Presented as a traditional four-act play, ‘The Ascent’ attempts to examine the discrete nature of class politics; paralleling contemporary workplace geometries from multiple vantage points. The production centre’s around the story of law firm attending a mandatory training day that takes place on board a one to one scale replica of an American Airlines Boeing 747. Although fruitful in its intentions, the experiment unfolds into chaos and bloodshed

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V12 Laraki is a perfect copy of a Mercedes-Benz 6.2L V12 engine. Except that each of its 465 components was handcrafted by Moroccan artisans who used 53 materials traditional to the country. The artist bought a Mercedes engine, his team disassembled it and faithfully replicated each piece using brass, marble, bone, mother of pearl, malachite, agate, precious woods, ammonite fossils, terracotta enamel, and other local materials. Then they assembled the engine using 660 casted copper bolts and the 465 exquisitely reproduced parts

The exhibition zooms in on the shock and awe of drone warfare, and addresses the ethical and legal ambiguity of drones, mass surveillance and war at a distance. It presents the work of contemporary artists who are critiquing the way in which military technology and networks can obscure, conceal and distance us from the political and social reality of warfare today

Visual artist Melle Smets and researcher Joost van Onna followed the travel of discarded cars from Europe to Ghana and ended up at Suame Magazine, near the town of Kumasi, in Ghana. In this area, 200,000 artisans are working in 12,000 workshops, stores and factories to repair and give a new life to European disused vehicles.

Smets and van Onna then collaborated with local craftsmen and mechanics to build a African concept car in three months

Few people would associate the words “English heritage” with car showrooms, repair garages, filling stations, traffic lights, inner ring roads, multi-storey car parks, and drive-through restaurants. Yet, the exhibition at Wellington Arch shows that the car’s impact on the physical environment needn’t be reduced to ruthless out pours of concrete and “wayside eyesores”

I had a little chat with the artist who hung a gigantic disco-ball over Paris, threw 12 tons of asphalt on the road to create a absurdly twisted bike lane in Montreal, rode his polluting bicycle in parks, knitted New Orleans street lamps into a satellite-shaped structure, silenced an alarm bell under a vacuum system and famously got his pedal-powered 86′ Buick Regal car pulled over by the police

In the early 2040’s an ex-Soviet Arktika class icebreaker was recommissioned to act as an experiment in global finance at 88.7 degrees latitude – the heart of the arctic sea. Here it could circumnavigate the world in twenty-four hours, allowing it to stay in constant contact with trading zones throughout the world. The experiment was a phenomenal success…

Tim Miller has devised 101 ways to use a trailer. Yes, a trailer, that mundane, strictly utilitarian object no one would ever waste a glance on. The designer, however, sees the trailer as a blank canvas that has the potential to become a tool for the realization of collective as well as individual dreams. You can use trailers for anything, you can reinterpret them, you can use them to manipulate the world around you or better said you can ‘pervert’ trailers according to your desires and needs

Krzysztof Wodiczko covers 40 years of the artist’s extensive, and often controversial, body of work using contemporary technologies to form a commentary on politics, ethics, social responsibility and the urban experience. Comprising a collection of writing by some of the most critically acclaimed art historians, cultural theorists and commentators working today, along with both previously published and unpublished texts by Wodiczko himself, this book is the definitive study of the artist’s work

Jurema Action Plant is a machine which interfaces a sensitive plant (Mimosa Pudica). Its aim is to empower plants by enabling them to use similar technologies as humans use. It is also explores new ways of communication and co-relation between humans, living organism and a machine. Plants don’t have nerves, wires or cables but much like humans, animals and machines, they have an electrical signal traveling inside their cells

This week, i’m having a chat with Lieven Standaert, the designer behind Aeromodeller2, a project which explores the possibility to build a 90-meter, zero-emission, airship that will never need to land to get its fuel, creating hydrogen from the elements it encounters and anchoring when it needs to replenish its energy in a renewable way. Aeromodeller2 might not be the most efficient nor the fastest airship but it leaves more space to imagination, dream and aspiration than anything Boeing can come up with

If you’re coming to Berlin for Transmediale, i’d recommend that you swing by The Berlinische Galerie. I briefly mentioned Mutations III yesterday, but the gallery has also a Nan Goldin show and a retrospective of Arno Fischer’s wonderful b&w photos. My favourite exhibition however is People, Things, Human Works which presents some of the most iconic photos of Emil Otto Hoppé. I was particularly fascinated by his documentation of industrial complexes and technical buildings. I could not find many photos of the Deutsche Arbeit (“German Work”) series online but i received this one in the press material

One of the artists i was most happy to discover at the exhibition Alter Nature: We Can in Hasselt a few days ago was Antti Laitinen. The finish artist fills one room of the art space with a video triptych and a series of photos from It’s My Island. The work documents Laitinen’s sisyphean attempt to build his own island (and therefore micro-nation) in the Baltic Sea. The artist accepted to answer my questions for a short interview

Having finally found some time to go through hundreds of pictures, notes and a decidedly chubby catalogue, i’m ready to start a series of reports from last month’s visit to International Design Biennial in Saint Étienne, France. The theme of this 6th edition was Teleportation. The biennale, the website says, intends to explore paths of discoveries that will tend in their extreme expression to lead to a possible teleportation as the dematerialization of movement which appears to be an incredibly revealing notion of our era

Poltergeists are on the agenda at PERGOLA. Against the background of a haunted modernity, silhouettes of erased lives demand restitution: Swiss tavern lanterns cast a gloom over the museum space, the ventilation shafts bring back good memories of monumental architecture, the melancholy of the Renaissance seeps into this no man’s land, pneumatic dispatch breaches communication….

The 7th International Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts in Liege is one of the most exciting art events i’ve seen in a while. This year’s theme is (Out of) Control. It oscillates between the cheerful and the somber, between the mundane and the extraordinary. I’ll get back to you with a proper report but i couldn’t help singling out a quirky series of photos i discovered at the biennial

Tomas Saraceno’s Galaxies Forming along Filaments, like Droplets along the Strands of a Spider’s Web was the ultimate photo-magnet at this year’s Venice Biennale. No doubt the work he’s exhibiting at ReThink: Contemporary Art and Climate Change in Copenhagen is meeting with the same fascination from the audience. I’ve seen his pieces in numerous group exhibition. They are always striking of course but i never really took the time to sit down and watch his work with enough attention