Sunday, February 21, 2010

Circles, Lines, & Balloons - Ashley Harwood & Jason Hackenworth

The most challenging shapes to make while bending neon are circles, due to the exact geometry and the need to evenly heat and shape the glass over a small ribbon burner, which is about the length of a keyboard. This is why I am bowled over by Ashley Harwood's neon circles. And these are not tiny loops, these are enormous, multiple tube works. They look like celestial shapes, planets, and galaxies. In this piece, 1.66782048x10-9, (made in 2007,) there are 10 transformers powering this sphere.

We are the Light that Travels into Space (2007).

The other artist whose work has captivated me this week is Jason Hackenworth. He creates enormous creatures entirely out of balloons. Some of them are even interactive and wearable, but most are blown-up (ha) sculptural replications of tiny microbes and sea creatures. This piece is called Ecstasy of the Scarlet Empress, (photo via NY Times).

Songs (YouTube):

Red Rubber Ball - The Cyrkle 

Blue Light Red Light (Someone's There) - Harry Connick, Jr.

Blue Light - Bloc Party

Red Light - The Strokes 

A Balloon On A Broken String - The Boy Least Likely To

99 Luft Ballons - Nena

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's Hip to Be Square

I have a lot of t-shirts; I've been collecting them for the last 22 years. Eventually they become paint stained, ripped, or deteriorate altogether. I've decided to recycle and quilt my old ones. I've got 14 ft by 4 ft worth of shirt fabric. Let's see what'll happen. The geometry of craft!

Here's the layout of one side, scaled down to a quarter.

Here are the cascading squares.

And of course, the sketchbook.

Songs (All Links to YouTube):

Hip to Be Square - Huey Lewis & The News

Hardest Geometry Problem In The World - Mark Mothersbaugh

The Cascades - Scott Joplin

Square One - Coldplay

Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s) - Los Campesinos!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Radio Theme For This Week: Songs with Names in the Title

My theme for my show on this week is Songs with Names in the Title. Last week (Feb. 4th) I played Whistling Songs, and that was a lot of fun to put together. Here is the inspiration for this week's theme:


Listen for the show online Thursday from 9 am-12 noon, Chicago time (that's 10am-1pm for the East Coast).

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lights & Sounds - Yochai Matos & Bruce Nauman

Right now I am amazed by the light sculptures of Yochai Matos (Flame [Gate] above). Yochai Matos is a multi-media artist (check out his street art) who creates huge light pieces, and often incorporates pattern and geometry into them. I like seeing the back of Flame, because of the behind-the-scenes nature of the installation (ha!). This piece (below) is called Sunset, and again, I love the form, the way his art works so well in both a gallery and a natural setting. There's also a lot of attention to the detail of how both the bulbs and the wires are placed. Beautiful.
 I just discovered this piece by Bruce Nauman. 
 It's called My Name As Though It Were Written On the Moon. He made it in 1969. He's a neon lettering genius.


2000 Volts - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (iLike)

At Night Trees Aren't Sleeping - of Montreal (Lala)

Make Light - Passion Pit (YouTube)

Dancing In The Dark - Bruce Springsteen (YouTube)

Sunlight - Harlem Shakes (YouTube)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Illustration Month - Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs

Illustration Month has just ended. I choose to illustrate, in sketchbook form, the book Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs, by Chuck Klosterman. I wish the project didn't have a 1-month constriction, I think a lot more could have happened.

Songs (all via YouTube):

It's Still Rock And Roll To Me - Billy Joel

Bang Bang Rock & Roll - We Are Scientists

Old Time Rock And Roll - Bob Seger

Rock & Roll Music - Chuck Berry

Rock and Roll Queen - The Subways

I Dig Rock and Roll Music - Peter, Paul & Mary

Rock N' Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This) - Handsome Boy Modeling School

I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band) - The Moody Blues

P.S. For More awesome playlists, check out my radio show on CHIRP Thursdays from 9 am-12 noon, Chicago time (that's 10am-1pm for the East Coast).