Jeppe Hein: Modified Social Benches

Danish artist Jeppe Hein has installed a series of modified benches which invite the seaside residents of the town of De Haan in Belgium to enter into an interaction which questions the nature of social behaviour in urban spaces. The bench designs borrow their basic form from normal park benches, but are altered in various degrees to make the act of sitting on them a conscious physical endeavour. With their modification, the spaces they inhabit become active rather than places of rest and solitude; they foster exchange between the users and the passers-by, thus lending the work a social quality.

Liliana Porter: Man with Axe

Liliana Porter's latest installation titled "Man with Axe" consists of a 3-inch-tall axe-wielding figurine smashing up a curving line of debris made from various objects found at flea markets and antique shops. In addition to the man with the ax, the sprawling piece is populated by dozens of tiny figurines. The cast of characters includes archetypes – soldiers, travelers, farmers, geishas, kings, a mariachi, a groom — as well as specific personalities. some of the people actively participate in clean up. some powerlessly contemplate the wreckage. others go about their business carelessly.

The Week-End

Our most popular posts this week featured beautiful objects constructed from found plastic bottles by Brooklyn-based artist Shari Mendelson, colorful architectural spaces built with LEGO bricks and photographed by Valentino Fialdini, unusual dirty car art by Scott Wade and a behind-the-scenes look at what really goes on after dark in Dan Sorensen and Sara Grundy's millinery workroom.

And from around the Web...

A cardboard digital camera designed by Jesper Kouthoofd for IKEA.

Awesome animation by Ohashi Takashi.

A Twitter feed that describes Pinterest images.

Lamps made from recycled coffee grounds.

A building turned into a giant game of Tetris.

Cornelia Konrads: Places

German artist Cornelia Konrads creates mind-bending site specific installations that seem to defy the limits of time, gravity and space. Konrads explains, "I like to challenge, what is supposed to be “reliable” about reality: the laws of gravity, the solidity of walls or the ground under our feet… my installations can be seen as a filmstill, pointing backwards and forwards both temporally and spatially―an interim state, reflecting my idea of transience, passage and transformation.”

Levi Mandel: Good Morning!

For his project titled "Good Morning!" artist Levi Mandel photographed unsuspecting strangers, then crumpled and re-photographed the printed images against a black background. The resulting portraits are at once ordinary, unsettling and grotesque.

Scott Wade: Dirty Car Art

Artist Scott Wade loves to draw on dirty car windows, but unlike you and me, he doesn't just draw smiley faces and clever sayings, like, "wash me". Scott lives on a mile and a half of dirt road composed of a blend of limestone dust, gravel and clay. Driving over this surface results in a fine white dust coating the rear window. Being an experienced artist, it wasn't long before Scott started experimenting with different techniques to create these intricate drawings.

Shari Mendelson: Beautiful Garbage

Brooklyn-based artist Shari Mendelson creates beautiful objects constructed from found plastic bottles which are inspired by historical ceramic, glass and metal vessels. Mendelson says, "I collect discarded juice, soda and water bottles, cut them into pieces and use the parts to create new vessels. The original material is transformed from plastic trash into pieces that address issues of mass production, waste, the environment, the value of objects, history and culture."

Elliott Wilcox: Walls

Elliott Wilcox's "Walls" explores the complex relationship between interior and exterior space. These large format photographs of empty climbing walls, devoid of human presence, become estranged from their purpose. "Exploring the distinctions between object and representation within constructed leisure space, Wilcox's images deploy the metaphor of de-familiarisation between man and nature to suggest a place that is constructed in its own reality. "

Sorensen - Grundy: Construction Overhead

"Construction Overhead" is a behind-the-scenes look at what really goes on after dark in the millinery workroom. The project created by Dan Sorensen and Sara Grundy features a delightfully tiny 1:87 scale scene of railway workers transferred to construct a bespoke hat, using buckram, blocking wire and 100% worsted wool. The scaffolding was made using doll's house floorboards and thin steel rods. It turns out that making half a hat is a lot harder than making a whole one.

Valentino Fialdini: LEGO

For his latest project titled "LEGO", Brazilian artist Valentino Fialdini created a series photographs of bright and colorful rooms and corridors. With the sun streaming through windows and shadows cast on the walls, it almost seems as if you're looking at real rooms, but a closer look reveals that these sterile architectural spaces are, in fact, miniatures built with LEGO bricks and photographed by the artist himself. "Nothing is out of place in these architectures made of plastic, the spectator is the central character of these spaces based on Reinassance perspective.

The Week-End

Our most popular posts this week featured a series of sublimely strange still-lifes combining food and plastic bottles by photographer Per Johansen, a Rube Goldberg machine specifically designed to travel the world created by Dutch design studio HEYHEYHEY, figurative willow branch sculptures by by Cleveland-based artist Olga Ziemska and three-dimensional illustrations cut and folded from old books by Thomas Allen.

And from around the Web...

Mapping animals on the streets of Tokyo.

Stupid things in slow motion.

Vintage superhero portraits.

The ultimate dream of flight.

