“Pony” by Tim Lewis, and the Kinetica Art Fair

This is “Pony”, a motion-sensitive kinetic sculpture by Tim Lewis. Unsettling and beautiful:

“Tim Lewis combines mechanical devices and sculpture to investigate, test and experiment with his own doubts and perception of the world.” (via)

Lewis, recently interviewed about his work by Dazed Digital, makes a compelling statement about the power inherent in tangibility:

I think that when you first approach a piece of art, and you imagine it and draw it, there’s a sense that it will always remain somewhat in your imagination. Its only when you take the 2D object and re-work it into the physical 3D world that it becomes somewhat more real. It no longer just exists in your eyes and mind, but instead has to react with the floors and walls around it in the physical world. For me, kinetic art highlights the importance of bringing both inventions and imagination into a physical existence.

Lewis’ work is regularly exhibited and promoted by the folks who run the Kinetica Museum and related events in Spitalfields, London. Their annual Kinetica Art Fair is coming up in February. As it has for the past several years, the Fair will bring together “galleries, art organisations and curatorial groups from around the world who focus on universal concepts and evolutionary processes though the convergence of kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology.”

Are any of our UK readers going? Please do report back! It sounds amazing.


Via Tertiary, thanks!

The Girl That Snuck Into a Russian Rocket Factory

The internet is quickly becoming smitten with a young photographer/urban explorer who broke into an unguarded rocket facility in Russia. Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo writes:

Her name is Lana Sator and she snuck into one of NPO Energomash factories outside of Moscow. Her photos are amazing, like sets straight out of Star Wars or Alien. Now the Russian government is harassing her.

It was easy to get in. She just went there, jumped over the fence and got right into the heart of the complex through a series of tunnels and pipes, which was very surprising. After all, this is an active industrial installation that belongs to one of the top manufacturers of liquid-fuel rockets in the world. Their engines power the modern Soyuz, the Zenit 3SL, and the Angara and Baikal launch vehicles. Heck, their RD-180 engine powers the first stage of the Atlas V, an American rocket. More importantly, they have specially strong ties to the Russian military.

And yet, she found nobody. No guards, no security. Nothing. Just a few CCTV cameras here and there in rooms packed with huge machinery.

While some of these zones look decrepit and abandoned, the factory is active. In fact, the government is really pissed off about Lana’s adventure. The authorities have sent her letters saying that her situation will get “much worse” if she keeps posting photos from the factory.

Large, beautiful photos from Lana’s adventure at the rocket factory, along with a scanned letter from the authorities warning her of the dire consequences, can be seen at her LJ.

[via Michael Doyle / Marina GalperinaFrumiousBandersnatch]

“Athena’s Curse, Medusa’s Fate” — Created by Jessica Rowell, Nina Pak, and Elizabeth Maiden

Sometimes, when creative and inspired people get together to collaborate on making imagery in a specific vein that no one’s attempted before, a special kind of magic happens. Case in point, this elaborate photo series independently produced by Jessica Rowell of J-Chan Designs and photographer Nina Pak in cahoots with model Elizabeth Maiden:

Κατάρα της Αθηνάς, η μοίρα της Μέδουσας
Αθηνάς: Elizabeth Maiden
Μέδουσας: Jessica Rowell of J-Chan’s Designs
Photography: Nina Pak
Costume Design & Styling: J-Chan’s Designs
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Ancient Greek lore and steampunk culture clash, titan style, in a sumptuous mythos-meets-modernity photo series depicting the Goddess Athena (Elizabeth Maiden) and the Gorgon Medusa (Jessica Rowell).

According to legend, the once ravishing Medusa was cursed with a monstrous appearance after “seducing” Poseidon, Lord of the Sea, under the roof of Athena’s sacred temple. Hence, this series title (which, translated into English, means) “Athena’s curse, Medusa’s fate.”

Rowell pulled “inspiration from Desmond Davis’ 1981 film Clash of the Titans, then put an atemporal spin on things by incorporating several contemporary ingredients that “also felt industrial and familiar to alternative culture.”

Ukranian Folk-Rock/Accordion Rendition of “Du Hast”


Via Jhayne, thanks!

This talented folk-rock outfit, called Subito, hails from Lugansk, Ukraine. At this time, Coilhouse is unable to confirm whether or not these musicians are also coal miners (as has been claimed elsewhere on teh interwubz), or just hanging out drinking with ‘em. Either way, this has gotta be the best Rammstein cover since Polkaholix‘s rendition of “Pussy“.

