YOY, the Tokyo based design firm, unveiled its latest creation at the 2013 Milan Design Festival: canvas furniture. Not to be confused with furniture that is simply just made out of canvas, this furniture is actually a piece of canvas art that can be hung. Made from a frame of wood and aluminum with an elastic fabric stretched across it, each of the pieces appear to be two-dimensional from a distance. Come closer and you’ll discover that the chairs are actually functional, somewhat three-dimensional objects that can be sat on—although we wouldn't quite describe them as furniture.
Kirra Jamison's modern paintings might seem a bit random, like cast-offs from a Matisse cut-out broken up, but they're actually created through a more intricate, inspired process. Jamison began with scraps of vinyl on the floor of her studio, arranged them into abstract collages and then screenprinted over them for the series "Total Control." For "Locomotor," she took the smaller prints and recreated them in acrylic. The effect is strangely pleasing to the eye even if it isn't even obvious that her creations are drawing from the material world.
"Arch" from "Total Control"
In 2012, Amanda Ghassaei used 3D printing to make her own, playable records from mp3 files. For 2013, she's dug into laser etching technology and used it to create functioning audio recordings (of Joy Division and Velvet Underground) in wood, acrylic, and even paper with a "theoretical precision of 1200dpi." Okay, so they don't sound so great—which perhaps says something for the technology used in making audiophile quality, conventional vinyl records—but she has shown etching "Femme Fatale" on maple can be done and perhaps refined.
You can read more about it on her Inscrutables page for the project which has instructions and code for making your own records.
The first few lines made by Robert Howsare's Drawing Apparatus don't look like much more than scribbles. But after only three more rotations, the marker lines start to take a more calculated form. After 30 seconds, the form suddenly takes on some dimensionality. The apparatus, built from two turntables, some thin pieces of pine, and a marker is one of Howsare's experiments in using "nontraditional matrices and processes to explore the anomalies that occur within systems." It reminds some of us of the Spirograph toys we had as kids.
Miami-via-NYC group Lansing-Dreiden released a trio of well-regarded and influential long-players in the aughties, all refining an original blend of '80s synthpop and galactic space rock. But L-D isn't a typical band—in fact, it calls itself a "multimedia company" and has created visual art, graphic design, installations, and a free literary journal, Death Notice, all under the L-D name. Famously, Lansing-Dreiden featured a band in its video that was not Lansing-Dreiden. This year, the Mexican Summer label reissues three Lansing-Dreiden albums on vinyl, so we thought we'd check in with the directors of the multimedia company and see if we could find out more.
What was Lansing-Dreiden all about? It was a "collective" and also made up of visual artists, right?
We refer to Lansing-Dreiden as a company instead of a collective. Collective implies a group of artists working together on a single project whereas a company has a mission and aesthetic that must be maintained regardless of who the members are. Some members were visual artists and some were musicians, some both, but the company was set up in a way where everyone could take part in all of the decisions since they were ultimately meant to reflect the company itself and not any individual.
And then it became more about art than music? What kind of art?
It has never been an either/or situation. The entire body of work we make all comes from the same place. Our favorite medium has been misinformation.
What's the connection with Violens?
Apparently one of Lansing-Dreiden's members is part of a guitar pop group named Violens. We have never listened to it.
Why are the L-D albums being reissued? I always thought they should have gotten a bit more attention.
We appreciate that. They are being reissued because the label asked us if we wanted to have the records printed on vinyl, and we did. Over the years, the number of people we've met that found the work interesting in some way have far outnumbered the ones that have initially dismissed it. These re-releases are for them.
Can you tell us about the album packaging design?
It is pretty minimal, just black and white. A double-matte coat with silver foil stamp logo and song names on the back. Three releases are being reissued on 12". Each record cover is a more minimal spin on its original packaging.
L-D has been fairly media shy, but Violens has done interviews. Is that about creating a mystique or just more about time management?
Lansing-Dreiden has never really been media shy, we answer most questions. The press have accused us of using our anonymity as a gimmick—perhaps that's laziness on their part? The point of Lansing-Dreiden was to produce works in various mediums that were thematically and aesthetically in harmony, following a set of rules. We chose anonymity because we wanted the audience to relate to the work on its own terms, without needing to have a media personality to refer to.
For more Lansing-Dreiden, visit lansing-dreiden.com