Arthur King: Skateboards

For his "Skateboards" project, artist Arthur King created a series of "re-worked" skateboards using a variety of everyday objects. From a sandwich, to a wood log, to a vintage suitcase – Arthur pulls everyday materials from the world of mass-produced objects into the realm of art through his use of appropriation.

Video: Melvin the Mini Machine

The good folks at Dutch design studio HEYHEYHEY had some time to spare and they felt the need to challenge themselves once again, so they set out to build another one of their chain reaction machines called Melvin (previously featured). Conveniently built in two old suitcases, Melvin the Mini Machine is a Rube Goldberg machine specifically designed to travel the world. Each time Melvin fully completes a run, he ‘signs’ a postcard and sticks a stamp to it – making it ready to be sent.

Thomas Allen: New Cut Book Illustrations

Michigan-based book artist Thomas Allen constructs three-dimensional illustrations using figures cut and folded from old books. Inspired by his childhood experiences with pop-up books and view master reels, Allen gently cuts around the shape of his characters, physically releasing them from their two dimensional surface. Very simple yet extremely clever.

Olga Ziemska: Stillness in Motion

Sculptor and public artist, Olga Ziemska, uses reclaimed willow branches and wire to create these complex organic figures. Her work contains aspects of sculpture, philosophy and science referencing her interest in the mystical underpinnings of existence. Via her website, "Olga often attempts to make visible those concepts or properties that are indiscernible to the naked eye, such as cellular formations or magnetism. By making visual associations between the visible and the invisible—or the microscopic and the macrocosmic—Ziemska poetically underscores the interrelatedness of all things."

Video: The Power of X

The Netherland’s most creative minds from film, photography, interactive, design and communications have joined forces with WE ARE Pi to create a human kaleidoscope for TEDxSummit. The video celebrates "the power of x" to multiply great ideas.

Zilvinas Kempinas: Tube

New York-based artist Zilvinas Kempinas is widely recognized for his bold use of VHS videotape as a sculptural medium. His large-scale installation titled "Tube" is an 80-foot long walkway made of stretched strips of old VHS mgnetic tape that looks like a transparent tunnel of parallel lines. Kempinas says, “I am attracted to things that are capable of transcending their own banality and materiality to become something else, something more. I like the way that videotape is simultaneously delicate and durable, since it’s meant to last.”

Per Johansen: Full

For his latest project Danish photographer Per Johansen created a series of sublimely strange still-lifes combining food and plastic bottles. "Full", consists of photographs of meat, vegetables, pasta and other foods which are claustrophobically placed in various plasic containers. Via his website: "On one hand, the works are characterized by a layer of glitter varnish, where the commercial pastel expressivity is distinctive. On the other hand, something deviant is going on, since the viewer is confronted with the indelicate synthetic plastic world, where organic vegetables and meat organic life is trapped in eternal time and space."

The Week-End

Our most popular posts this week featured a series of tiny memorials to commemorate fallen insects by Carmichael Collective, a 1979 Ford Falcon converted into an awesome open-air tank bookmobile by Argentinian artist Raul Lemesoff, lavatory self-portraits in the Flemish Style by NinaKatchadourian and American urban and suburban landscapes seen through the eyes of painter Marc Trujillo.

And from around the Web...

A cardboard arcade made by a 9-year old boy.

Henri the existentialist cat.

A series of interviews of Los Angeles' celebrated icons, by artist Alex Israel.

Hundreds of middle finger candles to protest nuclear power in Japan.

Cloud Book Study

“Cloud Book Study” by Heidi Neilson consists of a book that when flipped through at high speed, reveals a time-lapse film of clouds moving across the pages. The accompanying video shows the movement of the clouds across the sky in a way you couldn’t achieve by thumbing the book on your own.

Book Igloo

"Igloo" by Colombian artist Miler Lagos is a 9-foot domed sculpture composed of layers of books. The outer white shell consists of the books’ paper pages, while the inside reveals colorful bindings from a selection of foreign language dictionaries, medical reference series, geographical studies, and psychology volumes, all laid like bricks in a cylindrical shape.

American Purgatory

Marc Trujillo's paintings depict places common to North American urban and suburban landscapes such as big chain and warehouse stores, gas stations, shopping malls, and chain restaurants. Trujillo paints locations that are "non-destinations," American kinds of nowhere, at once ubiquitous and yet largely unseen. "I'm captivated by the middle ground," Trujillo explains, "the purgatory of the world we've made and share as North Americans."

The Army of Luck

Boris Petrovsky's installation "The Army of Luck", is comprised of 520 shiny golden Lucky Cats made of plastics which are arranged in 40 rows and 13 columns on a ramp-like stand made of aluminum. The massive kinetic sculpture functions as a dot-matrix display which consists of hundreds of waving paw grid points as its "pixels". Visitors are encouraged to input up to 40-characters of text onto a keyboard, which the 'army of luck' then displays as a scrolling marquee. 

