Guided by an existential interest in the unknown, Sigurdur Gudmundsson generates work of abundant wit and verve that questions the way that vernacular culture and art relates to nature. Depicting everyday circumstances with absurdist tweaks, his Situations read as visual poems that explore the idiosyncrasies of human existence and tend toward the comical while retaining philosophical gravity. Gudmundsson uses himself as the subject of the Situations, but does not consider the works to be self-portraits but, rather, open-ended reflections that invite the viewer to ponder alongside the artist. Turning to sculpture in recent years, Gudmundsson has focused on creating works that retain his characteristic humor and are dominated by elegance, simplicity, and technical perfection.
In 1978, with 19 other artists, Gudmundsson co-founded Reykjavik’s Living Art Museum, which is dedicated to experimental and innovative contemporary visual art. His artworks have been exhibited internationally, including at the 37th Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Iceland, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and his public commissions have been displayed in Rotterdam, Groningen, and The Hague.
Hometown: Reykjavik, Iceland
Lives and Works: Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Xiamen, China
Text via Artspace
Images via i8 and ilikethisart
Collage, 1979. C-print, 69 x 87 cm / 106 x 127 cm framed
Horizontal Thoughts, 1970. Silver print on fiberbased paper. 100 x 95 cm
Classical sculptures that defy logic by paper master Li Hongbo.
Lucia Koch transforms the interiors of humble paper bags and cardboard boxes— evoking contemporary architectural spaces through a shift in point of view before printing them at a monumental scale. To create this effect she enacts a range of manipulations, adding light filters and translucent materials, altering skylights and facades, and pasting images of three-dimensional spaces to walls. Koch’s work reflects her broader political concern with the livability of generic, mass-produced structures.
Via 7 Knot Wind
Since 1977 Christo and Jeanne-Claude have been working on their largest mastaba of oil barrels, a project conceived for the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The couple is mostly famous for their ephemeral monuments obtained by wrapping famous natural sites, sculptures or buildings, but during the years they also conducted parallel studies for the creation of monuments entirely made of barrels. These projects usually employ hundreds or thousands of barrels piled to form walls, (like for the “Iron Curtain” which blocked the rue Visconti in Paris in 1962), or a “mastaba”, a flat topped rectangular structure with sloping sides, like in their 1968 project for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, a structure of 1,240 oil barrels. The name and the shape of “mastaba” makes reference to ancient Egyptian tombs constructed out of mud-bricks or stone. Apparently, according to what Christo reported in an interview, “Mastaba is the old name of the mud bench found at the first urban place we know in the world—in Mesopotamia“.
The still unbuilt Abu-Dhabi Mastaba will be the world’s largest man-made sculpture, a 150 m (492-foot) tall structure made of 410,000 multi-colored barrels. Eventually, in 2012, after more than 30 years since its original conception, the artists obtained the building permissions and the site was approved. The sculpture/monument is indipendently financed by the artists as in the tradition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s works: the couple usually produces an extensive amount of drawings in order to sell them and use the proceeds to finance the building of their works.
Text and Images via Socks Studio. Continue THERE
Echo Yang explores the current popularity of generative design processes, where computer software iterates endless variations, by turning old school analog devices like tin windup toys, a Walkman, an alarm clock and other machines into instruments of self-generated output.
Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.
Scientists have found that honey bees – Apis mellifera – have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.
Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odors, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.