commonality in the process of working with beads.  Creating her works becomes a kind of meditation—the final products representing the impossibility of perfection—something Lou refers to as “the culpability of craft.”

Much less showy and, if not for the same medium, actually completely different, I am actually more drawn to Lou’s recent works.  Minimalist and hauntingly beautiful, they appear to be Agnes Martin’s, or Ellsworth Kelly’s re-imagined as beaded canvases.  And because of the beads there is a delicate, feminine sensibility to them.  They walk the line between fine art and craft without needing to be one or the other.  With them, Lou has fully embraced her method as meditation, placing process over content (although the final products are still pretty wonderful).


Calvin Ho

calvin hoCalvin Ho is an Australian artist currently living in Hong Kong. Since 1997, Ho has worked on a wide range of projects that cover design, art direction, illustration & motion for the music, fashion, art, film & entertainment industries.