Nicole Aptekar's Expanded Taxonomy

“It’s no longer safe here.”

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This Friday, Devotion Gallery in Brooklyn will be hosting Expanded Taxonomy – an exhibit of artist Nicole Aptekar’s new paper works. Featured previously on Coilhouse for her first collection of paper art, Nicole has upped her game with this exhibition: the geometry is more complex, the pieces are bigger, and each one is composed of 40 sheets or more (whereas the previous pieces were, at most, half that size).

“Condense, diffuse, swell, and strike.” 

“The process of making these works is like hunting—traveling through all the possible shapes to find one that speaks,” writes Nicole in her artist statement. “Once discovered, this abstract form is held captive like a biological specimen. Shiny pins, screws, and hardware make it a part of this world, restraining it in its frame in a way that distances it from its platonic digital origins.” This exhibit also includes two collaborations: one piece with with Mary Franck that uses projection mapping on a large cardboard piece, and another with Ian Baker that utilizes intersections of vinyl that begin inside of the frame but branch outside of it.

The opening is this Friday, April 27th, from 7-11 PM. If you’re coming, I’ll see you there! More images from the show, after the cut.

“At the edge, leaning in.”

Yves "Jetman" Rossy and His Marvelous 10min Jetpack

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Yves Rossy, a latter-day Swiss Air Force fighter pilot and current full-time daredevil, has been working on this jet-powered carbon-fiber design with an engineering team for well over a decade. The most resent incarnation, seen above as the Jetman soars high above the Alps of his homeland, can “only” fly for ten minutes at a time. Pffftwhatever. This stuff is still nothing short of MEGA AWESOMEBALLS. (Incredible high-def footage, too.)


[via The Daily What]

"Waves" by Daniel Palacios

This is so lovely. Daniel Palacios, ‘Waves’ installation (2007):

(Via Siege, who describes it aptly as “‘Double Dutch’ meets ‘Unknown Pleasures'”. Definitely watch it full screen.)

Artist’s description:

“‘Waves’ utilizes a basic construction of a long piece of elastic string and two motors to visualize the presence of people close to the installation. The string between the two motorized chambers reacts to the people presence and movements, it twirls to produce a sine-wave simulation that eloquently resembles both the digitization of real-time sound waves and patterns of flow and connectivity found in natural systems.”

"Years" — Tree Turntable by Bartholomäus Traubeck

Bartholomäus Traubeck, sales a German designer, artist, and inventor, has crafted a modified record player that takes wood slices from trees and creates music out of scan data gathered from the inner rings:

The Traubeck tree turntable pairs a standard record turntable with a PlayStation Eye Camera attached to the (motorized, moving) arm. In lieux of a tangible needle locking into the grooves of a piece of vinyl, the slowly panning, stylus-mounted Eye Camera reader scans a disc of wood as it rotates below, then passes the data on to computer running an Ableton Live program, which Traubeck has specifically installed with algorhythims that match distinct keyboard notes to various scan density levels.

The resulting music is surprisingly lucid, conveying –quite literally– the internal rhythms of the life of an individual tree.  Breathtaking and melancholy.

(Via Charles Peirce.)

Quadrotors And James Bond

I was at my wits’ end, dear readers. I really felt that it was all over, because that’s how one feels when your employer shows up with a video of a guy playing a Joy Division song on a cat’s ass. I mean, really, how the fuck is a guy supposed to compete with that? It’s impossible. I was pretty despondent most of the day, to be honest. Bad enough they keep me down here, shackled to a desk, kept alive on a diet of water and beet gruel, but then to post, perhaps, the be all and end all of weird, cat-centric internet videos, well, it was too much. Digging frantically I looked for something, anything of interest but found nothing.

Just when I was about to give up, send word to my overlords that I was done, doomed to be moved to the Lower Levels to tend the infernal Machines, going about their awful work deep, deep under the Catacombs, I found I tiny glimmer of hope, a small, barely gleaming nugget of web-based detritus. I reached out and plucked it, brushed it off and gazed at it’s simple beauty. This would do, I thought, this is what will save me, at least for now. If, years from now, I am still doing this and someone asks me what my lowest point was I will cite this day. And if they ask what got me through it I will proudly say: “Robot quadroters playing the James Bond theme song.”

Via UniqueDaily

8 Consecutive Nights of KRAFTWERK! (NYC MoMA, April 10th —> 18th)

Holy shitballs. New Yorkers, you lucky ducks, you get to have ALL the retro-badass fun! Via East Village Radio:

Kraftwerk –one of the most important groups in electronic music’s relatively short history– will be the focus of a retrospective taking place in April at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the New York Times reports. The band, featuring lone founding member Ralf Hütter, will be present and performing as part of the celebration named Kraftwerk-Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.  Starting April 10th […] Kraftwerk will perform over eight consecutive nights, with each evening dedicated to one of the pioneering group’s albums in chronological order, starting with 1974’s Autobahn.

The concerts will be held MoMA’s (appropriately retrofuturetastic) Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium. Tickets go on sale at noon, February 22nd, $25 a pop. (Zounds, they’re gonna go fast!)

