Posts Tagged ‘environmentalism’

Allison Grant

Published June 11, 2009 by Graham

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Allison Grant’s photography weaves together natural landscapes and synthetic materials. It can often be disorienting trying to discern the origin of Grant’s images: is this a piece of black tin foil, or a strip-mined mountain? Where Semâ Bekirovic underlines the contrast between human-made objects and natural ones, Grant obscures it, hinting at the places in which they coalesce. This seems less of an attempt to reconcile our disposable culture with the natural world and more like an ominous warning that we may have forgotten the difference. From her artist statement:

In the face of environmental crisis, we have come to realize that our human-made products may outlast nature as we know it. In contradiction to this awareness, advertisers and organizations have responded to the green movement by increasingly using photographs and other representations of nature that evoke an unattainable ideal. Using illusion, I allude to the wide spread simulation of nature in our built environments and image culture, and the simultaneous deterioration of wilderness in reality. Tensions between fact and facsimile, nature and artificiality, and permanence and disposability can be found in my photographs. This echoes the wilderness of our modern existence: constructed, idealized, mediated, and, therefore, inaccessible.

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Vehicles that Are Actually Rad: Bill Towns

Published May 1, 2009 by Graham

 

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In order of appearance, the cars above are referred to as the Microdot, the Hustler, and the Bulldog. They’re the work of obscure British car designer Bill Towns, and they’re amazing. The Microdot was a prototype plug-in hybrid built in 1976 with the goal of reaching 100 MPG– something we still don’t have 33 years later. Even better that its environmental friendliness, the Microdot had an interior designed by the special effects studio that worked on Star Wars! There was also a plan to have 8-track recordings of celebrities voices’ embedded within the vehicle so you could “talk” to the Microdot, Night Rider style.

Divorced from all the ridiculously ahead-of-their-time bells and whistles (The Bulldog, developed in 1979, had a touch-screen dashboard) in Towns’ cars, they remain simply stunning works of art. Sadly, Towns passed away in 1994– and he’s probably rolling his grave thanks to the PT Cruiser-inspired round-edged curvy crap cars that dominate the road today.