Previous gems from Coilhouse’s time-honored “\m/” category:

People And Parcels, Sent Via Rails And Propellers

Gaze in awe upon the majesty of the Bennie Railplane, designed and built by Scotsman George Bennie (more details about which can be found linked below). Capable of producing a a steady 60 brake horsepower, it was projected it would be able to reach sustained speeds of 120 mph. By 1930, a prototype of this weird not-a-monorail was running on a 130 yard test track at Milngavie near Glasgow, transporting thrill-seekers from one end to the other. By 1937, however, Bennie had gone bankrupt (no doubt due to the fact that his machine only traveled 130 yards) and, in 1950, the line was demolished for scrap, thereby closing this ridiculously impractical great chapter in land-based, propeller driven transportation.

Not long after the Railplane began its brief service, another strange wonder emerged from Europe: Germany’s Air Torpedo. Developed by Richard Pfautz, it was meant to transport mail from one side of the country to the other. The claim was that such a trip could be made in 40 minutes, the sleek, propeller driven bullet riding on rails (you can see a larger image here). The cost? Six cents. And here we are, sending our mail by truck and plane when, instead, we could be building air torpedo rails. Shameful.

Via Modern Mechanix and Gear Wheels

HTRK: Work (work, work)

After the tragic death of bassist Sean Stewart last year, the remaining members of Australia’s HTRK –Nigel Yang and Jonnine Standish– have continued to record as a duo. Their latest release, Work (work, work), marks the beginning of a new route.

HTRK’s debut album, Marry Me Tonight (2009), produced by The Birthday Party’s Rowland S. Howard, was a modern take on the familiar musical connection between Berlin and Melbourne, a route frequented before by Howard himself, Nick Cave, Anita Lane, Phil Shöenfelt and other heroes of sultry, sticky new wave. Acute guitar structures and thick, uneasy basslines added an aggressively shuddering, no-wave influenced quality; Standish’s detached, blasé vocals completed the impression of intriguing discomfiture.


HTRK vocalist and co-composer Jonnine Standish, wearing Poltock & Walsh.

Work (work, work) is a different story, devoid of previous aggression, and filled instead with aloof blankness and withering instances of resignation. The music draws from popular retro-futuristic sources, exploring an imaginarium of digital decay, postindustrial wastelands, soulless end-of-days decadence and chemical cures for chronic anhedonia. There are echoes of mid-90s dystopian reverie, in which humans seek respite from their growing boredom and anxiety in cyberscapes or mechanical sex practices or drug delusions… although HTRK paints these millennial fears in more fashionable dress, using a production palette of all the sounds currently en vogue. Work (work, work) presents indifferent vocals, deeply steeped in slowly pouring, liquid-metal synths and distant waves of guitar noise. The songs, languidly spinning, encourage the listener to melt them together into a thick soup. Or paraffin. Or diesel oil.

The downtempo qualities can even evoke an image of post-2000 trip hop: washed out soul, dub influences, marijuana-induced laziness. Work (work, work) maintains  just as suffocatingly stuffy an atmosphere – and becomes equally as decorative as trip hop eventually grew to be. At times, it sounds like a nihilistic version of electronic sentimentalists and mood creators like The XX. The band’s new music has an oddly warm quality, yet it’s a warmth more resembling an engine cooling down than a sentimental smile.


Press photo: Nigel Yang & Jonnine Standish.

Purchase Work (work, work) and other HTRK output at your local indie record shop, or directly through their record label, Ghostly International.

Upcoming HTRK Tour Dates:

  • Sept 06 Portland OR – Mississippi Studios
  • Sept 07 San Francisco CA – Public Works
  • Sept 11 Los Angeles CA – The Echo
  • Sept 14 New York NY – Home Sweet Home
  • Sept 17 Brooklyn NY – Secret Project Robot
  • Oct 12 Krakow PL – Unsound Festival
  • Oct 24 London UK – The Garage
  • Oct 30 Kortrijk BE – Sonic City Festival

Cyber Industrial Dance Tutorial: The Definitive Edition

For those of who who have always wondered how to master this arcane dance art, a helpful tutorial is included above.

For further cheering-up, see below. It’s like watching a dozen adorable Tamagothis hatch and grow in full-color, right before your very eyes:

“Sandbox of the Post-Industrial Apocalyptic Landscape.”

WARNING: prolonged viewing of John Waller (aka zPRIME)’s “Industrial Decay” photo series may give you a raging Doom Chub.

Rawr.

Waller’s entire Flickr stream is rusty and scrumptious. He also apparently has an extensive personal website launching sometime this month.

