We Go on Hiatus for a Spell

Dear readers,

After almost 5 years and 2.200 posts we're going to take a break from regular updates of this blog. This past month has been a struggle to keep everything going as our life has been swallowed up by hospitals, waiting rooms and many challenges that have required all our energies. We've enjoyed working on the blog and we hope you enjoyed reading and participating. You can always follow us on Twitter at @Junkculture and on Tumblr to watch for updates.

New York City’s Iconic Water Towers are Transformed into Temporary Canvases for a Public Art Initiative

Part art exhibition, part awareness campaign, "The Water Tank Project" is a large scale public art initiative to draw attention to water as a precious resource by transforming 300 rooftop water tanks in New York City into original works of art. Filmmaker Mary Jordan, who came up with the idea for the project, sees the initiative as a chance to educate people about the global water issues. "Understand that we have to reduce our plastic waste, reduce our meat consumption and really conserve our water," she said.  Over 100 water tanks will be wrapped with art by acclaimed artists such as John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, Maya Lin, Andy Goldsworthy and even NYC public school students.

The Kodatrope: An Interactive Art Installation Made from Hundreds of Slide Photographs

The "Kodatrope" is a large scale interactive art piece created by Lee Pivnik, that overloads the viewer with information in order to separate them from their daily routine. When lit from the outside, the interactive kaleidoscope allows you to place your head and shoulders inside, and looks up at more than 500 different photographs that have been collected from different families from the 1960s and the 70s. Speaking about the project Pivnik said, "The concept behind The Kodatrope was that I wanted to place people in an environment where they are cut off from their own thoughts, and can focus on observing photographs, which are records of other people's memories."

Campaign Aims to Turn Abandoned Bicycles' Saddles into Outdoor Planters

Every year over 2 million bicycles are abandoned on Tokyo streets. Left to decay, these bicycles go largely unnoticed sitting in the same spot day after day. COGOO, an organization which aims to create cleaner cities, decided to do something about the problem and together with TBWA \ hakuhodo, they collected dozens of abandoned bicycles and transformed the saddles into planters. The project titled ‘Saddle Blossoms’ aims to create a series of artistic interventions to arouse the curiosity of passersby and make the bicycles noticed.

The Week-End

Our most popular posts this week featured an ice chandelier that can be hung from tree branches during winter, a series of images documenting people from around the world transporting loads of objects on their heads, body painted models seamlessly camouflaged into NYC landmarks and an outdoor installation made from suspended paper lanterns.

Grotesque Portraits of People Covered in Layers of Sweets and Junk Food

Photographer James Ostrer documents our obsession with sugar in a series of grotesque real life portraits of people covered in layers of sweets and junk food. Speaking largely on the to the global food production and increasingly dangerous methods of mass production, Ostrer’s photographs conjure tribal images that are both fascinating and repulsive. Via the press release, "This adornment becomes a mask of what we eat which then becomes entwined with a hyper-pop sensibility and an obsequious inquiry into the great volumes of sugar that flow through our bodies."

Artist Latest Installation is an Industrial Refrigerator Stocked with Social Commentary Smoothies

As part of the group exhibition Archeo, for New York City’s High Line, artist Josh Kline created a clever sculptural installation that employs the language and strategies of advertising to poke fun at consumer culture. The project titled "Skittles", features an industrial refrigerator containing smoothies produced by the artist using unconventional and poetic combinations of ingredients including kale chips, squid ink, sneakers, phone bills, credit cards and pepper spray. Via the official press release, "Each smoothie stands as a portrait of a different contemporary lifestyle. When grouped together, they evoke a landscape of aspiration, taste, and – at times – deprivation in a metropolis like New York City."

Body Painter Trina Merry Seamlessly Camouflages Models into NYC Landmarks

Using living, breathing human beings as her canvas, body-paint artist Trina Merry recently created a remarkable series of images that seamlessly camouflage her models into the details of the Empire State Building, the Manhattan Bridge, Central Park and other famous NYC landmarks. Merry says she came up with the idea for the series after moving to New York from the San Francisco area this year. She told the SFGate, "I wanted to engage the city and understand it and make some observations," Merry said. "So instead of a person right in front of the Empire State building or the Statue of Liberty, they're softly in the background, and you've got more of a reflective view of the person within the landscape."

Sensual Wave: An Outdoor Art Installation Made from Suspended Paper Lanterns

Architects Marion Moustey and Alexandre Arcens recently created a temporary outdoor art installation for the 2014 edition of the Festival of Lively Architecture at La Grande Motte in France. Titled "Onde Sensuelle", the installation is comprised of dozens of white paper lanterns suspended across two docks facing the sea. “Sensual Wave plays with water, without ever touching it, brushes it, goes away from it,” says Moustey. “As a magical moment, the ephemeral character of the installation evokes a wave that we can’t hold back.”

Designer Arturo Erbsman Uses Natural Resources to Create Ephemeral Ice Chandeliers

Designed to be hung from tree branches during winter, Arturo Erbsman's "Polar Light" is an ice chandelier composed of a metal structure covered with a soft white woven fishnet that catches water and gradually freezes it and turns it into beautiful stalactites. At nightfall, the chandelier glows as rays from a light source pass through the ice, highlighting the beauty and delicacy of the crystallization of water. Via his website, "This project considers factors of climate as potential drivers that can interact with manmade objects. It is the first result of my ongoing experimental research on relationship between manufactured objects and the four elements of nature."