Posts tagged with "Art Installations":

Coachella art installations are a riot of color and whimsical forms

The Coachella Arts and Music Festival kicked off this weekend in the desert outside Los Angeles with a bang, debuting a series of cute and colorful, large-scale art installations for concertgoers to revel among. One consisted of a “mirrored lighthouse for immigrants” by Brazilian artist Gustavo Prado. The work is expressed as a tall lighthouse for travelers—pivoting, curved mirrors sit every which way atop a series of metal armatures, reflecting views and sunlight in a multitude of directions. In a statement, Prado explained the structure as “a way to empirically present how the mind turns the continuous interconnectedness of phenomena into separate beings.”
Brooklyn, New York–based studio Chiaozza (pronounced like “wowza”) designed a garden installation consisting of a series of whimsical, desert-inspired plant structures. Like some type of Martian golf course, the stucco-clad, Dr. Seuss-ian masses—tall and knobby, in some cases, bulbous and squat in others—are wrapped in Memphis Group–inspired squiggles and dots and sit atop circular bases made of astroturf. Adam Frezza of Chiaozza explained in a statement that the group wanted “to create a visual bath, something you can explore and get lost in” with their acre-sized installation.
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Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous created Crown Ether, an un-occupiable home supported by a series of angular, tree trunk-like pillars. The work, according to Jeyifous, is inspired by the artist’s longstanding interest in the intersection between public architecture and displacement, here symbolized by the tension resulting from the visual accessibility of the structure that cannot actually be occupied.
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Lastly, United Kingdom–based artists Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan created a massive installation that works as a visual pun for the phrase “elephant in the room” made up of large masses of faceted, brightly-patterned elephants. The 75-foot tall herd stands in a rough circle, with various exposures of each creation wrapped in a different geometric, colorful pattern. The installations will be on view through April 23.

SXSW announces inaugural art program installations

Austin, Texas–based South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals has announced five art installations to be exhibited in its inaugural SXSW Art Program in 2017. This year’s festivities will take place March 10 through March 19 in Austin. The installations will include work by both established and emerging artists, including Raum Industries, Refik Anadol, and Circus Family. In a press release announcing the featured artists, Hugh Forrest, chief programming officer at SXSW said, "Art and Design [have] always been central to the SXSW ethos, and we have quickly become a recognized platform for visual artists to showcase art installations and connect with filmmakers, musicians, and technologists. The Art Program is the first time we have formalized the program and sought leading artists to design specific installations that we know will resonate with SXSW audiences." The 2017 slate of featured artists was selected as part of a collaboration between the SXSW Art Team and an external advisory board made up at least partially by art curators. See below for the 2017 SXSW art program’s selected artists.
  • Hyphen-Labs (Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, and Nitzan Bartov) will showcase their NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism NSAF Not Safe as Fuck art piece. The work is described in a press release as “a transmedia exploration told through a multi-layered possible future that transcends the constraints of the present using a roster of products thematically rooted in security, protection, and visibility.” The group is helmed by four women of color who, through their artwork, seek to use virtual reality to insert viewers into a “‘neurocosmetology lab’ where black women are the pioneers of brain optimization.”
  • Los Angeles-based installation artist Refik Anadol will showcase an artwork called Infinity that consists of an immersive environment that translates the viewer’s perception of reality into a “three-dimensional space of visualization.” Anadol’s work also includes large-scale LED installations, including the artist’s Convergence installation for the Gensler-designed Metropolis project currently under construction in Downtown Los Angeles. 
  • Artists Raum Industries will exhibit their interactive light exhibition Optic Obscura at SXSW this year. That artwork translates inputs from a user interface into a gridded surface made up of hundreds of optical fibers. The resulting pixelated image is used to illuminate the installation and its surroundings. 
  • Artists Circus Family’s work TRIPH creates an immersive “light experience” that is generated by the physical proximity of viewers. Sensors on the artwork translate nearby movement into sound and colors of varying intensities. 
  • Akinori Goto strikes a similar chord through their toki - series #02 work, an installation that depicts time in relation to the movement of a dancer. The dancer’s rhythms are projected onto a 3-D printed mesh sculpture.

Explore new images of Yayoi Kusama’s expansive Glass House installation

A series of new images showcase the latest installation at Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. The piece, called Narcissus Garden, is by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and consists of 1,300 reflective floating orbs. Narcissus Garden was first created fifty years ago for the 1966 Venice Biennale and it was revived to celebrate both Philip Johnson's 110th birthday and the 10th anniversary of the Glass House's opening to the public. The original installation doubled as a performance art piece, as Kusama sold the spheres for $2 each. The 12" reflective spheres float in a restored pond in the Lower Meadow, next to the Pond Pavilion. The Glass House is also exhibiting Kusama's PUMPKIN, a recent sculpture that will be placed on a hillside meadow northeast of the Brick House. The installation will be on display until September 7. Another Kusama piece called Dots Obsession will run from September 1 through 26, featuring a polka dot covered "infinity room" within the Glass House.

