Posts Tagged ‘art’

Giving Google Maps a Heck of a View (Wash Post)

Monday, February 9th, 2009

[Editor's note: If you live in or visit Washington, DC, check out this exhibit in Arlington featuring Google's Streetview public art on Pittsburgh's Sampsonia Way. See related blog post.]

Republished from The Washington Post.

The morning last May when a Google Maps car — with a roof-mounted camera — came to record street-view images of Pittsburgh’s Sampsonia Way, artists Ben Kinsley and Robin Hewlett were waiting.

They and more than a hundred community members had lined the one-way alley with a staged street parade (with marching band!), a mini-marathon and a dozen other bizarre scenarios.

Video of the resulting public art project, “Street With a View,” and a Web terminal to check out the project are now on view as part of the Arlington Arts Center’s new “Public/Private” exhibit. And the truth about it is, the little Google Maps “intervention” was a six-month undertaking — that required assistance from Google.

“They had already shot that street. Pittsburgh was already done,” Kinsley tells us by phone from Iceland, where he now works. “In the end, they were willing to reshoot the area just for us. There wasn’t any guarantee that what they shot would go live.” But it did: Just Google “Sampsonia Way Pittsburgh,” and there they are (though you’ll have to scroll around to find all of the scenes).

When it launched the street-view scenes in November, Google even offered hints that a surprise was waiting, says Elaine Filadelfo, spokeswoman for Google Maps. In tech-speak, it’s an “Easter egg.” (For the record, Google gave no money to the artists; the street-view team just liked their idea.)

Kinsley says he and Hewlett (both Carnegie Mellon grads) hit upon the idea after seeing street views.

“We asked ourselves, ‘What if we knew this car was coming down the street, what would we do? What could we do?’ ”

Free. “Street With a View” and the rest of “Public/Private” are up Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. through April 4. Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd. 703-248-6800. For more about the project visit http://www.streetwithaview.com.

Public Art in Google Street View (Good Mag)

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

The Most Exciting Street in the World

[Editor's note: The Flash player version of Google Maps Street View below has full 360° movement like an image panorama, cool! Thanks Lynda and Kristin.]

Republished from Good Magazine. Posted by: Andrew Price on November 10, 2008.

Google’s Street View feature has captured private moments before, but “Street with a View” is the first example of public art we’ve seen that was designed specifically to be documented by Google’s roving cameras, and viewed online through Street View.

For “Street with a View,” artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley enlisted the help of a full cast of artists and performers to set up a series of tableaux—including a parade, a sword fight, a rooftop escape, and a perplexing giant chicken—along Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They then invited Google to drive through the scene and immortalize it in its Street View feature.

Take a stroll down fantastic Sampsonia Way via Street View here. There’s also the movie below, documenting the making of “Street with a View.”

The effect of combining Street View’s objective, documentary nature with these illusory, staged events is very Michel-Gondry-esque. We wonder how long it would have taken for people to stumble upon Sampsonia Way in Street View if the whole project had been kept secret. (Via PSFK)

On May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way. Neighbors, and other participants from around the city, staged scenes ranging from a parade and a marathon, to a garage band practice, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more…

Street View technicians captured 360-degree photographs of the street with the scenes in action and integrated the images into the Street View mapping platform. This first-ever artistic intervention in Google Street View made its debut on the web in November of 2008.

Subway Man (New Yorker)

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

The June 30th edition of the New Yorker magazine featured this cover artwork titled “Subway Man” by Roz Chast.Thanks Christina!

new yorker subway man 

Change We Can Believe In

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

No, this is not a post about the U.S. presidential campaign. Rather, about the seemingly lost art of engraving. Yup, the same engraving used to make maps of yesteryear and still used (or under used) when coining and printing modern currency. Hip as the new quarters make the mint, they are still inferior works of art. When given a canvas of metal, treat it like metal and not plastic!

Reprinted from Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Original post. Thanks Peter!

new british money


Above, the new face of British currency, announced by the Royal Mint. The striking new designs, selected from an open competition that attracted four thousand entries, are the work of a 26-year old graphic designer named Matthew Dent. They are Mr. Dent’s first foray into currency design.

