Entries in urban art (10)
Media artist, Nick Hanna, has developed an updated version of Chinese water writing. While riding a utility tricycle he lays droplets of water across the street to create temporary graffiti whereever he goes.
While the classical mode of this art form emphasizes calm tranquility, Hanna, through a digital and mechanical process, has created a subversive opportunityto efficiently and legally write messages on the street. Could I tweet to him and deliver a message to the people?
I hope I could.
The event is gaining worldwide popularity and has inspired more permanent installations such as the parklet and the pop-up cafe. PARK(ing) Day 2010 is on September 17th, so mark your calendars and see how you can get involved.
The supergraphic has become vogue again. Charlie Moore and Bob Venturi may be remembered as the Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg of the architecture world. Like their avant garde art contemporaries, Moore and Venturi re-imagined what pop culture imagery did to the changing face of architecture. The post-critical critique of critical post-modernism attempted to transform the architecture of pop culture into a kind of quasi pop art. Today, however, the art collective Haas&Hahn, which is the working title of artistic duo Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn, are repainting the favelas of Rio and, in doing so, are creating communal public spaces that are both graphically organized and urbanistically disorganized. Maybe we'll call it super-popul-urbanism.
At The Functionality we're always excited to see projects like this that build community and re-imagine the most minimal means to unify a uniquely organized urban fabric.
At The Functionality we enjoy seeing our peers creating new work. PlayLab are doing more than just finding new outlets for their sophisticated color and graphic sensibility, they're being creative in how they are financing it! This Friday we're lucky enough to bring you Peep Show . Today, we're showing you their first installation. Harkening back to the discussion of vision machines, nineteenth century shopping and the creation of the voyeur, PlayLab is poking fun and making us smile with their storefront installation. We like anyone who can wedge their way into view on a busy shopping street.
PlayLab is a small office, run by two partners, Archie L Coates IV and Jeff Franklin, who started working on projects 7 years ago in architecture school at Virginia Tech. They are currently working on a public sculpture for York College in Queens, an interactive sound sculpture that encourages the people of Grand Rapids, Michigan to scream at the top of their lungs, a proposal for a floating pool in New York City's river, and a mobile application for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Peep Show is a sculpture they’ve created, located in a vacant storefront on Granby St. in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Thanks to Art | Everywhere, a local public arts initiative, for 2 months, people can walk up to the window and see something they normally don’t: something that makes them smile.
The Crimson Permanent Assurance is a small short at the beginning of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. In it accountants challange their corporate turnkey through uprooting their ancient local building and sailing the financial seas to revolt. Their building itself becomes the tool for reprisal, their office leaves port out into the global fiscal waters to physically take over the glass towers of global corporate finance. IThe city itself seems rife with resistant possibilities.
Likewise, at this years Venice Art Biennial, a city afloat has made its way to the global art market. Embarking on a mission of arts piracy, the rough hewn collaged urban rafts are both exquisite constructions of recycled urban detritus and reminders of the polish and risklessness of todays artmarket. They look like fun! While the collaged remnants of houses is the main aim and poignant critique of todays consumer culture, couldn't they have used parts of dilapidated boats too?
Projects like The Freedom Ship, through scale and the lax laws of international waters, present a kind of dominant oceanic urban vision, these small shanty towns seem truly nomadic and symbiotic. Like taking the house boat to its absurd urban conclusion. The cruise ship and house boat might be the most immediate anticendent for these agglomorations. Port cities, like venice, are ringed with customs houses and wharehouses, built around a commercial infrastructure. Will tomorrow's cities be recolonizing these existing buildings with supermarkets and shopping malls dedicated to a flotilla of ocean homes?
Venice provides a unique kind of aquatic urbanism. Bridges, Small boats, and large ferries shuttle a populace who are tied to the water. But what of other cities. ARO's City of the Future entry imagined New York a flood. Could these small collaborative living ships be a vision of new housing? The Functionality is more interested in this kind of adhoc sea urbanism than the corporate dominance of the "freedom" ship.
Well, I know what it is - But I don't know where it is, where it is - Well, I know where it is - But I don't know what it looks like, what it looks like
Well, I know what it looks like - But I don't know where she comes from - Well, I know where she comes from - But I don't know what's her name
-Harrison, Byrne, Weymouth and Frantz From Perfect World
Camouflage is the method or result of concealing personnel or equipment from an enemy by making them appear to be part of the natural surroundings. A group of German photographers have created an exhilarating set of photos called Urban Camouflage. These photographs subtly, or often not so subtly, magnify a cultural unease with our current consumer urbanity. They suppose a world where two circumstances might be taking place: our office supplies, shopping bags, or storage boxes are the means of an enemy's transgression into our space, or that the only place left for us to hide is within the plain sight of our suburban existence.
