This year's Swiss edition illuminates vibrant sculptures of filtered glass, mirrors and more
by David Graver in Culture on 18 June 2013
Like moths to flame, light art—and its use within, and as a complement to, sculpture—attracted the attention of many visitors at this year's 44th edition of Art Basel. Lamp-like orbs and rods, shadow art and even live fire mesmerized spectators. The use of light isn't new to the art world, but the following artists utilized it with vibrance; morphing shape, perspective and color. Once again, Art Basel brought us into other worlds, this time, cast in unfamiliar light.
"Independent energetic sphere (1 of 2)" calls to mind a science fiction adventure designed by Buckminster Fuller, with gold and yellow glass encasing LED lights, all surrounding a central bulb. This Olafur Eliasson piece, created in 2013, harnesses stainless steel, color effect filter glass, silvered glass and mirrors to bend and bounce all its light sources. Found at Neugerriemschneider Gallery, the hanging fixture has planetary pull.
Sherrie Levine's "Pink Skull" (2011) series came to life via its radiant use of light display. The warm, focused lighting—presented at Simon Lee Gallery—added an after-life eeriness and depth to each duplicated cast-glass piece. The skulls appeared to absorb and emit the light, bringing ethereal energy to a pretty-in-pink representation of death.
This year's Parcours series, designed to partner outdoor installations with the city's historic neighborhoods, featured Sterling Ruby's "Stove" (2013). This chimney, situated in a public park, employed real fire and an attendant adding fuel, almost as if a performance. Parcours is curated for Art Basel by Florence Derieux and is open to the public, while Hauser & Wirth presented Ruby's ceramic work. Although many pedestrians were able to view the same exterior, no two people captured the same glimpse of the fire inside.
"49 Years Ago (Starlight)," Spencer Finch's 2011 piece presented by Galerie Nordenhake, deploys fluorescent lamp tubes, joined by fixtures, filters and aluminum, into an exploding molecule of light. Futuristic, at times, and also elemental, the color combination and its lack of symmetry mean no angles appear the same.
Vadim Fishkin's "Coffee and Ink" (2012) is equal parts experience and art; involving a table, light projection and an ink pot. As an optical illusion, the light projection is cast at an angle so the shadow formed from of the ink bottle appears to be that of a tea cup. Shown by Galerija Gregor Podnar, this Fishkin piece plays a welcome trick on the eyes and mind.
"Rouge pair, bleu impair no 12017" (2012), by François Morellet lines up 20 neon tubes, mounted on canvas and wood. The simplicity of this Annely Juda Fine Art piece lends itself to the knowledge that even when in a more systematic, uniform arrangement, light art engages.
The "Unlimited Series" was curated by Gianni Jetzer and showcases works that exceed the confines of a traditional art show booth—in scope or scale, production or performance. Aaron Curry (represented by Almine Rech Gallery) contributed "Daft Dank Space" (2013), which does exactly that. A free-standing structure, colored inside and out in neon zebra-skinned patterns and paint swipes, the piece and its bright busyness invite you to step inside. Therein, utilizing black lights, the colors and interior space take on an entirely new identity. Colors adopt new meaning, and the sculptural elements of the interior block light in a way that alters the space and even the meaning of the experience.
Photos by Alexandre Corda
Switch the geometry of a traditional road bike into an aerodynamic triathlon speed machine in mere minutes
by Hans Aschim in Design on 18 June 2013
Ever considered getting into triathlons only to be deterred by the thought of adding a new bike to your quiver? The new Switch Aero System from Redshift Sports allows riders to transform any traditional road bike into an aerodynamic, tri-ready speed machine with just a few clicks—even during a ride—without fumbling for tools.
"All of the other products on the market for modifying traditional geometry to aero meant we had to abandon our original road setup," says co-founder Erik de Brun. "We wanted something we could switch back and forth easily." This innovative design means riders can easily switch between sports without committing to a new bike. The design of the system is simple, yet expertly executed.
The Switch Aero System utilizes just two pieces to completely alter a bike's geometry; aero bars attach to the original handlebars using a quick-release clamp similar those found on many bicycle hubs. Redshift's aero bars are the first of its kind in the industry, featuring patent-pending, entirely adjustable arm-pads and bars. Meanwhile, the dual-position seat-post moves the saddle slightly up and forward into an aero position to allow for optimal triathlon riding conditions—with a fuller leg extension and wider hip opening. When you're ready for a group ride, just pop off the aero bars and click the seat-post back for traditional road riding.
Check out the Switch Aero System's Kickstarter to get the first run of the design, priced at $225. Since Redshift met their goal so quickly, they've upped their fundraising goal to create a carbon fiber edition of the system, for an even lighter ride.
Images courtesy of Redshift Sports
The Royal Shakespeare Company and Google Creative Lab recompose the celebrated play in an experimental online stage
by Leonora Oppenheim in Culture on 18 June 2013
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), in a bid to explore how the Bard of Avon can take center-stage in today’s digitally interactive world, has collaborated with Google Creative Lab to produce a three-day, real-time performance of one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. The event is situated in the real world in the RSC’s home of Stratford-upon-Avon and also online at Dream 40.
Many know and love the play within a play that is Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," in which several pairs of lovers fall prey to the mayhem and mischief caused by the king of fairies, Oberon, and his sidekick Puck. The plot is complex and layered, leading to a comedic web of emotional confusion and blurred realities.
For Midsummer Night’s Dreaming, Google is encouraging people to interact with the play in a multitude of ways as they follow the characters’ journeys through the magical forest of dreams and towards the famous marriage scene between Demetrius and Helena, Lysander and Hermia.
From this midsummer’s eve (21-23 June) people around the world can take part online via the Google+ community hangout and other social media using the hashtag #dream40—this being the 40th full production of the play by the RSC.
Those in Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon can watch the play—directed by the RSC’s Artistic Director Gregory Doran—in person at the outdoor Dell Theatre. Audience members can also join in on 23 June by making decorations, writing blessings for the happy couples and by attending the wedding itself as part of the congregation.
Project director at Google Creative Lab Tom Uglow has written a detailed explanation of how the play will work on multiple platforms, complete with a sweet animation starring William Shakespeare himself and a time-traveling pig.
Uglow compares the Dream 40 extravaganza with contemporary immersive theater performances. “Modern theater makes the audience walk, or puts them in a car, or makes them the actor; our stage is online, it is fragmented, glimpsed, experienced and amplified through sharing—the narrative exists around us and immerses us.”
The experimental nature of Midsummer Night's Dreaming will reflect how theatrical performance can engage with the online world in real time. Puck leads the charge as the only character to bridge the live and digital performances with his own online profile. Puck, using his fairy magic, will encourage creativity and interaction among multiple audiences, while concurrently performing in the original narrative in the real world.
Uglow sums up the event: “The Royal Shakespeare Company wants to define future paradigms for digital performance. Google wants to explore those paradigms too—using tools like Google+ and YouTube to push, fracture, break and recompose. This is a creative experiment, an attempt to see what happens when you take the old and beautiful and reframe it within modern, noisy and uncontrollable tools.”
Images courtesy of RSC and Dream 40