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Tobias Klein’s Virtual Sunset 
The expansion of interconnectivity between people worldwide and its impact on artists and artists’ interaction with their audiences is a complex issue explored in the 2012 installation Virtual Sunset by Tobias Klein. The installation is composed of a large grid from which are suspended hundreds of tentacles of PVC tubing emitting a series of vivid colours from cadmium orange to lemon yellow to Cerulean blue. Viewers are encouraged to walk through the installation, a corporeal element juxtaposed with the otherwise visual connotations of the words ‘virtual’ and ‘sunset’; for the piece is a time-based compilation of photographs of sunsets taken by online participants and uploaded to the project’s website, which you can visit here.
The sunset is a natural occurrence common to the experience of every living being and yet can provoke powerful feelings in the beholder. Klein demonstrates the complexity of our growing dual-identity as natural beings and avatars, straddling the line between the realms of the material and immaterial. On the Tobias Klein Studio website, we are told that by uploading images of sunsets from across the world, we produce a “simulacra of a shared singular sunset”, a result which reflects the desire within online communities to produce a similarly shared (read common) yet personalized and ultimately paradoxical ‘universal’ experience. 
Klein’s installation uses subject matter common to us all, yet provided through a medium which is as versatile as its goods are intangible. Interestingly, the problems surrounding artworks relying on viewer participation over the internet are articulated in the format of the installation, since there is a negative correlation between the viewers’ comprehension of the function or implications of the piece and his or her proximity to the actual physical object. In other words, by way of the Internet I can, from across the world, not only understand the artist’s intent and process, but also manipulate his artwork. On the other hand, if I was merely (and I use this term fully understanding the irony) to visit the piece on-site, I would be at a loss to recognize the object’s purpose. 
There is, however, room for redemption; while the Internet-participator has the upper-hand in the sense of being more ‘informed’, the on-site viewer has the opportunity to interact with the work physically, becoming part of the virtual sunset in a corporeal way. Which experience can be said to be more ‘true’? How do we define shared experiences and how do we categorize levels of human interactivity? Can we? Whichever way you see it, Klein’s installation poses us these questions in a stirring and enticing manner. For more on Tobias Klein’s work, please visit the Studio website here.
-Stephanie Read
Tobias Klein’s Virtual Sunset 
The expansion of interconnectivity between people worldwide and its impact on artists and artists’ interaction with their audiences is a complex issue explored in the 2012 installation Virtual Sunset by Tobias Klein. The installation is composed of a large grid from which are suspended hundreds of tentacles of PVC tubing emitting a series of vivid colours from cadmium orange to lemon yellow to Cerulean blue. Viewers are encouraged to walk through the installation, a corporeal element juxtaposed with the otherwise visual connotations of the words ‘virtual’ and ‘sunset’; for the piece is a time-based compilation of photographs of sunsets taken by online participants and uploaded to the project’s website, which you can visit here.
The sunset is a natural occurrence common to the experience of every living being and yet can provoke powerful feelings in the beholder. Klein demonstrates the complexity of our growing dual-identity as natural beings and avatars, straddling the line between the realms of the material and immaterial. On the Tobias Klein Studio website, we are told that by uploading images of sunsets from across the world, we produce a “simulacra of a shared singular sunset”, a result which reflects the desire within online communities to produce a similarly shared (read common) yet personalized and ultimately paradoxical ‘universal’ experience. 
Klein’s installation uses subject matter common to us all, yet provided through a medium which is as versatile as its goods are intangible. Interestingly, the problems surrounding artworks relying on viewer participation over the internet are articulated in the format of the installation, since there is a negative correlation between the viewers’ comprehension of the function or implications of the piece and his or her proximity to the actual physical object. In other words, by way of the Internet I can, from across the world, not only understand the artist’s intent and process, but also manipulate his artwork. On the other hand, if I was merely (and I use this term fully understanding the irony) to visit the piece on-site, I would be at a loss to recognize the object’s purpose. 
There is, however, room for redemption; while the Internet-participator has the upper-hand in the sense of being more ‘informed’, the on-site viewer has the opportunity to interact with the work physically, becoming part of the virtual sunset in a corporeal way. Which experience can be said to be more ‘true’? How do we define shared experiences and how do we categorize levels of human interactivity? Can we? Whichever way you see it, Klein’s installation poses us these questions in a stirring and enticing manner. For more on Tobias Klein’s work, please visit the Studio website here.
-Stephanie Read

Tobias Klein’s Virtual Sunset

The expansion of interconnectivity between people worldwide and its impact on artists and artists’ interaction with their audiences is a complex issue explored in the 2012 installation Virtual Sunset by Tobias Klein. The installation is composed of a large grid from which are suspended hundreds of tentacles of PVC tubing emitting a series of vivid colours from cadmium orange to lemon yellow to Cerulean blue. Viewers are encouraged to walk through the installation, a corporeal element juxtaposed with the otherwise visual connotations of the words ‘virtual’ and ‘sunset’; for the piece is a time-based compilation of photographs of sunsets taken by online participants and uploaded to the project’s website, which you can visit here.

The sunset is a natural occurrence common to the experience of every living being and yet can provoke powerful feelings in the beholder. Klein demonstrates the complexity of our growing dual-identity as natural beings and avatars, straddling the line between the realms of the material and immaterial. On the Tobias Klein Studio website, we are told that by uploading images of sunsets from across the world, we produce a “simulacra of a shared singular sunset”, a result which reflects the desire within online communities to produce a similarly shared (read common) yet personalized and ultimately paradoxical ‘universal’ experience.

Klein’s installation uses subject matter common to us all, yet provided through a medium which is as versatile as its goods are intangible. Interestingly, the problems surrounding artworks relying on viewer participation over the internet are articulated in the format of the installation, since there is a negative correlation between the viewers’ comprehension of the function or implications of the piece and his or her proximity to the actual physical object. In other words, by way of the Internet I can, from across the world, not only understand the artist’s intent and process, but also manipulate his artwork. On the other hand, if I was merely (and I use this term fully understanding the irony) to visit the piece on-site, I would be at a loss to recognize the object’s purpose.

There is, however, room for redemption; while the Internet-participator has the upper-hand in the sense of being more ‘informed’, the on-site viewer has the opportunity to interact with the work physically, becoming part of the virtual sunset in a corporeal way. Which experience can be said to be more ‘true’? How do we define shared experiences and how do we categorize levels of human interactivity? Can we? Whichever way you see it, Klein’s installation poses us these questions in a stirring and enticing manner. For more on Tobias Klein’s work, please visit the Studio website here.