Weapon of Mass Instruction

Argentinian artist Raul Lemesoff has converted a 1979 Ford Falcon tank into a mobile library which carries books around the streets of Buenos Aires and lets people take them home for free. Raul calls his vehicle "Arma De Instruccion Masiva" or "Weapon of Mass Instruction". The project is "a contribution to peace through literature," he says. This includes trips into the countryside where many children don’t attend school.

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Florida-based artist Sally Mankus utilizes old kitchenware, including pot lids and pans, to create mixed-media works such as these portraits. The material’s connection to the home and the idea of the metallic surface’s reflection of the viewer are a few of the reasons why she is drawn to re-imagining kitchenware. Sally says, "The faces used in this mixed media work are mainly from photographs I have taken of friends and family members. Familiar brand names and symbols appear on some handles ... Wearever, Saladmaster, Kitchen Craft, Mirro and Queen."

Bug Memorials

"Bug Memorials" is an ongoing installation and photography project by Carmichael Collective, a creative company based in Minneapolis, MN. These tiny memorials were created to commemorate the countless fallen bugs found on the street. The project plays with the notion of surprise and aims to encourage city-dwellers to be more aware of their surroundings.

Lavatory Self-Portraits by Nina Katchadourian

For her project titled "Seat Assignment", artist Nina Katchadourian created a series of Flemish-inspired digital images using only a camera phone and materials on hand. Nina explains, "While in the lavatory on a domestic flight, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture. I made several forays to the bathroom from my aisle seat, and by the time we landed I had a large group of new photographs entitled Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style."

The Week-End

Our most popular posts this week featured experiments in DIY camera manufacturing by Swiss artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs, graffiti and sculpture mediums taken to new levels by artist Hillary Coe, old bricks turned classic book covers by Daryl Fitzgerald and the seductive beauty of our natural world as seen through the eyes of Portland artist Rachel Denny.

And from around the Web...

A mural of The Simpsons found inside a building in Chernobyl.

The coolest hot air balloon we have ever seen!

Helena Bonham Carter as a kinky librarian in a new Rufus Wainwright video.

The 90's version of Facebook.

Baguette Tables

These Baguette Tables by Studio Rygalik were created using stale baguettes that were supposed to be thrown away. The project’s aim was to start a discussion about food waste. It was also to show that inspiration can often be found in real-life objects all around us. The bread tables were part of a “bread experience” created by Gosia and Tomek Rygalik at the Vienna Design Week Laboratory, where people were surrounded by bread, eating bread dishes on bread tables.

Cupnoodle Forms by Nendo

Japanese studio Nendo has created a series of distorted porcelain versions of the iconic Cup Noodle container as specialty souvenirs for the Nissin Cupnoodles Museum in Yokohama. The brand's standard packaging has been distorted by stretching, squashing and melting the forms. According to Nendo's press release, "This is a collection of ceramic vessels whose forms remind us that the line between the ordinary and the extraordinary is infinitely fine, and help us to rediscover the 'small incidents' that exist submerged in the most familiar things."

Video: Benga - I Will Never Change

Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor created Benga's new video for "I Will Never Change" using 960 separate pieces of vinyl that were crafully measured, cut, and then finally animated to create a real-life waveform. Via their website: "To animate the wave form, we built it and then carefully removed each individual record. This had to be done very gently as any shift in the position of the sculpture would result in the failure of the animation and as we had to literally destroy each piece of vinyl to get it off, there was only one chance to get it right." 

Works of Nature

Portland artist Rachel Denny explores the seductive beauty of our natural world and the imprint that human intervention has made on its flora and fauna. Her solo exhibit at Foster/White Gallery in Seattle, on view through Apr 28, consists of a series of sculptures of animals that have been transformed by the textures and colors of human detritus.

Literature Heavyweights

These might look like antique books, but they're actually salvaged bricks that have been painted to look like they belong in an old library. The faux literature is the brilliant work of Daryl Fitzgerald, who transforms the bricks by stenciling them on both sides with titles of literary classics.

Spray Bouquet

Artist Hillary Coe creates these flower bouquets using abandoned and discarded spray paint cans, taking the graffiti and sculpture medium to a new level. Each step of the process, from extracting paint to opening and disassembling the cans, lends itself to experimentation and allows Hillary to combine her sculptural process with recycled materials. The final result is nothing short of amazing!

Objects of Intimacy

A person's pillow is their most intimate object. For the "Objects of Intimacy" project Damien Rudd photographed five old, soiled pillows from five different people. Each pillow was photographed in the same manner a forensic scientist may examine criminal evidence. The hidden and discreet is now open for public close study. When an individual’s pillow is relieved publicly, it causes a sensation of embarrassment and shame.

The Bibliophile's Camera

This camera was made from a stack of hollowed-out books on photography and is part of the latest collaboration between Swiss artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs. The pair have created a pictorial exploration documenting experiments in DIY camera manufacturing, using materials that are quite unorthodox such as: turtle shells, rocks and even an unidentified musical instrument. They explain," We were moving studios, in between projects, and wanted to publish something quickly. We found ourselves thinking about what a camera is, or what it needs to have. The expression of the camera “body” became the starting point for the project"