TIME Arts

Reddit User Makes Greco-Roman Statues Look Like They’re Taking Selfies

The future of art?

In case you were curious, that is the face of a Greco-Roman statue, modeled after those at the Vatican Museum, “posing” for a selfie.

Thanks to some careful camera angling, Reddit user “jazsus_ur_lookin_well” took these photographs of statues at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland, as a way to join old art with new… art. (Is a selfie art? What would Kim Kardashian say?)

“The staff in that art gallery were giving me some strange looks,” the user wrote on Reddit.

At least this person didn’t break any of them.

(h/t Bored Panda)

TIME technology

Remote-Controlled Robots Let You Explore Tate Britain at Night Without Leaving Home

After Dark project robot with Jacob Epstein's The Visitation (1926) at Tate Britain Alexey Moskvin—Alexey Moskvin

Great way to beat the crowds

Fancy a trip to the Tate but can’t cross the pond anytime soon? No worries, the venerable British museum is letting anyone with a (Chrome) browser roam its galleries without the pesky crowds or security guards dampening the experience.

Just one catch: you can only do it in the dark. Starting tonight at 5 p.m. Eastern (10 p.m. London time), visitors around the globe can log on to the Tate After Dark website and explore the Tate Britain’s collection using internet-controlled robots. (Think Roomba with a webcam at eye level). The four robots — which were designed and engineered by the London-based consultants The Workers with help from space research firm RAL Space — let remote users explore five centuries worth of British art, ranging from Elizabethan portraiture to video works by Gilbert & George, currently on display.

“It’s about getting lost in the museum,” says Tommaso Lanza, who co-created the five-night interactive event, which runs through Sunday. “It’s also about fun.”

Each of the four robots has seven sonar sensors on board, an off-the-shelf webcam and a hardware encoder. The bots have no sense of direction, so it will be up to the users to navigate the dimly-lit space. “The whole point is that you control it,” using nothing but the arrow keys on your keyboard, says Lanza.

Even if you don’t get a chance to “drive,” you can still join in via a livestream on the Tate website here.

TIME cities

Mystery of Who Placed White Flags on the Brooklyn Bridge Solved

ODD Brooklyn Bridge Mystery Flags
A white flag flies atop the west tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, in New York City, on July 22, 2014 Richard Drew—AP

The culprits appear to have been German artists who are mystified by the reaction the act got in the U.S.

Two Berlin-based artists have taken credit — and provided evidence to back up their claim — for swapping out two giant American flags over the Brooklyn Bridge earlier this summer and replacing them with all-white versions.

After the flags suddenly appeared over the bridge on July 22, numerous people rushed to claim credit for the stunt. But German artists Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke have produced videos and pictures apparently taken from the Brooklyn Bridge that indicate they were, in fact, the culprits, the New York Times reports.

Many in New York City saw the flag stunt as a security breach, and embarrassed authorities rushed to launch an investigation. But Leinkauf and Wermke say they were shocked that the flags were perceived that way. Their actions weren’t supposed to be provocative, they said, but merely intended to celebrate “the beauty of public space.” They pulled off the caper on the anniversary of the 1869 death of John Roebling, the German engineer who built the bridge.

“We saw the bridge, which was designed by a German, trained in Berlin, who came to America because it was the place to fulfill his dreams, as the most beautiful expression of a great public space,” Leinkauf said. “That beauty was what we were trying to capture.”

The pair said that between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on July 22 they carried the homemade white flags in backpacks while climbing the cables to the top of the bridge, where they replaced the American flags with the all-white versions. They did not see security cameras. They ceremonially folded the American flags, they said, and promise to return them.

[NYT]

TIME animals

Aspen Art Museum Facing Backlash for Exhibit Featuring Tortoises Wearing iPads

A Seychelles giant tortoise walks through its enclosure at the zoo in Duisburg, Germany, on March 31, 2014.
A Seychelles giant tortoise walks through its enclosure at the zoo in Duisburg, Germany, on March 31, 2014. Roland Weihrauch—AFP/Getty Images

“Since when is animal abuse art?” reads an online petition to stop the exhibit

The Aspen Art Museum in Colorado plans to celebrate the grand opening of its newest building on Saturday with an exhibit featuring tortoises with iPads strapped to their backs, but an online petition hopes to stop the installation in its tracks.

At the time of this post’s publication 1,181 people had signed the petition calling New York-based artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s “Moving Ghost Town” exhibit “animal abuse.”

“Since when is animal abuse art?” the Change.org petition reads. “We must all rise and stop this now!! There is no excuse for this!”

In the exhibit, three African Tortoises (who go by the names Big Bertha, Gracie Pink Star, and Whale Wanderer), wear iPads strapped to their shells, which flash images of Colorado “ghost towns.” The Denver Post, which reported this story earlier on Wednesday, says the animals are set to roam throughout a part of the museum during a 24-hour event on Saturday. The petition’s authors say the tortoises’ shells are sensitive to impact and they should not be forced to carry the weight of two iPads for entertainment’s sake.