Lady Gaga / Judas Priest Mashup by Wax Audio

RUH ROH. Rob Halford done got his peanut butter in Gaga’s chocolate. And it’s…. DELICIOUS.


Via Milly. (Of course!)

In this humble blogger’s opinion, “Judas” is infinitely more listenable this way. More danceable, too! Well done, Wax Audio.

Welcome the Coilhouse Issue 06 Advertisers!

Coilhouse Issue 06 is coming soon, but it’s not quite there yet. With more pages, more contributors, and more articles than any previous issue, it’s been quite a journey to put this one together. Thank you all – readers, friends, collaborators, and advertisers – for your patience. Because this issue is still deep in the production stage, we’d like to share our new Issue 06 advertisers here on the blog. Joining our existing family of small-business advertisers, these guys will appear on the pages of Issue 06. Check them out and support their wonderful creations. Here they are!

Medina Maitreya is a costume designer who crafts unique outfits and accessories by mixing new and vintage materials. Working a palette of vintage lace, beads, coins, feathers, silk, flowers and other “antique bling”,  Medina constructs bespoke items inspired by everything from belly dance to circus arts to Erté. You may have seen some of Medina’s extravagant costumes sported by the Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque, March Fourth Marching Band, Kami Liddle of the Bellydance Superstars, and  Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique. You can see some of Medina’s creations on her blog, and many more on Facebook.

Casual Animation specializes in creating affordable custom animations based on your concepts. You supply the idea, pictures and audio: animator-for-hire Kenneth Sanders will create an original cartoon in your preferred file format (avi, mov, m3v, etc.) based on the assets that you provide. Collaborate on any concept your heart desires: experimental surreal shorts, character sketches, music videos. Plus, an optional DVD of your cartoon could be mailed to you. You also have the option of having your cartoon featured on the Casual Animation website.

Constance is a freelance artist, designer and photographer whose work and blog can be seen at i heart constance. Constance specializes in helping small business craft a unique identity. Recent clients include Blue Betta Media, Big Purple Tree, and Saucy Ladies. A full portfolio of Constance’s 2011 design work can be found here. Constance is available for any design task ranging from a complete brand/identity overhaul to custom type treatments, business cards, package development, logo design, information layout, posters, flyers and much more. She’s also available for photography assignments including commissions portraits, product shots (yum!), compositing and retouching. In her website manifesto, Constance writes, “I write to inspire you to push your creativity / I write to provoke your sense of adventure / I write to motivate you to dream big.”

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is a worldwide alternative drawing movement in which art, booze, and burlesque collide. Every month, over 3,500 artists gather in nearly a hundred cities to sketch glamorous alt-culture models and compete in drawing contests in an atmosphere of creative mayhem. Artist, model and oft-Coilhouse collaborator Molly Crabapple (who’s about to embark on a Week in Hell) kicked off the first Dr. Sketchy’s event at a dive bar in 2005 as an antidote to the stiff, sterile life drawing classes she had posed for in the past. Local Dr. Sketchy’s branches are known for outrageous themed nights. At a recent Dr. Sketchy’s event in New York, for example, an elaborately-costumed Stoya and Jiz Lee acted out the story of Jack the Ripper while raising funds for a local sex workers’ rights campaign.

Ember Nomad a clothing company created by fashion designer Danica, and specializes in flowy, fun clothing “for travellers, dancers, and anyone who wants to feel a little bit of magic in their life.” The image above is from Ember Nomad’s 2010 Aphrodisia fashion show; more images can be seen here. Check Ember Nomad’s Facebook Page and Etsy Store for new items. Stripey bloomers, ruffled boleros, leather harnesses, hooded tank tops, and more! The cleavage-enhancing circus vest is hot.

Previously featured on Coilhouse, the Gilding Primal Instinct jewelry line by artist Danielle Nicole Hills features large theatrical pieces intended to transform the wearer into characters inspired by archetypes of human behavior. The jewelry line is at once elegant, theatrical and violent. Dental cuffs, blood-filled medical sample necklaces (or gold-filled ones!), wearable metallic claw predator rings, a majestic antler headdresses, a tooth-adorned surgical mask, and other ferocious adornments can be found on the Gilding Primal Instinct site. The materials list for each item is fascinating: for example, the surgical apron is made out of “copper, bronze, latex resin, taxidermy chick fetuses, 22k gold leaf, and blood.”

