Wayne Martin Belger’s Pinhole Paraphenalia

Wayne Martin Belger builds pinhole cameras – this much can be said with certainty. The rest becomes as rain-blurred and effervescent as the images his unique apparatuses produce. Pinhole cameras are still popular among hobbyists and are occasionally hailed as the purest photographic tool. With no lenses between the tool and the subject, the scene, the light and the depth of field are captured in smoky stills – as if snapped by the mind’s eye. Experiencing these images for the first time is more like viewing impressions, memories.

As you can see above, WMB’s cameras are beyond mere tools, more than means to an end. While many artists long for the process more than the product, Belger has redefined process-love completely. His projects sometimes plant their seeds through the items he collects, other times through ideas, upon the birth of which collecting begins. The camera he used to photograph AIDS victims is built with a vial of AIDS-infected blood, the one with which he captured the secret life of deer is crowned with antlers, expectant mothers were shot with a camera within which an infant’s heart sits still. He’s used bees, human skulls, religious relics, and more. Each device built by Belger contains its sacred object, each otherworldly photo series is just part of a ritual and carries with it the spirit of the camera, the concept, the execution itself.

Belger and his exquisite cameras can be seen next at Device Gallery on September 13, at a special reception from 6 to 9 pm.

Font Designer Recife Releases Misprinted Type 4.0

One of of Recife’s new fonts, “Hand-Made.”

Brazilian font designer and collage artist Eduardo Recife, famous for freely giving away some of the most beautiful fonts ever made, has just released a new version of Misprinted Type. The completely-redesigned site features 7 new fonts, 4 new drawings, 17 new collage illustrations and new original art in the web store.

Recife’s legendary font “Nars”

I’ve been following Recife’s site ever since version 2.0. His fonts are probably what got me interested in typography in the first place. I have to say that while some may consider Recife’s grunge-antique collage aesthetic “played out,” I don’t care. Looking at his work, I feel like it comes from a very genuine place. His style still gets to me every time – no matter how many shitty emo bands use it. Here’s to more Recife fonts in the years to come!

Guess That Gadget!

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who already bought our first print issue! They’re swiftly on their way and will be trembling in your arms soon enough. Now I need to know – what do you see below? A comb? Binoculars? A fishing reel? You may need to guess again!

BBC News has a charming quiz up that tasks the reader with a serious mission – figure out the intended purpose of Victorian devices on display this week at the British Library. While some of us suffer from a rather unhealthy gadget-love, not all of these contraptions are as obvious as one might assume! Take the quiz here, and after [only after!], see another small gallery of the exhibit, here.

[Thanks, Lucinda and Jerem]

POSTCARDS FROM NERD PROM: “Unnatural Selector”

Weta director/effects supervisor Richard Taylor, yours truly, and the almost intolerably scrumptious prototype for Dr. Grodbort’s Ray-Blunderbuss.

Hot Coil

Tesla’s got bedroom eyes.

Oh, my, yes! Happy belated birthday, dear Nikola. Your Coilhouse whelping day party continues with this booty-electrifying Musical Tesla Coil rendition of the Ghostbusters theme song, courtesy of Dr. Zeus. Nerd up.

Celebrating Tesla’s Birthday, the David Bowie Way.

Twink poses with The Haunted Corset, an Ebay find that terrified me so much I had to give it away.

If Nikola Tesla were alive today and he went to The Edison, he’d be pissed. “Why’d they name it after that guy?” And since it’s his birthday today (thanks, John Colby, for the reminder), we’re going to rename this incredible venue The Tesla for the next 24 hours in his honor.

So… looks like there’s some electric kissing party going on up in this joint! Happy Birthday, Nikola! The designer here is Mother of London, creating a sequel to the panoramic shoot that showcased an earlier collection – the first interactive, 360-degree fashion shoot ever created. Photographer Will Pearson came to LA from London to do this follow-up, and what you’re seeing here are preview stills – a taste of what’s to come, yet phenomenal images in their own right. When the panorama is complete, you’ll be able to navigate around The Tesla until your head spins.

Allan Amato (aka Venus Wept) was the art director for the shoot. Models above are Ulorin, right, and Evan, left. Hairstyling by Linh Nguyen, NoogieStyle and Jamie Gatlin. Makeup by Daven Mayeda. You can see more images from this heart-stopping shoot on Allan’s blog. There were many more models involved, including some very cute boys.

[More Images From This Shoot]

P.S. – Over at CoilSpace.com, we were able to salvage everyone’s images, even if you didn’t email. There are probably twice as many as there were before. Enjoy, and thanks again!