-Stephanie Read

2 Photos
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Suzanne Anker 
The work of Suzanne Anker finds itself at a crossroads between the realms of biology and art, psychology and semiotics. Her projects offer us a glimpse of the deep and intensive research required in the field of science, encouraging the viewer to consider how the non-scientific world takes for granted not only the previously unimagined progresses in science but, more simply, the wonderful complexity of our own bodies. Anker’s fastidious experimentation in a wide array of mediums and subjects is an effort to push at the boundaries of what Anker terms ‘BioArt’ and is an incitement of fearlessness and tenacity in the creation of scientific artworks.
Anker’s investigation of this crossroads began with a study of animal and human chromosomes and how they resembled written language. In her 1993-1995 series Zoosemiotics, Anker constructs a ‘text’ from the chromosomes of such animals and bats, alligators and fish, presented as small silver objects affixed to the wall, and though they do resemble rune-like forms it is interesting how they can also take on different meanings presented in a highly de-contextualized setting. For example, the objects in Fish(bottom left image) look like shiny pants in a wide variety of positions. In the Rorschach series, Anker transforms inkblot images into 3-dimensional reliefs reminiscent of fossil molds. The almost always highly symbolic pelvic appearance of the Rorschach inkblots is intensified by the sculptures’ concave forms. Genetic Seed Bank demonstrates the recuperative and adaptive power of nature and the potential for organic materials as a medium for artistic expression.
All of Anker’s works possess an overarching theme of the issues of scientific ethicality. Anker challenges the hygienically sealed nature of the lab, which often alienates individuals or subjects from their species-being, as Karl Marx might say. Bringing these subjects into the light of the public space, not only as scientific experiments but also as deeply-invested and aesthetically stirring art works, allows Anker to bridge the often too-broad gaps between the public, the gallery and the lab.
To see more of Suzanne Anker’s work, visit her website
-Stephanie Read
Suzanne Anker 
The work of Suzanne Anker finds itself at a crossroads between the realms of biology and art, psychology and semiotics. Her projects offer us a glimpse of the deep and intensive research required in the field of science, encouraging the viewer to consider how the non-scientific world takes for granted not only the previously unimagined progresses in science but, more simply, the wonderful complexity of our own bodies. Anker’s fastidious experimentation in a wide array of mediums and subjects is an effort to push at the boundaries of what Anker terms ‘BioArt’ and is an incitement of fearlessness and tenacity in the creation of scientific artworks.
Anker’s investigation of this crossroads began with a study of animal and human chromosomes and how they resembled written language. In her 1993-1995 series Zoosemiotics, Anker constructs a ‘text’ from the chromosomes of such animals and bats, alligators and fish, presented as small silver objects affixed to the wall, and though they do resemble rune-like forms it is interesting how they can also take on different meanings presented in a highly de-contextualized setting. For example, the objects in Fish(bottom left image) look like shiny pants in a wide variety of positions. In the Rorschach series, Anker transforms inkblot images into 3-dimensional reliefs reminiscent of fossil molds. The almost always highly symbolic pelvic appearance of the Rorschach inkblots is intensified by the sculptures’ concave forms. Genetic Seed Bank demonstrates the recuperative and adaptive power of nature and the potential for organic materials as a medium for artistic expression.
All of Anker’s works possess an overarching theme of the issues of scientific ethicality. Anker challenges the hygienically sealed nature of the lab, which often alienates individuals or subjects from their species-being, as Karl Marx might say. Bringing these subjects into the light of the public space, not only as scientific experiments but also as deeply-invested and aesthetically stirring art works, allows Anker to bridge the often too-broad gaps between the public, the gallery and the lab.
To see more of Suzanne Anker’s work, visit her website
-Stephanie Read
Suzanne Anker 
The work of Suzanne Anker finds itself at a crossroads between the realms of biology and art, psychology and semiotics. Her projects offer us a glimpse of the deep and intensive research required in the field of science, encouraging the viewer to consider how the non-scientific world takes for granted not only the previously unimagined progresses in science but, more simply, the wonderful complexity of our own bodies. Anker’s fastidious experimentation in a wide array of mediums and subjects is an effort to push at the boundaries of what Anker terms ‘BioArt’ and is an incitement of fearlessness and tenacity in the creation of scientific artworks.
Anker’s investigation of this crossroads began with a study of animal and human chromosomes and how they resembled written language. In her 1993-1995 series Zoosemiotics, Anker constructs a ‘text’ from the chromosomes of such animals and bats, alligators and fish, presented as small silver objects affixed to the wall, and though they do resemble rune-like forms it is interesting how they can also take on different meanings presented in a highly de-contextualized setting. For example, the objects in Fish(bottom left image) look like shiny pants in a wide variety of positions. In the Rorschach series, Anker transforms inkblot images into 3-dimensional reliefs reminiscent of fossil molds. The almost always highly symbolic pelvic appearance of the Rorschach inkblots is intensified by the sculptures’ concave forms. Genetic Seed Bank demonstrates the recuperative and adaptive power of nature and the potential for organic materials as a medium for artistic expression.
All of Anker’s works possess an overarching theme of the issues of scientific ethicality. Anker challenges the hygienically sealed nature of the lab, which often alienates individuals or subjects from their species-being, as Karl Marx might say. Bringing these subjects into the light of the public space, not only as scientific experiments but also as deeply-invested and aesthetically stirring art works, allows Anker to bridge the often too-broad gaps between the public, the gallery and the lab.
To see more of Suzanne Anker’s work, visit her website
-Stephanie Read
Suzanne Anker 
The work of Suzanne Anker finds itself at a crossroads between the realms of biology and art, psychology and semiotics. Her projects offer us a glimpse of the deep and intensive research required in the field of science, encouraging the viewer to consider how the non-scientific world takes for granted not only the previously unimagined progresses in science but, more simply, the wonderful complexity of our own bodies. Anker’s fastidious experimentation in a wide array of mediums and subjects is an effort to push at the boundaries of what Anker terms ‘BioArt’ and is an incitement of fearlessness and tenacity in the creation of scientific artworks.
Anker’s investigation of this crossroads began with a study of animal and human chromosomes and how they resembled written language. In her 1993-1995 series Zoosemiotics, Anker constructs a ‘text’ from the chromosomes of such animals and bats, alligators and fish, presented as small silver objects affixed to the wall, and though they do resemble rune-like forms it is interesting how they can also take on different meanings presented in a highly de-contextualized setting. For example, the objects in Fish(bottom left image) look like shiny pants in a wide variety of positions. In the Rorschach series, Anker transforms inkblot images into 3-dimensional reliefs reminiscent of fossil molds. The almost always highly symbolic pelvic appearance of the Rorschach inkblots is intensified by the sculptures’ concave forms. Genetic Seed Bank demonstrates the recuperative and adaptive power of nature and the potential for organic materials as a medium for artistic expression.
All of Anker’s works possess an overarching theme of the issues of scientific ethicality. Anker challenges the hygienically sealed nature of the lab, which often alienates individuals or subjects from their species-being, as Karl Marx might say. Bringing these subjects into the light of the public space, not only as scientific experiments but also as deeply-invested and aesthetically stirring art works, allows Anker to bridge the often too-broad gaps between the public, the gallery and the lab.
To see more of Suzanne Anker’s work, visit her website
-Stephanie Read
Suzanne Anker 
The work of Suzanne Anker finds itself at a crossroads between the realms of biology and art, psychology and semiotics. Her projects offer us a glimpse of the deep and intensive research required in the field of science, encouraging the viewer to consider how the non-scientific world takes for granted not only the previously unimagined progresses in science but, more simply, the wonderful complexity of our own bodies. Anker’s fastidious experimentation in a wide array of mediums and subjects is an effort to push at the boundaries of what Anker terms ‘BioArt’ and is an incitement of fearlessness and tenacity in the creation of scientific artworks.
Anker’s investigation of this crossroads began with a study of animal and human chromosomes and how they resembled written language. In her 1993-1995 series Zoosemiotics, Anker constructs a ‘text’ from the chromosomes of such animals and bats, alligators and fish, presented as small silver objects affixed to the wall, and though they do resemble rune-like forms it is interesting how they can also take on different meanings presented in a highly de-contextualized setting. For example, the objects in Fish(bottom left image) look like shiny pants in a wide variety of positions. In the Rorschach series, Anker transforms inkblot images into 3-dimensional reliefs reminiscent of fossil molds. The almost always highly symbolic pelvic appearance of the Rorschach inkblots is intensified by the sculptures’ concave forms. Genetic Seed Bank demonstrates the recuperative and adaptive power of nature and the potential for organic materials as a medium for artistic expression.
All of Anker’s works possess an overarching theme of the issues of scientific ethicality. Anker challenges the hygienically sealed nature of the lab, which often alienates individuals or subjects from their species-being, as Karl Marx might say. Bringing these subjects into the light of the public space, not only as scientific experiments but also as deeply-invested and aesthetically stirring art works, allows Anker to bridge the often too-broad gaps between the public, the gallery and the lab.
To see more of Suzanne Anker’s work, visit her website
-Stephanie Read

Suzanne Anker 

The work of Suzanne Anker finds itself at a crossroads between the realms of biology and art, psychology and semiotics. Her projects offer us a glimpse of the deep and intensive research required in the field of science, encouraging the viewer to consider how the non-scientific world takes for granted not only the previously unimagined progresses in science but, more simply, the wonderful complexity of our own bodies. Anker’s fastidious experimentation in a wide array of mediums and subjects is an effort to push at the boundaries of what Anker terms ‘BioArt’ and is an incitement of fearlessness and tenacity in the creation of scientific artworks.

Anker’s investigation of this crossroads began with a study of animal and human chromosomes and how they resembled written language. In her 1993-1995 series Zoosemiotics, Anker constructs a ‘text’ from the chromosomes of such animals and bats, alligators and fish, presented as small silver objects affixed to the wall, and though they do resemble rune-like forms it is interesting how they can also take on different meanings presented in a highly de-contextualized setting. For example, the objects in Fish(bottom left image) look like shiny pants in a wide variety of positions. In the Rorschach series, Anker transforms inkblot images into 3-dimensional reliefs reminiscent of fossil molds. The almost always highly symbolic pelvic appearance of the Rorschach inkblots is intensified by the sculptures’ concave forms. Genetic Seed Bank demonstrates the recuperative and adaptive power of nature and the potential for organic materials as a medium for artistic expression.

