ArchiWEB Explorer: Art

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Miniature Calendar: Micro-City Scenes Made Daily from Household Objects

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Photography & Video. ]

It takes just one artist to raise this annual micro-village, putting out a fresh scene daily featuring miniature people going about their everyday lives, navigating repurposed objects designed for different purposes at larger scales.

The new Miniature Calendar by Tastuya Tanaka is the latest in a series of 7, each one featuring 365 snapshots of lives lived small. The figures are often framed by items that are easy to recognize and yet also simple to reimagine in context.

From Pompeii to Gaza: The History of Street Art as a Voice for the People

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Over the past half-century, street art has evolved from squiggled lettering on subway cars to a cultural force practiced in virtually every corner of the globe. It began unsanctioned and disdained, and though some prominent street artists now sell their work for millions behind gallery doors, it remains firmly rooted in counterculture, simultaneously celebrated and dismissed. What separates it from merely decorative murals is its message, even if it doesn’t appear to be saying anything at all: its very existence empowers people with little to no voice in society.

Life-Sized Interactive Drawings by Levalet Envision a Parallel Universe

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Life-sized street art interventions play out scenes from a parallel universe on public surfaces all around us in the interactive works of French artist Levalet. Raised in Guadeloupe, France, the artist (also known as art teacher Charles Leval) saw the graffiti that surrounded him as part of the city’s identity, prompting him to look at the streets in a whole new way. What if everyday objects and scenes had an entirely different purpose than the ones we see for them?

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Studio Cadena Unveils "Happy" Installation in New York's Flatiron Plaza

Happy. Image © Benjamin Cadena Happy. Image © Benjamin Cadena

Studio Cadena’s Happy installation has been unveiled in New York's Flatiron Plaza. The project is the winner of the fifth annual Design Competition hosted by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute. As the centerpiece of the annual holiday program, the installation was selected by a jury with expertise across the worlds of design and public art, including representatives from the Flatiron Partnership, New York City DOT Art, and Van Alen Institute’s board of trustees.

Bought to be Destroyed: Artist Ron English Will Whitewash His New Banksy

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Street artist Ron English paid over $730K for a work of art by Banksy – and he plans to paint over it. It might sound like some kind of silly high-profile artist feud, but English harbors no animosity toward the infamously anonymous creator of ‘Slave Labour,’ the mural he just bought at auction. He just doesn’t want anyone else to have it.

The mural, which depicts a small child on his knees with a sewing machine producing a string of Union Jack bunting, was originally painted onto the side of a London store in protest of sweatshop souvenirs before the 2012 Olympics. The mural disappeared in 2013, to the anger of local residents, and later resurfaced to be sold at auction for $1.1 million. It’s all part of an ongoing scheme in which building owners have Banksy works chiseled off their property and sold at auction without the artist’s consent.

Chinese City to Replace Street Lights with Orbiting Artificial Moon by 2020

[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

Within two years, the city of Chengdu aims to swap out its ground-based street lighting with the soft glow of an artificial moon, casting light across 50 square miles of the urban landscape.

Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute, announced the news at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship event earlier this month.

Reflective panels on board the machine will pick up and redirect the sun’s rays. The satellite will actually glow multiple times brighter than the moon itself, creating a dusk-like atmosphere on demand. The precise illumination can be varied in different sections of the city as well.

Seven-Story Neoclassical Painting by William Bouguereau Looms Over Memphis

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

A little girl from William Bouguereau’s 1886 painting ‘Au pied de la falaise’ looks out over the city of Memphis from the side of a seven-story building, freed from the original work’s confines within the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. French street artist Julien de Casabianca is known for moving the subjects of famous paintings from the hallowed walls of perfectly-lit museums and into the streets, wheat pasting them many times larger than life onto urban surfaces. This particular monumental work coincides with the artist’s exhibition and workshop at the Brooks Museum.

32 Artists Take Over a Hydraulic Power Station for Focus-Kazakhstan Exhibition

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

London’s Wapping Hydraulic Power Station is transformed into a multifaceted exploration of post-Soviet identity for the groundbreaking Focus-Kazakhstan exhibition series, featuring 32 established and emerging artists. The first major traveling exhibition of Kazakh art will be on display in this form through October 16th before moving on to Germany, the United States and South Korea in altered forms.

First of all, that setting. It’s been a while since the historic power station was functional; it closed as a pumping station in 1977 and was re-opened as an arts center and restaurant in the early 1990s. Today, it’s an incredible venue setting contemporary art exhibits off against the structure’s original equipment in spaces like the Boiler House and the Engine House. It’s a beautiful glimpse into London’s industrial history, and a striking setting for this dramatic exhibition.

30 Projects Explained Through Architectural Gifs

In order to explain projects and design decisions properly, architects must use often rely on creative representation techniques instead of words. It’s part of the job. The quality of drawings - simple, complex, or anything in between - is fundamental for the correct reception of the ideas. Digital media has enabled new ways of representation including animation and adding a new dimension in a single image: processes.

Animated gifs can provide the same amount of information in constructive terms as a section, program distribution as a diagram and main decisions as a master plan,  while at the same time showing the progress and chronology of the project.

The following 30 projects use animated gifs as a tool to represent the design process, construction details, use of layers and interior spatial sequences.

Trampoline Cabin / Lorena Troncoso-Valencia

K.J. Somaiya College for Information Technology / Sameep Padora & Associates

Club House Varkenoord / NL Architects

Carroll House / LOT-EK

Words on the Street: Art, Architecture, and the Public Protest

Barricades in the streets of Bordeaux during the May 1968 protests in France. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia Barricades in the streets of Bordeaux during the May 1968 protests in France. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia

This article was originally published as "What Marchers Today Can Learn from the May 1968 Protests in Paris" on CommonEdge in May 2018. In the 50 years since the historic and worldwide protests of 1968, much has changed. But today's political climate seems equally volatile, with seismic changes threatening social and political establishments across the globe. Lessons from the past are, to borrow the phrase of the moment, more relevant than ever.

American friends recently sent an email: “What’s going on with the French political system? Why all the strikes? What about the endless protest marches? We’d like to visit you in Paris, but we’re a little wary.”