One Hundred Live and Die from Bruce Nauman

Another statement from an artist I’m seeing now as a cross between VIcki DaSilva and Dan Flavin — Bruce Nauman’s work, One Hundred Live and Die, is absolutely chilling to me:


From the post at The Fox is Black:

One Hundred Live and Die is what many consider to be Nauman’s masterpiece. Sad and hopeful, One Hundred flickers through each possible flippant, mundane, and tragic way to live or die in a blaze of neon exuberance. Each phrase (“LAUNCH AND LIVE,” “FALL AND DIE,” “SPIT AND LIVE,” etc.) light the room with its orange, blue, white, or whatever color it may be. It paints the room and provides a surprisingly profound commentary on life, telling a story with each phrase, reiterating just how fucked up life can be (which may elicit tears, laughter, or blank stares). In the end, One Hundred resonates with all one hundred phrases lit, blindingly beautiful and a little overwhelming.


LEDs, Lady Gaga Smell-Well, and Projections at Nuit Blanche 2012

Did you go to Nuit Blanche 2012 in Toronto in October?  Laura and I did, and we took some photos that I’m just now able to get to after the trade show season.  I spoke with lots of people on the street at Nuit Blanche this year, and everyone seemed to have a great time — the only thing that was a bit hard to manage was the influx of people that were present downtown for this event.  There were some awesome exhibits and light installations — but anything interactive was pretty much mobbed with people and hard to really get a sense of the artists’ messages.  Regardless, it was a lot of fun!  Check out some photos below, and experience my entire trip with the photo gallery at the bottom!

There were some fun words at the top of this post that describe how f*cked up some of the Nuit Blanche-goers got, it’s worth a quick peek.  It’s totally true — lack of organization, and a real lack of general community.  Read the post.

As we walked by the Hudson’s Bay Company in Toronto we noticed this freaky storefront window scene that we had to stop and check out — and it was Lady Gaga’s perfume on display.  That’s some pretty crazy perfume marketing, huh!  I definitely liked the design enough to take photos…

Lady Gaga's Smellwell


Apparently this perfume makes you smell like a psycho mad scientist:

Lady Gaga Does Window Displays

Oh, officially of course Lady Gaga had nothing to do with Nuit Blanche, but her display was part of MY Nuit Blanche, so that’s why it’s here!

Something that we saw but didn’t really get a chance to experience was Beam of Underground Sun by Arezoo Talebzadeh and Kaveh Ashourinia — ostensibly, they had taken some very bright LED sources and put them down under the street at several meters down.  Arezoo and Kaveh also added some powerful fans and some silk cloth under the street to give the effect of waves of light being cast up through the grate they chose in the street.  Check this one out, it is beautiful, especially with the photos of no people around it:


This, however, is what the real Nuit Blanche Beam of Underground Sun experience was, which was different than intended I assume but had its own jua de vive, if you will:

It was still beautiful, just mobbed with people standing directly in the way of the beam and the overall everything of the piece.




You can kind of see down into the shaft with the fan, the fabric, and the LED units:


It was pretty cool to be standing in an intersection of Bloor Street with no one trying to honk at me or run me down!



Probably one of the coolest things I saw this year at Nuit Blanche was the installation called Planes by Tricia Brown Dance Company — and it was awesome!




…and behind the walls you can see a little behind-the-scenes action!  I almost didn’t want to see this — the movement of the dancers and the projections themselves were so riveting that seeing the how-to took away from it for me.  Ah, the life of making mystery for the audience!


Check out the Gallery View below of the Nuit Blanche event in Toronto — and check out the official Scotiabank page on Nuit Blanche so you can see the intended (and actual) views of the art from this year’s show!

Quantum Blink


Ok, so first, read this:

According to quantum mechanics we have forty conscious moments per second, and our brains connect this sequence of nows to create the illusion of the flow of time. So, what would things look like if that itermittence was made visible? This body of work explores that hiccup, that blink, that ubiquitous fissure in the falling-into-place of things. 