This tilting house is a piece of “performance architecture”

At the end of July, in a field in the middle of the Hudson Valley, this precarious house twisted and tilted for five days while its creators lived inside. The house is called Reactor and it's the latest from collaborators Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley. Schweder and Shelley told The New York Times their work is "performance architecture," a name that reflects their philosophy of building interesting structures and then living in them. Reactor was built at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York, with dimensions of 40-by-8 feet balanced on a concrete pillar. As Schweder and Shelley lived in the space, both the wind and their own movements kept it in perpetual motion. As breezes spun the structure around the center, it would tilt up and down as the pair moved into the building's different rooms and changed its center of gravity. The installation has similar themes to the pair's previous works which involve a pair cohabiting an unusual space that requires teamwork to get around. For example Orbit from 2013 resembles a giant hamster wheel, with one artist living on top and another living inside the circle. Counterweight Roommate from 2011 had the two attached to each other on opposite sides of a vertical structure, so that for one to go up the other had to go down. Shelley and Schweder shared their journal entries from the first few days of living in Reactor with The New York Times. In them they express the irregularity of the weather and movement patterns in the house, and the calming effects of being in constant motion. They also shared the sense of being intimately aware of your roommate's presence, as the ground under your feet moves with them as well. The house will be on display at the Omi International Arts Center for two years. Scheweder and Shelley will return to spend more time in Reactor for several days in September and October.

Help save this folk art landmark in the middle of Detroit

Hatch Art has launched a crowd-funding campaign to save a quirky and kinetic piece of folk art in their hometown of Hamtramck, Michigan, a city of a little over 20,000 surrounded by the city of Detroit. The non-profit art organization is raising $50,000 for a comprehensive renovation of the site. Formerly the home of Dymtro Szylak, an auto-worker turned sculpture artist, was affectionately nicknamed “Hamtramck Disneyland” for its bright colors, lights, and eclectic collection of pop-culture iconography. Szylak worked on the installation above his garage for thirty years, from his retirement from General Motors until his death in 2015. The project is adorned with images of Disney characters and painted in bright colors inspired by its namesake theme park. Syzlak assembled everything by hand, including colorful windmills and other moving sculptures. Part of the charm of Hamtramck Disneyland is its unlikely location, in a residential neighborhood of a relatively unknown city. Hamtramck was a hotspot for European immigrants like Syzlak, who came to the United States from Ukraine. The sculpture was initially unpopular with Syzlak’s neighbors and the city council, but thousands of tourists have since made the pilgrimage to Hamtramck and were often greeted by the artist himself. Hatch Art purchased the property in May 2016 to preserve Hamtramck Disneyland as a folk art landmark. A group of volunteers is currently working to make critical structural repairs to the site, and to rewire and replace the mechanical parts and lights that bring the sculpture to life. They also plan to retrofit the interiors of the garages into a public art space and an artist’s studio. The crowd-funding campaign seeks to raise $50,000 by August 20, which will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Development Authority for a total of $100,000 if the campaign is successful. Hatch Art is also looking for volunteers to help with the restoration.

Bach to the Future: Gabriel Calatrava creates malleable architecture for “The Art of the Fugue”

Like cheese and crackers, music and architecture is a natural pairing. Last November, Steven Holl debuted his ballet, Tesseracts of Time. This year is shaping up to be a promising one for synergy between the two practices: A Marvelous Orderthe opera based on Jane Jacobs' and Robert Moses' epic feud, is in previews this March, and last weekend, concertgoers at the 92nd Street Y's "Seeing Music" festival were treated to a Gabriel Calatrava–designed installation that dialogues with Bach's “The Art of the Fugue." The installation, mounted in a 24-foot-by-17-foot frame, is meant to evoke the strings on musical instruments, Bach's fugues, and a game of Cat's Cradle, the children's game played with an endlessly transfigured loop of string. While the Brentano String Quartet performed Bach's piece live, dancers manipulated Calatrava's installation in response to the music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2ePyvNgVJA New shapes, spaces, and patterns are created as the dancers work. “My fascination with moving architecture inspired me to design a set piece that serves as both a work of art and a functional installation that reacts to music,” Calatrava said in a statement. In the video below, he dives into the design process and the challenge of syncing architecture, a medium with material products, to music, tangible but non-physical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsHXd-8p0PE The Calatrava name should be eminently familiar to anyone who follows architecture. The younger Calatrava, trained as an engineer, is now an architect, working on his own and with his father's firm, Santiago Calatrava Architects & Engineers. An affinity for white, sinewy geometries may run in the family: the 92Y piece recalls the elder Calatrava's recently completed Museum of Tomorrow and the soon-to-open World Trade Center Transportation Hub, below. For those interested in checking out more musical pairings, the 92Y’s “Seeing Music” festival runs through February 18.

