Archive for November, 2010

Comment Sea Organ - 11/18/10

Comment “Good heavens what insect can suck it?” - 11/18/10

The Comet Orchid

When Darwin first saw the Angraecum sesquipedale (the comet orchid, above) in Madagascar, he was so surprised by the “astonishing length” of the whip-like green spur forming the nectary of each flower that he remarked to Joseph Hooker “Good Heavens what insect can suck it?” The spur of the flower is 20–35 cm from its tip to the tip of the flower’s lip. The name “sesquipedale” is Latin for “one and a half feet,” referring to the spur length.

He speculated that there would be an insect with a proboscis that would be able to reach the nectar that collected at the base of the spur.

In 1882, 40 years after Darwin’s death, the Xanthopan morganii praedicta moth – named in honor of his prediction – was discovered by scientists in Madagascar.

The moth is the only creature capable of pollinating the orchid.

1 Comment ‘Elixer’ by Pipilotti Rist - 11/11/10

\'Elixer\' by Pipilotti Rist

1 Comment Curiosity CAM - 11/10/10

Comment NASA – space colony artwork 1970′s - 11/7/10

Comment Synchroballistic Images – Angus Leadley Brown - 11/7/10

Synchroballistic Images – movement as an analogue sequence

Comment Marvellous Machines – Thomas Foulsham - 11/7/10

Light Balance

Big Bird

Wiggle Table

Some words from Tom….

My work begins with a fascination that drives me into an obsessive exploration of making. I start working with sketch models, and begin forming quick and playful structures to try and explore and make sense of these ideas. Researching existing systems, materials and their capabilities. The ‘Light Balance’ for example, began with an idea that the wasted heat from a light bulb could physically move the weight of a person. The resulting structure to achieve this was a delicately balanced twelve meter arm, made of a chain of materials starting with steel where the person sits, followed by alluminium, bamboo and ending with a tissue paper sail to capture the bulb’s heat. The notion that I can take a seemingly imperceivable force and amplify it to create a powerful effect, helps me to turn pre-conceived ideas about objects upside down, and inspire the viewer to re-evaluate their space and what is happening around them. I like to make objects which are almost at breaking point, to demonstrate the tension in what we perceive to be stability. I like them to be approachable and if possible touched or interacted with. I like that these interactions can help to allow my structures to take on another life, as they become a part of the viewer’s own thought process. By revealing the inner workings of the pieces and the way they are constructed, I hope to enable the viewer to experience the exploration of making that has occurred, allowing the viewer to make their own connections.

Comment - 11/4/10

Comment MA.R.S by Thomas Ruff - 11/4/10


ma.r.s. 2

Johnen Galerie is proud to present Thomas Ruff ’s new series ma.r.s., opening on October 9th, 2010, during art forum berlin. This is the world premiere of this new body of work.

After the ‘Zycles’ series (since 2008), Thomas Ruff has taken up ma.r.s. as a new visual challenge. In the context of his research about image-generating means of photography the artist came across high-resolution photographs of Mars, taken by a satellite with a HiRISE (High Resoluton Imaging Science Experiment) camera that NASA made accessible to the public via the internet.

Ruff starts by transforming the images that were shot by a satellite from a straight down angle, so that the perspective seems to be that of a plane traveler’s, looking upon the planets. Thus the viewer gets the impression of being able to see Mars’ surface from close proximity. In addition, Ruff colorizes the originally black and white photos and thereby accentuates the extraordinary characteristics of these landscapes, without changing their character in any way. As a result breathtakingly beautiful images of deserts and crater landscapes come into being, all located on an inconceivably distant planet, yet seemingly familiar. In consideration of the ongoing discussions about possibilities of generally accessible, manned space travel, these pictures can almost be seen as a virtual anticipation of future travel imagery.

This series demonstrates the ongoing examination of most advanced technology together with objective documentation and formal elegance in Ruff’s œuvre. His interest has for a long time been directed towards the enormous collective efforts necessary for developing new photographic techniques. In Ruff’s ma.r.s. series, images that were originally exclusive to a relatively small circle of scientists are now accessible to a wider audience. This is being achieved decidedly by Ruff’s artistic treatment that reveals the full spectrum of esthetic qualities inherent to the scientific original. The artist takes the viewer on a travel to experience the beauty of outer space.

Thomas Ruff (b. 1958 in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany) studied from 1977 to 1982 at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Professor Bernd and Hilla Becher. In 1995, he represented Germany at the Venice Biennale with works from his series “Andere Porträts” and “Stereofotos”. Since 2000 Thomas Ruff is professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. The Kunsthalle Baden-Baden presented a first retrospective of his works in 2002; in 2006 Thomas Ruff received the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in New York.

Comment Tank Works by Mariele Neudecker - 11/4/10

Heaven, the Sky

Over and Over, Again and Again

Over and Over

Over and Over 2