All of Anker’s works possess an overarching theme of the issues of scientific ethicality. Anker challenges the hygienically sealed nature of the lab, which often alienates individuals or subjects from their species-being, as Karl Marx might say. Bringing these subjects into the light of the public space, not only as scientific experiments but also as deeply-invested and aesthetically stirring art works, allows Anker to bridge the often too-broad gaps between the public, the gallery and the lab.

To see more of Suzanne Anker’s work, visit her website

-Stephanie Read

5 Photos
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Raquel Paiewonsky
Born in the Dominican Republic, Raquel Paiewonsky is a mixed media artist interested in the ways that our “primal” selves respond to and develop within constantly evolving urban environments. The abject is a large theme in Paiewonsky’s installations, which often display mutilated or ‘mutated’ familiar objects such as dolls, fake nails and articles of clothing. Reified body parts are symbolic of  failure to adhere to social standards of ‘normalcy’ as well as the difficulties of identity building, due in part to residual attitudes of cultural inferiority in post-colonial regions as well as the oppressive nature of stereotypes.
As a result of this frustration, violence is also a prevalent theme. Severed limbs, such as the many beeswax feet hanging from pantyhose in Levitando a Solo un Pie (2003), dangle from the ceiling. Gravity plays an integral part in many of Paiwonsky’s works; it acts as punisher, rendering its objects immobile, unable to move forward (or backward for that matter). 
Another installation, Muro (2009), features a wall covered in hundreds of breast-like sacks of different types of material. The sacks stretch toward the ground, reminding us of the effect of gravity on the body as we age. There is a component of horror to all of Paiewonsky’s works; removed from the context of the body, the sheer volume of ‘breasts’ heaped atop each other produces the same mix of attraction and revulsion that one gets when looking at, say, a photograph of the thousands of skulls stacked atop each other in the Paris catacombs. 
Paiewonsky infuses ambivalence into all of her projects; the viewer is constantly caught between fascination and repulsion, wanting to identify the ‘parts’ that make up the assembled bodies yet perhaps unwilling to get too close. The mutilated bodies are rendered vulnerable, and they use this very mutilation to hide the secrets of their experiences from the prying gaze of the spectator. To visit the artist’s website, click here
-Stephanie Read
Raquel Paiewonsky
Born in the Dominican Republic, Raquel Paiewonsky is a mixed media artist interested in the ways that our “primal” selves respond to and develop within constantly evolving urban environments. The abject is a large theme in Paiewonsky’s installations, which often display mutilated or ‘mutated’ familiar objects such as dolls, fake nails and articles of clothing. Reified body parts are symbolic of  failure to adhere to social standards of ‘normalcy’ as well as the difficulties of identity building, due in part to residual attitudes of cultural inferiority in post-colonial regions as well as the oppressive nature of stereotypes.
As a result of this frustration, violence is also a prevalent theme. Severed limbs, such as the many beeswax feet hanging from pantyhose in Levitando a Solo un Pie (2003), dangle from the ceiling. Gravity plays an integral part in many of Paiwonsky’s works; it acts as punisher, rendering its objects immobile, unable to move forward (or backward for that matter). 
Another installation, Muro (2009), features a wall covered in hundreds of breast-like sacks of different types of material. The sacks stretch toward the ground, reminding us of the effect of gravity on the body as we age. There is a component of horror to all of Paiewonsky’s works; removed from the context of the body, the sheer volume of ‘breasts’ heaped atop each other produces the same mix of attraction and revulsion that one gets when looking at, say, a photograph of the thousands of skulls stacked atop each other in the Paris catacombs. 
Paiewonsky infuses ambivalence into all of her projects; the viewer is constantly caught between fascination and repulsion, wanting to identify the ‘parts’ that make up the assembled bodies yet perhaps unwilling to get too close. The mutilated bodies are rendered vulnerable, and they use this very mutilation to hide the secrets of their experiences from the prying gaze of the spectator. To visit the artist’s website, click here
-Stephanie Read
Raquel Paiewonsky
Born in the Dominican Republic, Raquel Paiewonsky is a mixed media artist interested in the ways that our “primal” selves respond to and develop within constantly evolving urban environments. The abject is a large theme in Paiewonsky’s installations, which often display mutilated or ‘mutated’ familiar objects such as dolls, fake nails and articles of clothing. Reified body parts are symbolic of  failure to adhere to social standards of ‘normalcy’ as well as the difficulties of identity building, due in part to residual attitudes of cultural inferiority in post-colonial regions as well as the oppressive nature of stereotypes.
As a result of this frustration, violence is also a prevalent theme. Severed limbs, such as the many beeswax feet hanging from pantyhose in Levitando a Solo un Pie (2003), dangle from the ceiling. Gravity plays an integral part in many of Paiwonsky’s works; it acts as punisher, rendering its objects immobile, unable to move forward (or backward for that matter). 
Another installation, Muro (2009), features a wall covered in hundreds of breast-like sacks of different types of material. The sacks stretch toward the ground, reminding us of the effect of gravity on the body as we age. There is a component of horror to all of Paiewonsky’s works; removed from the context of the body, the sheer volume of ‘breasts’ heaped atop each other produces the same mix of attraction and revulsion that one gets when looking at, say, a photograph of the thousands of skulls stacked atop each other in the Paris catacombs. 
Paiewonsky infuses ambivalence into all of her projects; the viewer is constantly caught between fascination and repulsion, wanting to identify the ‘parts’ that make up the assembled bodies yet perhaps unwilling to get too close. The mutilated bodies are rendered vulnerable, and they use this very mutilation to hide the secrets of their experiences from the prying gaze of the spectator. To visit the artist’s website, click here
-Stephanie Read
Raquel Paiewonsky
Born in the Dominican Republic, Raquel Paiewonsky is a mixed media artist interested in the ways that our “primal” selves respond to and develop within constantly evolving urban environments. The abject is a large theme in Paiewonsky’s installations, which often display mutilated or ‘mutated’ familiar objects such as dolls, fake nails and articles of clothing. Reified body parts are symbolic of  failure to adhere to social standards of ‘normalcy’ as well as the difficulties of identity building, due in part to residual attitudes of cultural inferiority in post-colonial regions as well as the oppressive nature of stereotypes.
As a result of this frustration, violence is also a prevalent theme. Severed limbs, such as the many beeswax feet hanging from pantyhose in Levitando a Solo un Pie (2003), dangle from the ceiling. Gravity plays an integral part in many of Paiwonsky’s works; it acts as punisher, rendering its objects immobile, unable to move forward (or backward for that matter). 
Another installation, Muro (2009), features a wall covered in hundreds of breast-like sacks of different types of material. The sacks stretch toward the ground, reminding us of the effect of gravity on the body as we age. There is a component of horror to all of Paiewonsky’s works; removed from the context of the body, the sheer volume of ‘breasts’ heaped atop each other produces the same mix of attraction and revulsion that one gets when looking at, say, a photograph of the thousands of skulls stacked atop each other in the Paris catacombs. 
Paiewonsky infuses ambivalence into all of her projects; the viewer is constantly caught between fascination and repulsion, wanting to identify the ‘parts’ that make up the assembled bodies yet perhaps unwilling to get too close. The mutilated bodies are rendered vulnerable, and they use this very mutilation to hide the secrets of their experiences from the prying gaze of the spectator. To visit the artist’s website, click here
-Stephanie Read
Raquel Paiewonsky
Born in the Dominican Republic, Raquel Paiewonsky is a mixed media artist interested in the ways that our “primal” selves respond to and develop within constantly evolving urban environments. The abject is a large theme in Paiewonsky’s installations, which often display mutilated or ‘mutated’ familiar objects such as dolls, fake nails and articles of clothing. Reified body parts are symbolic of  failure to adhere to social standards of ‘normalcy’ as well as the difficulties of identity building, due in part to residual attitudes of cultural inferiority in post-colonial regions as well as the oppressive nature of stereotypes.
As a result of this frustration, violence is also a prevalent theme. Severed limbs, such as the many beeswax feet hanging from pantyhose in Levitando a Solo un Pie (2003), dangle from the ceiling. Gravity plays an integral part in many of Paiwonsky’s works; it acts as punisher, rendering its objects immobile, unable to move forward (or backward for that matter). 
Another installation, Muro (2009), features a wall covered in hundreds of breast-like sacks of different types of material. The sacks stretch toward the ground, reminding us of the effect of gravity on the body as we age. There is a component of horror to all of Paiewonsky’s works; removed from the context of the body, the sheer volume of ‘breasts’ heaped atop each other produces the same mix of attraction and revulsion that one gets when looking at, say, a photograph of the thousands of skulls stacked atop each other in the Paris catacombs. 
Paiewonsky infuses ambivalence into all of her projects; the viewer is constantly caught between fascination and repulsion, wanting to identify the ‘parts’ that make up the assembled bodies yet perhaps unwilling to get too close. The mutilated bodies are rendered vulnerable, and they use this very mutilation to hide the secrets of their experiences from the prying gaze of the spectator. To visit the artist’s website, click here
-Stephanie Read

Raquel Paiewonsky

Born in the Dominican Republic, Raquel Paiewonsky is a mixed media artist interested in the ways that our “primal” selves respond to and develop within constantly evolving urban environments. The abject is a large theme in Paiewonsky’s installations, which often display mutilated or ‘mutated’ familiar objects such as dolls, fake nails and articles of clothing. Reified body parts are symbolic of  failure to adhere to social standards of ‘normalcy’ as well as the difficulties of identity building, due in part to residual attitudes of cultural inferiority in post-colonial regions as well as the oppressive nature of stereotypes.

