Dutch visual artist Martijn Sandberg creates Image Messages in public spaces as well as in paintings and sculpture. He explores the tension between text and image, legibility and illegibility, public and private domain. In his site-specific public artworks throughout The Netherlands, Sandberg plays with the material bearing the image which in turn camouflages the message from certain angles, and exposes it from others. “Image is message is image.” Whether created using bricks on a building facade, tiles on a floor surface, concrete staircases, or a wooden fence, there’s a trickiness to all of Sandberg’s work that both challenges and amuses the viewer. And as if that weren’t enough, the messages themselves are often chuckle-worthy, such as in the third photo down in what looks to be brass strips: “U Heeft Tien Bewaarde Berichten” which translates as “You Have Ten Saved Messages.”
These are fun. Illinois-based graphic designer Lauryn Bertolo designed a wearable calendar. What’s the Date, as the 3-piece bracelet is called, is screen printed on fabric in bold type and adjusts to every day of the year. I have a feeling it’s a prototype, but I bet there’s a market out there.
SVA design student Motoko Ishii used what looks like cassette tape or reel-to-reel audio tape to create a visual interpretation of Radiohead’s song Last Flowers. The project was done for Olga Mezhibovskaya’s typography class at the School of Visual Arts, and this particular assignment, titled Visual Music, invites students to select a piece of music of their choice and express it with the tools of typography. Nice assignment and beautifully executed, down to the serifs, by Motoko.
The Frankfurt based Luminale 2014 — one of the world’s largest and most renowned light festivals — concluded this past weekend. As per usual, there were many impressive installations this year including Cornea Ti, a collaboration between Interior Architecture students from the School of Design Mainz and Ensemble Modern Frankfurt. Consisting of three connected containers that formed a sort of interactive stage, visitors would step through the amorphous tunnels triggering the many integrated LEDs hidden within the walls of the structure with their movements. In addition to the movement, sound caused the light to change, illuminating letterforms that would transform and morph into anagrams, only visible from the perspective of the audience. I haven’t been able to make out any words myself in the video below, but I sure do like the effect.
Spring is fast approaching (like, tomorrow…yay!) and along with the lovely season come school proms, weddings, and other formal occasions where the purchase of a corsage or boutonniere may be warranted. If you’d like to deviate from the classic floral variety, we’ve got Daniela’s clever Corsage/Boutonniere bracelet/pin combos right here. Be the talk of your event and the envy of every type-crazed participant (surely there’s at least a couple in any crowd) when you and your date show up donning these fun pieces. Limited supply so order soon…
Switzerland-based, British artist, Michael Goodward makes art “with a serious smile and a wry mind.” His humorous sculptures and installations are eclectic and a manifestation of the curious way he occupies his time with anything that is remotely connected with the nature of being and man’s perception of the world within and around him. Themes such as death, religion, and existence are represented through the artist’s view. And if the works themselves don’t make you break into a smile automatically, some of the titles sure will: the Me compass which is also referred to as sartresample 1; the curiously literal hairbrush is titled Something or Other; the pie at the bottom is Humble Pie; and the S/M arty-pants with their nails penetrating areas that might want to avoid nails, definitely should evoke a chuckle, if maybe one combined with a wince.
It’s been, and continues to be, a long and relentlessly snowy winter here in NYC this year, but Brooklyn-based author/illustrator Shelley Jackson is making the best of it. With admirable handwriting, Jackson has set out to writing a story in the snow—one word at a time—photographing each one and posting them to her instagram. Reading from oldest photo to newest, you can follow the ongoing story, waiting with bated breath for the next words to appear. Photos, it seems, are posted in relatively large batches roughly once a week, so maybe you can get a sentence or two in at a time. Story aside, the photos themselves are lovely, with great composition and a splash of color here and there. This is not the first time Shelley Jackson has taken to story-telling a word at a time; SKIN, a story published in tattoos on the skin of 2,095(!) volunteers is a previous project.
You can follow SNOW (in reverse order) over here, “weather permitting”, but from the looks of things outside, that shouldn’t be an issue…this could end up being a multi-volume story.
via gothamist via the awl
I certainly know where I’ll be headed if I find myself in Frankfurt. NONEON is a small shop/gallery run by designer Fabian Thiele who has been collecting letters from old signs and fixing them up, making them into lights, all, apparently, affordable to boot. Just seeing these piles of illuminated type makes me happy. The shop is only open on Fridays and Saturdays so, if this appeals to you next time in Frankfurt, make sure to plan accordingly. Recycling at its best.
Blaqk is a collaboration between Athens-based design duo Greg Papagrigoriou and Chris Tzaferos who goes by Simek. Their street art mixes geometric forms with typographic letterforms—much of which is calligraphy. Whether black on white or white on black, on gallery walls, building façades, or abandon lots, their graphic style definitely pops. You can see much more of their work on their site.
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I love everything about Chicago-based designer Audra Hubbell‘s project Letters at Large. For starters, it’s type. Large type at that. Then the combination with architecture and the effect of each on the other is pretty fabulous. Somewhat reminiscent of Jenny Holzer’s Projections, but here it’s all about the one letter as opposed to text. Hubbell unleashes full-scale typography in public spaces as a visual research project exploring the interaction between projected large scale letterforms and the urban Chicago surroundings. Wouldn’t it be great if the poster set were available for purchase.
