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Swedish artist is trying to crowd-source $15 million to put a shack on the moon because art
05.30.2014
10:17 am
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Swedish artist Mikael Genberg has a vision—a very small, very expensive shack on the surface of the moon. The sculpture (a building you can’t use is just a sculpture) would be in the style of a Swedish country cottage, famous for their striking “falun red” paint jobs. It would be part of Genberg’s larger canon of work, which includes a similar cottage 13 meters up a tree and another, three meters below the surface of a lake. Both of those cottages can actually be visited.

The Moon House however, is not only totally unreachable, it’s completely dependent on crowd-sourcing for its pricey construction. Of the $15,360,000 he needs, Genberg has received $1,816, and he only has 185 days left to raise the cash. For the record, I’m generally in favor of large, ambitious, and yes, sometimes totally expensive, public art. Here’s the thing—this is not public art, and its very nature runs completely counterintuitive to Genberg’s manifesto.

From the Moon House website:

It all began nearly 15 years ago when the artist Mikael Genberg heard about the Swedish space industry plans to build a satellite that would orbit the moon. Four years and one phone call later, had the impossible idea become a reality. The first art project on the moon - a red house with white trim that evokes life in the barren dead moonscape had begun their journey.

The financial crisis affected many. An art project on the moon was no exception. But a new tomorrow dawns in and with the digital revolution and the breakthrough of crowd-funding. Thanks to Falun Red, which in 2014 celebrates its mark on the Swedish province for 250 years, made possible now one of the world’s most ambitious crowd-funding initiative. For the first time in history it is not only the states that make it to the moon. Moon House goal - to put a red house with white trim on the moon - is possible only if the people in the world do it together.

Månhuset is so much more than the first art project on the Moon. Månhuset want to inspire people to break their mental limits and change the face of what is possible. A democratic project in space, where everyone is welcome to participate in creating a unique symbol of what humans can achieve together. Månhuset make space more accessible to all in order to bring space closer to people and people closer to space.

No, space, much less the fucking moon, will not be made more accessible by this project. (Seeing to our woefully underfunded space program would certainly help, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.)

More importantly though, the point of public art is that it can be experienced in some way by the public, so that even if you hate it, it gives the community a collective sense of aesthetic identity—i.e. you can talk with complete strangers about how much you hate it, because you feel some ownership or connection to the work. So no, I will not be donating to Moon House. I would literally rather watch a video of some one setting $15 million on fire—the comment section of YouTube may not be the most sophisticated of communities, but at least that would actually be public.

In the video pitch below, Genberg coos, “everything is possible, as long as we set our minds to it.” While I admire his optimism and don’t doubt the scientific viability of such a project, the question for me is not one of possibility, but one of public worth.
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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05.30.2014
10:17 am
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Morbid menagerie: The opulent death displays of Frederik Ruysch
04.01.2014
09:34 am
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The drawings you see are here are from Frederik Ruysch’s Thesaurus Animalium Primus, a ten-volume collection published between 1701 and 1716. Ruysch was a Dutch botanist and anatomist who was appointed chief instructor to all the midwives in Amsterdam in 1668. His position had never existed before, but if a woman wanted to continue her work as a midwife, she now had to be evaluated by Ruysch. Having formerly suffered a dearth of cadavers to study and preserve, he suddenly found himself with access to a profusion of dead babies.

Part scientist, part artist, and part absolute eccentric, Ruysch became famous for his beautiful and morbid displays of embalming and remains, arranging human and animal parts together in the sorts of elaborate scenes you see here. Though he was a respected scientist, these presentations were barely medical, and hardly scientific. The sculptures often positioned the bones of babies in impossible stagings—you’ll notice one weeps genteelly, with a handkerchief. And with the help of his daughter Rachel, a famous still-life painter in her own right, he adorned his works with hair, flowers, fish, plants, seashells, and lace.

Ruysch showed his creations in a private museum (entry free to doctors, paid to layman), and they quickly became world-famous. The museum wasn’t quite a sober affair either—Ruysch would arrange tongue-in-cheek exhibits, like the bones of a three-year-old-boy next to that of a parrot, with the insinuated joke of “time flies.” In 1697, Czar Peter the Great took a tour of Ruysch’s work and became so enamored with one of the specimens that kissed it. He eventually purchased the entirety of the museum. I’m unsure of Dutch cultural norms regarding death around the turn of the 18th century, but the fact that midwives had to answer to a man with a side business in death sculptures suggests, at the very least, a conflict on interest. Still the strange beauty of Ruysch’s work cannot be denied, nor can his scientific brilliance.

His pioneering embalming techniques are what made his work possible, and Peter the Great also paid quite handsomely for the secret recipe to his preservation fluid, an alcohol of clotted pig’s blood, Berlin blue and mercury oxide. A (false) rumor circulated that the sailors transporting Ruysch’s collection to Russia drank all his embalming fluid, but it actually arrived in whole, and some of Ruysch’s specimens are still in perfect condition today—a testament to his brilliance in preservation.
 

Jan van Neck’s “Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Frederick Ruysch,” where he appears to perform an autopsy for posterity. (1683)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via The Public Domain Review

Posted by Amber Frost
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04.01.2014
09:34 am
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Sigmund Freud’s ‘thinking cap’
09.20.2010
03:30 pm
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Hand-sculpted illustration by artist Jessica Fortner.

Freud Puts On His Thinking Cap

(via EPICponyz)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.20.2010
03:30 pm
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Kate Clark’s Humanimal Sculptures
01.12.2010
11:49 pm
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Really insane and/or terrifying humanimal sculptures by artist Kate Clark. This sorta reminds me of a post I did a while back on Alex Kovas: Freaky Manimal Model.

From Kate’s website:

Offering a heavy hand of irreverent wit striped with compassion, Kate Clark’s sculptures ask viewers to disregard pretense and to apprehend the idea of emotional uncertainty. Although the artist embarks on a journey towards shocking and repelling viewers as they recognize and reject the thing?

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.12.2010
11:49 pm
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Intricate Sculptures From Recycled Wood
11.28.2009
12:55 pm
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Here are some absolutely amazing sculptures made from recycled materials by artist Michael Ferris Jr.

Artist’s statement for sculptures:

My intent is to render an accurate likeness of my subject however what I find more compelling is communicating the sitter?

Posted by Tara McGinley
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11.28.2009
12:55 pm
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