As a result of this frustration, violence is also a prevalent theme. Severed limbs, such as the many beeswax feet hanging from pantyhose in Levitando a Solo un Pie (2003), dangle from the ceiling. Gravity plays an integral part in many of Paiwonsky’s works; it acts as punisher, rendering its objects immobile, unable to move forward (or backward for that matter).

Another installation, Muro (2009), features a wall covered in hundreds of breast-like sacks of different types of material. The sacks stretch toward the ground, reminding us of the effect of gravity on the body as we age. There is a component of horror to all of Paiewonsky’s works; removed from the context of the body, the sheer volume of ‘breasts’ heaped atop each other produces the same mix of attraction and revulsion that one gets when looking at, say, a photograph of the thousands of skulls stacked atop each other in the Paris catacombs.

Paiewonsky infuses ambivalence into all of her projects; the viewer is constantly caught between fascination and repulsion, wanting to identify the ‘parts’ that make up the assembled bodies yet perhaps unwilling to get too close. The mutilated bodies are rendered vulnerable, and they use this very mutilation to hide the secrets of their experiences from the prying gaze of the spectator. To visit the artist’s website, click here

-Stephanie Read

5 Photos
/ art body parts nylon raquel paiewonsky stephanie read dolls abject
Sandra J. Raredon and Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish
Containing over 40 stunning X-Rays from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fishes, Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish offers a penetrating look at the anatomies of a vast array of aquatic specimens. Commissioned to accompany the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit titled “X-Ray: Fish Inside Out”, the sleek catalogue features impeccably detailed images by Sandra J. Raredon, who for 25 years has worked at the Institution as a museum specialist. Raredon’s radiographs permit us to view the delicate “architecture” of these saltwater vertebrates while keeping the specimen intact, information which has proven invaluable for the ichthyologist and down-right mesmerizing for everybody else.
A whip-like tail, a puffed belly or a spindly beak emerges from the dense thicket of tiny bones and cartilage around the jaw, gut and eyes. The ghostly quality of the X-Ray is amplified by the enigma we often associate with the animals of the deep. The fish seem to float in emptiness, bones soaked with pilfered light, glowing through the murky deep. Their fragility is contrasted by the evidence of sharp teeth and cruel barbs. By treating her scientific recordings in an imaginative and thoughtful way, Raredon’s specimens retain their enigmatic auras despite having been turned “inside out”.
To see more of these fantastic images, click here
-Stephanie Read
Sandra J. Raredon and Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish
Containing over 40 stunning X-Rays from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fishes, Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish offers a penetrating look at the anatomies of a vast array of aquatic specimens. Commissioned to accompany the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit titled “X-Ray: Fish Inside Out”, the sleek catalogue features impeccably detailed images by Sandra J. Raredon, who for 25 years has worked at the Institution as a museum specialist. Raredon’s radiographs permit us to view the delicate “architecture” of these saltwater vertebrates while keeping the specimen intact, information which has proven invaluable for the ichthyologist and down-right mesmerizing for everybody else.
A whip-like tail, a puffed belly or a spindly beak emerges from the dense thicket of tiny bones and cartilage around the jaw, gut and eyes. The ghostly quality of the X-Ray is amplified by the enigma we often associate with the animals of the deep. The fish seem to float in emptiness, bones soaked with pilfered light, glowing through the murky deep. Their fragility is contrasted by the evidence of sharp teeth and cruel barbs. By treating her scientific recordings in an imaginative and thoughtful way, Raredon’s specimens retain their enigmatic auras despite having been turned “inside out”.
To see more of these fantastic images, click here
-Stephanie Read
Sandra J. Raredon and Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish
Containing over 40 stunning X-Rays from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fishes, Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish offers a penetrating look at the anatomies of a vast array of aquatic specimens. Commissioned to accompany the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit titled “X-Ray: Fish Inside Out”, the sleek catalogue features impeccably detailed images by Sandra J. Raredon, who for 25 years has worked at the Institution as a museum specialist. Raredon’s radiographs permit us to view the delicate “architecture” of these saltwater vertebrates while keeping the specimen intact, information which has proven invaluable for the ichthyologist and down-right mesmerizing for everybody else.
A whip-like tail, a puffed belly or a spindly beak emerges from the dense thicket of tiny bones and cartilage around the jaw, gut and eyes. The ghostly quality of the X-Ray is amplified by the enigma we often associate with the animals of the deep. The fish seem to float in emptiness, bones soaked with pilfered light, glowing through the murky deep. Their fragility is contrasted by the evidence of sharp teeth and cruel barbs. By treating her scientific recordings in an imaginative and thoughtful way, Raredon’s specimens retain their enigmatic auras despite having been turned “inside out”.
To see more of these fantastic images, click here
-Stephanie Read
Sandra J. Raredon and Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish
Containing over 40 stunning X-Rays from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fishes, Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish offers a penetrating look at the anatomies of a vast array of aquatic specimens. Commissioned to accompany the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit titled “X-Ray: Fish Inside Out”, the sleek catalogue features impeccably detailed images by Sandra J. Raredon, who for 25 years has worked at the Institution as a museum specialist. Raredon’s radiographs permit us to view the delicate “architecture” of these saltwater vertebrates while keeping the specimen intact, information which has proven invaluable for the ichthyologist and down-right mesmerizing for everybody else.
A whip-like tail, a puffed belly or a spindly beak emerges from the dense thicket of tiny bones and cartilage around the jaw, gut and eyes. The ghostly quality of the X-Ray is amplified by the enigma we often associate with the animals of the deep. The fish seem to float in emptiness, bones soaked with pilfered light, glowing through the murky deep. Their fragility is contrasted by the evidence of sharp teeth and cruel barbs. By treating her scientific recordings in an imaginative and thoughtful way, Raredon’s specimens retain their enigmatic auras despite having been turned “inside out”.
To see more of these fantastic images, click here
-Stephanie Read
Sandra J. Raredon and Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish
Containing over 40 stunning X-Rays from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fishes, Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish offers a penetrating look at the anatomies of a vast array of aquatic specimens. Commissioned to accompany the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit titled “X-Ray: Fish Inside Out”, the sleek catalogue features impeccably detailed images by Sandra J. Raredon, who for 25 years has worked at the Institution as a museum specialist. Raredon’s radiographs permit us to view the delicate “architecture” of these saltwater vertebrates while keeping the specimen intact, information which has proven invaluable for the ichthyologist and down-right mesmerizing for everybody else.
A whip-like tail, a puffed belly or a spindly beak emerges from the dense thicket of tiny bones and cartilage around the jaw, gut and eyes. The ghostly quality of the X-Ray is amplified by the enigma we often associate with the animals of the deep. The fish seem to float in emptiness, bones soaked with pilfered light, glowing through the murky deep. Their fragility is contrasted by the evidence of sharp teeth and cruel barbs. By treating her scientific recordings in an imaginative and thoughtful way, Raredon’s specimens retain their enigmatic auras despite having been turned “inside out”.
To see more of these fantastic images, click here
-Stephanie Read

Sandra J. Raredon and Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish

Containing over 40 stunning X-Rays from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fishes, Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish offers a penetrating look at the anatomies of a vast array of aquatic specimens. Commissioned to accompany the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit titled “X-Ray: Fish Inside Out”, the sleek catalogue features impeccably detailed images by Sandra J. Raredon, who for 25 years has worked at the Institution as a museum specialist. Raredon’s radiographs permit us to view the delicate “architecture” of these saltwater vertebrates while keeping the specimen intact, information which has proven invaluable for the ichthyologist and down-right mesmerizing for everybody else.

