Very few artists manage to translate scientific phenomena into stunning images as elegantly as Carsten Nicolai. If you’re in London, don’t you dare miss Observatory at Ibid Projects.

The works on show visualise diverse physical occurrences. From the ground floor to the top floor, the installations, videos and photographic pieces investigate phenomena that get further and further away from our daily experience

This morning i went to the press view of Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union at the Saatchi Gallery and I’m not sure that the artists participating to the exhibition heartily agree with Joseph Stalin’s statement. Although this survey of contemporary art in Russia contains humour, balls and a few satisfyingly good pieces, the show is not exactly cheerful.

Take the gentlemen portrayed by Sergei Vasiliev. Their skin is their biopic, their tattoos carrying political messages and details about their criminal life. The motifs were drawn using whichever tools and ink they could get their hands on: melted books, urine, blood, etc.

For people working at the Yuri Gagarin Training Centre, a military complex where all cosmonauts have been trained since the 1960s, Gagarin remains a hero while space is the only reality they know, almost blending with the surreal machines they work with, they seem to be trapped in a window of time. In the shadow of faded dreams, thus sheds the light on a close-knit community of space-lovers, still clinging to the decaying legacy of the 1960s Space dream

I haven’t been consistently overjoyed with what the Olympics brought to London in terms of public art. However, i can’t fault Frieze Projects East’s six commissions for the Olympic Host Boroughs in East London. The works commissioned are accessible without being condescending. And they probably have enough bite and wit to fulfill their mission to connect with the communities in East London

Reading the mini catalogue of the show i realize that during my visit i missed ‘the artist’s hoard of personal toenail clippings’. I’m glad i did. But i did smile when i saw the big LOOK AT THIS sign on the terrace, the corpse of a rat left on the floor that you might never see if you don’t happen to look down, the taxidermy dog standing on its rear legs to brandish a message that confirms that its is indeed dead, the row of boots that seem to come straight out of a cartoon, the carelessly sketched silhouettes, etc.

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

The Kinetica Art Fair brings together independent galleries, art organisations and curatorial groups who focus on kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology. The art fair features installations, robots and small sculptures but also live performances, artists presentations, demos and a cheerful atmosphere that makes it easy to talk to the ‘exhibitors’

As many of you probably know, i love contemporary art fairs. Yes, it’s pure art porn and there’s too much to see, most of which is quite frankly bad. But there are good surprises as well and i don’t mind spending hours in front of painted horrors if at some point i stumble upon a piece that will move me. I’m that easy. Besides, art fairs expose me to works and artists i would otherwise never have looked at

n design(ing) there is a revolution ongoing that is triggered by an emerging networked community that is sharing digital information about physical products and the ubiquitous availability of production tools and facilities. It transforms design into an open discipline, in which designs are shared and innovation of a large diversity of products is a collaborative and world spanning process

A couple of years ago, Nils Völker built a robot out of Lego parts that replicates the way we look. The resulting large scale images demonstrate how differently the same objects have been perceived. The robot was the one work that attracted me to Nils Völker’s portfolio but it’s his creative path that started with communication design and moved to the use of physical computing in contexts as different as advertising and art exhibitions that kept my attention

French nanny Vivian Maier relentlessly photographed New York and Chicago. She didn’t show her work to anyone, died in poverty, and left behind 100,000 negatives. Her work was discovered when a young estate agent bought the content of her storage locker. Now, with some 90% of the archive reconstructed, Maier’s work is part of a renaissance in interest in street photography

Trucks, Containers, Collectives is an initiative by Santiago Cirugeda (Recetas Urbanas) which has inspired more than a dozen collectives to get involved in creating a network for spaces that are self-managed by the entire Spanish territory. This is no longer a matter of experimenting with individual, isolated situations, a process which Cirugeda initiated fourteen years ago and, in any case, is being reassessed during these times of recession. Rather it’s a self-organised and joint action taken by small citizen groups who unite their efforts

The accelerating crisis in climate change and the realization that humans are the primary cause of this change has raised questions about ownership and responsibility. Who “owns” the climate change crisis and who is responsible for mitigating and reversing it if possible? One overwhelming response by governments on an international level has been to propose a market solution, in essence, to sell the atmosphere. Is the commercial marketplace the only answer? How can art, technology and media offer alternative cultural practices and open new forms of understanding the air?

Just back from London where i managed to catch up with up to 7 exhibitions in a day. Btw, there’s only a few more days to enjoy Parreno’s magnificent videos at the Serpentine and i urge you to run there if you haven’t seen the show yet. Another exhibition i liked a lot is Matthias Schaller’s series of Disportraits at Ben Brown Fine Arts

This book is not only visually inspiring. Because it documents plans, describes associated costs, and suggests concrete solutions for common problems, it is a practical reference for architects, planners, and cultural activists as well as event and marketing managers, to guide them in deciding what types of containers are best suited to their upcoming projects

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….

Change, the buzzword of the last U.S. presidential campaign, is the order of the day, and the task of AGENDA is to explore what kind of change will be needed if architects are to assume a political and social agency in this new landscape. Bringing together diverse forms of content, AGENDA is a product of vigilant observation, introspection, and engagement with outside thinkers and collaborators – artists, curators, politicians, authors, economists, journalists, developers, educators, and architects

The installation echoes the artist’s concern for the relentless threats against Iran made by many countries in recent years. Sentences that include “attack Iran” are scavenged from Google News and spoken using a text-to-speech synthesizer. The voice is then picked up by a microphone, analyzed, and translated into rhythmically corresponding smoke rings from a quartet of smoke ring makers