Yearly archives:2017

  • Paradise is an interactive version of The Garden of Earthly Delights which was created in 2016 for the 500-year anniversary of Hieronymus Bosch’s death.This artwork consists of a curious animated short film that recreates similar characters and the landscape of the original, but represents the excesses and desires of modern society- such as sex, power, consumerism, corruption, entertainment, religion and food.The original Bosch’s triptych includes God presenting Eve to Adam, animals and nude people. Studio Smack's version shows funny details with spaceships, Hello Kitty, Coke, headless fried chicken and fantastic characters. What the animation and Bosch’s triptych have in common is that you’ll hardly be able to take it all in. You can watch it for hours.The characters are 3D modeled, geometrically incorrect and represented in a bi dimensional picture of historical context. They were rendered in Cinema 4D and later composited in After Effects. Each of them has their own animation loop.
  • Around a decade ago, Jonathan Olshefski began taking photographs of a basement music studio in North Philadelphia, a hangout for local hip hop artists. The planned photo essay would reflect working life vs. creative life, specifically that of music promoter/producer Christopher “Quest" Rainey, owner of the studio. But Olshefski got so caught up in Rainey’s life and that of his family, that he wound up switching to film and shooting for almost a decade.The result is Quest, an intimate documentary about a working-class African-American family struggling — and ultimately coping — with crime, poverty and illness. For those who aren’t familiar with rough neighborhoods like North Philly, the film also offers a glimpse into an impoverished but tight-knit community that is both frustrated and hopeful about its prospects. Neither glibly upbeat nor utterly despairing, the film achieves a believable balance that seems to reflect the current situation of so many Americans.Quest, which opens with the 2008 presidential election as backdrop and closes with Trump soundbites from the 2016 debates, includes various events as time markers, including Obama's second win in 2012. Though Quest, who exhorts his community to vote, is clearly thrilled with those victories and is suspicious of Trump’s promises to African-Americans, it becomes pretty obvious that the national political scene doesn’t really have much of an effect on the day-to-day realities of his neighborhood.At the [...]
  • On Wednesday 17th November, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Salvator Mundi, became the most expensive artwork ever sold, after being purchased for £450M during an historic event celebrated at Christie’s auction in New York.The two hour auction took place at Christie’s with a total of sold artwork in the amount of $692 million ($785.9 million with fees), on 58 lots. The sale unexpectedly turned into a historic show.Since the auctioneer Jussi Pylkkänen announced lot nine: Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi (circa 1500), it took 19 minutes to sell the artwork for $400 million ($450 million with fees). People clapped and laughed during the unbelievable show. The sale of Davinci’s painting resulted in the most expensive piece ever purchased at an auction and broke all the previous records in the history of art, including the $179.4 million for a Pablo Picasso painting at Les Femmes d'Alger in 2015.The crowd came to Christie’s expecting a show, and in the end they finally got history.Salvator Mundi represents a secular image of a a serene-looking Christ dressed in blue and holding an orb. It also shows an ambiguous gender aspect about his appearance that makes it very mysterious and special.The picture is one of fewer than 20 works by Leonardo still in existence. It's hilarious that the painting was sold by London's Sotheby's auction house in 1958 for less than 50£ when experts refused to believe Da Vinci painted it. For many years it was considered as t[...]
  • The Alien franchise comic books are about to get a makeover.Although the title has remained popular throughout the decades via various mediums, the comics barely hold the excitement and passion that were ignited by the first film. To reinvigorate the franchise, the company hired acclaimed cartoonist James Stokoe as writer and artist for a new miniseries.The first comic book under his leadership is entitled Alien: Dead Orbit #1. Vice shared their interview with the veteran illustrator, where he expressed his love for the franchise and how he’s changing his style to fit the series. “I saw the second film at the perfect age—around 12 or so—and I instantly loved everything about it. Then I saw the first film and the sequels, and I turned into an Alien sucker for life,” he gushed.  (The following images are previews from Dark Horse Comics)Stokoe approached the franchise with more suspense than he’s used to in his previous works. He did this to stay true to the films but admitted that it was challenging nonetheless. “I've never really done a horror-type comic before, so the pacing is a completely different animal than what I've been used to,” the artist stated. He went on to note that he had to redraw some pages to get them right. He views this experience as a major learning curve in his career.James Stokoe is known for colorful, bombastic and action-packed illustrations. Other comics he has worked on include Wonton Soup, Orc Stain, Strange Tales, and even Marve[...]