Fantastic Contraption Artist: Stephane Halleux

As promised, a look at one of the Fantastic Contraption artists, Stephane Halleux. Stephane is a Belgian artist specializing in mixed media sculpture. There’s an outstanding amount of labor that goes into each of his almost cognizant creatures, from the beginning stages of acquiring found objects to sketch concepts to actual construction. Here’s more about what Stephane does, in his own words:

I like crazy mixtures, unlikely associations, advanced technology mixed with mechanisms of long ago. I’ve always been fascinated by robotics, its advantages and contradictions. The importance of robotisation and its increasing influence on mankind. Who never dreamt of owning a robot able to do the dirty work. But where are the bounds? How far is a robot useful to men and when does it begin endangering their life ? That’s what I want to make: caricatures of robots that have gone beyond the limits, all that with a fanciful vision of the future. The future we imagined some years ago: big computers full of cables with warning lights everywhere. That’s what I like: an old fashioned universe’s future.

A few more of my favorite images, beyond the jump.

Announcing Fantastic Contraption!

Click above for full size flier.

Brace yourselves, for today I am the bearer of grand news! Seriously, if you like art, exhibits and mechanical parts you may want to have a seat and grab the smelling salts.

On July 19th Device Gallery in La Jolla opens what very well could be The Ultimate Steam-Cyber-Cog-And Otherwise-Punk Art Show. Once you’ve collected yourselves after taking a bewildered gander at the list of names I have provided below you will know I speak the truth. And if you somehow do not, have no fear. Over the next two weeks Coilhouse will be giving you detailed looks at the work of these skilled creators. Rejoice!

Ashley Wood Christopher Conte D. Hwang Eduard Anikonov Eric Joyner Greg Brotherton H.R. Giger John U. Abrahamson Kazuhiko Nakamura Mike Libby Nemo Gould Stephane Halleux Theo Kamecke Viktor Koen William B. Hand Wayne Martin Belger – Zoran Milivojevic [dear god someone please give me a link]

Naturally, at least one part of Coilhouse will be in attendance.

Lucent Dossier at the Edison Lounge, April 30th

Many of you will have already heard tell of the Edison Lounge, a new nightclub built around the remnants of an Edwardian era power plant in downtown Los Angeles. Located in the basement of the 1906 Higgins Building, this 10,000 square foot industrial space lay under several feet of flood water for decades, until owner/designer Andrew Meieran (along with business partner Marc Smith) undertook the Herculean task of resuscitating it.

photo from Eeecue.com

From its art deco-decked cabaret space The Lab, to the Generator Lounge and Boiler Room (literally an enormous brick-lined boiler, carved out to create a cozy, candlelit cave), to its delicious Tesla Fries and absinthe drinks, the Edison is thematic aesthetic perfection.

Unsurprisingly, it’s been Coilhouse staff meeting headquarters since the very beginning. I’ve often gotten chills just imagining Rachel Brice, Jill Tracy or the Lucent Dossier troupe in that dreamy environment. Picture my joy when I discovered that Lucent Dossier actually has been performing there!

“Reminiscent of Paris and Berlin of the ’20’s, Wednesday nights the venue is transformed into an exploration of the past – a peek into the decadent, sensuous underbelly of historic LA.”

These people are almost unbearably beautiful, both inside and out, and they put on a great show. If you happen to be in the neighborhood tomorrow night, you won’t want to miss what’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.* Nadya, Zoetica and I will all be there to document the event, so check back to see some photos from Incandescence very soon.

Vaudevillian aerialist troupe Lucent Dossier, performing at the Edison tomorrow night!

More images of the Edison and Lucent Dossier after the jump.

Speaking of Steampunk Masturbatory Devices…

Oh yeah, so Anachronaut gave me this for my birthday:


According to this Brief History of Sex Toys:

“Developed by an American physician, George Taylor, M.D., it was a large, cumbersome, steam-powered apparatus. Taylor recommended it for treatment of an illness known at the time as “female hysteria.” Hysteria, from the Greek for “suffering uterus,” involved anxiety, irritability, sexual fantasies, “pelvic heaviness” and “excessive” vaginal lubrication — in other words, sexual arousal. However, since it was the Victorian era, women were not considered to be at all sexual and it was therefore deemed a disease. Physicians of that era treated hysteria by massaging sufferers’ vulvas until they experienced dramatic relief through “paroxysm” (orgasm). Unfortunately, hysteria was a recurrent condition and repeated treatment was often necessary. Taylor touted his steam-driven massage device as speeding treatment while reducing physician fatigue.”

Does anyone know where this image actually came from? It’s been around for years. Of course it would be awesome if this were a real artifact from the 19th century, though I somehow doubt it. Someone told me once that it’s actually a scan from an old issue of a men’s magazine (Esquire, maybe?), and that this was a humorous illustrative prop for an article on the history of vibrators. If that’s the case, then whoever designed this masterpiece was ahead of their time. Or backwards in time, only on another timeline. Or whatever.