The petitioners also worry the conditions of the turtles’ habitat aren’t comfortable for the animals.

“Please stop this unnecessary exploitation of animals now and do the right thing by getting these iPad of the Tortoises’ backs,” the authors write.

In a statement posted to their Facebook page, the museum argued that the exhibit was constructed with the help of a local veterinarian and the Turtle Conservancy. The use of the iPads was also cleared with the Conservancy, the museum said.

“I have worked with the staff from the Aspen Art Museum since the initial planning phase of the Cai Guo-Qiang project. Without question, the welfare of the tortoises has taken the highest priority in every stage of this exhibition,” veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Kremzier said in a statement. “In my professional opinion, the tortoises have adapted well to their new habitat, and the iPads have not interfered in any way with their natural behavior.”

The museum’s Facebook fans, however, aren’t buying it. “We don’t like this artwork… and to support keeping it is really bad taste,” reads one comment.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: August 4

1. Making the punishment fit the crime: A better way of calculating fines for the bad acts of big banks.

By Cathy O’Neill in Mathbabe

2. Lessons we can share: How three African countries made incredible progress in the fight against AIDS.

By Tina Rosenberg in the New York Times

3. Creative artists are turning to big data for inspiration — and a new window on our world.

By Charlie McCann in Prospect

4. We must give the sharing economy an opportunity to show its real potential.

By R.J. Lehmann in Reason

5. Technology investing has a gender problem, and it’s holding back innovation.

By Issie Lapowsky in Wired

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Art

See How Body Paint Turned Naked Women Into New York City Landmarks

City chameleons

It’s easy for New Yorkers to feel like they are invisible in such a big city. Artist Trina Merry took this concept literally by using body paint to transform topless models into New York City landscapes.

Brightly colored sneakers drew attention to their faint outline, hidden in the Guggenheim or Manhattan bridge.

Body Paint Artist NYC Landmarks
A model appears to blend into the background as she stands in front of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Trina Merry—AP

“I wanted to engage the city and understand it and make some observations,” Merry told the AP. “So instead of a person right in front of the Empire State building or the Statue of Liberty, they’re softly in the background, and you’ve got more of a reflective view of the person within the landscape.”

Body Paint Artist NYC Landmarks
Jessica Mellow poses in front of the Manhattan Bridge after Merry, a body-paint artist, camouflaged Mellow to blend into the bridge, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Trina Merry—AP

Angle was everything when camouflaging each model into the landscape. It took six hours to complete each “work.”

Trina Merry, Jessica Mellow
Merry is a body-paint artist who seamlessly camouflages her semi-nude models into New York City’s skyline, blending them into Central Park, Coney Island and other famous landmarks. Rachelle Blidner—AP
TIME Art

Tracey Emin’s ‘My Bed’ Returns to the Tate on Long-Term Loan

Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' To Be Auctioned At Christie's
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece My Bed on display at Christie's in London on June 27, 2014 Rob Stothard—Getty Images

The piece will be displayed there for at least 10 years

Contemporary art’s most well-known bed is returning to the site where it first gained notoriety.

Artist Tracey Emin’s controversial installation My Bed — consisting of an unmade bed surrounded by piles of discarded condoms, old liquor bottles and pregnancy tests — will be exhibited at Tate Gallery on a long-term loan from its most recent owner, the Tate said in a statement on Monday.

The 1998 work, which grapples with the aftermath of a difficult breakup, has been included in discussions about what qualifies as art. It gained renewed prominence in the past month when it was slated to be sold at a Christie’s auction in London. On July 1, the piece was sold to German collector and businessman Count Christian Duerckheim for approximately $3.77 million — more than 18 times the amount collector Charles Saatchi paid for it in 2000.

My Bed was exhibited at Tate Britain in 1999, the same year it was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize. Now, new owner Duerckheim will loan the work to the Tate for a period of at least 10 years. Tate director Nicholas Serota expressed gratitude for Duerckheim’s gift, which will allow museum visitors to see “a work that now has iconic status.”

Emin, the artist herself, told the BBC, “I have always felt My Bed belongs at Tate. And now it will be.”

TIME Art

This Furniture Looks, Feels and Smells Like It’s Made Out of Human Skin

Courtesy Gigi Barker

Strangely, not part of the Buffalo Bill Home Collection

A set of furniture designed by Gigi Barker looks a lot like what Hannibal Lecter might use to decorate his family room.

The British designer and founder of design studio 9191 has crafted a material that has the look, feel and — thanks to the addition of after shave to the mix – smell of human flesh. Barker used the pheromone-impregnated silicone base to craft a collection of chairs and footstools, which were modeled after the Rubenesque folds of a man’s stomach. No word on whether you need to moisturize the chairs with lotion to help them keep their luster.