  • MLiR stands for Modern Life is Rubbish, an utterly accurate and ironic name. Founded by the two absolutely crazy Swedes from outer Space, Marco Gegenheimer and Einar Christofferson. In 2016 the two lads broke through with the musical and mega hyped debut EP ”Swedish Lo-Life” on Studio Barnhus, the re-known and eclectic record label run by Axel Boman, Kornél Kovács and Petter Nordkvist.An EP of 5 songs, featuring the big hit people with almost 300 000 plays on Spotify so far. Up next in 2017 for Marco and Einar is their 2nd installment for Studio Barnhus, an EP under the name ”Trans-World Junktion”. They also have EP:s coming early 2018 for UK label Banoffee Pies, Berlin based Lossless, a 3rd EP for Studio Barnhus and non 4/4 stuff for Magic Teapot Records. Apart from all this, the boys are also preparing a live show for next year where everyone will be able to see them shaking their asses and showing the world they’re here to stay to make you go bananas. Modern Life is Rubbish, and you know it!Marco, nice to meet you and welcome to Art for Progress. MLiR it is the new project you have created, but your career started a long time ago. Please, could you tell us when did you start to produce music? My interest to produce music started after having a 5.5 years break from DJ'ing in 2009. I then started working on an album for Ratio?music / Rush Hour (which got lost) and released several EP's on Ratio?music / Rush Hour, Moodmusic and Perplex Recordings. I had a band ca[...]
  • Streetwear designer Gosha Rubchinskiy may have burst on the scene in 2008, his eponymous line is finally heating up, as it's reported that athleisure is cooling down.The former filmmaker, based in Moscow, melds a early-’90s Post-Soviet  style of oversized sweatshirts with modern high-fashion suiting, demin and accessories. And the designer has also collaborated with brands, including Levi's, on the iconic trucker jacket.    Image Credit: Collier Schorr Despite being lumped in a "Post-Soviet youth culture" fashion category along with Demna Gvasalia and Lotta Volkova, Rubchinskiy rejects the comparison. "I feel, myself, like an international artist," he tells W Magazine. "Not like Russian, local thing," adding, "I don’t like when people say—‘Oh, Gosha does the post-Soviet Russian thing.’ I think, no.” He goes on to say "I try to speak about the current moment. That’s why I’m hanging always with young kids, because I want to see what’s happening in their heads. And I mix my emotions, my great memories, with what is cool and great for now.” Can't wait to see what this hypermodern designer has in store in 2018.
  • It’s a great time of year for New York's documentary lovers, as the nation’s largest nonfiction film festival comes to town. The eighth edition of DOC NYC runs November 9 –16 with screenings and panels taking place at the IFC Center, SVA Theater and Cinepolis Chelsea. Among the fest’s 250 films and events are 11 feature-length works, from already released films such as Agnès Varda’s acclaimed Faces, Places to films making their world premieres, including Sam Pollard’s Maynard, a portrait of Atlanta’s first black mayor, and Julia Bacha’s Naila and The Uprising, about a Palestinian woman in Gaza who must make an impossible choice between love, family and freedom.Among the festival’s 18 categories are two competition sections: Viewfinders, for distinct directorial visions, and Metropolis, dedicated to stories set in NYC. More than 350 filmmakers and special guests (often film subjects) will be in attendance for Q&As after most screenings and for DOC NYC PRO panels, including Steve Madden (for Maddman), Dan Rather (for Fail State) and Susan Sarandon (for Soufra).Opening the festival is Greg Barker’s The Final Year, which follows key members of outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration; closing it is Lili Fini Zanuck’s Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, about the life and career of the legendary guitarist. In between are docs of all sizes and shapes including centerpiece film Far from the Tree, Rachel Dretzin’s world premiere adaptation of Andrew Solomon’s book,[...]