Gabriel Dawe’s Plexus A1 in the Newly Renovated Renwick Gallery

Until July 2016, Plexus A1, an art installation comprising of nearly 60 miles of handwoven threads by Mexican artist Gabriel Dawe, will be exhibited in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's newly renovated Renwick Gallery. Dawe's installation consists of 15 hues to mimic the full spectrum of visible light. Curator-in-Charge at the Renwick, Nicholas R. Bell, said, “I was immediately drawn to [Dawe’s] work, the ethereality of it, and the illusion that the material—cotton thread—is anything but that. In the long history of our relationship with textiles, how many creators have successfully changed the way we think about the very nature of the material?" Gabriel Dawe spanned the sewing thread from Renwick's 19-foot-tall ceilings and worked layer by layer, gradating hues to resemble visible light. Dawe completed the installation in ten days. Dawe said, "Once I have an idea of what I want to do in a space, it’s just a matter of attaching hooks and stringing them on site, one thread at a time. I use a tool I’ve developed that works as a giant needle that takes the thread up and down. In a space like the Renwick, which is rather big, I also rely on a lift and helpers to be able to reach over such a big span of space.” The Renwick Gallery opened last fall, after two years of renovations. Dawe is one of nine artists displaying works in the exhibition, WONDER, as the gallery gradually bring in the permanent collection. For more information on the WONDER exhibition visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum's webpage here.

This recycling artist gives dead trees new life in the most popular borough for dead New Yorkers

The holidays are here when the Coniferous Tree Exception kicks in. This New York City ordinance allows dead pine trees to be sold on city sidewalks in the weeks leading up to Christmas. One true marker of the season's end is the Christmas trees that line those same sidewalks in January, awaiting DSNY pickup. In years past, one artist has revivified these trees, albeit illegally, creating semi-real pine forests from discarded trees in marginal urban spaces. This year, the trees will have a second chance at life in the most popular place for dead New Yorkers: Queens. In 2012 and 2013, San Francisco–based artist Michael Neff rounded up 35 Christmas trees from the curbs of Brooklyn. He hung them with twine from a metal pipe and displayed them under a BQE overpass, at Metropolitan Avenue and North 6th Street, in Williamsburg. Within a matter of hours, the trees were removed and discarded by the city. https://vimeo.com/150815655 This year, Neff is reprising his installation, legitimated and indoors, at the Knockdown Center, in Maspeth, Queens. A time-lapse video (above) shows the installation in process. Working a cherry picker, Neff and his team suspend coniferous trees of slightly varying sizes from the ceiling in a neat grid. In a statement on the exhibition's event page, Neff describes the advantages that a change of venue con(i)fers:
The exhibition at Knockdown Center allows for a much different experience, most importantly time for the trees to shed their needles into halos on the smooth concrete floor below. Paired with the subtle pine fragrance of the trees and the opportunity for quiet contemplation, the exhibition encourages repeated viewing.
Suspended Forest is on view from January 9th to January 31st.

On View> Psychadelic Farnsworth House installation gets a second life at a Chicago art gallery

Last year artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero led a collaborative effort to take over Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House with kaleidoscopic light and video loops. That project, INsite, followed similar work at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Robie House, and imbued Mies' modernist touchstone with a vivacity often lacking in the contemporary experience of midcentury interiors. (Read AN's review of Luftwerk's INsite installation here.) Now that work will live on as a show, INsite ONview, which runs September 11 – November 15 at the Matthew Rachman Gallery in Chicago. Photographer Kate Joyce's images of the original installation will be on display, along with “dynamic, kinetic ephemera based on the installation.” Luftwerk also recently announced they would mount an installation at Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory. That project, dubbed solarise, opens September 23.

