Author Archives: Hunter Lee

Daily Dose: Toronto Board Meeting

This past Saturday, September the 8th was this year’s Toronto Board meeting. What is this board meeting about you may ask? Not unlike Kollaboration, it is an annual event in which a group of people that share a passion for what they do, come together and display their love for their lifestyle.  Now what is it they do you may be wondering? Roughly a thousand people (mostly from Ontario) ride long boards through the streets of Toronto dressed up in dress shirts and ties (get it? Board Meeting). Long boards if you haven’t seen them around are essentially long skateboards. The biggest functional difference is that they’re much more effective for getting around. Especially in the downtown area, long boards have become much more common and have been growing in popularity.  Last year there were just over 900 long boarders but this year, despite the rain, a total of 1003 people made it out.

On that note, if you like seeing talented people battle it out, come out to the show because it’s going to happen rain or shine this Saturday September 15th!

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Daily Dose: Rock Art

Artists always strive to be unique. They may do this with certain techniques not commonly used with mediums or they may go as far as inventing their own thing. When they start to get really good at their own thing, you really begin to realize the level of depth one can achieve with art in the conceptual sense. You begin to realize the boundless possibilities that are only allowed through art.

Rocks are as old as the galaxy and the earth. They’ve been used for primitive cave man drawings and over time they’ve been repurposed for sculpture, etc. Taking such a heavily used commonplace material and using them as a basis for a unique type of art is by no means a simple feat. Rock balancing has been around for a while but by no means is it a simple discipline.

While walking to Queen Street I noticed a crowd around what appeared to be rock sculptures. At the center of it all was a man extremely carefully balancing a concrete block on top of some rocks. The look of focus in his eyes kept the crowd silent while the annoying sounds of traffic on the street beside became so ever more apparent. I looked into it and the man behind it goes by the name of Peter Riedel, a Torontonian Photographer. I can only wonder how he has the patience to do what he does.

Daily Dose: Face Ink

Have you ever wondered what your skin would look like if it showed all of the emotional scars you’ve gained from suffering throughout your life? This unique and impressively conceptual idea is the focus of the artwork by Chinese artist, Pinpin Co.

Pinpin takes simple gel ink and applies it to the face of her subjects and minutes later, she washes the ink off. The ephemerality of the piece is representative of how temporarily emotional scars appear on your outer self.

Daily Dose: Manitoba Hydro Place

Architecture is a balance of science and design. It allows for one to be creative with the physical limitations of the technologies of our current time. Many types of architecture look to the past for precedent and example while others forge a new path. KPMB architects did just that with their Manitoba Hydro Place project. Not only have they created a beautiful modern looking project but they’ve also set a new standard for green design through architecture on an international level.

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Here are some facts and features about Manitoba Hydro Place

  • Environmentally friendly design allows the building to cut down its energy consumption by 60+%
  • Located in Winnipeg (very windy), the building uses the wind for its circulation system that allows the building to have outside fresh air 100% of the time
  • A waterfall in the atrium either has the water heat up to add humidity in the winter or cool down to dehumidify in the summer
  • The building takes energy from the natural location of the geothermal heat beneath it and through the sun via its solar chimney

Through sheer design ingenuity, KPMB architects have been able to create a stunningly successful environmentally friendly piece of architecture. Not only is the building very green but it is also very worker friendly. The building’s butterfly staircases allow for better connectivity between people on the stairs, the sun room is a large open warm space used for yoga, and the building is located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg where all the bus routes are which encourages the employees to take public transit as well as to better interact with the downtown area. Not only is the building green but also it has been considered one of the best places to work at in Canada. All of this was possible through ingenious architectural design.

Here is a link to the project for more information http://www.kpmb.com/index.asp?navid=30&fid1=&fid2=37&fid3=&minyearx=&maxyearx=

Daily Dose: M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher (1898-1972) was an artist born in the Netherlands. He primarily worked with print making and drawing. While these mediums are quite common, it is his mastery of perspective and in combination with his sheer creativity that allows his masterpieces to truly amaze. Shown below is but a small sample of the types of work he has done. Many of his images are architectural and are physical impossibilities if they were to be real. He’s drawn the Mobius Strip (the never ending loop) but takes it to another level. His pattern work is amazing in that they are incredibly precise. Despite all of the seemingly perfect illusions of perspective and the calculations in his work, he was able to include a level of kwirkiness that makes his work appealing to numerous levels of audience.

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MCE is an incredible artist who’s mastery with his medium makes his capabilities something to aspire to. Be sure to check out his site http://www.mcescher.com/

Corporate Art

Art is too often considered a medium to visually entertain its audience. While it does this, the artist may have greater goals they want to achieve with their work. In the case of  this sculpture in Spain that was commissioned by Huwei, a cell phone manufacturing company, their sculpture is a Pegasus statue made of an iron rod frame covered in their Ascend D Quad smart phone. This artwork was meant to be used to increase awareness of their new product. Many will critique corporate art as an act of selling out an artist’s personal practice in order to make money. Nonetheless, art is art no matter how you slice it and is open for any audience for interpretation.

Daily Dose: Pencil Sculpture

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Dalton Ghetti is a Brazilian artist who works with pencils in a fascinatingly unique way. Rather than using the graphite for pencil drawings he uses it literally as material for sculpture. Like how sculptors mold with clay or chisel away at marble, Ghetti chips away at his pencil tips to create tiny masterpieces. Here is his website http://www.daltonmghetti.com/shop.asp

Daily Dose: Excel Art

Microsoft Excel is an incredibly bland spreadsheet program that you use to punch in numbers and data. Who would’ve thought it would be possible to turn it into art. Joe Penna, AKA Mystery Guitar Man is a longtime Youtube star (since 2006) who uses his musical and computer savvy talents to create fun and impressive video pieces. Most recently, he has made an animation video using Microsoft Excel. Who would’ve thought that was possible.

Here’s another one of my favourites by Mystery Guitar Man.

and another

 

Daily Dose: Video Art

Video art is one of those artistic mediums that can cover a variety of other mediums. You can consider a video of yourself drawing a piece of video art. The aesthetic appeal of video art is the beauty of what you see on the screen. On top of that, an artist can include sound and that brings in the medium of audio art. It is arguable that video art is broader than essentially all of the more traditional forms of art such as painting, drawing, and sculpture. This is because you can essentially stick a camera and point it at what you’re doing and the final video can be considered video art. Time lapse videos are examples of video art. All other forms of art already have an infinite number of permutations and the extension of video art just takes it to another level.

Daily Dose: Concise Photography

“You need to remember that sometimes what you leave out is just as important as what you put in the shot.”

-Simon Bray

Simon is a London based photographer that in this quote describes one of the most common amateur mistakes; trying to fit everything into the view finder. Nowadays with digital photography and Photoshop, you can safely keep in mind that you can just crop out whatever doesn’t look good and click away madly at the scenes around you. The merit behind this quote is that with pure photography, you simply don’t need the post-processing (editing) stage if you’re that good. This is similar in cinematography where you can add in computer generated images and bad special effects while all of that can be achieved better if it were shot correctly the first time. As long as you’re the one pointing the camera, you have the power to compose a great shot. Don’t muddy it up with the unnecessary.

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