Category Archives: art

Extraterrestrial on Earth

Image Credit: Reuben Wu

Photographer Reuben Wu has been using adapted drones to light-paint in natural environments, creating beautiful and otherworldly landscapes. His image series “Lux Noctis” transform natural landscapes into images that evoke ideas of extraterrestrial exploration and science fiction. Wu’s photos endeavor to explore unknown and hidden places and present them as if they were a memory of a foreign place.

Wu uses drones to create light trails around rock formations and to provide supplementary light from above. The long exposure images are ethereal, colorful, and otherworldly. His other work similarly blends landscape, futurism and architecture.

Source: Colossal and Rueben Wu

Brutalism Balls

Image credit: Louise Samuelsen

Are you the type of person to stop and ogle a mid-century structure or admire the stark brutalism of a concrete wall? If you also have a sweet tooth, these Danish sweets might be just the thing for you.

Danish born designer and goldsmith Kia Utzon-Frank is not a baker by trade, but she began making  flødeboller because she could not find the treat in the UK. As an artist, she couldn’t help but elevate them. The meringue and almond paste balls are covered in cocoa, and decorated with ingredients including charcoal, black sesame and cocoa butter to mimic the texture of concrete, granite or marble. She now runs a Kufcakes Geometric Flødeboller Masterclass at the London-based art center Barbican, and will be hosting a brutalist-edition on March 3rd, 2018.

Source: Mashable and KUF Studios.

Space Graffiti

The fluid and much discussed space between vandalism and art has now entered Earth’s orbit in the form of a large mirrored ball. Rocket Lab, a New Zealand company determined to “…remove barriers to commercial space,” launched what is essentially a massive disco ball into orbit on January 21st, 2018. Humanity Star, composed of carbon fiber and reflective panels, will orbit Earth every 90 minutes for 9 months until it enters Earth’s atmosphere and is destroyed. Until then, it can be tracked online via Rocket Lab’s website, and will be the brightest, flashiest object in the night sky. 

However, like many artists and visionaries seeking to make their mark, Peter Beck and Rocket Lab didn’t seek permission before launching Rocket Lab. Astronomers have voiced concerns, as the bright object in orbit could interfere with research they are completing on actual stars. Those researchers see the satellite as nothing more than space graffiti. Others see Beck’s satellite as another encroachment on public space, the night sky being one of the few landscapes available to almost anyone, anywhere.

That universality was exactly the goal of the minds behind the Humanity Star. They simply hope Earthlings take a moment to look up and consider the space around them and their responsibility to Earth and its people.

Source: Rocket Lab and Dezeen.

Hemlock Hospice

David Buckley Borden has created a year-long, art-based trail, along with Aaron M. Ellison and their team of collaborators. The site-specific interpretive trail project tells the story of the endangered eastern hemlock tree. According to scientists working on the project, the hemlock tree will be extinct by 2025. The trail raises awareness about the aphids that are killing the trees, and larger issues of climate change. The trail is meant to capture the attention of artists and wider audiences, bringing consciousness to the environmental frailty of the New England forests. The Fisher Museum will hold public workshops, promoting reflection, creativity, and critical thinking, along with self-guided trail maps for the Hemlock Hospice project.

Source: World Landscape Architect

Architecture, Art, and Light in Marfa

Photo Credit: Mark Menjivar

Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas in the 1970s. Since then, Marfa has come to be known as a pilgrimage site for those interested in contemporary or minimalist art on view at Judd’s Chinati Foundation.

Artist Robert Irwin recently completed his contribution to the Chinati Foundation’s permanent collection. Irwin worked with the Chinati Foundation and the San Antonio-based architectural firm Ford, Powell & Carson for 16 years to create an architectural monument to light and space, receiving a 2017 design award from the Texas Society of Architects.

