Pr. Peter Ameisenhaufen gained fame in the first half of the 20th century for his controversial research on rare animals. Many of his colleagues refused to believe these creatures were real but Ameisenhaufen spent decades collecting evidences of their existence. The archives uncovered in the late 1980s by Fontcuberta were surprisingly rich and well detailed: photos, field notes, dissections drawing, audio clips documenting the calls and other sounds of these truly exceptional animals. Several specimens were even remarkably preserved by taxidermy
The jars are filled with all kinds of deformed and diseased body parts: a gout-swollen hand, an inguinal hernia from around 1750, the bound foot of a Chinese woman, the skeletons of conjoined twins, a liver dented by years of wearing tight corsets, a brain perforated with an ice pick during a frontal lobotomy, a rat that died of tuberculosis, a cabinet of surprisingly voluminous objects that people inserted into their bodies (more about that one in the video below), etc
On display are arts of rebellion from around the world that illuminate the role of making in grassroots movements for social change: finely woven banners; defaced currency; changing designs for barricades and blockades; political video games; an inflatable general assembly to facilitate consensus decision-making; experimental activist-bicycles; and textiles bearing witness to political murders
I’m one day late (how lame!) for my wrap-up of the exhibitions i enjoyed in London in July. British folk art, Mexican cowboys, Russian suburbs, half stuffed animals and rubber beauty masks
Collaborating with the Archive of Modern Conflict, Fiona Banner asked photoreporter Paolo Pellegrin to explore the City of London and to reflect its activities, behaviours, customs and costume through the lens of conflict photography
The month that was in London: Biting machine, largest horn in the UK, post-surveillance art, dial-less telephone, etc.
With their SEFT-1 vehicle, Los Ferronautas explored the abandoned passenger railways of Mexico. In their first London exhibition, the artists are investigating how the ideology of progress is imprinted onto historic landscapes and reflect on the two poles of the social experience of technology – use and obsolescence
The Wind Tunnel project filled with site-specific commissions two wind tunnels buildings, known as R52 and Q121, that were built to test planes, from Spitfires to Concorde, from the first world war onwards. These buildings were decommissioned after the 1960s and have remained closed to the public ever since
The engineer was pivotal in developing early aerial and oceanic reconnaissance. During WWII he pioneered the use of a strobe light powerful enough to take night time reconnaissance images. He also worked with the famous marine biologist Jacques-Yves Cousteau, inventing underwater photographic techniques and side-scan sonar devices to map the ocean floor
The Social Mining Union (SUM), aims to reposition the role of the ‘labour union’ (and function of positive activism) within a globalized landscape of post-consumer society, examining the industrial mining industry and peripheral territories it is associated with
Piratbyrån and Friends traces the stories of cultural sharing and affinity-building among the activities and values of the members of Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy). This Swedish artist/activist group was established in 2003 to promote the free sharing of information, culture and intellectual property. The exhibition presents screenings, installations and artworks by founding and more recent members, keen to tell the story of the group on their own terms
The work of Mishka Henner might evoke the one of Edward Burtynsky, Trevor Paglen, Omer Fast, Michael Wolf and Jon Rafman. Yet, comparing his work to the one of some of the artists i admire the most is pointless. Henner is his own man slash artist. He uses contemporary technology to give a new twist on artistic appropriation and redefines the role of the photographer, the meaning of the photography medium and the representation of the landscape. Without ever using a photo camera
I’m not even remotely impartial when it comes to Martin Creed. I love his work. Whether it’s the Sick Films in which people enter an empty white space and proceed to vomit on the floor, the mocking neon signs or the cactus plants neatly positioned by size.
Most people are fascinated by ruins. The appeal of the crumbling and the decaying is such that it has its own term in photography. It is called “ruin porn” and Detroit is one of its most celebrated subjects. Tate Britain currently has an exhibition about the mournful, thrilling, comic and perverse uses of ruins in art. It is called Ruin Lust. Not because Tate curators are prude and proper but because they are erudite, the title of the show, i read, comes from the 18th-century German architectural word ‘Ruinenlust’
Mind Maps explores how mental health conditions have been diagnosed and treated over the past 250 years. The exhibition looks at breakthroughs in scientists’ understanding of the mind and the tools and methods of treatment that have been developed, from Mesmerism to Electroconvulsive Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy bringing visitors up to date with the latest cutting edge research and its applications
In the age of the ‘selfie’ and social media, might the figure of the Photographer, as observer and recorder of social change, becoming passé, destined to be replaced by a new type of collective ‘portrait’ formed from the aggregation and analysis of big data?
If i had to compare it to Frieze i’d say that catering is far better at Art14 (which for me means “WOW! there’s a juice bar, here!”), the public is much younger and the art is more accessible and not just financially. Last but not least, there’s no Jeff Koons inflated glitter in sight. I did see too many Botero though. At least one.
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”
When Harmony Went to Hell. Congo Dialogues at Rivington Place in London brings side by side archive photos shot by Alice Seeley Harris while Leopold II was still the sole owner of the land and new work from Sammy Baloji, a Congolese artist who has spent the past few years investigating the legacies of colonialism in his country
Space scientist Lucie Green gave a wonderful presentation about the Earth magnetic bubble and about how the moon is electrically charged, Dr Jill Stuart focused on space politics, Tomas Saraceno talked about cities that are lighter than the air, Kevin Fong asked us to reflect on how past expeditions might actually belong to the future. Finally, WE COLONISED THE MOON presented the largest Moon smelling session ever done on our planet
There will be live events, an on-line auction and special broadcasts. We really need your help this year but the good news is that Janek Schaefer, Yuri Suzuki, Rie Nakajima and many other exciting performers will party, perform and fund raise with us. Do join!
