Friday, August 26, 2011


Illustrations of hair seem to be everywhere lately (actually, for a couple of years now). Perhaps it's another Victorian allusion, what with their hair ornaments, jewellery and other (possibly morbid) memorials?

Ghost of a Tether, Gala Bent, 2010

The Transmogrification Stunt, Gala Bent, 2009

Unicorn, Gala Bent, 2009

Star Wars, a hair portrait by Mr Bingo

Guns n Roses Hair Portrait by Mr Bingo

The Mighty Boosh Hair Portrait by Mr Bingo

Entire inside
Entire inside, Title of the project: Everything is connected, pencil drawing, size A1 (840mm*600mm) by Eika Dopludo

Into the nature
Into the nature, Title of the project:
Everything is connected, pencil drawing, size A1 (840mm*600mm) by Eika Dopludo

hair meditation
hair meditation © Eika. pencil drawing, size: 200см*150см

Presendential hair portraits by Christina Christoforou (who published a whole book called 'Whose Hair?')

Sister by Langdon Graves

Side by Langdon Graves

Heir by Langdon Graves

Bear Arms (2011) pencil crayon on paper
14 x 11 in. by Winnie Truong

Glamour and Abscess (2010)pencil crayon on paper 36″ x 48″ by Winnie Truong

Hard To Win Over (2011)pencil crayon on paper 48″ x 72″ by Winnie Truong

Jeweller Melanie Bilenkar ups the ante by actually using hair as a medium for illustration in her work. (I could do a whole other post on sculpture employing hair as well). She writes, “The Victorians kept lockets of hair and miniature portraits painted with ground hair and pigment to secure the memory of a lost love. In much the same way, I secure my memories through photographic images rendered in lines of my own hair, the physical remnants.”

Solitaire, Brooch (2009)
3 1/4”" x 2" x 1/2"
8 x 5.1 x 1.2 cm
Materials: Gold, ebony, resin, pigment, hair
by Melanie Bilenker

all by Melanie Bilenkar (via The Jealous Curator)

Monday, August 15, 2011


Shane Waltener, who lives and works in London, has an extensive portfolio here. I think cross-breeding lace doilies with cobwebs is more than granny-chic meets natural history; it is genius. He cites both cobwebs and dreamcatchers when describing some of these needlework and crochet fantasies.

Auntie Peggy Has Departed 2003, mercerised cotton, audio equipment, 2 part looped soundtrack. Aldwych Tube Station, the Strand, London.

Showroom Doily 2004, knicker elastic, 350 x 350 x 300cm. Disused shoe factory, King's Cross, London.

A World Wide Web 2007 - shirring elastic, 25 sq. meters. Museum of Arts and Design, New York.

The 26,000 2003, nylon thread, 300 x 300cm. St Mary’s Churchyard, Museum of Garden History, London.

Chihuly Doily 1&2 2004, knicker elastic, each 270 x 350cm. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

I love that something so beautiful (though perhaps ephemeral) can be created in the medium of "knicker elastic".

(via The Jealous Curator)

The human-working-in-the-spiderweb-medium reminded me of the 'uninvited collaborations' mended spiderwebs of California and Finland based artist Nina Katchadourian. She searched for broken spider webs and repaired the damage as much as posible with (starched or glued) red thread. Day and day, the spiders rejected her repairs, leaving piles of red thread under their own re-repaired webs. She displayed her photographs of the webs with her repairs alongside the later rejected patches.

Mended Spiderweb #14 (Spoon Patch)
Cibachrome, 20 x 30 inches, 1998

Mended Spiderweb #8 (Fish Patch)
Cibachrome, 20 x 20 inches, 1998

Marketing Tips for Spiders
Cibachrome, 30 x 20 inches, 1998

See also suspended spiderwebs and feathers, Working with insects (& other animals) and collecting wunderkammer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cartographic Music

A three-dimensional city plan as rotating cylindrical pianola drum in Akko Goldenbeld's 'Stadsmuziek' turns map into music. Building height maps unto note intensity with this scale model of Eindhoven, Netherlands, where model buildings strike hammers which hit piano keys. You can 'hear' the urban plan, the density, distribution and size of buildings make unmelodic, but fascinating music.

(via le territoire des sens)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Historia Naturae

Speaking of musical, natural history-themed multimedia, I have to share the somewhat crazed, sliced and diced, musical wunderkammer of the 1967 short film Historia Naturae by Czech animator Jan Švankmajer (via form is void).

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Well, this is garunteed to me my thing: science, technology, nature, art, music, multimedia and Björk. I am, in fact, amazed I did not know sooner, but blame that on actually being offshore when Björk's new Biophilia app was released (thanks to bioephemera for the link). This is an innovative way of releasing music, taking avantage of tablet (iPhone, iPad) technology and the opportunities for interactive audiovisual apps. Though I've been a fan of Björk since her Debut album, and confess both her music and her subject matter are likely to hook me, and further, that I have the sneaking suspicion that Sir David Attenborough could read the phone book in a voice which would still be mesmorizing, full of awe and wonder, but I think she deserves kudos for this project, and for cultural innovation.

Thus far the Cosmogony and Crystalline apps are available. Cosmogony contains an interactive stylized galaxy, like the animation in the video above, which the user can navigate to each of the other songs/apps and can use to play with (almost remix) samples of Björk's music by moving fingers on the touch-screen. The intro above, the song animated as a stylized geometrical score, the actual score and the lyrics are included. The song itself is structured to mimic astronomical cycles and the lyrics allude to origine myths and modern cosmology.

The video (directed by Michael Gondry) above gives you a hint of Crystalline. The app allows users to create their own 'crystals' and associated music. This hits on the crystals in comtemporary art and illustration trend, as well as the harkening back to the Victorian wunkerammer though the "nature, music, technology" formulation feels very modern. Describing humans as the link between the microscopic and the universal, she ties all her science-inspired songs/apps together (ranging from microscopic scales of the virus, through the planetary with moon, mutual core and solstice, and the galactic dark matter to universal cosmogony). Unlike the Victorian approach to natural history, and obsessive collecting of wunderkammer, which was fueled by nostalgia and a morbid fear of death, this project is permeated with wonder and optimism about the future, and the opportunities for technological advancement to lead to a more harmonious relationship with nature. The earth scientist in me can't wait to see what she comes up with for mutual core, which alludes to the structure of the Earth and plate tectonics. The artistic and musical interpretations of the subject matter are (thus far) more metaphorical than literal, but what I've seen is both engaging (mesmerizing, even) and surprisingly educational. I love the way the user is invited to participate, manipulating and creating more music. This is a very refreshing way of viewing fans as participants at minimum and possibly even collaborators rather than mere consumers. I love also the understanding that scientific explanations of the beauty we see around us makes these things more wonderful, not less.


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