British designer Luke Twyman gave himself a 48 hour challenge: to create a simple web-based generative project. By the end of it he realized that he’d made something pretty rad and decided to put more work into it. What came out of that effort was a project called Flora Drift, which uses procedural generation to create ambient music on the fly and to generate a new jungle/garden scene every 2 bars of music. Essentially the code sets a bunch of rules, then uses randomization to make decisions on how the music & visuals get created. Your browser becomes the synthesizer.
Finding art to hang on your walls can be difficult. While that concert poster you bought from Warped Tour in ’97 might have been cool at the time you should probably think about classing up the place with something a bit more sophisticated. Enter Vacation Days, an online art and printed goods shop which releases all sorts of beautiful items.
Recently they released a new series of prints called Oxio which puts these wonderful, abstract brass objects into a nebulous setting.
This series was inspired by those moments in the wilderness when the sun’s rays catch a reflective object directly in your line of sight. To represent this in contrast, I photographed tiny (all less than an inch) brass objects collected around Los Angeles and collaged them with different concrete textures photographed on man-made roads intersecting the city’s urban parks.
You can purchase them here, running in price from $30 to $460 depending on the size. The Fox Is Black readers can get 10% off by using the code “TFIB”.
Artist Daniel Heidkamp currently has a new solo show on at White Columns in New York and I just love the colors in his work. A native of New York, Heidkamp’s exhibition consists of recent oil paintings that depict the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art as seen from the grounds of Central Park. Bursting with brightly colored foliage and trees, Heidkamp’s work really captures the beauty of the area.
The majority of the work was painted on location and Heidkamp’s work gets the energy of these scenes just right. “When painting en plein air I feel the atmosphere on my skin” Heidkamp says, “[...] there is an adrenaline feeling that happens while working ‘live’ and that energy can translate directly into the painting”.
While many of his contemporaries may explore far-less traditional methods of art-making, I feel there’s something special in Heidkamp’s interrogation and exploration of representational painting. Following in the footprints of people like Hopper, Hockney, and Doig; Heidkamp’s focus on ordinary and everyday scenes is as engaging as it is compelling.
His exhibition in New York’s White Columns show runs until July 25th. More work and further exhibition dates can be viewed on his website.
Released in 1996, the soundtrack to Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet, a re-telling of Shakespeare’s most notable work, was earth-shattering to my 14 year old self. The artists featured were a who’s who at the time including Garbage, The Cardigans, and of course, Radiohead. To me “Talk Show Host” was the song that summed up the feeling and vibe of the whole film and re-enforced my love for Radiohead.
The song was originally a b-side on the “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” single and then remixed by producer/composer Nellee Hooper. The original has a lot more guitar and drums while the remix is much more mellow and moody. If you’ve never heard this song before you’re in for a treat.
Yoo Seungah, a Korean artist and animator, recently released a beautiful short video titled Cactus Flower. It’s a simple tale of two men living together in a quaint apartment, one of whom is trying to get his cactus to bloom. Soon after they’re laying at the beach and couple with a small child walks by, and what you realize is that the cactus blooming is a metaphor for having a child, something the couple would like to have.
It’s a simple, lovely tale that’s extremely well-drawn and animated. Seungah has a really expressive style and the color palette used is pretty eclectic. There’s also a great use of texture in the characters and their environments which really creates a world that’s charming and memorable.
I happen to love plants. I have a giant shelf of them in my apartment, I love visiting nurseries on the weekends, and you’ll often find me Instagram’ing beautiful flowers and palm trees in my day-to-day. Thus a book like Strange Plants is right up my alley. Editor Zio Baritaux has put together three groups of creatives to give their takes on plants: artists who primarily work with plants as a medium, those who don’t normally work with plants who created new works, as well as a group of tattoo artists who’ve created works with plants in mind.
“The artists in this book were challenged to think about their work in new ways and ruminate on their unique experiences with plants,” editor Zio Baritaux says. “I hope this book will inspire others, and challenge the way people look at both plants and art.”
Strange Plants was designed by Folch Studio, an award-winning design house in Barcelona, which also developed Apartamento magazine. Folch was engaged in all aspects of the design and production of Strange Plants, and created a delicate and tactile cover inspired by the interactive nature of pressing flowers inside a book. Each book comes with a blank stamped surface with three adhesives inside, so that readers can make their own covers.
Buy it here for $30
For the last few days I’ve been listening to this great mixtape which highlights the last 15 years of Ghostly Records. It was put together by Nachtschade, a Belgian duo who’ve woven together tracks from Ghostly’s massive roster of artists such as Tycho, Shigeto, Gold Panda, Michna, and a ton more. It’s got a really mellow vibe overall which has been nice to listen to while driving around or while I’m at my desk working.
It’s Art School degree show season and so I’m making the most of it by visiting as many shows as I can muster. The other week I hit up London’s prestigious Royal College of Art to take a look at what their students have been up to and I was really impressed by the talent on display. My personal favorite was the work of David Herdberg; a graduate of the college’s Information Experience Design course.
For his major project David designed a TV which, on first impressions, looked fairly innocuous. Sure, the reception was poor but the wooden legs looked nice and they worked well with the white plastic casing. It wasn’t until I sat down in front of the set that I noticed a small label which read “SMILE TO WATCH”. Being the typically obedient gallery-goer that I am I kindly followed these instructions and forced the muscles of my face to form the requested smile. Suddenly the signal quickly shot into clarity. My face – still proudly wearing its solicited expression – was repaid with a montage of surreal clips played out on the screen. As I continued to watch my face began to relax back to its typical scowl and as my faux-cheery demeanor faded, so too did the television’s reception.
For David, the work examines how our society has the ability to access endless amounts of content. He notes that in the past a TV’s reception relied on an antenna to work; this TV plays with that idea, creating a set which must rely on the receptive nature of the viewer to function. “By expressing that we like something, we have very much become antennas ourselves – transmitting the content on to somebody else” he says. By combining a set from the last-decade with modern facial recognition technology (i.e. magic), the piece asks us to re-consider how we engage with content and how we access it. It’s a fantastic idea and David’s execution is simply top-notch!
You can see more from David Hedberg on his website.