While the chair may make your skin crawl, Barker isn’t just trying to creep out her audience. She believes that the unique material lets people form a physical connection to the piece and allows them the opportunity to examine their relationship to their own skin and other people’s. Plus, the material reacts to bodies and according to Barker, speaking to Wired UK, matches a human’s body temperature, which is “perfect for soothing a crying baby”.

If the concept doesn’t scare you, the price tag might – the combined cost of the chair and stool is over $4,000 (£2,380). That said, Barker’s show at Central Saint Martin’s sold out last month, according to Wired UK, and she’s already in talks with retailers.

Courtesy Gigi Barker

MORE: Sweden’s ‘Hannibal Lecter’ is Set Free

MORE: Ikea’s Chinese Stores Invite Customers to Take a Snooze

TIME career

Here’s a Really Original Way to Quit a Soul-Crushing Job

A young lawyer finally gets up the courage to quit her job and follow her creative passion--cartooning. Here's how she did it.

It’s a familiar story: the graduate who takes the safe route after college – going along an established career path to a comfortable job, and maybe letting some former passions fall by the wayside. One day they wake up and realize that they never play the guitar any more, or they don’t write as much as they used to, and suddenly their job doesn’t seem so fulfilling.

What isn’t so familiar is when people actually do something about their regrets. Catherine, a New York lawyer in her early 30’s, knew she needed to make a change. So she quit her job at a high-powered law firm to pursue art- and documented it all in cartoons.

Laywer Cartoons Departure Memo
“Catherine”—departurememo.com

Catherine’s website departurememo.com is a cartoon strip that depicts her battle—spanning across multiple years and two cities—to keep her passion for painting alive in the world of finance law, and her eventual decision to pursue that passion full-time. (Catherine chose not to reveal her full name to avoid harming her past employer’s reputation.)

“Art is something that I’ve always enjoyed doing,” Catherine tells TIME. “It’s enough of a constant throughout my life that I’ve really gotten to thinking in the past few years that maybe this is something more than what I do when I have free time.”

Her website also documents that her entry into the legal world was less than enthusiastic. “Like many of my friends and classmates and colleagues, I had gone to law school fairly aimlessly in my mid-20s with no real plan other than the well-beaten path: do appreciably (if not well), Biglaw, pay off loans, then see where the cards fell,” departurememo.com reads.

Lawyer Cartoons Departure Memo
“Catherine”—departurememo.com

However, as her illustrated memo shows, the “well-beaten path” didn’t suit Catherine very well, and the time she had to dedicate to her life-long passion for art became minimal. “People here are really talented. Unfortunately, for many people, the talents from our past lives now merely take the form of s**t we hang on our walls. It’s the ‘used to’ syndrome,” she writes on her website.

This problem led to her decision to make a career change, and the comic seemed the most fitting way to explain it. “I had a few exchanges that I’ve memorialized in the memo that seemed to me to be too funny, or I just felt that they would work really well in a kind of comic format,” Catherine says. “I felt that it would be relatable. I wanted to do something funny and memorable that the people would enjoy.”

Lawyer Cartoons Departure Memo
“Catherine”—departurememo.com

She sent it to a couple dozen of her co-workers and hoped word of mouth would spread the cartoon around her office. The results were more successful than she’d anticipated. The website was even featured in Yahoo and the legal blog “Above the Law.” She says, “Apparently it struck a chord with a lot of people. I’m just really impressed, really amazed at the reception it got, how far and wide it’s been passed around.”

Catherine’s memo is not the first creative representation for quitting a job. Last September, 25-year-old Marina Shifrin filmed a dance video to Kanye West’s “Gone” to explain her decision to quit her animation job. “For almost two years I’ve sacrificed my relationships, time and energy for this job,” Shifrin wrote in the video.

“Everyone’s had to cancel plans, been pushed into projects that are a mismatch for their interests, worked terrible hours, and so forth,” Catherine said. “Probably quite a few people have wished they could say what was really on their mind when they left, but few do.”

For those like Shifrin who might find the cartoon all too relatable, Catherine has some advice. “I think that there is so much talent out there, and people should absolutely cultivate their talents…and spend time supporting other artists and creative people,” she says. “Everyone can make something, but if we don’t spend time supporting one another, then it’s kind of a dead end for everyone.”

Catherine will find her own creative support community in a month-long artists’ residency program before returning to San Francisco, where she has settled. “Basically the plan there is to clear my head and paint, really not to have to worry about too much else other than figuring out with paintbrushes and paint what I have to say at this point,” she says. “And I’m really open to whatever may come.”

Lawyer Cartoons Departure Memo
“Catherine”—departurememo.com

 

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: July 21

1. Israel and the world must focus on not ‘going all the way’ in Gaza.

By Charles Ogletree in the Washington Post

3. Two Haitan policymakers debate what’s more important for their country: justice or tourism.

By Samiha Shafy in Spiegel

4. We can address one factor driving America’s border crisis: American guns fueling gang wars in Central America.

By Alex MacGillis in the New Republic

5. In the future, art will be for everyone, and the internet will be the delivery system.

By Lisa Wade in Sociological Images

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,830 other followers