The building, a perfectly symmetrical ‘U’ shape, sits on the foundation of the ruins of a 1919 army barracks building. The artist, architects and the Chinati Foundation had hoped to accommodate Robert Irwin’s vision within the walls of the original structure, but ultimately its reinforced concrete walls proved too inflexible and unstable. Instead, Irwin’s building references the ruins that were once on site, and eye-level windows, sheer scrims, and polished interior surfaces allow the changing desert light to act as a material itself.

Source: Texas Architect Magazine and Artnet.

Animal Sculpture at the 2017 Wara Art Festival

Photo Credit: Spoon and Tamago

Northern Japan is know for rice production. After a harvest, rice straw—or wara—is recycled  to improve the soil,or it is woven into giant sculptures. For nine years Uwasekgata Park has hosted the Wara Art Festival, teaming up with creatives to create creatures from rice straw. Schools send art students to Niiigata to assist with the sculptures that remain on display well into the fall.

Source: Spoon and Tamago

SFMOMA Sends Images of Art to Match your Mood

Photo Credit: Observer

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will send you an image of a work in its collection based on your desire by texting one’s request to 572-51. Only 5 percent of SFMOMA’s collection is exhibited at any given time, but the message service pulls from the entire collection of 34,678 works of art, allowing one to view works based on individual taste. The message service has a few kinks, and it cannot evaluate complex sentences, but the range of artwork and efficiency of the service is phenomenal.

Source: Observer

Google Arts & Culture

Photo Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture, created in 2011, is an exploratory tool for arts and culture. The website has access to 45,000 images of artwork from over 1,200 museums and archives. Google Arts & Culture recently released a new section on the page called “Experiments.” The “Experiments” page offers four methods of discovering and drawing connections between images of art, artists, and other cultural artifacts. The amount of data in this section causes the pages to load slowly but the tools available are unique. For example, the T-SNE map is a 3D network that groups artist together in proximity based on a specific commonalities.

Google Arts & Culture has a bright, clean interface and some of the other pages include categories like, artists, historical events, movements, and mediums. One of the most enticing features of the website is the interactive vignettes. One can scroll through a series of images and videos accompanied with text to explore topics ranging from Audrey Hepburn and the shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo to cats in Korean paintings. Because of copyright laws, some of the more famous artists are not well represented, but the breadth of the website is substantial and one could spend hours following the stories of a variety of art and artists. 

Source: Google Arts & Culture

Sleepin’ in the Subway Station

Image Credit: Pop Up City

Airbnb’s affect on Amsterdam has been highlighted through the installation of a bedroom in a local subway station. Artist Boudewijn Ruckert uses this piece to create awareness about the fact that people are desperate to live anywhere in the Dutch city because such a large percentage of its already-low housing selection has been employed for Airbnb. The corresponding advertisement for this bedroom states, “the views from the windows are absolutely unforgettable.”

Source: Pop Up City

Neo-Neon: Materials Lab Installation at 2017 Fusebox Festival

Image Credit: Fusebox

Image Credit: Fusebox

The Materials Lab fabricated an installation for this year’s Fusebox Festival, taking place this Wednesday through Sunday (04/12-04/16). The piece, called Neo-Neon, incorporates a variety of materials to manipulate light in unique ways. This is an opportunity for UTSOA’s visibility to grow in Austin’s art community and for UTSOA students to become immersed in Austin’s vibrant art scene.

Source: Fusebox

Interview Reveals the Origins of Comic Sans

Image credit: The Guardian

Image credit: The Guardian

Typeface Comic Sans—created in 1994—has generated more controversy than perhaps any other typeface. Vincent Connare, who developed the typeface while working for Microsoft’s typography team, explains the origins of Comic Sans in a new interview. Connare was attempting to develop a typeface suitable for Microsoft Bob, a software meant to help children learn computer skills. Microsoft Bob’s speech was written in Times New Roman, which Connare found inappropriate for a children’s software. Although he has only used Comic Sans once, Connare finds the backlash to the font “…just amazing—and quite frankly funny.” Read the full interview at The Guardian.

Source: The Guardian