Below, the new five dollar bill, introduced last month by the United States Department of the Treasury. The new design, which features a big purple Helvetica five, is the work of a 147-year-old government agency called the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It employs 2,500 people, and has an annual budget of $525,000,000. —JH

five spot us

Freehand To Illustrator Experience

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

von illustration

Illustrator’s CS3 release makes it much easier for Macromedia Freehand users to transition over from-scratch and legacy artwork. But there are still a few bumps on the road.

Von Glitschka tells about his experience in his blog post: Switching from FreeHand to Illustrator.

His post was written after a year working in Illustrator and goes thru how he creates an example art file and shares a few useful plugins that bring some Freehand-style functionality to Adobe’s flagship vector ap. Von also has a few other cool illustration focused tutorials here.

A Panoramic Backdrop for Meaning and Mischief (NY Times)

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

jeff koons dog

A balloon dog. A chocolate heart wrapped in shiny red. A silhouette of Piglet from a “Winnie the Pooh” coloring book. These are the subjects of three glossily lacquered, stainless steel works — all previously unexhibited — by the Pop artist Jeff Koons now on view in the Cantor Roof Garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

By KEN JOHNSON
Published: April 22, 2008
New York Times

With its breathtaking, panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, the Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art may strike you as an excellent place to mount a seasonal outdoor sculpture show, which it does every year. In truth, it is an inhospitable site for sculpture, as demonstrated by the 2008 display that opens on Tuesday: three wonderful, previously unexhibited works by the celebrated Pop artist Jeff Koons. Each of these sculptures is a greatly enlarged, glossily lacquered, stainless-steel representation of something small: a toy dog made of twisted-together balloons; a chocolate valentine heart wrapped in red foil, standing en pointe; and a silhouette of Piglet from a “Winnie the Pooh” coloring book, randomly colored as if by a small child.

Continue reading, see more artwork…

El Anatsui: Gawu at National Museum of African Art

Monday, March 24th, 2008

el anatsui gawu art exhibitWhile screen-glancing at work last week I spotted Bill O’Leary’s photos highlighting Nigerian artist El Anatsui who has an exhibit thru September 2 here in Washington, D.C. The Post ran a story on the exhibit in Sunday’s paper (read that here, including slideshow).

I first became aware of El Anatsui’s art while in San Francisco before Christmas when I saw one of his large “Kente cloth” pieces on the second floor of the de Young Museum. It was constructed out of pieces of colorful scrap metal woven into a large wall tapestry that folded as it draped ceiling to floor.

The Smithsonian presentation of El Anatsui’s work has around a dozen pieces. The artist flew out and helped arrange them in the space; his artwork is flexible and each time it is shown it shows different characteristics. If you’re visit the District anytime this summer, this exhibit is worth checking out.

From the Smithsonian website where you can see more of his artwork:

Throughout his career Ghanaian artist El Anatsui has experimented with a variety of media, including wood, ceramics and paint. Most recently, he has focused on discarded metal objects, hundreds or even thousands of which are joined together to create truly remarkable works of art. Anatsui indicates that the word gawu(derived from Ewe, his native language) has several potential meanings, including “metal” and “a fashioned cloak.” The term, therefore, manages to encapsulate the medium, process and format of the works on view, reflecting the artist’s transformation of discarded materials into objects of striking beauty and originality.

The metal fragments that constitute the raw material of Anatsui’s work have had a profound impact on the West African societies that use, reuse and finally discard them. Several of his metal “cloths” are constructed with aluminum wrappings from the tops of bottles that once contained spirits from local distilleries. The three-dimensional sculptures are made of the discarded tops of evaporated milk tins, rusty metal graters and old printing plates, all gathered in and around Nsukka, Nigeria, where the artist has lived and worked for the last 28 years.

Drawing on the aesthetic traditions of his native Ghana and adopted Nigeria, as well as contemporary Western forms of expression, Anatsui’s works engage the cultural, social and economic histories of West Africa. Through their associations, his humble metal fragments provide a commentary on globalization, consumerism, waste and the transience of people’s lives in West Africa and beyond. Their re-creation as powerful and transcendent works of art–many of which recall traditional practices and art forms–suggests as well the power of human agency to alter such harmful patterns.

Continue on to the museum exhibit. . .