Wind powered deminer

 

Functional beauty is the cry of a world in recession. We can’t afford to dream of art any more, so we fill our homes with pretty teacups and cover ourselves with meaningful tattoos. Thankfully the art world is finally catching on.

The glorious sculpture above is not only aesthetically pleasing but is actually a low cost device for setting off land-mines. Massoud Hassani based the sculpture on the memory of wind powered toys from his childhood, it is made to travel across land with GPS tracking the safe path. If it were to set off a mine, it would absorb the shock and only partially destruct.

The best part is that if it were to go into full scale production it would cost around 40USD to make – a far more affordable option than the normal minesweepers.

And without doubt, it is a thing of beauty.

Mine Kafon Wind-Powered Deminer (2011) by Massoud Hassani as seen at MOMA.

The honeycomb vase

 

That ladies and gentlemen, is a vase made by bees. Bees are known for their artistic temperament, but this is the first time I have even seen one of their works.

They get points for use of geometrical patterns, and also for utilising non-traditional materials but I can’t help feeling like they let themselves down in the finish – I mean, its hardly symmetrical.

What is really impressive is that it is a result of an artistic commune that actually worked. 40,000 bees lived and worked together to create the vase, and as far as I know everyone did their fair share of work and there was not a single argument.

(This is part of a series of works by Tomáš Gabzdil Libertin to show a ‘slow manufacturing’ process. Tomáš creates a frame and then lets the bees at it, it takes 40,000 bees about a week to create the honeycomb structure around the frame. As seen at MOMA in New York).

While we were in New York we stayed at an AirBnB apartment. Renting an apartment in a big city is fantastic because you have your own space and because most of the time it is cheaper than a hotel.

But staying in an apartment did lead to one of the most unexpectedly hilarious moments and best ‘learning moments’ of the trip – which of course I just have to share with you:

The number 1 thing you shouldn’t do when renting out your apartment … is leave a note like this on the back of your bedroom door.

To Do list

The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi

It was over 30°C when I was in New York, so by the time I had walked through Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art I was absolutely parched. So obviously the first stop was to the roof garden for a cool lemonade to quench my thirst.

I stepped outside only to be confronted by a blood bath. Rusty red splatters covered the entire terrace…but turns out it was just the Roof Garden Commission by Imran Qureshi.

It was amazing in that it created feelings of shock/repulsion/morbid curiosity as soon as you locked eyes on it. But pretty soon most of the tourists were distracted by the stunning views over the city. If only they had looked down and had seen the beautiful flower patterns in the chaos.

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Top tip: The Metropolitan Museum of Art has signs everywhere saying tickets are $25, but this is just a suggested donation and you can pay whatever you want/can.

I went on a family holiday to the concrete jungle where dreams are made. To be honest it was less making dreams and more eating amazing food, shopping like a nutter and celebrating with family. So I thought I would ease you into the empire state of mind by giving you my second first impressions of New York.

First is the bigness of it. It is almost impossible to get anything in a photo – just so big big big! It does make me think of the poor architects who design these monoliths, only for them to be photographed in part.

Guggenheim Museum

Second is the amazing stickers and fliers on every corner in the city. I’ve shown you this one and this one, but my favourite by far is this.

Nerd seeking nerd

And lastly, is the colour. So much colour.

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Tune in tomorrow for a complete New York blood bath!