In my work I attempt to articulate something in between the freezing of time—that so often characterizes photography—and its relentless passing. I hint towards temporalities that are fluid, speculative, and somewhat loose. I am looking for the line that divides the finite (probability) from the infinite (possibility). If time is a succession of instants, I want to see what lies in between them. I am after the gaps between instants of consciousness. 

The photographs in Quantum Blink are composed of two exposures taken instants apart. The striped pattern is the result of masks placed in-camera, this feature allows me to blend two images together and at the same time keep them from fully fusing onto one another. Visually, these works appear to shift and change depending on the distance and the angle from which they are seen; an illusion of volume may become apparent, while other times it may seem as though there are three images at play.

That’s Isabel M. Martinez‘ artist statement for what’s below.  Isabel’s series, Quantum Blink, is a group of photos with two scenes captured – I have been flipping my eye at these for the last twenty minutes, and let me tell you – I CAN’T SEE THE FREAKING STEREOGRAMS EITHER!  Sailboat?  WHAT freaking sailboiat?!?!?  Look PAST the picture?!

These are much better:

Thanks, DesignBoom!

Oleg Shuplyak’s Hidden Images – Awesome Optical Illusions

I love optical illusions.  Whenever I see a cool optical illusion image, I always grab it.

This set is no exception – check out the work of Oleg Shuplyak, a Russian painter doing some pretty works that have a secondary image!

This is really just a smidgen, the rest of the works are over at Toxel, where I found this brilliant painter!  Oleg Shuplyak’s website is also kind of a weird trip, it’s like stepping right back into the Dancing Baby era.

Also, from Oleg’s website, check out a VIDEO VERSION of some of his work!  Way cool, check it out!

Just be forewarned, it’s Russian, and it’s very Russian. I love it!

.PSLAB and “Streetlights” Shines in Berlin

One of my favorite lighting design firms, .PSLAB out of Beirut (and Stuttgart now too!), had an excellent installation last month in Berlin that needs some attention!  .PSLAB has had lots of projects covered here on, frankly because they have a lot of awesome projects!  This new one is no exception.  It debuted in Berlin last month at the Qubique Next-Generation Tradeshow – which, may I add, looks amazing!  Before we get to the .PSLAB exhibit at Qubique, just check out this short video on the Qubique show itself.  Amazing!

Right?! I wanna go do more German tradeshows!  Qubique was held in an old Berlin airport that stopped being an airport in 2008 – Berlin Templehof.  .PSLAB’s exhibit was installed in the airport as a part of a centerpiece/gathering place.

Check out .PSLAB’s “Streetlights” exhibit that took place at Qubique – Streetlights is an exhibit made from…  oh heck, from the PSLAB information on Streetlights, they tell it better than me!  It’s interesting, this Streetlights exhibit – actually debuted a little while ago with a project done with Dos Architects in London.  The original:

The ‘Streetlights’ installation is made of 220 vintage car headlamps suspended to the ceiling and giving a sense of floating. For the Qubique site, the linearity of the space was emphasised by the hanging fixture. The vast 15 metre ceiling height was counteracted by dropping the fixture to 3.5 metres above the ground, creating an intimate meeting place around the brasserie bar. The steel pipes that make up the grid were placed at intervals, two or three pipes separated by gaps, in order to let the installation form a certain rhythm while creating a second ceiling layer in the bar area. 

From the .PSLAB documentation on the installation – a bit of a site map:

Ok.  It’s cool – check it:

I love your work, .PSLAB!

Shinobu Koizumi Stuck Some Light In A Drawer. Awesome.

This is a pretty awesome idea, its simplicity is exactly the thing that works the best about it!  Meet Shinobu Koizumi‘s “Light In A Drawer,” which is, in my opinion, pretty clever:

You better believe that, if I could afford something like this, I’d have it hacked to respond to iTunes with individual cell control.  Or not, I gotta believe this thing is like eleventy thousand dollars.