  • Today, in the field of Contemporary Music, artists empower themselves using technology. Combining IT and engineering with the arts, they are able to create interesting artworks, performances and new instruments using tools for algorithmic composition and advance programming, electronics and audio visual techniques.This awesome granular marble’s symphony, combines sensors to capture data and experimental software to create beautiful sounds with marbles. The contact microphones are connected to the glasses to capture the sound of the marbles knocking the glass with perfect accuracy.The name of this project is Untitled Samek and as the author Federico Dal Pozzo describes it as a study about the emptiness of time that sounds for the eyes.It's experimental electro-acoustic music using granular synthesis made with the sound of a marble spinning on a bohemian glass, combined with audiovisual painting. It's such a symphony and definitely delights the audience!Nerea T. Ruiz
  • Ballet Rotoscope is an experimental short film made in 2011 that connects ballet with technology. By empowering the natural beauty of ballet and utilizing physical computing, the concept adds value to the real-time action and performance.The artists and researchers involved in the project, have created a relationship between geometric shapes with an animation technique known as rotoscope which was invented in 1905 by Max Fleischer. The object’s contours are traced and controlled by an algorithm that brings a mathematical layer to the natural movements of a ballerina.The awesome result is the ballerina dances while she draws perfect geometry.  The joints on her body are traced with a computer –generated rotoscope animation technique created by mathematical methods.In the process, each of the steps of the ballerina were tracked with accuracy to translate and synthesize it with a vectorial animation.Rotoscope technique is normally used in motion pictures to make realistic cartoons, but artists use it to generate an abstract animation of shapes that follow the movements of a ballerina. Therefore, this project makes sense in how to bridge the gap between arts and technology and create new concepts of beauty.This great artwork was created in Keio University of Japan, and the proposal intends to be an interaction between live performance and animation and new ways of expression. This was developed by the EUPHRATES Group, founded by the students of[...]
  • Many of us get dressed and undressed everyday without much thought. But for some people, changing in and out of clothing, or dealing with buckles, zippers and laces can be a frustrating task.According to Fashionista.com, in the U.S. alone, there are 59 million people living with disabilities, and 'their clothing options are greatly limited.'Thankfully, 'adaptive wear' has emerged as type of clothing made for people of all abilities that adheres to various function and style needs. Photo Credit: Lucy Jones Design And thanks to programs like Runway of Dreams Foundation and Parsons' Open Style Lab (OSL), there has been an increase in the availability of clothing geared for children and adults of all abilities. In addition, Target has rolled out a 'collection of sensory-friendly apparel for children,' including items with zip-off sleeves, side openings, or openings in the back for those who are sitting or lying down. At Parsons' Open Style Lab (OSL), designers, engineers, and occupational therapists work in unison to create accessible wearables. OSL was initiated at MIT in 2014, the program aims to challenge the fashion industry to consider the variety and uniqueness of all bodies, ages and abilities in the world. And designing for the underserved leads to better products for everyone —a core tenet of Open Style lab’s curriculum Watch video below to learn more about Runway of Dreams and adaptive wear https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=hEdCmCSPmJY [...]
  • The subject of Lana Wilson’s documentary The Departure, Ittetsu Nemoto is a fascinating individual. The former rebel-turned-Buddhist priest has made it his life’s work to personally help people who want to kill themselves. Because he cannot turn anyone down when they call or text him—and because suicide is rampant in Japan—the 44-year old’s own health has been terribly compromised. This impressionistic portrait of a heroic yet flawed character is meditative and often quite beautiful, as befitting its extraordinary subject and his environment.At the monastery where he lives with his wife and young children, we see Nemoto welcome visitors to the Departure, a retreat specifically geared to help people who are contemplating suicide. He does this by having them “experience” death; we see a small part of the process, which involves writing down things they’re leaving behind and crumpling up these pieces of paper one by one until nothing is left. The idea is to find something worth living for. Later in group discussions, the participants discuss their feelings. It's interesting that so many utterly despondent people have allowed themselves to be filmed. On the other hand, suicide has a long tradition of honor (kamikaze pilots, the ritual of seppuku) in Japan, so there’s probably less shame attached to it.  This may make people more open about their feelings, but also guarantees that Nemoto is seriously overworked.The film shows him riding his motorcycle to meet with [...]
  • For music aficionados and the real heads that check out a lot of live shows, you know when you're in the presence of exceptional musicians, singer/songwriters. Where Mumford and Sons have in some respects brought a new wave of progressive folk music to the forefront of popularity, I can't say the results have led to many high quality bands.  When I received an invite to check out the band Twain, I was a bit reluctant about attending, but after listening to some of their stuff I was ready to go.On this night, they were playing the opening set, but it was obvious that the early crowd was gathered to see Twain, and by the end of the night it was clear they were worthy of the top billing for this show.With 8pm fast approaching, the level of excitement was building as eager fans edged closer to the stage, and with their new album Rare Feeling dropping on October 20th, this would be the first opportunity for many to experience the new stuff live.  As they got into their first song, the thing that initially caught my attention was the depth and warmth of their sound, and as their set progressed I heard glimpses of everything from Neil Young, The Doors and even The Grateful Dead.This is the kind of music that grows on you, and as you continue to listen to Mt. Davidson (lead singer/songwriter) and the band perform, you're soon captivated both musically and lyrically. Though many of the songs deal with serious subject matter, there's an undeniable sense of enthusiasm in[...]