M. Ward with (not so) surprise guest, Zooey Deschanel performing at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, February 7, 2013.
The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles played host to M. Ward last week to a very enthusiastic crowd. The show was supposed to happen last October, but was cancelled due to illness. “I was sick as a brick”, he said after coming home from Mexico with a fever. The show featured songs from his last album, A Wasteland Companion as well as 2009’s Hold Time which were well received when crowd favorites like Primitive Girl and For Beginners were played.
“As you can see behind me, it’s a beautiful evening”, Ward said referring to the five windowpane backdrops that projected various outdoor scenes throughout the evening. The mostly seated crowd finally got up to dance a bit when Ward played his Buddy Holly cover of Rave On even moving two couples to swing dance in the aisles which security unfortunately put a stop to. The show reached a deafening peak when Zooey Deschanel came out to sing She & Him‘s You’ve Really Got A Hold on Me and Magic Trick, one of my favorite earlier tunes from Ward. They ended the show with the Rivieras’ version of California Sun which had the whole crowd finally on their feet.
Danish-born Erik A. Frandsen has studied ceramics, sculpture, and graphics in many locations including Greece, Italy, and France. But now Frandsen resides in his native country of Denmark, where he has created many installations that intertwine many different components. His work is known for being created in multiple layers. There is the layer that are appealing to the viewer at first and then repel the viewer after a second glance. The construction of his installations happen when he combines a drawing or a piece on canvas with lights, rubber tires, or boxes. And in one piece he even uses butter.
We’ve always known that as far as street style goes, Tokyo rules. Inhabitants of the city don elaborate outfits and express a strong point of view through their appearance. Photographer Thomas Card’s new book Tokyo Adorned highlights more than 130 photos of these iconic looks. From Lolitas to cosplay to Yamanba, he captures girls who wear gas masks, laced top-hats, and plastic backpacks shaped like bat wings.
The photographer traveled to Tokyo a year after the devastating tsunami hit. “The country experienced an upsurge of national pride,” he writes, “and participants in street fashion increasingly celebrated their unique placement within the Japanese culture at large.”
Card removed his subjects from context (the street) and photographed them in front of a white background. Here, their outfits take center stage, an we’re able to focus on all of the incredible details and painstaking effort that goes into crafting these personas. Some of them are dark while others ooze innocence. Card’s series is a refined, delightful look at the intricacies of these subcultures.
With all this outrageous dress, does the line between personality and appearance ever become blurry? You have to ask yourself, what kind of person wears a full-sized teddy bear as a necklace? Card insists that his subjects know that people are staring, and they have a sense of humor about it. In an interview with Slate, he explains, “Everything from the names they choose for themselves to the particular arrangement of items and accessories and clothing often reflects a particular sense of humor. One woman’s name translates to ‘Barbecue.’ The humor of that is not lost on her.” (Via Fast Company)
For award-winning photographer Oliver Grunewald, the medium of capturing images offers the ability to document, share, and investigate the natural forces which shape our world. Grunewald, along with his partner, journalist Bernadette Gilbertas, travel the globe, focusing on natural wonder, which for the French photographer offers, “…a pretext for immersing himself in the world as it was in the early days of its creation, and his patient quest for the magical, ephemeral light that best underscores the wild primitive side of nature pays off.”
As part of a massive body of work focused on volcanic activity around the world, Serfdom of Sulphur Night, offers some of the more intense photographs taken at the Kawah Ijen Volcano in Indonesia. Grunewald explains the genesis of the series, “For over 40 years, miners have been extracting sulfur from the crater of Kawah Ijen in Indonesia. To double their meager income, the hardiest of these men work nights, by the electric blue light of the sulfuric acid exhaled by the volcano before climbing up to the top of the volcano with their heavy charge.” (via myampgoesto11)
Multimedia artist Todd Baxter has created a retro futuristic image series inspired by narratives of science fiction utopia. Long fascinated with the technology and physics of the Space Race era, with “Project Astoria: Test 01,” Baxter tells a story that revolves around the experiences of children growing up in a an Earth-like world that has recently been colonized. Baxter’s wife, Aubrey Videtto, is writing the story that the two created together. They hope to collaborate with other artists for the project, including a graphic novelist and musician, to further execute their concepts and designs. Of this project, Baxter writes, “With Project Astoria, I wanted to play with that childlike hopefulness — that anticipation of humans finally mastering our existence and our technology. Especially as we were reaching such new and magical realities as landing on the moon, the late 60s was the perfect period, in my mind, to add in this alternate history where we all get together and say, ‘Hey! We could go colonize this other Earth-like place and really do it right this time. It could be perfect. Utopia!’ Of course, it doesn’t go perfectly, which is good. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make for a very fun story.”
Baxter’s process is quite involved, but it starts with him pulling out sketches for ideas he’s had. He then browses the images on his computer for environment and landscape images he’s shot, and begins to weave together these environments with Photoshop. Baxter then plans the next elements based on these general compositions, producing photo shoots of his subjects that he continues to compose and retouch with Videtto until each image is fully realized. The result is a playful narrative with an almost kitschy aesthetic, evocative of the likes of Wes Anderson. (via behance and bleek magazine)
An entire galaxy trapped into a tiny glass sphere. Japanese Glass artist Satoshi Tomizu in his Space Glass series fabricates planets and dust trails by heating up glass. A traditional technique using heat energy and the talent of a man. The rendering is fascinating and creates a world of magic and fantasy.
The artist depicts the solar system and the universe inside transparent glass balls. The planets are made out of opals placed in the center, flecks of real gold and trails of colored glass that spins and twirls in concentric circles. They all are the size of an eyeball and have a small glass loop which allows the piece to be turned into a pendant. Each piece in unique and different.
Satoshi Tomizu’s work is full of details. The eye can catch the twirls of colors but quickly looses track of each individual features. There’s something magical in carrying a poetic scenery around one’s neck. Space dust, rainbow colored trails, stars and asteroids are elements which evoke fantasy and the possibility to escape the present moment. (via This Is Colossal)
Kimchi and Chips is a design studio that creates 3-D installations using light in a variety of ways. Their most recent project is Light Barrier, where they project morphing shapes like circles and pyramids on mist. Their aim is to “add to the visual language of space and light” which they deliver. The shapes appear and disappear slowly, fading away into each other in time to sounds. It’s mesmerizing to watch, and you’re conscious that this is truly something you would never be able to see or possibly even envision without the advanced technologies we have today.
In another of their projects, Lunar Surface, they create orbs of light that look like moons. The moons are imposed on photographs of industrial room (maybe within the Kimchi and Chips studio?) so it looks as if they exist within those spaces. The moon shapes are created using an interesting approach. A sheet is set up with fans on it so it will move. A projection of the circumference of a circle is set up on the sheet, and a sensor picks up the movement of the sheet so that they create the shape of the moons. Once again, the shapes create a new visual language. They seem like jellyfish orbs floating in air. (Via Artlog)
Stuart Haygarth constructs beautiful sculptures out of recycled and found materials. He typically finds large quantities of one object, like eyeglasses, plastic bottles, eyeglass arms, mirrors, or picture frames, and builds large chandeliers or other functional installation sculpture work. Some of his work that is composed of seemingly random objects has been arranged to highlight the myriad of colors and forms that encompass his sculptures. Haygarth’s ability to recontextualize the mundane into the magical is uncanny. In an interview with Design Museum he says, “I think there is a certain ‘power’ in a collection of specific objects. A large grouping of a carefully chosen object – be it by colour or form – gives the object new meaning and significance.”