Category: Ideas

This Tree Has Written You a Letter. Good Luck Reading It.

By Rebecca Horne | June 18, 2010 5:03 pm


Artist Tim Knowles uses external forces to create his artworks through processes outside his direct control. About the “Tree Drawings” series Knowles writes: “These images are produced by trees, most of which are located in England’s Lake District. I attach artist’s sketching pens to their branches and then place sheets of [paper] in such a way that the tree’s natural motions–as well as their moments of stillness–are recorded. Like signatures, each drawing reveals something about the different qualities and characteristics of the various trees as they sway in the breeze: the relaxed, fluid line of an oak; the delicate, tentative touch of a larch; a hawthorn’s stiff, slightly neurotic scratches. Process is key to my work, so each Tree Drawing is accompanied by a photograph or video documenting the location and manner of its creation.”

Tim Knowles is one of the many thought-provoking artists featured in rich and satisfying new book from Gestalten, Data Flow 2.

Images courtesy Gestalten, “Data Flow 2”

Tree Drawing, Hawthorn on Easel #1 (part one of diptych)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Ideas

The Bright Heads of Levi van Veluw

By Rebecca Horne | June 8, 2010 12:07 pm



The first image in this gallery of images from Dutch artist Levi van Veluw shows the result of van Veluw covering his head with light-generating foil. Photographed in total darkness, the radiant bright blue light produced by this material defines the shape of his head. Van Veluw’s photo series are self-portraits, created and photographed by himself in a completely solo process. The work simultaneously suggests visions of primitive and futuristic humankind, in the archetypal language of fairy tales.

Of his own work, Levi van Veluw writes: “The images that I make consist of often unlogical combinations of materials, patterns, colours, forms, with my head as the only constant factor. Each element is consciously chosen so as to affect a pre-determined transformation. By playing with the value of the each material and by using them for a purpose that was not originally intended for them, I construct within the image, in a very small way, a different perspective on the world.”

All images courtesy Levi van Veluw

Light II, 2009

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Ideas, Life and Death

Top-Secret Experiments in Outerland are Too Secret to Discuss

By Rebecca Horne | May 6, 2010 4:54 pm



Allison Davies has a spacesuit, and she’s not waiting for a call from NASA for a chance to wear it. In fact, she designed it herself to better haunt her sci-fi vistas. Davies’s photography is an amalgam of self-portrait, landscape, and science spoofing satire. These images suggest Davies has traveled to the far reaches of the solar system, or perhaps to the future, in order to conduct urgent but entirely mysterious experiments. All your reasonable questions—where, what and why?—will remain purposefully unanswered. Davies’s book, “Outerland”, edited by Richard Renaldi, was launched on Earth Day by Charles Lane Press.

All images courtesy Charles Lane Press.


Comprehensive Mammal That Might Have Been

By Rebecca Horne | April 14, 2010 10:05 am

Jason Salavon is a new-media artist whose solo show at Ronald Feldman Gallery opened last week in New York. He is also a research fellow in the Computation Institute and assistant professor in Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. I asked him last week about his image, Generic Mammal Skull, featured in the current show.

RH: Where did this idea of creating a generic mammal come from?

JS: I’ve been interested in evolutionary processes for a long time and wanted to explore them in my own way. I was specifically interested in representing fictional, imagined forms, things missed or skipped by evolution, in a rich, historical way. Combining that with a renewed interest in 17th century Dutch still life made for a challenging project.

RH: Do you decide what percentages of what mammal to use, or does the software determine that? If you decided, how did you determine which mammals to use, and what percentages? For example- why wild boar instead of blue whale?

JS: I designed four very accurate, high resolution models (bear, human, baboon, wild boar), hoping to capture much of the large land mammal “design space.” Percentages in the photographs were chosen for visceral impact as well as representing opposed regions in the “design space.” There is a parent project, a video animation of sorts, that covers a larger range of possibilities.

Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Generic Mammal Skull (21% baboon, 18% bear, 17% human, 44% wild boar), 2010


Leisure Time for Plants

By Rebecca Horne | March 22, 2010 2:59 pm

Everyone knows plants are special. They eat meat, respond to music, and of course perform the impressive feat called photosynthesis. And now, thanks to artist and smarty-pants Jonathon Keats they have entertainment. Keats has produced a documentary show just for plants. After making porn for plants featuring hardcore pollination, he has turned to more general themes. The above image is a sample of skies filmed in the United States and Europe, recently projected for a selected botanical audience at the AC Institute in NYC.

Image courtesy Jonathon Keats


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