Thursday, November 19, 2009

Balloon Twins

Not just art and science, let's add some balloons today!
Like superheroes whose power is to create immense, inflated, jellyfish creatures, today I bring you not one, but two sculptors-of-unexpected-media: the balloon.

Jason Hackenwerth lives and works in NYC, creating ephemeral inflated sculptures evocative of botany or biology, or just plain sexuality, their eventual deflation mirroring life's transience too. The wiggling, jiggling, wearable sculptures are pretty hilarious.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, artist Willy Chyr ties his balloon sculptures a little more literally to anatomy, perhaps because he is a physicist by training (or more specifically physicist-economist-circus worker-sculptor). He writes that he is inspired by nature, rather than mimicking it - everything from bioluminescence to consciousness. Consider the comb jelly, installed in the Biological Sciences Learning Center, Chicago, IL, April-May 2009:

His website states:
It was inspired by the ctenophore, or comb jelly - a small marine animal characterized by having eight rows of cilia along its body, which scatter light to create a moving rainbow pattern.

The Comb Jelly consists of over 500 balloons, 81 LEDs, and took over 30 hours to build.

You might recall, magpie & whiskeyjack featured some footage of the bioluminescent comb jelly back in February. Follow the link if you would like to see the natural inspiration for this sculpture.

Or the Hydroida, another jelly:

Neuroplastic Dreams is a bit more poetic, evoking the "neuron forest".

Balluminescence - Lights, Balloons, Jellyfish! engaged the audience in making balloon jellyfish at Science Chicago's Labfest. I love the idea of marrying art and science, balloons and LEDs and involving the public! Now that's amazing job he's invented for himself.

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