“A Homogenous, Cancerous, Rhizomatic Junkspace”

Map of the Online Communities by XKCD, viagra 2007. Larger version.

J.G. Ballard one said that his biggest fear was that the future would be boring. He feared the future would be “a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.” The notion, as applied to the Internet, was recently explored in two pieces on the changing face of internet culture.

Both are wonderfully-written, playful and full of insight. The first of these The Death of the Cyberflâneur, an opinion piece penned by Evgeny Morozov for the New York Times.

Thanks to the French poet Charles Baudelaire and the German critic Walter Benjamin, both of whom viewed the flâneur as an emblem of modernity, his figure (and it was predominantly a “he”) is now firmly associated with 19th-century Paris. The flâneur would leisurely stroll through its streets and especially its arcades — those stylish, lively and bustling rows of shops covered by glass roofs — to cultivate what Honoré de Balzac called “the gastronomy of the eye.” … it’s easy to see, then, why cyberflânerie seemed such an appealing notion in the early days of the Web. The idea of exploring cyberspace as virgin territory, not yet colonized by governments and corporations, was romantic; that romanticism was even reflected in the names of early browsers (“Internet Explorer,” “Netscape Navigator”). …

In the second half of the 19th century, Paris was experiencing rapid and profound change. The architectural and city planning reforms advanced by Baron Haussmann during the rule of Napoleon III were particularly consequential: the demolition of small medieval streets, the numbering of buildings for administrative purposes, the establishment of wide, open, transparent boulevards … But if today’s Internet has a Baron Haussmann, it is Facebook. Everything that makes cyberflânerie possible — solitude and individuality, anonymity and opacity, mystery and ambivalence, curiosity and risk-taking — is under assault by that company. It’s easy to blame Facebook’s business model (e.g., the loss of online anonymity allows it to make more money from advertising), but the problem resides much deeper. Facebook seems to believe that the quirky ingredients that make flânerie possible need to go. “We want everything to be social,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said on “Charlie Rose” a few months ago.

Updated Map of the Online Communities by XKCD, 2010. Larger version here.

In response, Jesse Darling has penned a brilliant response essay titled Arcades, Mall Rats, and Tumblr Thugs over at The New Inquiry:

Evgeny Morozov writes from Palo Alto, a Californian charter city established by the founding father of Stanford University, at which Morozov is a visiting fellow. Palo Alto, nestled in a dewy corner of Silicon Valley, has been at various times home to Google, Paypal, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard: a prime piece of sun-drenched, Nor-Cal sprawl. Social media is to the Read/Write Web what sprawl is to the metropolis of modernity: a homogenous, cancerous, rhizomatic junkspace that expands exponentially outward on a sludgy wave of strip malls and sponsored links, greed and induced demand. This ruthless modernization produces miles of “junkspace” — a term coined by the architect Rem Koolhaas, who wrote that “more and more, more is more. Junkspace is overripe and undernourishing at the same time, a colossal security blanket that covers the earth in a stranglehold of seduction…

Junkspace is like being condemned to a perpetual Jacuzzi with millions of your best friends. Seemingly an apotheosis, spatially grandiose, the effect of its richness is a terminal hollowness, a vicious parody of ambition that systematically erodes the credibility of building, possibly forever.” Koolhaas was referring to the airport and the strip-mall and the single-zone sprawl, but he could have been talking about Facebook…. If space is a practiced place, then collective navigation produces the commons. Like mall rats flipping tricks in a parking lot, users exhibit a feral fluency in the use (and transgression, as it is reimagined daily) of this common timespace: we tune out the ads and get on with the serious business of flirting, hustling, hanging out and talking shit. We know that this serious business is affective labor which produces capital for the custodians of netspace; indeed, meme culture (including but not limited to YouTube parody, stock photo art, cut-ups and image macros) can be seen as the user asserting a subjectivity that exists and thrives despite (and beyond) her status as targeted marketing demographic. Like the Occupy movement, these activities amount to a kind of politics of the public (virtual) body in (virtual) space. We may never own the means of production as such, but will continue to assert, pervert and subvert the commons anyway: a gesture of post-corporeal territorial pissing which necessitates neither phallus nor spray-can nor html.

The Internet: Serious Business. Well-played.

On a tangentially related note:

Cycle-Skating In Paris

If you were a Parisian gentleman in 1923 looking for the newest thing in personal mobility, cialis sale you may have had a keen interest in the above: cycle-skating. Essentially small bicycle wheels strapped to your legs, medical they could be used with or without poles, “ski style”. Perfect for the hip, urban man on the go. Just make sure to hike those trousers up over your knee-highs.

Via Buzzfeed

Human-Shaped RC Planes Soaring Above NYC

WOW! Check out this splendid footage of three human-shaped, remote-controlled planes being flown above downtown NYC/Brooklyn, creating the illusion of people flying:

VERY cool. Perhaps somewhat less cool: it’s apparently viral marketing for that movie Chronicle. “Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… product placement!” But still. Wow.

[Via Wayne Chambliss / Gizmodo]

“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!