Events

MCA’s Heaven and Earth

 

 

For Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art’s 50th anniversary, they are bringing together two of the most important artists in the museum’s history, as well as icons of the last 100 years. Heaven and Earth: Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons finds common ground between these seemingly disparate artists, with Alexander Calder’s weightless sculptures nominally representing “heaven” and Jeff Koons’s celebrations of the mundane and concrete as “earth.” This pairing highlights both artists’ interest in playing with balance and gravity to make compelling sculptural statements, while reveling in the contrasts between high art aspirations and mundane material choices.

 

 

Calder (American, 1898–1976) originally made a name for himself in the 1920s for inventive bent-wire portraits and later his extraordinary and performative circus sculptures. He is best known, however, for the delicate floating sculptures of metal and wire that have come to be known as “mobiles”—a term coined by Marcel Duchamp. The MCA has extensive holdings of Calder’s work that have been regularly shown for decades, and in 2010, the museum produced a major exhibition titled Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form Balance Joy.

 

 

In the early 1980s, Koons (American, b. 1954) ushered in an influential new era of art with works that borrow from liquor advertisements or posters of basketball legends, as well as over-the-top celebrations of household goods like vacuum cleaners, in order to redefine the boundaries of taste. His star power was recognized early on and the MCA organized his first museum exhibition in 1988, and revisited his work with a major survey in 2008. Thanks to many generous gifts, the MCA collection holds his work in depth.

 

 

This playful and unexpected pairing of two of the most recognized artists of the modern era have an extended presence in the MCA’s galleries and will be updated periodically with substitutions by both artists. The exhibition runs through December 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

source: mcachicago

Google’s Synchronized Lighting Display in Berlin

 

Google recently partnered with U.K.-based energy and data-harvesting pioneer Pavegen to make Berlin’s 2017 Festival of Lights interactive. The footsteps of visitors to the world’s largest single energy harvesting array were converted into off-grid electrical energy, enabling a synchronized lighting display. Footsteps of visitors to the record-breaking 26-square meter installation set off 176 light panels embedded in the walls of this installation. Their unique moments were then captured and shared as video GIFs and stills by a photo pod at the end of the array.

 

This is the first time that Google has exhibited at the Berlin Festival of Lights. The headline event, which attracts upwards of two million guests in the heart of Germany’s cultural capital, is a celebration of the visual arts with ambitious and dynamic light installations bringing to life the city’s most famous places.

 

 

 

 

 

source: pavegen

Europe’s First Underwater Restaurant

 

 

At the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline by the village of Båly, the award-winning architect firm, Snøhetta, has designed Europe’s very first underwater restaurant . . . appropriately named Under. With its immediate proximity with the forces of nature, the restaurant, which will also function as a research center for marine life, is a tribute to the Norwegian coast and to Lindesnes – to the wild fauna of the sea and to the rocky coastline of Norway’s southern tip.

 

Under’s namesake holds a double meaning: In Norwegian, “under” can just as well be translated into “wonder.” Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s monolithic form breaks the water surface to lie against the craggy shoreline. More than an aquarium, the structure will become a part of its marine environment, coming to rest directly on the sea bed five meters below the water’s surface. With meter-thick concrete walls, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive acrylic windows offer a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.

 

As visitors begin their journey through the restaurant they descend through three levels. From the entrance, where the tidepool is swallowed by the sea, guests enter the wardrobe area. Visitors are then ushered down one level to the champagne bar, which marks the transition between the shoreline and the ocean. This physical transformation is emphasized by a narrow acrylic window cutting vertically down through the restaurant levels. From the bar, guests can also look down at the seabed level of the restaurant, where two long dining tables and several smaller tables are placed in front of the large panoramic window.

 

Through its architecture, menu and mission of informing the public about the biodiversity of the sea, Under will provide an under-water experience inspiring a sense of awe and delight, activating all the senses – both physical and intellectual. The restaurant will be opened to the public in 2019.

 

 

 

 

source: snohetta

Huge Holograms Hovering

 

 

Six hundred laser beams, 10 million pixels of video, 20-metre-wide holograms – and one DJ. Eric Prydz is known for putting on a good show, and his latest topped even his previous efforts in both scale and impact. At a recent show that took place in London’s Victoria Park, a crowd of 15,000 soaked up an audiovisual feast of electronic music, video and lighting effects. Holograms and lasers are a trademark of Prydz’s shows, pushing innovative effects using the latest tech. There were animations building and twisting around the stage in time to the beat, holograms of astronauts, satellites and tornadoes, and lasers radiating over the crowd in every color and configuration.

 

A huge V-shaped video display forms the back wall of the stage, measuring 2304 by 576 LED pixels – more than a million in total. The illusions are cast onto the screen by four laser projectors, the outputs of which are merged to create a single image. Each projector kicks out 30,000 lumens of laser light, and as they use a laser engine instead of a bulb, explains Calvert, the brightness stays consistent for longer.

 

Creative director and VJ Liam Tomaszewski is responsible for the content of the animations. He’s been working with Prydz 2011. When Tomaszewski first started, the team used a form of holographic trickery called Pepper’s Ghost illusion, which involves carefully lighting things through a thin film. Since moving to the projection system he’s learned what works best in a hologram: using slow movement so your eyes can really focus on the image, avoiding using too much black and making sure to keep the animation inside the frame. At 4K resolution and with a frame rate of 50 fps, some of the holograms took a week to render.

 

 

 

source: wired

The Fascinating Sculpture of Rachel Whiteread

 

 

London’s Tate Museum is celebrating over 25 years of Rachel Whiteread’s internationally acclaimed sculpture. The show tracks Whiteread’s career and brings together well-known works such as Untitled (100 Spaces) 1995 and Untitled (Staircase) 2001 alongside new pieces that have never been previously exhibited.

