As part of the recent LLUÈRNIA festival of light and fire in Catalonia, collaborators David Oliva of SP25 Arquitectura and Anna Juncà of Atelier 4 created this spectacular flow of lava using common fortune teller origami figures. Over 10,000 folded pieces of paper were needed to create the work that was illuminated from underneath and further brought to life with smoke machines. Titled simply “Origami Lava,” the piece was affixed to an abandoned building in Olot, a town surrounded by dormant volcanoes. You can see more at SP25 Arquitectura. (via Colossal Submissions)
This past July and August, the Creença Art Residency hosted an ambitious, multi-artist project an hour outside of Barcelona. Initiated and curated by Void Projects, a new platform created by artist Axel Void, and organized in collaboration with Elsa Guerra, Jofre Oliveras and Charlotte Pyatt, the project hosted some 50 multidisciplinary artists from across the globe to create in situ work associated with the theme of Creença, or “belief.”
Artists were invited to present their interpretation of the subject from a personal, religious, or epistemological perspective inside Konvent, a former 19th-century convent in the town of Cal Rosal. Although once home to a bustling textile industry, the location is now practically abandoned. Despite its lack of resources, the location turns out to be the perfect setting for what organizers had in mind—a creative community living and working together under one roof.
The building’s faded hallways and bare rooms were transformed into studios and sleeping dorms for guests during the summer event. The close proximity of daily life and creation made the entire setting feel particularly motivating and inspiring, and pushed all the participants to create exceptional examples of their diverse practices. The location also provided a perfect opportunity for spontaneous collaboration, which occurred both on-site with paintings, sculptures, and drawings, and with installations within the ruins of a crumbling textile factory next door.
After hosting local and national artists for two months, Konvent opened its doors to the public for a three-day exhibition. The show was a mix between a massive group exhibition and an open studio event, which provided guests insight into the process behind the varied works. To celebrate the collaborative spirit nurtured during the residency, a sister exhibition opened at Montana Gallery in Barcelona early last month. You can learn more about Konvent and its recent collaborative projects on their website and Instagram. All photos by Vinny Cornelli unless otherwise noted.
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Graphic designer Justin Peters has an uncanny ability to compose fantastical landscapes and creatures by combining stock imagery using Photoshop. The 22-year-old German digital artist says that he’s often driven by the famous Picasso quote “Everything you can imagine is real,” choosing to use photography found on stock imagery sites as the source material for his digital collages. You can see more of his recent work on Instagram.
UK-based illustrator Richard Wilkinson created a series of fantastical insects based on the most famous Star Wars characters. It’s easy to imagine these incredibly life-like renderings truly existing as creatures crawling on a planet far away, and each is given a cheeky scientific name with Latin roots that relate to its sci-fi counterpart like Roboduobus Deoduobus for R2D2 or Chaetebarbatus Bonamicii for Chewbacca. Wilkinson has previous experience creating scientifically-minded illustrations for publications like New Scientist and Intelligent Life Magazine.
These first 10 illustrations titled Insects From A Far Away Galaxy are just the first set in a much larger body of work for a planned book, Arthropoda Iconicus Volume I, that will make references to other pop culture characters like Pokemon, Marvel Comics, and Disney. The pieces seen here are now available as limited edition prints, and you can follow more of Wilkinson’s work on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)
Warning: strong language. Over on the Hydraulic Press Channel, Finnish factory owners Lauri and Anni devised an awesome experiment to force a variety of soft objects like cheese, soap, and crayons through a plate drilled with holes with the help of their famous hydraulic press. The result is as funny as it is incredible, especially the squished crayons that seem to sprout straight up like sticks. The press is set to exert 150 bars of pressure (2,175 pounds per square inch) sending the various materials squirting in every direction in genuinely surprising ways. I’ve probably watched a few dozen of their videos over the years, and this an instant favorite.
Banksy’s year-old project in Bethlehem, The Walled Off Hotel (previously), has just released a new set of souvenirs exclusively available in the hotel shop. The series of works, which are each hand painted by local artists, depict the West Bank barrier in a crumbling state. A hooded figure is featured beside the wall in several of the works—either contributing a fresh piece of graffiti or physically breaking through the wall with mallet in hand. Banksy views these works as anticipatory objects, pieces that might accurately depict the wall’s end.
The hotel also released a new album during last week’s Palestine Music Expo, featuring international musicians such as Brian Eno, The Black Madonna, Trio Joubran, Roisin Murphy, and Akram Abdulfattah. The work was produced by Block9 during a “Creative Retreat” at the hotel this past February, and includes seven collaborative songs inspired by Palestine’s history. The Walled Off Hotel Creative Retreat Album is now available for free on Soundcloud.
Copenhagen-based miniature artist Katie Doka fabricates exquisitely detailed miniature birds that perch atop the ends of pencils and paintbrushes. The feathery specimens are built primarily from polymer clays, glass, jewelry wire and lambs wool or cotton with accents of acrylic paint. Although the pieces are designed primarily for use in dollhouses, their adjustable frames and appendages ensure each bird can adapt to any environment. You can see more on Instagram and in her Etsy shop. (via So Super Awesome)
To create his new documentary film Human Flow, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei spent a full year traveling through 23 countries, following the journeys of some of the 65 million people forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change, and protracted wars. Crossing oceans and visiting refugee camps in precarious border cities in Afghanistan, Greece, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Turkey and beyond, Ai documented the stories of fellow humans of all ages and nationalities who currently have no place to call home.
The individual stories of several refugees and their journeys—or near perpetual state of limbo—are interwoven throughout the film, though Ai focuses mostly on a macro view that illustrates the unimaginable scope of the unfolding crisis that has enveloped entire nations. By its nature, Human Flow recognizes that there are no easy solutions to these monumental catastrophes that impacts all of us directly or indirectly, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. A healthy dose of compassion and a recognition of a shared humanity would be a good start.
On a personal note, I felt deeply impacted by the film and strongly urge you to watch it.
On Sunday, April 29, 2018, Human Flow will be screened simultaneously across the United States. Immediately following, Ai will participate in a livestream Q&A with audiences around the country. If you are interested in hosting a public screening in a school, library, community center or elsewhere, you can find out more from ro*co films.