Prismatic light installation to shine a light on Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory

Plants are usually the star of Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory, but a forthcoming art installation will help brighten the Jens Jensen gem with lights, mirrors and prismatic panels. Local firm Luftwerk Studio is calling the project solarise, and promising a site-specific “series of immersive light and sculpture installations.” According to a press release from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office, solarise is part of the Chicago Cultural Plan—a diffuse planning and marketing initiative launched during Emanuel's first term to crowd-source ideas for new cultural programs in the city. Solar-powered LEDs will illuminate reflective panels and sculptures in the conservatory, which is open every day of the year from 9:00a.m.–5:00p.m., with evening hours extended to 8:00p.m. on Wednesdays. The installation will be on display at the Garfield Park Conservatory from this year’s Autumnal Equinox to next year’s Autumnal Equinox, September 23, 2015 to September 22, 2016. Here are some more details, per Emanuel's office:
The Beacon: A permanent LED facade connected to the ribs of the historic Palm House. The Beacon will be the focal point of the exhibit and will be visible from both inside the Conservatory and from the grounds in front of the building. • Florescence: A sculptural canopy of red and blue petals that will cast colorful shadows throughout the Show House by day and by night. The Show House color panel installation will reveal the spectrum of light necessary for plant growth. • Seed of Light: A continuous interaction between water and light will create a ripple of shadows that will play out across the Conservatory’s Horticulture Hall floor. • Prismatic: An immersive prism sculpture in the Desert House will refract natural and LED lighting. A sound installation using plant material from the Conservatory collection will accompany the sculpture and lighting. • Portal: A series of mirrored sculpture panels will frame the Palm House reflection pond and the Fern Room’s waterfall. • Lobby: A light box that will play on Jens Jensen’s concept of the Midwest Prairie as a sea of all colors.
luftwerk solarise

Orphaned segment of Minneapolis skyway destined for art installation, modernist lakeside home

In February, a Twin Cities design firm advertised an unusual yard sale of sorts. CityDeskStudio offered to pay $5,000 to whomever could haul away and repurpose an 84-foot long section of Minneapolis' famous skyway system that once spanned South 5th Street. The skyway segment is now headed to a private residence in Brainerd, Minnesota—but not before playing host to a contemplative art installation that examines the philosophical dimensions of this defunct piece of pedestrian infrastructure. Dubbed LONGING—“an emotional expression and a verbal play on lengthening,” in the words of its Vancouver-based artists—the exhibition opens Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and will remain open through May 10, 2015. It is located at the edge of the University of Minnesota campus, northeast of the intersection of 6th Street SE and SE 23rd Ave. (44°58’39.3”N 93°13’10.2”W) “We have been working on this off and on for two years, so we are really excited to see this come to life,” said Jennifer Newsom Carruthers, principal of Dream the Combine, the artists mounting the exhibition. Their installation uses strategically placed mirrors to alter visitors' perception of the object. Per the artists' description:
LONGING reestablishes this fragment within a network of its own making. Using two inward-facing, 10’x15', moveable mirrors suspended at either end of the skyway from a tensegrity supported gimbal, LONGING creates a visually infinite environment that bridges toward distant horizons. This virtual space flexes as the wind rotates the mirrors and the audience performs with and occupies their reflections. By using just 35lbs of pressure on a dampened counterweight at the rear of the panels, people can manipulate the large mirrors and the illusion of depth within them. As the images move and infinity wanders, the space bends into unpredictable forms.
After the exhibition closes, the 140-ton skyway segment heads 130 miles north to bucolic Brainerd, Minnesota where a young family has commissioned the current skyway owners, CityDeskStudio, to repurpose it as a lakeside home. Aimee and Preston Jobe plan to add a wing to the skyway segment to make an L-shaped floorplan. "It's like a dream come true," said Aimee Jobe, a photographer, in an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I'm a lover of old things and I live to renovate things." Here's a gallery of the installation, currently under construction, from Dream the Combine:

Breathe easy: Louisville art installation tracks air pollution in real time

Save for the extreme examples—Beijing's “airpocalypse,” for exampleair pollution is often an invisible problem. For at least a brief period, designers from Brooklyn and data scientists from San Francisco hope to change that in Louisville, Kentucky. Across the city 25 sensors gather data on air quality, including the concentrations of particulate matter and carbon monoxide, transmitting the data to a colorful, interactive kiosk on the corner of Fourth and Liberty streets in Downtown Louisville. Designers at Brooklyn-based Urban Matter, Inc. dubbed their project Air Bare. As the downtown screen displays real-time air quality data, they invite passersby to engage with the installation. Encased in bright orange, powder-coated steel, a video screen fills with bubbles representing particles of air pollution. Poke your head into the display and you can pop the bubbles, earning points and taking air quality quizzes. Urban Matter's Rick Lin told WFPL the playfulness is meant to inspire action:
A big part of the component of this piece is educational, so once we grab people’s attention, we want—without being too preachy—to give them some information to help them make better decisions every day.
Urban Matter conceived the short-term piece with the Office of Civic Innovation, Louisville Metro Government, and San Francisco's Creative Commons. On their website, the firm said they hope the project “creates awareness, identifies sources of pollution and propels the public to take action.” Open in time for a health symposium attended by Prince Charles, the piece will be up for six to eight months.