Archives for the month of: March, 2011

Artist Olafur Eliasson’s exhibitions are all about you. Not only do they provide a heightened sense of self, but they also literally would not be complete without you. Eliasson’s work is all about interaction. His installations call you to participate. Former senior curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Madeleine Grynsztejn calls Eliasson “an artist who wants to expose how wonder is made”.

 

I saw Eliasson’s “Take Your Time” installation at the Dallas Museum of Art close to two years ago. It is easily the most unique collection of art I have ever seen.

The first piece of work encountered is an electric fan hanging on a cord from the ceiling, using its own moving blades to propel it across the room. The cord swings just above head level – low enough to alarm you.

The fan’s ever-changing, unpredictable arcs provide a striking metaphor for perception in motion. Eliasson engages in an ongoing exploration of subjectivity, reflection, and the fluid boundary between nature and culture, revealing the degree to which reality is constructed and helping us to reflect more critically on our experience of it.” ~Roxana Marcoci and Klaus Biesenbach

Eliasson enables you to experience art with all of your senses, just as you would in nature. His work creates a social sphere. You are not just standing in front of a work of art. You are inside the work. You are actively engaged. Looking becomes an experience.

In “Room for one colour,” monofrequency lights eliminate every wavelength except yellow. Everyone in the room appears colorless. The white walls of the room next to you appear blue, due to an involuntary neurological response.

My favorite of Eliasson’s installations is called “Beauty”. It is an installation that can be easily missed if you do not take your time and explore the collection. One room in the collection has about 5 black squares on its walls. I approached one of the squares and noticed a muggy smell. I reached out my hand and discovered that this was not just another square on the wall — it was a dark, hidden tunnel leading into another room. As I followed the tunnel into the room, the smell became more pungent and I began to see a soft light. “Beauty” features a spotlight shining on a curtain of fine mist in an otherwise darkened room, producing a gossamer rainbow visible from certain angles. The rainbow looks different to all who see it. The hose creating the mist is plain to see.

Eliasson separates himself from other artists doing similar installations because he exposes the mechanisms by which the effects are produced. This does not make the work any less magnificent. You become more conscious of more aspects of yourself and you become aware of how it is that you are seeing. Olafur Eliasson reminds us to participate in our world. Or not. I think Eliasson just wants us to be a little more aware of ourselves.

Iris van Herpen is a Dutch fashion designer who just showed her Escapism couture collection in Paris. Escapism is her second 3D printed fashion collection after last season’s Crystallization. The collection is a collaboration between Iris van Herpen and architect Daniel Wildrig with the label .MGX by Materialise. The pieces are made with selective laser sintering in Polyamide. Pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

 

“It never gets old, huh?”
“Nope.”
“It kinda makes you wanna…”
“Break into song?”
“Yep.”

Thatʼs exactly how I feel about this spot. I could watch it over and over and over. I love it. I love the world. I love Discovery Channel. I love 72andSunny for creating this.

The mission of Discovery Communications is to “empower people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks.” Discovery Channelʼs image is that of a trust-worthy source of information. They offer a mix of programming across many genres including science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scene glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape our world. According to the official website, Discovery Channel “provides viewers with the highest quality nonfiction content that not only entertains and engages, but also enlightens, educates and inspires positive action.”

72andSunnyʼs effort to portray Discovery Channel in this manner is evident in the selection of the slogan, “The World is Just…Awesome”. Previous tag lines from Discovery Channel include “Explore Your World”, “Thereʼs No Thrill Like Discovery” and “Entertain Your Brain”.

72andSunny won the brand strategy and creative assignment in 2007. The companyʼs mission to build a brand platform from the ground up focused on engaging active, curious 18-30 year olds while reinforcing the networkʼs loyal audience of older viewers.

Discovery Communications mainly competes with A&E Television Networks and NBCUniversal Media. A&E uses the tagline “Real life. Drama.” NBCʼs tagline is “More Colorful.” 72andSunny recognized that Discovery Channel is unique and there was an opportunity to target viewers in a different way.

Discovery Channel has a heritage of inspiring content and a smart, active fan base. 72andSunny created an idea that took advantage of that:

Discovery Channel is “The Worldʼs Biggest Fan” of the world.

With this, Discovery Channel struck brand awareness gold by genuinely connecting with its audience. The spot shows that Discovery Channel can be different things to different people, even on different platforms, yet stand for one thing: “The World is Just Awesome.”

Discovery Channel reminds us that no matter how bad things seem on the evening news, we still live in a pretty cool world. And they do it with a catchy tune.

