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
“Gravity is a mistake. We work hard to correct it.” – Institute for Centrifigual Research.
When a seed is planted in the ground, the roots tend to grow downward in search of water and nutrients. But what happens when there is no “down” for the roots to grow? Scientists sent seeds to the International Space Station and were surprised to see what plants did without gravity to guide their roots downward.
The scientists ran their experiment on Arabidopsis plants—a go-to species for plant biologists. The control group was germinated and grown at the Kennedy Space Center (A), while the comparative group was housed on the International Space Station (B). For 15 days, researchers took pictures of the plants at six-hour intervals and compared them. Their results surprised even them: the plants in space exhibited the same growth patterns as those on Earth.
The researchers were looking for two specific patterns of root growth: waving and skewing. With waving, the root tips grow back and forth, much like waves. Skewing occurs when a plant’s roots grow at an angle, rather than straight down. Scientists don’t know exactly why these root behaviors occur, but gravity was thought to be the driving force for both.
This experiment disproved the widely accepted gravity-based theory. Although the orbiting plants grew more slowly than their terrestrial counterparts, skewing showed up equally in both groups of plants. Waving was much less pronounced in the roots of the ISS plants but still present. These results [pdf] published in BMC Plant Biology last week, demonstrate that gravity is not necessarily the key component in determining a plant’s growth pattern. In fact, gravity doesn’t even seem to be necessary for these patterns to occur at all. Scientists are now looking to other forces such as moisture, nutrients, and light avoidance to explain why roots grow the way they do.
An article written by Breanna Draxler at Discover. All text and image via Discover
Top Image via Wired
“What if materials could defy gravity, so that we could leave them suspended anywhere in mid-air? ZeroN is a new tangible interface element that can be levitated and moved freely by computer in a three dimensional space. Both the computer and people can move the ZeroN simultaneously. In doing so, people and computers can physically interact with one another in 3D space.
Users are invited to place or move the ZeroN just as they can place any other objects on surfaces. Once levitated, ZeroN’s behavior can be digitally programmed. For example, users can place the sun above physical objects to cast digital shadows, or place a planet that will start revolving based on simulated physical conditions.
ZeroN can remember how it has been moved. Physical motions of people can be collected in this medium to preserve and play them back indefinitely. When the users move release the ZeroN, it continues to float and starts to move along the same path. This allows a unique, tangible record of a user’s physical presence and motion which will continue to exist even after the death of the person.”
Text via Jinha Lee
“Large groups of tape rolls go through a long process of development and degeneration. The extremely slow paced life of these objects is being revealed within an isolated space where everything starts from a symmetric composition. From this orderly state deviations and differences in behavior slowly become visible through the force of gravity. Resulting in unpredictable shapes and movements that somehow feel familiar.”
Tape Generations | 2011 | 2 min. 39 sec. | 4:3 |