 

 

One of Britain’s leading contemporary artists, Whiteread uses industrial materials such as plaster, concrete, resin, rubber and metal to cast everyday objects and architectural space. Her evocative sculptures range from the intimate to the monumental. Born in London in 1963, Whiteread was the first woman to win the Turner Prize in 1993. The same year she made House 1993–1994, a life-sized cast of the interior of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End, which existed for a few months before it was controversially demolished.

 

 

On the lawn outside Tate Britain a new concrete sculpture, Chicken Shed 2017, will sit during the exhibition. The exhibition runs now through January 21, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sources: tate, wikipedia

 

The Art of Black Rock City

 

Burning Man is an annual gathering in the western United States at Black Rock City—a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert of northwest Nevada, approximately one hundred miles (160 km) north-northeast of Reno. The late summer event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by ten main principles: “radical” inclusion, self-reliance, and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace.

 

The art of Black Rock City takes many forms, from cutting-edge musical performances to mighty mutant vehicles. Attendees experience light art, performance art, wearable art, and zany interactive experiences. But perhaps most famous are the iconic large installations that grace Burning Man’s expansive playa. Each year veterans and newbies alike eagerly await the massive landmarks that rise out of the massive and ancient lakebed. Towering monoliths emerge from dust storms like stalwart sentinels and transform entirely from day to night. They play host to art car parties, weddings, photo shoots and introspection. In harmony with the annual theme, they give the city a unique flavor every year.

 

At Burning Man, the community explores various forms of artistic self-expression, created in celebration for the pleasure of all participants. Participation is a key precept for the community – selfless giving of one’s unique talents for the enjoyment of all is encouraged and actively reinforced. Some of these generous outpourings of creativity can include experimental and interactive sculpture, building, performance, and art cars among other media, often inspired by the yearly theme, chosen by organizers.

 

First held 31 years ago in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco as a small function organized by Larry Harvey and a group of friends, it has since been held annually, spanning from the last Sunday in August to the first Monday in September (Labor Day). Burning Man 2017 was held from August 27 to September 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

sources: wikipedia, everfest, newatlas

Drone Attacks Hack Smart Lightbulbs

 

Hackers have recently used a drone to target a set of Philips light bulbs in an office tower, infecting the bulbs with a virus that let the attackers turn the lights on and off, and flash an “SOS” message in Morse code.

 

The attack relied on a weakness in a common wireless radio protocol called ZigBee that Philips (PHG, -0.85%) uses to make its Hue light bulbs part of an online network. The revelation comes at a time of growing concern over how the so-called Internet of things, in which ordinary devices are controlled via an online network, can turn hostile. ZigBee contains a flaw that can allow hackers to infect a lightbulb with a virus, which then spreads to other bulbs in the network. A video (shown above) of a drone with a USB stick hovers near Philips light bulbs in order to take control of them, and forces them to blink on and off.

 

Philips was alerted to the vulnerability and a patch was issued, but future hacking in this digital age of “smart” items is simply inevitable.

 

sources: fortune, theverge

From Zigong City to Milwaukee

 

Milwaukee’s China Lights 2017 festival will feature nearly 50 handmade, brilliantly lighted, giant-sized lantern displays. Each themed lantern display will be made up of more than 1,000 components. Some of the exhibits will include animation. Lanterns will range in size from about three feet to three stories high. The celebration will include two stages for Chinese folk-culture performances, two dining areas, and six new food vendors with a variety of Asian and Western menu options.

 

As part of China’s five-year economic plan, in 2015 the Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce developed a campaign to spread Chinese traditional culture and promote cultural exchange. The custom of lighting lanterns has occurred for thousands of years, and Zigong City now boasts 380 lantern-making companies with 80,000 lantern artisans. More than 100,000 visitors are expected September 22 – October 22 at Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners, WI. (Photos shown are from last year’s 2016 festival.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

source: urbanmilwaukee

Niagara Upgrades to LED

 

The nighttime illumination of Niagara Falls recently unveiled LED lighting upgrade that replaces a 20-year-old halogen system.

 

As noted by the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, the LED enhancement — price tag: $4 million or about $3.1 million USD — will reduce related energy costs by as much as 60 percent (the new lights consume 52 killowatts of energy compared to the 126 kW used by the halogens) while illuminating the falls with a vastly larger spectrum of colors that are noticeably richer and more robust. As for the intensity and quality of the kaleidoscopic light itself, the LED luminaires shine anywhere from three to 14 times brighter than their incandescent predecessors depending on the color being projected. Compared to the previous bulbs, which sported a 1,900-hour lifespan, the LEDs will shine bright for up to 25 years.

 

The new lighting system will consist of 1400 individual luminaires broken into 350 zones of control across both falls. Each individual control zone is equipped with separate Red, Green, Blue and White LED luminaires (RGBW). When used together these separate colored RGBW luminaires will mix on the falls to create endless color combinations. The use of White LED’s in the color mixing scheme will allow one to move between deeply saturated colors to subtle hues of color to allow for more natural looking effects.

 

Over 185,000 feet of conductors will connect the 1400 individual luminaires to five 10 feet tall racks of individually addressed controllable drivers. The remote mounted drivers are indoors and easily accessible reducing the need for servicing drivers that would otherwise be internal to the luminaires out in the field.

 

 

sources: mnn, wikipedia

Illuminating Vancouver

 

Illumination Vancouver International Summer Night Market claims to be the largest light show in North America. Event organizers anticipate more than 300,000 people will attend this year’s massive festivities, which will stretch across 200,000 square feet of space and include live performances, more than 200 food and merchandise vendors, and thousands of glimmering lights. Running now through September 10, 2017.

 

 

 

source: illuminationBC