Our task now is to investigate the possibility that the productive flesh of the multitude can organize itself otherwise and discover and alternative to the global political body of capital.
Frankenstein is now a member of the family.
-Hart and Negri From Multitude
These photographs have embedded within them an urbanism of multiplicity. These are not unique experiences but rather destabilizing ones, where humor borders on fear as everyday objects of our mass consumptive existence coagulate together to offer their own resistance. They suggest considering the city as something to be hidden in, blended into or multiplied into absurdity as an interesting formal proposition.
I am reminded of the vast uniform housing blocks of Hong Kong or Shanghai. The multitudes of favela's that house the mass of marginal but working class of Brazil. What will become the glut of suburban tract homes so lowered in price and separated from services that one could imagine Pruitt-Igo extended across the American, even global, landscape?
It is this Frankenstein urbanism of half built suburbs, underfunded buildings, and infrastructural debacles that is going to be the reminants of this strange economy. We at The Functionality are thinking about how to hijack, usurp, infest, co-opt, the new urbansims that are being created by contraction. We see contracton as opportunity. Opportunity to redefine the roll of a multitude of possible habitats. To see them as generators, as value, as matter to begin to form. We think there are smarter ways of doing things, of not planning perhaps, but of inhabitting. Whether it is energy generation or job generation, we see our natural resources as being our ingenuity in how we can all recast our global interior suburb-come-ghetto into homes, towns or cities.
As a follow-up to the entry on Art Shanties, we would like to share an example from this year's exhibit. The "bike race shanty" used discarded wine coolers as blocks to build the structure that offered defined gathering space for the ice bike race participants on the frozen lake surface. As one might imagine, the interior was well insulated.
In circumstances where old wine coolers are not in abundance, one may resort to building an insulating structure out of blocks of snow. The common igloo can keep inhabitants warm because snow and ice are remarkably good natural insulators. A recently developed tool can aid in the construction of these ephemeral cold-weather structures by maintaining the correct catenary shape while offering support for the snow during construction. The rod of the ICEBOX tool pivots and rotates from the center of the igloo's floor and extends a brick-forming mold in eight pre-defined lengths (for each row of the igloo). The end result is a structurally-sound and well-shaped igloo in about an hour and a half.
Michael Rakowitz is not an architect, but he has probably made more houses than many architects in the last ten years. Architects should be envious of the artist's production and vision. He is working with the margins of society. His project Parasite uses a building's heat exhaust to inflate plastic sheeting, creating dwellings for the homeless. For Rakowitz the project is about community involvement as well as dwelling design. He is responsive to the needs of his "clients."
Bill S.’s paraSITE shelter. He requested as many windows as possible, because “homeless people don’t have privacy issues, but they do have security issues. We want to see potential attackers, we want to be visible to the public.” Six windows are placed at eye level for when Bill is seated and six smaller windows for when Bill is reclining.
The article on these structure at World Changing highlights the social impact of his projects. The social agenda is remincient of Archigram, Archizoom and the social idealist and critics of the sixties,where the concept of building was challanged to mean utopian spaces, inflatable huts, or technological phenomena in the guise of a natural environment.
Projects like the living pod,above, imagines a green field condition where the building tapped into site resources to make its own place. Parasite deals with the roughness and tactics of city dwelling. These structures are deployable in the aims of allowing their inhabitants to move when they are at the limits of the law.
At The Functionality we want to encourage this type of tactical thinking. Architects, artists, urban designers, even graphic designers need to re-examine how we will approach the city, our suburbs and even our housing as the economic and environmental conditions unfold. We think the sooner we start the better off we will be.
Jewelery is an installation by german artist Inges Idee. At The Functionality, we think its a lovely idea to brighten up mutistory car parks.
Ten objects of differing sizes have been threaded into the perforated façade of the parking garage on Karlsplatz. They are greatly magnified pieces of jewelry of the kind that might be worn by the users of the parking garage in the fashion center, Düsseldorf. The modular façade, which cannot be experienced except as a foreign body in the Old City, is turned by the jewelry worked into it into the display case of a heterogeneously furnished jeweler's shop.
Courtesy of Inges Idee
photos by: peter stumpf
Questionmarc has been ruffling feathers at Nottingham Council.
The anonymous female artist has been placing up signs designating areas for urinating. The official looking sign and letter reads....."In an attempt to reduce late night public nuisance, during the holiday period, Nottingham City Council has designated several public urination areas across the city."
Perhaps not the best solution to the problem of public convince but we certainly think is highlights some of the issues. Bring on the urilifts.