Loop.pH’s work speculates on near and far future scenarios as a way to probe at the social and environmental impact of emerging biological and technological futures. Some of their most renown projects include collaborating with a Nobel prize winner to communicate the functioning of molecular machines, designing a curtain made of algae that produce bio-fuel, setting up an edible DIY bio fab-lab for the video of an Aussie band. creating a sound and light performance that explores the field of neuroscience and investigating the possibilities of living architecture
Sue and Hagen’s installation, performance and graphic works seek to demonstrate that the future may indeed be frightening, but also highly entertaining. Previous projects have included creating solutions for space waste by disguising satellites as asteroids, building a solar powered solarium because ‘the sun dies anyway’, synthesising the smell of the moon and embedding it into scratch and sniff cards
My guest in the studio will be Ghislaine Boddington is an artist researcher, dramaturge, curator and thought leader specialising in body responsive technologies. Ghislaine is also recognised as an international pioneer in full body telepresence. and the reason why i invited her in the studios of ResonanceFM is that Ghislaine is also the Creative Director of body>data>space, a collective of artists and designers that looks at the future of the human body and its real-time relationship to evolving global, social and technological shifts.
In this episode we will talk about experiences in telepresence, digital culture in London and gender (im)balance in tech careers (believe it or not, we’re still there!)
My notes from a round table discussion at The Arts Catalyst about the concept of moon colonisation, asking: “Should We Colonise the Moon?”. What’s the future for the Moon – theme park or quarry?
My guest in the studio tomorrow will be Nicola Triscott, the founder and Director of The Arts Catalyst, a UK arts organisation that sets up events, curates exhibitions, releases publications and commissions ambitious artworks that engage with science. The Arts Catalyst, believe or not, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year so we’ll be talking about the art&science scene of the early 1990s and also about the embassy for The Republic of the Moon which the Arts Catalyst has opened a few days ago at the Bargehouse, Southbank, London
Much of Treister’s recent work maps ways that human intelligence and military intelligence currently interact and work on each other. She explores how in a world increasingly determined by pervasive technologies and the demands of the military and security arms of government and state, new relations between the observer and the observed have been established and new subjectivities formed
My guests in the studio will be Carmen Salas and Estela Oliva, the founders of Alpha-ville, a London-based organisation with a mission to connect people working in the fields of art, technology, design and digital culture. Alpha-ville has been busy since 2009 organising events, commissioning new works and curating programmes for arts and cultural organisations, festivals, promoters, events and agencies
Using stunning photography and video interviews with architects and clients of post-war listed buildings the exhibition will show what makes the post-war era special and why the very best of its buildings are worthy of protection
Vision as Power invites us to consider the impact of prisons, watchtowers, defensive structures and other surveillance structures on the environment, the observer and the observed
There is a lot to say, dislike (portraits of perma-tanned, bejeweled ladies) and like (all the rest) about u s e r u n f r i e n d l y, UBERMORGEN solo exhibition at Carroll/Fletcher.
Whether it’s a painting, an installation or a website, everything in u s e r u n f r i e n d l y comes with an uncomfortable background. Take Perpetrator: the photo of a young man shouting in an abandoned train station. The print is part of a series of photo and video works based on the life of Guantanamo Bay military guard
Michiko and Michael’s work is never without surprise. Whether they entrust opera singers to produce food in a future world where algae have become the world’s dominant food source or explore the possibility of a city that would be isolated from the wider environment and where food, energy, and even medicine, are derived from human origin and man-made biological systems.
This brilliant little exhibition considers the connections between craft practice and sound art in the ‘digital age’. Exploring the physicality of sound, the works are characterised by both their sonic properties and materiality
Award-winning science communicator Professor Marcus du Sautoy and actress and mathematician Victoria Gould use mathematics and the theatre to navigate the known and unknown reaches of our world
In the late 1960s, Tony Ray-Jones traveled across his country in a VW camper to document the leisure and pleasures of the English. He was a man who lived by his own rules. One of them was to never take a boring photo. There are dozens of images in the exhibition and none of them is remotely insipid
In early modern Japan, 1600-1900, thousands of sexually explicit works of art were produced, known as ‘spring pictures’ (shunga). The exhibition examines the often tender, funny, beautiful and accomplished shunga that were produced by some of the masters of Japanese art
I haven’t seen that many exciting exhibitions in London over the past few weeks. I was however, bowled over by the photos of Philip-Lorca diCorcia at the David Zwirner Gallery. The East of Eden series brings side by side biblical references and the dark side of the American dream
Artist Pratchaya Phinthong has shipped to a London art gallery the replica of a skull that almost 100 years ago provided key evidence to support Darwin’s theory of human evolution, replacing it with an identical model purchased online. He has additionally invited the museum guide, Kamfwa Chishala, to travel to London and relay the complex history of the skull to Chisenhale Gallery visitors, as he does in Lusaka
At the moment of being heard brings together works and performances by a group of international artists, musicians and composers engaging with sound and modes of listening
Photography is widely associated with truthfulness yet it has also been employed throughout its history as a means of telling stories and evoking the imaginary