Thanks, DesignBoom!

Arik Levy’s WellOfLife Series

Do you all know Arik Levy?  He does a lot of really beautiful, creative work with light.  Like this stuff, screen grabbed from Arik Levy’s website:

Arik Levy has come out with a new series, called WellOfLife.  Arik said, about the project:  “In many traditions and in everyday life Light is Life…. I wanted to combine this idea with the story of catching the light in a water bucket, from which I got the inspiration for the Well.”

Check out the collection:

 Thanks, Design Milk!

Not Quite Light, But I Still Love Jean-Michel Basquiat

I saw a random article on Huffington Post about my absolute favorite artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat last week, and I just could not, in my right mind, not share this with you all.  Do you know who Jean-Michel Basquiat is?  He was callled a “graffiti artist” for a long time, but call him what you want – his work is moving and awesome to me.  Unfortunately he had this intimate relationship with heroin, and lost his life to the beast at 27 – but his work lives on.

I always wonder what the world would be like if people like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, and other artists dead before their times were up were still here to change the world of art and music.  From the HuffPost article:

Basquiat jumped into Manhattan’s fertile downtown art & club scene in the late 1970s, at first surviving by selling his images on postcards and T-shirts. Meanwhile he conjured a droll and recognizable street identity, SAMO, that raised the dialogue of street artists from I Was Here to the kind of ongoing piss-on-authority satire that made Banksy and his ilk possible. Meeting Warhol was almost unavoidable in that hothouse moment, and their friendship grew into collaboration (one more appreciated in retrospect than at the time). The meteoric fame and the inevitable drugs finally made Basquiat a poster child for the toll of premature success, but Davis’ film covers every aspect of his life and work along the way: music, black identity, class-shifting, love life, club culture, his child-like nature, his premonitions of death. It is a loving tribute to a raucous time and an indelible talent.

You have to take a few minutes to watch this video – Tamra Davis apparently had some Jean-Michel Basquiat footage in a drawer somewhere and drug it out – and it’s pretty excellent:

Tamra Davis talks about THE RADIANT CHILD from Michael Kurcfeld on Vimeo.

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING and Watch Olafur Eliasson at TED 2009

Okay, I know that you have five minutes to take your brain and expand it further than it is wide right this instant.

Stop what you’re doing.
Get comfortable so you can learn.
Press play on this video below.

It’s of Olafur Eliasson at Ted 2009 – he’s talking about using space, color, and light.  You need this right now.

Olafur Eliasson Request That You Take Your Time

Sometimes things make you say “wow, that is really cool.”  There are other times when something is so amazing that there are no words.

If you have never heard of Olafur Eliasson, I am so glad to say that today I am able to give you a spectacular gift.  Olafur is one of the greatest and most influential thinkers (and artists!) of our time, friends.  On December 10, 2009, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia opened an installation of Olafur Eliasson pieces in a collection called Take Your Time.  The installation is open until April 11, 2010.

Make sure that you visit Olafur Eliasson’s personal website.  You’re missing out on life if you don’t.

From the MCA Sydney website on the exhibit:

Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson is the first full-scale survey of projects by this contemporary Icelandic artist to have been presented in Australia. The exhibition gathers works from major public and private collections worldwide and spans Eliasson’s diverse range of artistic production from 1993 to the present, including installations, large-scale immersive environments, freestanding sculpture, and photography.

Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson has been organised by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (and SFMOMA’s former Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture) in close collaboration with the artist. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue which thoroughly explores Eliasson’s practice and its critical context.

I wish I had the bread to go to Sydney this week.

Check out some images, all courtesy of the MCA Sydney website:

360 Degree Room for All Colors, 2002

Notion Motion, 2005

Beauty, 1993

One-Way Color Tunnel, 2007

Inverted Berlin Sphere, 2005

Sunset Kaleidoscope, 2005