• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
Last November, the Swedish designer Samir Alj Fält organized the interactive design project Ultravåldsdesign (~ ultraviolent design), in which he examined the relation between creation and destruction.
Inspired by the somewhat innocent and exploratory side of children's destructive nature (ripping stuff apart, kicking things), Samir invited 6th grade students from a local school to participate in a series of workshops.
Together they vandalized objects and materials to explore how aggression and frustration can be used in a constructive way, and to see if there are ways of creating design that can not only resist violence, but can also be improved by it.
The project was realized in collaboration with Tensta Konsthall near Stockholm.
Some of the thoughts of Ultra Violent Design can also be found in the project 'do-create' by Kesselskramer and Droog Design, which took place 7-8 years ago - I am thinking particularly of Marijn Van Der Poll's work do hit.
Last week, the brilliant Danish TV program den 11. time (11th hour) featured the bizarre story about a local DJ - Kid Kishore - who momentarily changed his artistic name.
It is quite normal that musicians copy each other's music but when Kid Kishore decided to copy the name of Trentemøller, a successful Danish electro-musician, things got interesting.
According to Kid Kishore, he merely took the artistic name because he liked it, not to hijack the identity of Trentemøller. However, that is exactly what happened. Soon after changing his MySpace profile to Trentemøller, Kid Kishore got an invitation to play at a club who assumed he was the original one.
Consequently, on the night Kid Kishore turned up to play he got rejected at the door. Although he never really claimed to be the real Trentemøller, but just a different Trentemøller, the police was called as the club apparently mistook him for a troublemaker. Fortunately the officers seemed to recognize the irony of the situation and nothing further happened.
To avoid confusion Kid Kishore is no longer using Trentemøller's name.
Related: Identity corrections carried out by the The Yes Men.
• Path to a video clip of the show In Danish
Aram Bartholl is a german artist renowned for making physical abstractions of the digital world, particularly game-worlds.
One of Aram's not-to-be-missed performances is inspired by the popular computer game World of Warcraft (WoW).
In WoW, the nickname of the player's avatar is constantly hovering above the head of the player so that the identity is visible for everyone else in the game.
Aram took this little feature out of cyberspace to see how it would look if people's names would float above their heads in the physical world too.
WoW has been performed at different locations around the world. Luckily, it is well-documented.
Posted by Sebastian on Jan 28, 2007
Why do we hold on to things long after they have 'expired'?
This question is the central theme in an art project called Best Before, which explores the relationship that people have with objects they no longer use.
To get people to show and talk about these objects, the artists behind the project placed plastic bags on the doorsteps of homes throughout New York city.
People were asked to fill the bags with expired items and to describe how and when each item was acquired, when and why it expired as well as the location of the item since its expiration.
The project was exhibited last year at the photographic archive in Manhattan. Fortunately, it is fully documented online as well.
Credits: Asuka Yamaguchi, Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga & Elaine W. Ho.
Posted by Sebastian on Jan 21, 2007
The price of a wedding gown is somewhat disproportionate compared to the amount of time it is actual being used. More often than not, it is worn only once where after it lives the rest of its life in a closet.
A solution to this problem is the Disposable Wedding Gown designed by Tuija Järvenpää, a Finnish designer who is more interested in creating disposable products than in making them permanent.
The wedding gown is made of shiny translucent white paper and can be styled with various prints, ornamental cut-in patterns and folds. It is designed for one-time use only, thus perfect for events like weddings. After the event, it can be recycled or thrown away.
The disposable wedding gown was introduced in 2005 in conjunction with an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Helsinki. Apparently, during the event a group-wedding took place in which all brides wore disposable gowns!
You get something like 'Tree in front of billboard' ('Boom voor billboard').
In discontent with the presence of bilboards in the urban landscape, Dutch artist Helmut Smits decided to take direct action in a creative way.
Instead of defacing the billboards, he dressed up as a city worker and planted a tree in front of one of them in broad daylight.
Humor and creativity often plays a central role when civil disobedience movements develop their tools and tactics.
Sometimes these tools even turn into works of art, such as 'Suited for Subversion' developed by Ralph Borland as a part of his Master's Degree at New York University.
The suit - which can be worn with our without clothes underneath - also monitors the wearer's pulse and projects an amplified heartbeat out of a speaker. Naturally, it's not really the material itself but the obvious vulnerability and self-irony that is most likely to pacify the opposition and win over public support.
Suited for Subversion took part in SAFE: Design Takes on Risk at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2005/2006.
Posted by Sebastian on Oct 29, 2006
A smart way of keeping shoes organized. Simply made with white tape.
Posted by Sebastian on Sep 23, 2006
Germany is a big country with a relatively short coastline.
Consequently, if Germans want to spend their vacation at the seaside they often travel to neighbouring countries such as Denmark, a much smaller country - but surrounded by the sea.
So, as a gift to the German people, Danish artist Nikolaj Recke recently travelled to Germany's northeastern coast, where he dug into the beach shore to extend the total sum of German coastline by 10 meters.
Documentation of the intervention - or enlargement if you will - is currently on exhibit at the Thomas Rhebin Gallery in Köln.
A few years ago, French artist Christophe Bruno created the Google AdWords Happening, in which he utilized the AdWords program to publish abstract poetry instead of ads. Google didn't find the happening appropriate hence, he got banned.
Last year Bruno's happening was followed up by GWEI - Google Will Eat Itself, an artistic click-fraud scheme developed by Hans Bernhard & Alessandro Ludovico. GWEI turned Google's ubiquitous AdSense program against Google itself in order to draw public attention to the fact that Google's immense popularity constitutes a democratic paradox. The operation was quickly discovered and stopped by Google.
Now, US artist Cory Arcangel has added to the list of conceptual Google-ad hacks.
Arcangel recently put up a webpage containing the entire text from Kurt Cobain's suicide note and paired it with Google AdSense.
Naturally, the text-ads generated by Cobain's suicide note are totally absurd and so, the site demonstrates just how clueless AdSense is despite Google's claim that 'AdSense can deliver relevant ads because Google understand the meaning of a webpage'.