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May 31, 2009

We stumbled on this George Nelson-designed Omni System at an antique mall in Seattle. The Omni System a precursor to the better known, Herman Miller produced, CSS System. The system was produced by Aluminum Extrusions.

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Gas Works Park

Something astounding about an old gas company being used as a park:

This 20 acre point on Lake Union was cleared in 1906 to construct a plant to manufacture gas from coal – later converted to crude oil. Import of natural gas in the 1950’s made the plant obsolete. The city acquired the site for a park in 1962. The park was opened to the public in 1975. The boiler house has been converted to a picnic shelter with tables, fire grills and an open area. The former exhauster-compressor building, now a children’s play barn, features a maze of brightly painted machinery.

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Stressful Cities

May 26, 2009

Biomapping is a community project that lets people “map” the stress levels of different parts of big cities. From the site:

…participants are wired up with an innovative device which records the wearer’s Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), which is a simple indicator of the emotional arousal in conjunction with their geographical location. People re-eplore their local area by walking the neighbourhood with the device and on their return a map is created which visualises points of high and low arousal. By interpreting and annotating this data, communal emotion maps are constructed that are packed full of personal observations which show the areas that people feel strongly about and truly visualise the social space of a community.

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Kazuko Miyamoto (+ Sol LeWitt)

A retrospective of the little-known Japanese artist just ended at the Exile Gallery in Berlin. From the press release:

Kazuko Miyamoto (born 1942) left Japan for New York in 1964. In 1969, she met the artist Sol LeWitt, with whom she engaged in a life-long creative and conceptual dialogue. The exhibition String and Thread begins with a particular period in the 1970’s when Miyamoto created a series of ephemeral constructions using only nails and string. Based on existing conceptual drawings and vintage photographs Miyamoto will re-create and re-interpret two of these String pieces specifically for this exhibition.

Central to her work has always been the notion of the line as a link between two points. In Miyamoto’s artistic career this line has evolved from being part of a geometric grid towards a more organically shaped object. In recent years Miyamoto explored elements of dance and performance based on ideas of improvisational music. String And Thread will show Miyamoto’s creative process through the decades and, with the inclusion of Wall Drawing 815, pay tribute and homage to Sol LeWitt.

Exile Edition 05/1: Woman in Snow, Photograph of Performance in upstate NY, 1978. Printed 2009, Edition of 25

Untitled, String Construction, Installation at 597 Broadway, New York, 1978

String Construction around a Cylinder of my Height, Painted Wood, String and Nails, 1975 (Installation at A.I.R.Gallery, NY. In photo: Kazuko Miyamoto)

Archway to Cellar, String Construction, Installation at A.I.R. Gallery, 1978 (in photo: Kazuko Miyamoto)

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Kuo Plays Jeezy

The invitation for his closing party is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I think it’s great that he had an opening and a closing.

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Sam Taylor-Wood

Noticed Sam Taylor-Wood’s Escape Artist series in my rss today, and got thinking about how she produces these impossible portraits. It appears the London Evening Standard wondered the same.

Production shot, before digital removal of the apparatus.

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Robert Morris at Tate Modern

Morris’ Bodyspacemotionthings was originally created for the Tate Gallery in 1971, but it’s been recreated for the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. On view until June 14.

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Dunlap House

May 20, 2009

Read the inelegantly named George Nelson: The Design of Modern Design this past weekend and came upon this image of a sun shade that Nelson designed for home of William E. Dunlap. Dunlap was the owner of Aluminum Extrusions, a Michigan-based company that produced Nelson’s original modular wall storage unit — the Omni System. When he commissioned Nelson’s office to design the interior of his home, Nelson found these sheets of punched stainless steel scrap that were the remains from a set of knives he’d designed and set them in redwood. I think it shows a brilliant reuse of materials and a clever way of imprinting Nelson’s mark on the project.

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One Year Later

May 12, 2009

Luke made this video about musician Abigail Washburn, who travels back to Sichuan a year after the earthquake to make music with the local kids:

In May 2008 an earthquake devastated Sichuan province in China, killing tens of thousands and leaving millions homeless. To commemorate the one year anniversary of this tragedy, musicians Abigail Washburn and Dave Liang of the Shanghai Restoration Project traveled to Sichuan to make music with children who survived the earthquake and their parents. Using folk songs sung by the children as well as sounds of their parents rebuilding their houses with bricks and mortar, Abby and Dave created a unique musical soundscape, and this video shows how the whole process unfolded in March, 2009.

Chinese version.
Official website for After Quake Music.

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Black Market Type

May 11, 2009

Our friend Scott Ponik helped organize this show at PNCA. By organize, we mean he helped produce the graphics, design all of the communication and act as the gracious host for visitors who walked into the gallery. Curated by Joseph del Pasco, the Black Market Type & Print Shop features 30 fonts composed of the hand-lettering of prominent artists. Visitors are able to wander to the back room and create posters of their own using any of the fonts.

Artist types included in the project: John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mel Bochner, R. Crumb, John Cage, Henry Darger, Julie Doucet, Jimmie Durham, Marcel Dzama, Tracey Emin, General Idea, Thomas Hirschhorn, Chris Johanson, Jasper Johns, Ray Johnson, Mike Kelley, Margaret Kilgallen, Kathe Kollwitz, Annette Messanger, Duane Michals, Chris Ofili, Laura Owens, Gary Panter, Raymond Pettibon, Adrian Piper, William Pope.L, Richard Prince, Ad Reinhardt, Dieter Roth, David Shrigley.

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