The Pornographic Portrait Project is a series of paintings by artist Molly Peck depicting the intimate orgasmic experience in a lush large-scale format. The current series includes several vibrant portraits of people in the throes of passion, and Molly needs your help to grow the project. “Shortly after embracing the idea of this project,” writes Molly, “I realized that it would be difficult for me to capture source images/photo references myself, which is where the collaborative or subject-submission angle came from. I am asking you to send me an image of the moment you ‘let go’, from which I will create a painting (if it inspires one).” The initial concept for the series focused on people’s faces, but has expanded to include “a more broad representation of release, as the individual sees it or defines it (but sticking in the sexual/erotic arena).” Molly welcomes submissions: check the FAQ for more info!

Night Flight is an aerial performance and training company based out of Portland, Orgeon. Founded by performers Gemma Adams and Stephanie Lopes, Night Flight performances combine breathtaking aerial artistry and playful storytelling. The Night Flight Aerial Art Studio offers 8-week intensive series classes, drop-ins, and private lessons focusing for aerial arts silks (tissu), static trapeze, hoop (lyra), rope (corde lisse), sling and straps, as well as strength and flexibility training. The next batch of classes starts up in July; check the class schedule for details. Those of you who don’t live in Portland should still check out this breathtakingly sensuous performance by Night Flight on silks and duo hoop, as well as this gorgeous Flickr photo set featuring Night Flight performers shot by Christopher Perez.

Opir is a politically-charged industrial music project by New York-based artists Spencer Thomas and Vivienne Gucwa. Opir’s first album - America: 25 Years in Review (1983-2008) – is a thoughtful reflection on America’s politics from the rise of Reagan to present day. Opir’s polished, caustic soundscapes, rhythmic textures, distorted samples, and dark ambient industrial beats recall Frontline Assembly, Hocico, Mentallo & the Fixer, and Muslimgauze. Beneath the visceral, corrosive auditory assault and dancefloor appeal of each track lies a richly-contextualized political message. Opir’s website provides a breakdown of song lyrics for the first three tracks, referencing economic theorists, social policies, historical events and legislations to help break down each song’s meaning. You can hear three song samples on Soundcloud, and you can get the album on iTunes or on Amazon.

The Idirlion Project is a fusing of chaos magick / sigilization with old school shamanism, all filtered through a future tech approach to altering reality. Readers who enjoyed our Grant Morrison interview in Issue 04 (as well as our articles on Jodorowsky, Larkin Grimm, Kenneth Grant, and other mystics throughout time) will appreciate the services that the Idirlion Project has to offer. Drawing on both Irish and Peruvial traditions, Idirlion will aid the client in the creation, casting and charging of a sigil. “The catchy tagline that we use on the site is ‘Shamanic Sigilzation For A Better Tomorrow.’ Kind of adds a nice silver age, Bradbury-esque touch to what can often be serious work.” Last month, the founders of the Idirlion Project helped launch the Starseed Institute For Shamanic Studies, an intensive four-weekend training program that explores the four aspects of the shamanic medicine wheel.

Jewels by Mouse, created by Valerie Fordham (Mouse) and Jon Boisseau, offers unique handmade jewelry and jewelry boxes. Mouse describes her jewelry as “sparkly, tactile, beautiful, and peculiar.” Tentacles, mixed metal and rivets, unusually shaped stones, spiraling organic forms, iridescent glass beads, cast bones, and “textures that want to be touched.” Mouse only uses sterling or fine silver, never plate, and the copper and brass in her jewelry are backed by sterling. Check out the onyx spiral earrings, Midsummer Vines necklace, copper keyhole bracelet, and spiral dragonfly pin.

Retro-a-Go-Go sells accessories, jewelry and home décoror inspired by the 50s and beyond: hot rods, rockabilly, Irving Klaw, kustom kulture, psychobilly, robots, zombies, monsters, tattoos and pop art. Exclusive lines include Bettie PageBuck RodgersHot Rod DeluxeKen the Flattop, and Mitch O’Connell. There are flasks, bill boxes, parasols, cigarette cases, belt buckles, and lots of retro tees for guys and dolls featuring everything from pin-up starlets to pulp horror novels.

Previously featured on Coilhouse, Miyu Decay is the new jewelry venture by artist Stephanie Inagaki. Since we last covered Miyu Decay, the shop has grown significantly. Whereas previously, some of the jewelry was only available in sterling silver, there are now pewter versions for those of us on a budget. For example, this gorgeous bat skull necklace for $350 is now available in pewter for $50. Other new creations in the Miyu Decay shop include an asymmetrical feather and lace collar, the Scottish tribal queen headdress, and the black chain skull bracelet.

All these companies, along with many of the advertisers we’ve blogged about previously, will appear in our upcoming Issue 06. Stay tuned for more updates!