A whip-like tail, a puffed belly or a spindly beak emerges from the dense thicket of tiny bones and cartilage around the jaw, gut and eyes. The ghostly quality of the X-Ray is amplified by the enigma we often associate with the animals of the deep. The fish seem to float in emptiness, bones soaked with pilfered light, glowing through the murky deep. Their fragility is contrasted by the evidence of sharp teeth and cruel barbs. By treating her scientific recordings in an imaginative and thoughtful way, Raredon’s specimens retain their enigmatic auras despite having been turned “inside out”.

To see more of these fantastic images, click here

-Stephanie Read

5 Photos
/ Sandra Raredon Art Science Fish X-Ray Holotype stephanie read artscience Smithsonian
Jean Shin
Installation artist Jean Shin combines textiles, topography and discarded household items to create land- and city-scapes to demonstrate modern society’s understanding of failure and accomplishment and the constant desire to ‘measure up’. 
In Lost Vista hundreds of keys, embedded in profile halfway into bronze tiles, evoke mountainous desert regions peppered with numerous hotels and motels in various states of abandon or prosperity. In a practical sense, keys represent ownership and security. When keys change hands regularly, money does too. What does it mean when keys lose their initial purpose? The topography of the keys is reminiscent of past over-optimistic American exploits of expansion: Route 66 and the Old West.
Alterations features scraps from cut-off pants, positioned to resemble a sprawling city. According to the artist’s website, these wax-stiffened cuffs represent the illusory standards of physical ‘normalcy’ expounded in the fashion and clothing industry, and bring attention to those often disregarded but populous communities involved with the manufacture and maintenance of clothing.
Another work, Everyday Monuments, is a vast assemblage of trophies, altered to represent more mundane activities; instead of jumping hurdles or shooting pucks, the trophy figurines brandish mops, messenger bags or workman’s tools. The trophies rise up in the air like sky-scrapers, creating a varied skyline featuring less exciting but nonetheless important achievements of the everyday citizen.
Shin’s topographies shine light on our tendency to place too high expectations on ourselves and the ease in which we distort the meaning of ‘worthiness’. Using large quantities of discarded objects, Shin demonstrates how this distortion exists at a societal level, displaying how the public ‘builds up’ some to the detriment of others. To see more of Jean Shin’s work, click here
-Stephanie Read
Jean Shin
Installation artist Jean Shin combines textiles, topography and discarded household items to create land- and city-scapes to demonstrate modern society’s understanding of failure and accomplishment and the constant desire to ‘measure up’. 
In Lost Vista hundreds of keys, embedded in profile halfway into bronze tiles, evoke mountainous desert regions peppered with numerous hotels and motels in various states of abandon or prosperity. In a practical sense, keys represent ownership and security. When keys change hands regularly, money does too. What does it mean when keys lose their initial purpose? The topography of the keys is reminiscent of past over-optimistic American exploits of expansion: Route 66 and the Old West.
Alterations features scraps from cut-off pants, positioned to resemble a sprawling city. According to the artist’s website, these wax-stiffened cuffs represent the illusory standards of physical ‘normalcy’ expounded in the fashion and clothing industry, and bring attention to those often disregarded but populous communities involved with the manufacture and maintenance of clothing.
Another work, Everyday Monuments, is a vast assemblage of trophies, altered to represent more mundane activities; instead of jumping hurdles or shooting pucks, the trophy figurines brandish mops, messenger bags or workman’s tools. The trophies rise up in the air like sky-scrapers, creating a varied skyline featuring less exciting but nonetheless important achievements of the everyday citizen.
Shin’s topographies shine light on our tendency to place too high expectations on ourselves and the ease in which we distort the meaning of ‘worthiness’. Using large quantities of discarded objects, Shin demonstrates how this distortion exists at a societal level, displaying how the public ‘builds up’ some to the detriment of others. To see more of Jean Shin’s work, click here
-Stephanie Read
Jean Shin
Installation artist Jean Shin combines textiles, topography and discarded household items to create land- and city-scapes to demonstrate modern society’s understanding of failure and accomplishment and the constant desire to ‘measure up’. 
In Lost Vista hundreds of keys, embedded in profile halfway into bronze tiles, evoke mountainous desert regions peppered with numerous hotels and motels in various states of abandon or prosperity. In a practical sense, keys represent ownership and security. When keys change hands regularly, money does too. What does it mean when keys lose their initial purpose? The topography of the keys is reminiscent of past over-optimistic American exploits of expansion: Route 66 and the Old West.
Alterations features scraps from cut-off pants, positioned to resemble a sprawling city. According to the artist’s website, these wax-stiffened cuffs represent the illusory standards of physical ‘normalcy’ expounded in the fashion and clothing industry, and bring attention to those often disregarded but populous communities involved with the manufacture and maintenance of clothing.
Another work, Everyday Monuments, is a vast assemblage of trophies, altered to represent more mundane activities; instead of jumping hurdles or shooting pucks, the trophy figurines brandish mops, messenger bags or workman’s tools. The trophies rise up in the air like sky-scrapers, creating a varied skyline featuring less exciting but nonetheless important achievements of the everyday citizen.
Shin’s topographies shine light on our tendency to place too high expectations on ourselves and the ease in which we distort the meaning of ‘worthiness’. Using large quantities of discarded objects, Shin demonstrates how this distortion exists at a societal level, displaying how the public ‘builds up’ some to the detriment of others. To see more of Jean Shin’s work, click here
-Stephanie Read
Jean Shin
Installation artist Jean Shin combines textiles, topography and discarded household items to create land- and city-scapes to demonstrate modern society’s understanding of failure and accomplishment and the constant desire to ‘measure up’. 
In Lost Vista hundreds of keys, embedded in profile halfway into bronze tiles, evoke mountainous desert regions peppered with numerous hotels and motels in various states of abandon or prosperity. In a practical sense, keys represent ownership and security. When keys change hands regularly, money does too. What does it mean when keys lose their initial purpose? The topography of the keys is reminiscent of past over-optimistic American exploits of expansion: Route 66 and the Old West.
Alterations features scraps from cut-off pants, positioned to resemble a sprawling city. According to the artist’s website, these wax-stiffened cuffs represent the illusory standards of physical ‘normalcy’ expounded in the fashion and clothing industry, and bring attention to those often disregarded but populous communities involved with the manufacture and maintenance of clothing.
Another work, Everyday Monuments, is a vast assemblage of trophies, altered to represent more mundane activities; instead of jumping hurdles or shooting pucks, the trophy figurines brandish mops, messenger bags or workman’s tools. The trophies rise up in the air like sky-scrapers, creating a varied skyline featuring less exciting but nonetheless important achievements of the everyday citizen.
Shin’s topographies shine light on our tendency to place too high expectations on ourselves and the ease in which we distort the meaning of ‘worthiness’. Using large quantities of discarded objects, Shin demonstrates how this distortion exists at a societal level, displaying how the public ‘builds up’ some to the detriment of others. To see more of Jean Shin’s work, click here
-Stephanie Read

Jean Shin

Installation artist Jean Shin combines textiles, topography and discarded household items to create land- and city-scapes to demonstrate modern society’s understanding of failure and accomplishment and the constant desire to ‘measure up’. 

In Lost Vista hundreds of keys, embedded in profile halfway into bronze tiles, evoke mountainous desert regions peppered with numerous hotels and motels in various states of abandon or prosperity. In a practical sense, keys represent ownership and security. When keys change hands regularly, money does too. What does it mean when keys lose their initial purpose? The topography of the keys is reminiscent of past over-optimistic American exploits of expansion: Route 66 and the Old West.

Alterations features scraps from cut-off pants, positioned to resemble a sprawling city. According to the artist’s website, these wax-stiffened cuffs represent the illusory standards of physical ‘normalcy’ expounded in the fashion and clothing industry, and bring attention to those often disregarded but populous communities involved with the manufacture and maintenance of clothing.

Another work, Everyday Monuments, is a vast assemblage of trophies, altered to represent more mundane activities; instead of jumping hurdles or shooting pucks, the trophy figurines brandish mops, messenger bags or workman’s tools. The trophies rise up in the air like sky-scrapers, creating a varied skyline featuring less exciting but nonetheless important achievements of the everyday citizen.