The world we live in is such a diverse and interesting place with all kinds of cool stuff going on. Most of the shows on Discovery Channel are about exploring the weird and crazy. By connecting us to that sense of wonder, curiosity and exploration, the Discovery Channel strengthens their brand significantly with the people who should be watching Discovery Channel shows.

The spot captures Discovery Channelʼs zest for life and makes you want to be a part of it, too. It is inspiring and uplifting, and it is one of those rare instances that you can say that advertising has raised itself above the clutter and muck to become something of an art. I know that when I watch this spot, I feel a sense of awe at the beauty and chaos of the world.

The spot was so great that it turned viral. 6,212,667 people have viewed it on YouTube. Discovery Channel has also given a lot of online support to the campaign. On the Discovery Channel website, you can download an MP3 of the song, desktop wallpapers, ringtones, and even view and upload your own parody videos.

72andSunnyʼs “I Love the World” won the Silver Award at the 2008 London International Awards in the “Media Promotion” category.

Visit artist Charmagne Coe’s website here.

Already, you are mine. Rest with your dream inside my dream.
Love, grief, labour, must sleep now.
Night revolves on invisible wheels
and joined to me you are pure as sleeping amber.

No one else will sleep with my dream, love.
You will go we will go joined by the waters of time.
No other one will travel the shadows with me,
only you, eternal nature, eternal sun, eternal moon.

Already your hands have opened their delicate fists
and let fall, without direction, their gentle signs,
you eyes enclosing themselves like two grey wings,

while I follow the waters you bring that take me onwards:
night, Earth, winds weave their fate, and already,
not only am I not without you, I alone am your dream.

-Pablo Neruda

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, by Caspar David Friedrich (1818)

Caspar David Friedrich was a 19th-century German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation. The visualization and portrayal of landscape in an entirely new manner was Friedrich’s key innovation. He sought not just to explore the blissful enjoyment of a beautiful view, but rather to examine an instant of sublimity, a reunion with the spiritual self through the contemplation of nature. Friedrich created the notion of a landscape full of romantic feeling—die romantische Stimmungslandschaft.

See Rafael Pavon’s “Mind the Fog” animation below for a more modern approach to this concept:

 

Pavon plays with the feelings experienced by the wanderer in Friedrich’s Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, transposing them onto a modern day London. Pavon’s animation combines a heady mix of layers of photography and 3D affects to achieve a landscape filled with whirling clouds and moving red buses.

Art is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.” ~Leo Tolstoy

If you’ve ever dreamed of sleeping in an igloo, here’s the next best thing. Scratch that, this is way cooler than an igloo. The Whitepod Resort in Les Cerniers, Switzerland, features a mountain lodge and chalet, including 7 km of ski slopes with private ski lifts. What’s so special about this place? Whitepod. Whitepod is a camp of 15 dome pods surrounding the central chalet. Each dome is essentially a tent stretched over a wooden structure and platform.

Each pod has a wood-burning stove, organic luxury bedding and a complete bathroom. The pod camp just opened in December 2010 and has recently added a spa. Looks pretty freaking cool.

Read more at Design Milk.

Image courtesy Kanji Ishii

I had the pleasure of visiting the Museum of Modern Art in NYC a couple of weeks ago, and I was blown away by the number of amazing exhibitions. Looking at Music 3.0 is the third in a series of exhibitions exploring the influence of music on contemporary art practices and focuses on New York in the 1980s and 1990s. I highly suggest you check it out for yourself; you have until June 6 to do so. What’s really cool about it is that it inspires the idea of looking at music, rather than just listening to it.

The exhibit showcases album art, lyrics, music videos, and works of contemporary art inspired by musical pieces. There is a big focus on the boom of hip-hop and the underground scene, the feminist movement and AIDS activism, as well as the birth of remix culture.

Artdaily.org has a great article about the exhibition that you can read HERE.

One particular music video featured in the exhibit has a very special place in my heart. The video for “Buddy Holly” was directed by Spike Jonze and portrays Weezer performing at the original Arnold’s Drive-In diner from the popular 70s TV show Happy Days. The video combines contemporary footage of the band with clips from the show. 

I found Weezer’s Blue Album in my dad’s CD case when I was in 8th grade, and I instantly fell in love.  I had been perusing my dad’s music collection, and it was the most contemporary album I found. My father was killed in a car accident in 1995, and the Blue Album debuted in May 1994. I latched on to Weezer in 8th grade, especially the Blue Album and Pinkerton, and began to enjoy the music in place of my dad.

Here’s the music video for “Buddy Holly” by Weezer. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The Clocktower at St. Tropez, by Paul Signac (1896)

Image courtesy of Bridgeman Art Library

 

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