Cai Guo-Qiang and Yves Klein

art, sculpture, versus — daniel @ 4:52 pm

Its been a while, noun and this marks then end of the most recent radio silence!

There has been a lot of talk about Cai Guo-Qiang thanks to his incredible retrospective at the Guggenheim in NYC.  I was fortunate enough to see it in person, buy information pills and truly it is difficult to describe the awe of being in the presence of such drammatic and powerful work.  Take a look and you’ll see what I mean. 

Please read WMMNA’s post about it. Loads of good stuff can be found on the artist’s site and wikipedia.

My other guest artist today is Yves Klein.  I recall seeing a retrospective of his genius work at the Centre Pompidou in September 2006. I was struck by the scope of this man’s short by incredibly prolific career. That and the fact that regardless of whether he held a flamethrower or a paintbrush, his hair was perfectly manicured, his shirt tucked in and contained by his very smart waistcoat -- and then there’s the bow-tie…

He is perhaps best known for developing International Klein Blue and the paintings he created with it. However, I would rather like to focus on his fire paintings and sculptures

For further reading/viewing: A guide to his lifes work in french and english. And of course -- Wikipedia and flickr!

Both artists have a love affair with spectacle. Their work is the product of live performances -- where they are simultaneously directors, producers and actors. Their final works are captured not by the lens of a camera -- but rather burnt into the canvas. By using fire to produce their work, they create juxtapositions between its destructive power and the gentle poetry of the images; between the exposed naked bodies and the intensity of the flame; and between the animation of the elemental force, and the resulting stilled results of flames on canvas.

The artists act as catalysts transmuting the flickering energy into one-off containments of its beauty. They are separated by time, but joined in methodologies, media, and an obsession with the act of creation -- through an element most often associated with destruction.

Cai Guo-Qiang’s work:

Some ‘making of’ videos of his Gunpowder drawings, and Explosion Events:

And a few more images:

Yves Klein’s work:
Some great video’s of Yves Klein doing his thing:

And a few more images:



art, installation, interactive, london, sculpture, versus, web — daniel @ 4:26 pm

Happy New Year everyone! I decided to send out the first Art Dispatch for 2008 just before the end of January. So today I would like to introduce you to three artworks/artists with something very obvious in common: Troika, more about David Rokeby and Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar.

Troika recently released information about their new Cloud installation for Heathrow’s Terminal 5. It is really quite magical to see. They designed Cloud to be an organic surface which is populated with a dense skin of the same mechanisms that were used in old school airport signage systems. The result is a dynamic surface of shifting reflections. A truly beautiful work. The sound and movement is reminiscent of Danny Rozin’s mirrors. All photo’s from their site. Check out their fantastic productions photo’s here. More images on flickr.




David Rokeby’s Cloud is an installation in which the spaces between each element are as relevant as the elements themselves. The resulting experience is more atmospheric – out of the movements of the reflective surfaces emerges moments of cohesion followed by moments of chaos. Photos from the artists site. More photos on flickr.



We Feel Fine by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, eczema is a web application that harvests emotions posted on blogs around the world. It is both a gallery of the unexpected and a research tool creating snapshots of the global blogging nation’s current emotional state. One of the visual manifestations of the project reminded me of the constantly changing shifts in reflections and light that can be seen in the other two projects. Images from the site. Please go to the site and launch the applet for more.



Troika’s work uses software to control each pixel discretely. They have total control and rely on the software to animate the surface of their Cloud. Rokeby’s piece relies on the serendipity of reflection, movement and light to generate its atmospherics. WeFeelFine is similar to Rokeby’s piece in that it is a system that does what it was told to, and results in connections and moments of cohesion that may not be expected. Using the web of emotions being broadcast around the world as fuel to keep the molecules dancing.

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