By all accounts, particularly documentation photos, Akane Moriyama’s newest installation appears to be nothing more than floating colors. The piece, titled Cubic Prism, is actually large skeins of prismatic and semi-transparent polyester fabric, ethereally suspended between two buildings in the courtyard of Goldsmith Hall at the University of Texas, Austin. Cubic Prism shows both rigid characteristics (the ‘skeleton’ of the piece holds it’s cubed shape) as well as the looseness of flowing fabrics.
Akane Moriyama, a designer who was born in Japan and is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden, uses her background in textile design to create such works. By hanging more than 150 large pieces of sewn fabric, the cubed form resembles a canopy (or hammock) shape. Natural elements such as wind obviously effect the installation, though perhaps the most interesting reaction is the natural color play of light and sun when seen between the almost translucent fabric layers. This colorplay activates the entire courtyard, buildings and natural environment for viewers, giving off gorgeous multi-colored glows. (via from89 and designboom)
Living in cities, not only do we forget that we’re a part of the natural world, but it’s easy to forget how truly awesome the natural world can be. Occasionally, though, we’ll get lost or go camping and see a world of seemingly inanimate structures that are not only alive but full of color and crawling in and over one another and feel like we have found another world. Allison Gildersleeve has definitely felt this way, as her paintings are all about the wild wild wilderness– its colors, life, fractal chaos–that we too easily overlook. From a distance, Allison’s work looks almost expressionist, but as you look more, you notice meticulously painted shapes that look more and more like trees and branches and realize what she really seems like she’s trying to express is the impression the awe of the natural world has on her. One kick back to living in the cities is that when you go back out to the wilderness, it really does seem wild. If you haven’t seen it for a while, get some camping and swimming in while you still can and take a few minutes to look at the world that’s living and breathing around you.
Artist Chris Dorosz uses a unique painting technique. He drips paint droplets onto plastic rods. When arranged the rods form a three dimensional image, a pointillism like sculpture. Step back from the screen for a moment – the disparate dots congeal to from images of people. The fact that this is similar to the way a low resolution digital image works is not an accident. Dorosz revels in the idea of the drop as a basic unit of constructing a painting. He says:
“Out of material discovery I began to regard the primacy of the paint drop, a form that takes shape not from a brush or any human-made implement or gesture, but purely from its own viscosity and the air it falls through, as analogous to the building blocks that make up the human body (DNA) or even its mimetic representation (the pixel).”
These works from Berkeley, CA artist Masako Miki (originally from Japan) are fairly on point. Delicately rendered animals exist naturally among fantastical environs full of color. The artist’s ruminations on time, life, death, and innocence would be a big pill to swallow if these paintings weren’t so damn pretty. And it’s not that this stuff hasn’t been done before (Josh Keyes, growing environmentalist concerns, etc.). But in this case cosmic elements enter the mix, allowing us to contemplate the issues of our small planet and the issues of “the Beyond” in one go.
Photojournalist Brett Gundlock delves deep into the everyday lives of Canadian Neo-Nazis in his emotionally conflicting series The Movement. The imagery presented is shockingly conflicting as we are shown moments of intimacy between the group’s members, and are also haunted by the many symbols embodying Nazi racism and violence. Isolating themselves from conventional society, the Neo-Nazi’s underground world is shown through photographs full of bloody walls, Canadian Red Ensign flags, and Swastikas.
Gundlock provides private, personal situations of a dark and troubling minority in a somewhat unlikely place; Canada. Interested in marginalized groups of society, Gundlock explains that his relationship with this series is complicated due to the obviously upsetting Neo-Nazi ideology focusing on White Supremacy. Gundlock describes his experience with this underground culture:
“The symbol of white skin is penetrated and marked with the black inks of Nazi symbols. Crime becomes the bullet point to their alternative résumés. Their existence requires a distinction between themselves and mainstream Canadians, people they understand and reinscribe as “the enemy.” A self-fashioned minority who believes they should be the majority, the Neo-Nazi enclave animates the tensions of a culturally diverse Canada.”
Gundlock’s sociological approach to his documentary style photography creates an informative and engaging dialogue in The Movement. Gundlock asks a very important question in his statement on this series, why do some Canadians become Neo-Nazi Skinheads? Perhaps it is the human need for community and belonging that drives some people to join such a hate-filled group. Often, people join these groups for a sense of entitlement, importance, or a sense of belonging. Gundlock’s photographs point a keen eye on a controversial part of society that many do not wish to face.
You can view Brett Gundlock’s newest series by checking out his Instagram.