Shin’s topographies shine light on our tendency to place too high expectations on ourselves and the ease in which we distort the meaning of ‘worthiness’. Using large quantities of discarded objects, Shin demonstrates how this distortion exists at a societal level, displaying how the public ‘builds up’ some to the detriment of others. To see more of Jean Shin’s work, click here

-Stephanie Read

4 Photos
/ art stephanie read jean shin installation keys cityscape
Phil Ross
Dense foam, yeasty bricks, tubular protrusions and chunky domes characterize the sculptures of Phil Ross, an innovative artist and researcher with a passion for mycology (the study of fungi). In the series Pure Culture (1997-present), Ross harnesses the various properties of mushrooms to create an array of shapes: from small, delicate toadstools, to something resembling a bakery explosion. The fungi are coaxed and teased using moulds to produce appealing forms, yet the end result relies on the particularity of each specimen.
Some pieces are the direct result of Ross’s research; though fungi are often associated with pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Ross seeks to unlock their potential as building materials. a large six foot wide by six foot high arch, titled Mycotectural Alpha, is an imposing structure made from bricks of rock-hard mycelium, root-like fibers of the mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum. Impacted into a mass as strong as concrete, the mycelium is harvested and cut into blocks. The spongy bricks have been skillfully fashioned into an arch; fibers cling to the sides of the structure, revealing its organic origin. Not only an effective sculptural material, innovation in the harvest of mycelium shows its great potential as a biodegradable, inexpensive and reliable alternative to plastic, even Styrofoam. 
Another fungal sculpture is patiently teased into a semblance of Harold Edgerton’s iconic Milk Splash photograph (middle, right). The twisting, fragile toadstools stretch toward the sky along a spongy rounded base. Ross literally transports mushrooms ‘out of the dark’; he playfully invites the viewer to share his curiosity and enthusiasm for these specimens, and the result is an all-encompassing celebration of their dynamic physicality. For more information on Ross and his projects, click here.
-Stephanie Read
Phil Ross
Dense foam, yeasty bricks, tubular protrusions and chunky domes characterize the sculptures of Phil Ross, an innovative artist and researcher with a passion for mycology (the study of fungi). In the series Pure Culture (1997-present), Ross harnesses the various properties of mushrooms to create an array of shapes: from small, delicate toadstools, to something resembling a bakery explosion. The fungi are coaxed and teased using moulds to produce appealing forms, yet the end result relies on the particularity of each specimen.
Some pieces are the direct result of Ross’s research; though fungi are often associated with pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Ross seeks to unlock their potential as building materials. a large six foot wide by six foot high arch, titled Mycotectural Alpha, is an imposing structure made from bricks of rock-hard mycelium, root-like fibers of the mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum. Impacted into a mass as strong as concrete, the mycelium is harvested and cut into blocks. The spongy bricks have been skillfully fashioned into an arch; fibers cling to the sides of the structure, revealing its organic origin. Not only an effective sculptural material, innovation in the harvest of mycelium shows its great potential as a biodegradable, inexpensive and reliable alternative to plastic, even Styrofoam. 
Another fungal sculpture is patiently teased into a semblance of Harold Edgerton’s iconic Milk Splash photograph (middle, right). The twisting, fragile toadstools stretch toward the sky along a spongy rounded base. Ross literally transports mushrooms ‘out of the dark’; he playfully invites the viewer to share his curiosity and enthusiasm for these specimens, and the result is an all-encompassing celebration of their dynamic physicality. For more information on Ross and his projects, click here.
-Stephanie Read
Phil Ross
Dense foam, yeasty bricks, tubular protrusions and chunky domes characterize the sculptures of Phil Ross, an innovative artist and researcher with a passion for mycology (the study of fungi). In the series Pure Culture (1997-present), Ross harnesses the various properties of mushrooms to create an array of shapes: from small, delicate toadstools, to something resembling a bakery explosion. The fungi are coaxed and teased using moulds to produce appealing forms, yet the end result relies on the particularity of each specimen.
Some pieces are the direct result of Ross’s research; though fungi are often associated with pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Ross seeks to unlock their potential as building materials. a large six foot wide by six foot high arch, titled Mycotectural Alpha, is an imposing structure made from bricks of rock-hard mycelium, root-like fibers of the mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum. Impacted into a mass as strong as concrete, the mycelium is harvested and cut into blocks. The spongy bricks have been skillfully fashioned into an arch; fibers cling to the sides of the structure, revealing its organic origin. Not only an effective sculptural material, innovation in the harvest of mycelium shows its great potential as a biodegradable, inexpensive and reliable alternative to plastic, even Styrofoam. 
Another fungal sculpture is patiently teased into a semblance of Harold Edgerton’s iconic Milk Splash photograph (middle, right). The twisting, fragile toadstools stretch toward the sky along a spongy rounded base. Ross literally transports mushrooms ‘out of the dark’; he playfully invites the viewer to share his curiosity and enthusiasm for these specimens, and the result is an all-encompassing celebration of their dynamic physicality. For more information on Ross and his projects, click here.
-Stephanie Read
Phil Ross
Dense foam, yeasty bricks, tubular protrusions and chunky domes characterize the sculptures of Phil Ross, an innovative artist and researcher with a passion for mycology (the study of fungi). In the series Pure Culture (1997-present), Ross harnesses the various properties of mushrooms to create an array of shapes: from small, delicate toadstools, to something resembling a bakery explosion. The fungi are coaxed and teased using moulds to produce appealing forms, yet the end result relies on the particularity of each specimen.
Some pieces are the direct result of Ross’s research; though fungi are often associated with pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Ross seeks to unlock their potential as building materials. a large six foot wide by six foot high arch, titled Mycotectural Alpha, is an imposing structure made from bricks of rock-hard mycelium, root-like fibers of the mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum. Impacted into a mass as strong as concrete, the mycelium is harvested and cut into blocks. The spongy bricks have been skillfully fashioned into an arch; fibers cling to the sides of the structure, revealing its organic origin. Not only an effective sculptural material, innovation in the harvest of mycelium shows its great potential as a biodegradable, inexpensive and reliable alternative to plastic, even Styrofoam. 
Another fungal sculpture is patiently teased into a semblance of Harold Edgerton’s iconic Milk Splash photograph (middle, right). The twisting, fragile toadstools stretch toward the sky along a spongy rounded base. Ross literally transports mushrooms ‘out of the dark’; he playfully invites the viewer to share his curiosity and enthusiasm for these specimens, and the result is an all-encompassing celebration of their dynamic physicality. For more information on Ross and his projects, click here.
-Stephanie Read
Phil Ross
Dense foam, yeasty bricks, tubular protrusions and chunky domes characterize the sculptures of Phil Ross, an innovative artist and researcher with a passion for mycology (the study of fungi). In the series Pure Culture (1997-present), Ross harnesses the various properties of mushrooms to create an array of shapes: from small, delicate toadstools, to something resembling a bakery explosion. The fungi are coaxed and teased using moulds to produce appealing forms, yet the end result relies on the particularity of each specimen.
Some pieces are the direct result of Ross’s research; though fungi are often associated with pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Ross seeks to unlock their potential as building materials. a large six foot wide by six foot high arch, titled Mycotectural Alpha, is an imposing structure made from bricks of rock-hard mycelium, root-like fibers of the mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum. Impacted into a mass as strong as concrete, the mycelium is harvested and cut into blocks. The spongy bricks have been skillfully fashioned into an arch; fibers cling to the sides of the structure, revealing its organic origin. Not only an effective sculptural material, innovation in the harvest of mycelium shows its great potential as a biodegradable, inexpensive and reliable alternative to plastic, even Styrofoam. 
Another fungal sculpture is patiently teased into a semblance of Harold Edgerton’s iconic Milk Splash photograph (middle, right). The twisting, fragile toadstools stretch toward the sky along a spongy rounded base. Ross literally transports mushrooms ‘out of the dark’; he playfully invites the viewer to share his curiosity and enthusiasm for these specimens, and the result is an all-encompassing celebration of their dynamic physicality. For more information on Ross and his projects, click here.
-Stephanie Read

Phil Ross

Dense foam, yeasty bricks, tubular protrusions and chunky domes characterize the sculptures of Phil Ross, an innovative artist and researcher with a passion for mycology (the study of fungi). In the series Pure Culture (1997-present), Ross harnesses the various properties of mushrooms to create an array of shapes: from small, delicate toadstools, to something resembling a bakery explosion. The fungi are coaxed and teased using moulds to produce appealing forms, yet the end result relies on the particularity of each specimen.

Some pieces are the direct result of Ross’s research; though fungi are often associated with pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Ross seeks to unlock their potential as building materials. a large six foot wide by six foot high arch, titled Mycotectural Alpha, is an imposing structure made from bricks of rock-hard mycelium, root-like fibers of the mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum. Impacted into a mass as strong as concrete, the mycelium is harvested and cut into blocks. The spongy bricks have been skillfully fashioned into an arch; fibers cling to the sides of the structure, revealing its organic origin. Not only an effective sculptural material, innovation in the harvest of mycelium shows its great potential as a biodegradable, inexpensive and reliable alternative to plastic, even Styrofoam. 

