Everyone is a photographer now, and that’s wonderful. We all document moments both important and mundane, scenes both amusing and stunning, creating a colorful whirlwind that turns into an extra layer of the fabric of life. Step into the serenely industrial galleries at Pier 24 in San Francisco, though, and you’ll be reminded that photography can also be art.
A huge variety of photographic prints make up the current exhibition (“A Sense of Place,” open through May 2014), but it’s the gallery space itself that is most intriguing. Continue reading Pier 24 SF
The audience mills about at intermission, greeting acquaintances, texting those not present, nibbling on chocolates and waiting for the lights to go down for the next act. Slowly, a murmur seeps through the crowd, and chatter begins to dissipate. On stage, a huge projection screen – its contents faint under the bright house lights – shows a single dancer, wandering forward with a curious gaze. Her surroundings appear to be a theater, and the realization quickly spreads that it’s this very space, now! She’s here, with us! Necks crane, a few fingers point, and sure enough, the black-clad woman is spotted walking up the aisle left of the seats, preceded by a cameraman. She continues, taking a path through the doors and out of view into the lobby, where she is met by a male partner. All eyes return to the screen to watch their vestibule duet as the lights finally dim.
Deciding What to Watch
With this unorthodox opening, Benjamin Millepied introduces a ballet that continues to pique our media-savvy senses throughout its duration. His world premiere piece for Pennsylvania Ballet, This Part in Darkness, intertwines live video and dance in an exciting way that puts the viewer in an entirely new position. Does our focus belong on the the cameraman (principal dancer Alexander Iziliaev), carefully tiptoeing his way back and forth through the whirling choreography? Or the video he’s capturing, projected 40 feet high in glowing fidelity? And what about the dancers themselves, on stage in front of us, ostensibly the reason we’ve come to this theater, on this date, at this exact time? Continue reading A Ballet in Five Dimensions
Watch the (very short) video above, and know this: realistic 3D holographic prints are now within reach.
The only thing needed to view the full-color, 360-degree images is a halogen or LED light source, no special glasses or projectors required
Building on hologram technology first developed in the 1960s, Zebra Imaging has applied advances in lasers and optics to take 3D data (from Google SketchUp, AutoCAD or Maya, for example), record them as highly-detailed hogels (the pixel building blocks of a hologram), and print them onto a malleable film substrate.
A good analogy for understanding how a holographic print works – on a simple level – is to think of an audio recording taken of an orchestra, then played back through a surround-sound speaker system. The original source points (of sound) have been captured in relation to a specific center, and can then be reconstituted to give the impression of a 3D soundscape. With light, the process is a bit more complex, especially when creating images like these that stay three-dimensionally realistic through a very wide field of view.
Thousands of Zscapes have been provided to the US Military over the years, for use in strategic planning, but prices for a color 12″ x 18″ version are now as low as $1,500, well within range for a non-Defense Department business. An Engadget commenter suggested Disney could use these to cover the walls of a roller-coaster ride tunnel. ArchDaily recently called them the “future of architectural visualization.” And artist Mark Henninger (my husband) is considering commissioning Zscape art prints of his psychedelic extrusion images.
The exo-dimensional print also gave rise to a new thought: If we can see this thing in three dimensions, when it very obviously only exists in two, can the ruse be replayed on a higher level? What if the fourth dimension we experience as time is also an illusion of sorts, a trick played by our perception of matter and energy? Will we eventually be able – perhaps like a Star Trek holodeck character – to print out a life?
A City Controller report leveled accusations that the BigBelly contract was given without a fair bid—causing the city to pay more than they may have had to—and that maintenance costs were much higher than expected.
Count on Mural Arts, Philadelphia’s best warrior against blight, to save the day! Or at least, to bring back a positive spin.
A new project sponsored by the Department of Human Services and in collaboration with the Streets Department, Mayor Nutter and the South Street Headhouse District is turning 50 BigBellies into “LitterCritters.”
Several students in the Big Picture program worked with artists Thom Lessner and Ben Woodward around the idea of “garbage monsters” to create original artwork, which the printmakers then synthesized into wrappable designs.
Art installations will cover 50 compactors or compactor/recycling pairs, all of them along Headhouse Square and up South Street from 2nd to 10th Street.
On the first day, the project completed three wrappings, and plans are to finish all of them by mid-November. The receptacles are first well-cleaned, and then printed vinyl carefully applied. The art is expected to last at least a year.
Each chapter in the alphabetically organized cookbook describes a certain pasta, looking at the history of its contours, ingredients and etymology.
With a nod to function following form, co-author chef Jacob Kennedy provides recipes using types of sauces or accompaniments that best suit each pasta’s design.
In Italy, this pairing of shape and flavor is an essential component in construction of the perfect pasta dish.
That’s what gave graphic designer Caz Hildebrand, the other author, the idea for the book.
But it’s Hildebrand’s gorgeous black and white illustrations that really bring the pages to life, vividly showcasing the diversity of forms and figures.
Combined with snippets of old Italian wisdom (“He who looks at magnitude is often mistaken: A grain of pepper conquers lasagna with its strength.“), the bold graphics make this a book you won’t want to put down, even when it’s time to cook.
Who knew grayscale line drawings could make you so ravenous?
On first glance, it’s not easy to tell that these are all photos of the same building.
This private art gallery in the Philadelphia suburbs was designed to look different from each and every angle. And to have a certain ambiance when morning sun strikes it, one that is distinct from when the sun is beaming down overhead, and different still from that on a gray day.
Each glass panel of the wall is a different shape. Each of the wood-like slats that cover one side tapers outward, changing in width.
Even the greenery of the surrounding lawn has been designed in irregular patches of flower and grasses, blooming and sprouting in different shapes as the seasons progress.
Yet the gallery also performs at its intended function, showcasing artworks without exposing them to direct sunlight. An asymmetric wire mesh drapes in artful curves over a wireframe beneath the high ceiling; the structure will allow for artworks to hang in almost any configuration.
Spend a few minutes talking to John Shields, and you get the impression he’s a dreamer. But his firm, point b, has had great success in putting inventive design ideas into practice. Continue reading Getting There
Artist Amy Orr works in a novel medium, one that only recently became readily available: plastic cards. She cuts them up, then rearranges the fragments into mosaic-like compositions.
Previously the exclusive realm of Visa, MasterCard and American Express, in the early 1990s plastic calling cards were introduced. Unlike traditional credit cards, these cards were relatively disposable. In the late 90s, the plastic gift card began replacing gift certificates, starting at McDonald’s and spreading rapidly through retailers everywhere. In the past decade, the plastic gift card has become the most popular present.
In 2006 alone, an estimated 17 billion of these cards were produced. There are a couple of companies that have popped up to either collect and recycle the cards, or to resell and exchange them. Orr’s decor pieces are aesthetically pleasing, but also a statement on the rise of consumerism across the globe.
Friday evening’s Preview Reception will benefit InLiquid, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that helps artists gain exposure and promote their work. The reception will feature Orr’s work, along with others who work with “recycled materials.”
As long as industry and science continue to find and develop new materials, craftspeople will find ways to make them into art!