• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
The Dutch town of Drachten has got itself a spectacular installation that resembles recent temporary color interventions like Delete in Vienna and in Beukelsblauw in Rotterdam that managed to generate small-scale Bilbao effects.
The installation called WATER IS LIFE (Water is Leven) is made by Henk Hofstra who had 1000 metres of road painted blue in reference to the waterway that was once running where the road is now.
Apparently, the installation is not just a reminder of the past but also an indication of the future as the waterway will be re-establish some time during 2008.
Posted by Sebastian on Oct 14, 2007
Cera Perdida (Lost Wax) is an ongoing project by Barcelona-based sculptor Tanya Sierra.
Every month Tanya leaves one of her sculptures somewhere in Barcelona for a stranger to find and claim.
Each sculpture has a URL engraved where the finder can get more info about the object. The websites contains a photo-gallery of each lost sculpture as well as messages from people who actually found a sculpture.
The project has been running from January 2007 and will end this December.
Posted by Sebastian on Sep 03, 2007
It's time again for the Conflux Festival which is held annually in Brooklyn, NYC.
The festival is dedicated to psychogeography, or in other words: the investigation of everyday urban life through artistic, technological and social practice.
As before, the lineup is amazing but if you cannot be there (like myself) the Conflux website offers a good overview of the participating artists and projects.
One of many interesting projects is Miniaturized Accidents by Jacqueline Steck.
The project consists of a series of fictionalized, miniaturized accident scenes that are constructed in physical space and plotted on a Google map for other people to find. Anyone can contribute to the project by staging and mapping their own miniaturized accidents.
Related entry: DropSpots
Steve Lambert plans to use the simplest of tools to shut down (albeit briefly) over 85 Manhattan outlets of an undisclosed multi-national corporation without breaking any laws.
The Top Secret Steve Lambert Project is open for participation, so if you're in New York City on September 15th you can be a part of the project/performance/hack/event (which, according to Steve, is likely to get on the news and make people smile).
For more information visit the project site.
Update: What was temporarily called the Top Secret Steve Lambert Project is no longer top secret. The project can now be known for it’s real name, Ronald’s Crisis.
Posted by Sebastian on Sep 03, 2007
Most of us have experienced getting lost and with that in mind, it is usually something we try to avoid. Actually, getting lost is also getting harder because our obsession with mapping things and ourselves (Google Maps, GPS and other locative technologies and services) has radically reduced the risk.
But getting lost can also generate fun and interesting reactions and this is theme of two experiential projects by Calvin Johnson that takes place at the Conflux Festival.
In Urban Disorientation Game, Calvin will simply invite participants to be lost in the city. Participants are placed in situations where they are made to be disoriented and then challenged to find their way out of this state.
Calvin's second Conflux project Lost in the Supermarket investigates the disorientation that arises from the overall assault on the senses coming from a shopping center. Participants will be blindfolded and taken to a supermarket or similar venue, where they will remove their blindfolds and be challenged to find each other.
Wanted! by Harvey Loves Harvey (Matthew Nash and Jason Dean) is a collaborative game-like performance where the two artists (players/performers) seek neighborhood help to catch each other.
The artists will start in two different predetermined locations within a narrowly-defined area in Williamsburg. To locate each other, they will begin posting wanted-flyers that show the other artist's face, a short description and a phone number.
Both artists will be guided by calls from people who have seen the flyers, with the goal of eventually helping one of them catch the other.
There is no price for the winner, but the loser will be required to go take down all the flyers when the game/performance is over.
Posted by Sebastian on Jun 05, 2007
Although traffic jams are probably here to stay, there seem to be very little art or design that address the problem in a creative way (in my work with Fiat some years ago, I worked with the highway as a playground and opportunity to generate social wireless interactions but it was purely speculative and did not materialize).
One of the few exceptions - and a concept that actually materialized - is FILEkit, a service briefly provided by a Dutch based group of architects called Artgineering
FILEkit (file is Dutch for traffic jam) is quite simply a collection of items such as a water pistol, a bible, a condom etcetera, which was distributed free of charge by a team of 'FILEangels' on motorcycles. The idea behind the interventionistic service was to turn a negative situation into a positive one by offering jammed motorists an excuse to step out and socialize with each other.
FILEkit was distributed in conjunction with the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam 2003. The kit is longer in production but at some point it could also be purchased in selected shops.
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 Mar 25, 2007
Thanks Anyway (Trotzdem Danke) is a hilarious short film by German artists Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke.
The film takes place in Berlin where it documents Matthias as he attempts to clean the windows of public trains and busses (and a police car!) while they stand still. He does not ask for permission but simply does it without explanation.
The free-of-charge service is generally not welcomed by those receiving it. Instead Matthias is - not surprisingly - met with hostility and bureaucratic suspiciousness.
Although the performance is focused on public systems, it exemplifies how we tend to react with mistrust when offered something for free by someone who has no other agenda than being friendly.
Thanks Anyway is on view through Apr. 14, at Eyebeam gallery in New York.
Posted by Sebastian on Mar 25, 2007
Cascoland is a design project recently carried out in Johannesburg South Africa with the aim to encourage communities to become actively involved in shaping their public spaces.
One of the interesting projects to come out of the the process is a work by Bert Kramer and Jair Straschnow who designed a series of benches and chairs to soften the border between the inside and outside of a security fence.
The two designers - working on the inside of the fence - observed how local workers on the outside had nowhere to sit, thus having to lean towards the fence or sit on the ground.
Jair and Bert did not have a permission to put up anything in public space, so instead they came up with the idea of building sittable objects into the fence. The objects are simply pulled out when needed and pushed back in after usage.