Another fungal sculpture is patiently teased into a semblance of Harold Edgerton’s iconic Milk Splash photograph (middle, right). The twisting, fragile toadstools stretch toward the sky along a spongy rounded base. Ross literally transports mushrooms ‘out of the dark’; he playfully invites the viewer to share his curiosity and enthusiasm for these specimens, and the result is an all-encompassing celebration of their dynamic physicality. For more information on Ross and his projects, click here.

-Stephanie Read

5 Photos
/ art science artscience phil ross fungus mushroom sculpture stephanie read
David Best: Temple Builder
At this moment, in the cracked desert plains of northern Nevada, thousands of volunteers, artists and organizers are converging in preparation for the upcoming Burning Man festival. Since 1991 the festival has taken place in the remote Black Rock Desert, drawing tens of thousands of participants and featuring a boundless scope of music shows, art installations, themed camps and energetic performances. The festival is a humanitarian, collective testament to the power of innovation and imagination.
Returning this year after a short hiatus is the esteemed sculptor David Best, known to the Burning Man community as the chief mind  behind the ever-popular Temple installations; Intricately-patterned shrines made from punched-out cardboard that have graced the playa since 2000. A powerful symbol of rejuvenation has been attached of these structures, which soon became reliquaries for thousands of precious objects; messages, trinkets and mementos left by grieving burners in memory of their loved ones. Solace was found in tucking these treasures away in the gaps of the latticed walls. These temporary installations have become one of the festivals’ most cherished ‘contributions’; their designs grow larger and more elaborate every year to accommodate the increasing number of visitors seeking to unburden their hearts. The lacy, almost grotesque patterns of Best’s Temple of the Mind (2000) have given way to the soaring filigree onion-domes of the Temple of Honour (2003). This year Best and his team of devoted volunteers will build their most elaborate temple yet, the Temple of Juno, a three-storied sanctuary dedicated to the Roman goddess, whose epithets include the protector of mothers. The title was chosen to coincide with this year’s theme for the festival, Fertility 2.0.
To reflect the ritual burning of the Man, a gigantic wooden construction in the semblance of a human silhouette, the Temple is likewise put to the flame at the festival’s closing. Its lightweight construction makes it perfect fodder for the flame but must also be contained in view of the playa’s stringent conservation laws. The arid environment is incredibly sensitive and heavily protected; as a result the festival has a strict “take nothing, leave nothing” policy. Before the temple may be constructed, geologists must conduct soil-reports to ensure the structure will not crumble due to the ground’s fractured surface.
The temples are not only reflections of the artistic process, (built only to be almost immediately destroyed, yet reincarnated every year more glorious than the last) but also of the relationship between art and the viewer. Through the latter’s interaction with the current installation a new temple is subsequently shaped and moulded, the seed of its design ripening for a year, and flowering not once, but twice: firstly at the hands of an earnest crew, secondly by the light of the torch. The cycle of its conception, realization and destruction embodies the cycle of our corporeal as well as spiritual existence and promises life after grief and hardship. The filigreed, exquisite patterns recall the aesthetic of Tibetan or Balinese shrines: “There are certain things a temple has to do in order to give you the freedom to release the demons that you have…” explains David Best. “It has to be so beautiful […] that you are about to give up the thing that’s been haunting you for most of your life”.
For more information on the temples, click here
- Stephanie Read
David Best: Temple Builder
At this moment, in the cracked desert plains of northern Nevada, thousands of volunteers, artists and organizers are converging in preparation for the upcoming Burning Man festival. Since 1991 the festival has taken place in the remote Black Rock Desert, drawing tens of thousands of participants and featuring a boundless scope of music shows, art installations, themed camps and energetic performances. The festival is a humanitarian, collective testament to the power of innovation and imagination.
Returning this year after a short hiatus is the esteemed sculptor David Best, known to the Burning Man community as the chief mind  behind the ever-popular Temple installations; Intricately-patterned shrines made from punched-out cardboard that have graced the playa since 2000. A powerful symbol of rejuvenation has been attached of these structures, which soon became reliquaries for thousands of precious objects; messages, trinkets and mementos left by grieving burners in memory of their loved ones. Solace was found in tucking these treasures away in the gaps of the latticed walls. These temporary installations have become one of the festivals’ most cherished ‘contributions’; their designs grow larger and more elaborate every year to accommodate the increasing number of visitors seeking to unburden their hearts. The lacy, almost grotesque patterns of Best’s Temple of the Mind (2000) have given way to the soaring filigree onion-domes of the Temple of Honour (2003). This year Best and his team of devoted volunteers will build their most elaborate temple yet, the Temple of Juno, a three-storied sanctuary dedicated to the Roman goddess, whose epithets include the protector of mothers. The title was chosen to coincide with this year’s theme for the festival, Fertility 2.0.
To reflect the ritual burning of the Man, a gigantic wooden construction in the semblance of a human silhouette, the Temple is likewise put to the flame at the festival’s closing. Its lightweight construction makes it perfect fodder for the flame but must also be contained in view of the playa’s stringent conservation laws. The arid environment is incredibly sensitive and heavily protected; as a result the festival has a strict “take nothing, leave nothing” policy. Before the temple may be constructed, geologists must conduct soil-reports to ensure the structure will not crumble due to the ground’s fractured surface.
The temples are not only reflections of the artistic process, (built only to be almost immediately destroyed, yet reincarnated every year more glorious than the last) but also of the relationship between art and the viewer. Through the latter’s interaction with the current installation a new temple is subsequently shaped and moulded, the seed of its design ripening for a year, and flowering not once, but twice: firstly at the hands of an earnest crew, secondly by the light of the torch. The cycle of its conception, realization and destruction embodies the cycle of our corporeal as well as spiritual existence and promises life after grief and hardship. The filigreed, exquisite patterns recall the aesthetic of Tibetan or Balinese shrines: “There are certain things a temple has to do in order to give you the freedom to release the demons that you have…” explains David Best. “It has to be so beautiful […] that you are about to give up the thing that’s been haunting you for most of your life”.
For more information on the temples, click here
- Stephanie Read
David Best: Temple Builder
At this moment, in the cracked desert plains of northern Nevada, thousands of volunteers, artists and organizers are converging in preparation for the upcoming Burning Man festival. Since 1991 the festival has taken place in the remote Black Rock Desert, drawing tens of thousands of participants and featuring a boundless scope of music shows, art installations, themed camps and energetic performances. The festival is a humanitarian, collective testament to the power of innovation and imagination.
Returning this year after a short hiatus is the esteemed sculptor David Best, known to the Burning Man community as the chief mind  behind the ever-popular Temple installations; Intricately-patterned shrines made from punched-out cardboard that have graced the playa since 2000. A powerful symbol of rejuvenation has been attached of these structures, which soon became reliquaries for thousands of precious objects; messages, trinkets and mementos left by grieving burners in memory of their loved ones. Solace was found in tucking these treasures away in the gaps of the latticed walls. These temporary installations have become one of the festivals’ most cherished ‘contributions’; their designs grow larger and more elaborate every year to accommodate the increasing number of visitors seeking to unburden their hearts. The lacy, almost grotesque patterns of Best’s Temple of the Mind (2000) have given way to the soaring filigree onion-domes of the Temple of Honour (2003). This year Best and his team of devoted volunteers will build their most elaborate temple yet, the Temple of Juno, a three-storied sanctuary dedicated to the Roman goddess, whose epithets include the protector of mothers. The title was chosen to coincide with this year’s theme for the festival, Fertility 2.0.
To reflect the ritual burning of the Man, a gigantic wooden construction in the semblance of a human silhouette, the Temple is likewise put to the flame at the festival’s closing. Its lightweight construction makes it perfect fodder for the flame but must also be contained in view of the playa’s stringent conservation laws. The arid environment is incredibly sensitive and heavily protected; as a result the festival has a strict “take nothing, leave nothing” policy. Before the temple may be constructed, geologists must conduct soil-reports to ensure the structure will not crumble due to the ground’s fractured surface.
The temples are not only reflections of the artistic process, (built only to be almost immediately destroyed, yet reincarnated every year more glorious than the last) but also of the relationship between art and the viewer. Through the latter’s interaction with the current installation a new temple is subsequently shaped and moulded, the seed of its design ripening for a year, and flowering not once, but twice: firstly at the hands of an earnest crew, secondly by the light of the torch. The cycle of its conception, realization and destruction embodies the cycle of our corporeal as well as spiritual existence and promises life after grief and hardship. The filigreed, exquisite patterns recall the aesthetic of Tibetan or Balinese shrines: “There are certain things a temple has to do in order to give you the freedom to release the demons that you have…” explains David Best. “It has to be so beautiful […] that you are about to give up the thing that’s been haunting you for most of your life”.
For more information on the temples, click here
- Stephanie Read
David Best: Temple Builder
At this moment, in the cracked desert plains of northern Nevada, thousands of volunteers, artists and organizers are converging in preparation for the upcoming Burning Man festival. Since 1991 the festival has taken place in the remote Black Rock Desert, drawing tens of thousands of participants and featuring a boundless scope of music shows, art installations, themed camps and energetic performances. The festival is a humanitarian, collective testament to the power of innovation and imagination.
Returning this year after a short hiatus is the esteemed sculptor David Best, known to the Burning Man community as the chief mind  behind the ever-popular Temple installations; Intricately-patterned shrines made from punched-out cardboard that have graced the playa since 2000. A powerful symbol of rejuvenation has been attached of these structures, which soon became reliquaries for thousands of precious objects; messages, trinkets and mementos left by grieving burners in memory of their loved ones. Solace was found in tucking these treasures away in the gaps of the latticed walls. These temporary installations have become one of the festivals’ most cherished ‘contributions’; their designs grow larger and more elaborate every year to accommodate the increasing number of visitors seeking to unburden their hearts. The lacy, almost grotesque patterns of Best’s Temple of the Mind (2000) have given way to the soaring filigree onion-domes of the Temple of Honour (2003). This year Best and his team of devoted volunteers will build their most elaborate temple yet, the Temple of Juno, a three-storied sanctuary dedicated to the Roman goddess, whose epithets include the protector of mothers. The title was chosen to coincide with this year’s theme for the festival, Fertility 2.0.
To reflect the ritual burning of the Man, a gigantic wooden construction in the semblance of a human silhouette, the Temple is likewise put to the flame at the festival’s closing. Its lightweight construction makes it perfect fodder for the flame but must also be contained in view of the playa’s stringent conservation laws. The arid environment is incredibly sensitive and heavily protected; as a result the festival has a strict “take nothing, leave nothing” policy. Before the temple may be constructed, geologists must conduct soil-reports to ensure the structure will not crumble due to the ground’s fractured surface.
The temples are not only reflections of the artistic process, (built only to be almost immediately destroyed, yet reincarnated every year more glorious than the last) but also of the relationship between art and the viewer. Through the latter’s interaction with the current installation a new temple is subsequently shaped and moulded, the seed of its design ripening for a year, and flowering not once, but twice: firstly at the hands of an earnest crew, secondly by the light of the torch. The cycle of its conception, realization and destruction embodies the cycle of our corporeal as well as spiritual existence and promises life after grief and hardship. The filigreed, exquisite patterns recall the aesthetic of Tibetan or Balinese shrines: “There are certain things a temple has to do in order to give you the freedom to release the demons that you have…” explains David Best. “It has to be so beautiful […] that you are about to give up the thing that’s been haunting you for most of your life”.
For more information on the temples, click here
- Stephanie Read
David Best: Temple Builder
At this moment, in the cracked desert plains of northern Nevada, thousands of volunteers, artists and organizers are converging in preparation for the upcoming Burning Man festival. Since 1991 the festival has taken place in the remote Black Rock Desert, drawing tens of thousands of participants and featuring a boundless scope of music shows, art installations, themed camps and energetic performances. The festival is a humanitarian, collective testament to the power of innovation and imagination.
Returning this year after a short hiatus is the esteemed sculptor David Best, known to the Burning Man community as the chief mind  behind the ever-popular Temple installations; Intricately-patterned shrines made from punched-out cardboard that have graced the playa since 2000. A powerful symbol of rejuvenation has been attached of these structures, which soon became reliquaries for thousands of precious objects; messages, trinkets and mementos left by grieving burners in memory of their loved ones. Solace was found in tucking these treasures away in the gaps of the latticed walls. These temporary installations have become one of the festivals’ most cherished ‘contributions’; their designs grow larger and more elaborate every year to accommodate the increasing number of visitors seeking to unburden their hearts. The lacy, almost grotesque patterns of Best’s Temple of the Mind (2000) have given way to the soaring filigree onion-domes of the Temple of Honour (2003). This year Best and his team of devoted volunteers will build their most elaborate temple yet, the Temple of Juno, a three-storied sanctuary dedicated to the Roman goddess, whose epithets include the protector of mothers. The title was chosen to coincide with this year’s theme for the festival, Fertility 2.0.
To reflect the ritual burning of the Man, a gigantic wooden construction in the semblance of a human silhouette, the Temple is likewise put to the flame at the festival’s closing. Its lightweight construction makes it perfect fodder for the flame but must also be contained in view of the playa’s stringent conservation laws. The arid environment is incredibly sensitive and heavily protected; as a result the festival has a strict “take nothing, leave nothing” policy. Before the temple may be constructed, geologists must conduct soil-reports to ensure the structure will not crumble due to the ground’s fractured surface.
The temples are not only reflections of the artistic process, (built only to be almost immediately destroyed, yet reincarnated every year more glorious than the last) but also of the relationship between art and the viewer. Through the latter’s interaction with the current installation a new temple is subsequently shaped and moulded, the seed of its design ripening for a year, and flowering not once, but twice: firstly at the hands of an earnest crew, secondly by the light of the torch. The cycle of its conception, realization and destruction embodies the cycle of our corporeal as well as spiritual existence and promises life after grief and hardship. The filigreed, exquisite patterns recall the aesthetic of Tibetan or Balinese shrines: “There are certain things a temple has to do in order to give you the freedom to release the demons that you have…” explains David Best. “It has to be so beautiful […] that you are about to give up the thing that’s been haunting you for most of your life”.
For more information on the temples, click here
- Stephanie Read