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This past fall, up until last month, Mégaphone, an interactive installation, occupied the Promenade des Artistes, in the heart of Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal with the intention of reappropriating public space. The installation, designed by Moment Factory, invited visitors to gather and explore the fun side to public speaking. Using a megaphone participants could speak out, their words transformed in real time into images projected onto the façade of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), leaving their visual “footprint” on the urban landscape. Inspired by the city’s early 20th-century history of popular assemblies as well as the 19th-century British tradition of the Speaker’s Corner, the installation gives everyone a chance to speak out and air their concerns. Visual effects of waves, scribbles, and distortions were generated by voice recognition software designed by the Computer Research Institute of Montreal. Certainly a crowd pleaser for all ages as seen in the video below:
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Minneapolis-based street artist—and NYC frequenter—HOT TEA is known for his yarn-bombing typography, usually found on—but not limited to—chain link fences & telephone poles. Most often the words HOT TEA are geometrically spelled out, seemingly interlocked in three dimensions. I’ve run into several of his pieces over the past couple of years around NYC, one in Soho, another Nolita, and DUMBO as well. A couple of weeks ago, shortly after Banksy finished his month-long scavenger-hunt-like show Better Out Than In around the city, I came across a tribute to the reknowned street artist by, I assume, HOT TEA, though this speculation is based soley on style. The piece, which was on East 4th Street, was gone in less than 24 hours replaced with a real estate sign by the owners of the empty lot where the work stood. I’ve looked around to see if this Banksy tribute appeared anywhere online, including HOT TEA’s flickr, but so far nothing. Earlier in the fall, HOT TEA created his largest site specific piece to date with over 1600 knots and 800 pieces of yarn installed on the Williamsburg Bridge walkway. You can see the installation in the video below:
Top two photos: collabcubed. All others courtesy Hot Tea’s flickr.
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I definitely get a kick out of seeing typography integrated into architecture (hence the multiple Architypeture posts) and this building in Isfahan, Iran is no exception. Designed by architect Ali Karbaschi, the Gooyesh Language Institute’s curtain wall is clad with almost a crossword-y look of, ironically (or not so ironically, being a language institute), Latin letters on all sides as well as cut out of its steel entrance gates. As far as I can tell, the letters are purely decorative and don’t spell anything out, but I wasn’t able to find any information on the project, other than its location, architect, and that it was built a little over a year ago. Looking closely, it would appear that in some areas the oreder of the letters in the rectangular panels adhere to the alphabet, but then suddenly a ‘W’ appears sandwiched between an ‘E’ and a ‘G’, so there goes that theory. In any case, it looks particularly attractive lit up at night, wouldn’t you say?
via Contemporary Architecture of Iran
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Recent photography grad Dori the Giant, aka Dorota Pankowska, created a street art series on the walls of downtown Brampton, Ontario titled Pro Bono Promo. She recreated logos using the product which they represent: the Colgate logo was illustrated in Colgate toothpaste; the Nutella one with Nutella…you get the idea. Then she also documented their (sometimes quick) deterioration, whether naturally or due to finger smudges. Which leads to the humorous title of the series. In many ways Pankowska gave these companies free advertising (pro bono) with free samples thrown in (promo). You can see a lot more of Pankowska’s clever work on her website and her blog.
If you like this, you might also enjoy Danielle Evans’ work.
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It doesn’t feel like that long ago that we’d hear the flapping noise of the information displays at most train stations and airports, yet quietly, and almost unnoticeably, they have mostly transitioned over to LED monitors. Belgian artist team LAb[au] consisting of Manuel Abendroth, Jérôme Decock and Els Vermang, created a playful type installation for Toronto’s Luminato Festival last year, utilizing the discarded technology and salvaged split-flaps from these old signage systems, arranged in a circular grid. Signal to Noise, as the piece is called, takes the random letters from the illegible and nonsensical into the legible and poetic, through its flipping mechanism. Apparently the sound is much subtler than in the video below; almost like rain. Best to see it in action:
Photos courtesy of LAb[au]
via canadian art junkie
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Finnish artist Ole Martin Lund Bø‘s wooden installation Deceptive Outward Appearance uses the technique of anamorphosis as we’ve seen also here and here. Even having seen other works utilizing the similar effect, I’m still always impressed at the ability to create these, as well as interested in the individual components that make up the whole. It’s just that one specific spot in the room that makes the words/image come into focus and go from gibberish, or abstraction, to a specific and clear message. Kind of the way I feel when I put on my reading glasses…
All images courtesy of the artist.
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As part of an initiative to bring art to new sites within and around the Hirshhorn Museum, roughly a year ago the museum installed Barbara Kruger’s Belief+Doubt exhibit to fill the Lower Level lobby and extend into the newly relocated bookstore. The supersized words that have increasingly become Kruger’s trademark, create an environment that surrounds the viewer with language. The walls, floors, and escalators are all wrapped in text-printed vinyl that address themes of consumerism and power. I love when type takes over a space and choosing a highly-trafficked area that includes so many different angles with the stairs is particularly dramatic. The exhibit will continue through December 2014, so if you find yourself in Washington D.C. in the next year and a half, you might want to stop by the Hirshhorn to have a look in person.
Here it is being installed:
Photos by Cathy Carver, courtesy of the artist.