David Best: Temple Builder

At this moment, in the cracked desert plains of northern Nevada, thousands of volunteers, artists and organizers are converging in preparation for the upcoming Burning Man festival. Since 1991 the festival has taken place in the remote Black Rock Desert, drawing tens of thousands of participants and featuring a boundless scope of music shows, art installations, themed camps and energetic performances. The festival is a humanitarian, collective testament to the power of innovation and imagination.

Returning this year after a short hiatus is the esteemed sculptor David Best, known to the Burning Man community as the chief mind  behind the ever-popular Temple installations; Intricately-patterned shrines made from punched-out cardboard that have graced the playa since 2000. A powerful symbol of rejuvenation has been attached of these structures, which soon became reliquaries for thousands of precious objects; messages, trinkets and mementos left by grieving burners in memory of their loved ones. Solace was found in tucking these treasures away in the gaps of the latticed walls. These temporary installations have become one of the festivals’ most cherished ‘contributions’; their designs grow larger and more elaborate every year to accommodate the increasing number of visitors seeking to unburden their hearts. The lacy, almost grotesque patterns of Best’s Temple of the Mind (2000) have given way to the soaring filigree onion-domes of the Temple of Honour (2003). This year Best and his team of devoted volunteers will build their most elaborate temple yet, the Temple of Juno, a three-storied sanctuary dedicated to the Roman goddess, whose epithets include the protector of mothers. The title was chosen to coincide with this year’s theme for the festival, Fertility 2.0.

To reflect the ritual burning of the Man, a gigantic wooden construction in the semblance of a human silhouette, the Temple is likewise put to the flame at the festival’s closing. Its lightweight construction makes it perfect fodder for the flame but must also be contained in view of the playa’s stringent conservation laws. The arid environment is incredibly sensitive and heavily protected; as a result the festival has a strict “take nothing, leave nothing” policy. Before the temple may be constructed, geologists must conduct soil-reports to ensure the structure will not crumble due to the ground’s fractured surface.

The temples are not only reflections of the artistic process, (built only to be almost immediately destroyed, yet reincarnated every year more glorious than the last) but also of the relationship between art and the viewer. Through the latter’s interaction with the current installation a new temple is subsequently shaped and moulded, the seed of its design ripening for a year, and flowering not once, but twice: firstly at the hands of an earnest crew, secondly by the light of the torch. The cycle of its conception, realization and destruction embodies the cycle of our corporeal as well as spiritual existence and promises life after grief and hardship. The filigreed, exquisite patterns recall the aesthetic of Tibetan or Balinese shrines: “There are certain things a temple has to do in order to give you the freedom to release the demons that you have…” explains David Best. “It has to be so beautiful […] that you are about to give up the thing that’s been haunting you for most of your life”.

For more information on the temples, click here

- Stephanie Read

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