Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Photo courtesy of Design Sponge

The ever increasing popularity in the utilization of recycled materials for design purposes seems to have created a new genre. This table below from Workstead in NY resembles something found out of the industrial revolution with a contemporary twist. Made out of 100% recycled materials, this piece is not only smart design, it has a story. The base was once used to support the hull of a ship.

Workstead is a collaboration between Swedish born designer Stefanie Brechbuehler and North Carolina native Robert Andrew Highsmith. The table above is one of Robert's designs which is available through custom order in several finishes and heights. Robert studied music for 15 years until he decided to pursue an architecture degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, where both both partners received their Masters. Workstead is a full service design and architecture firm with a very unique sustainable approach. I have only captured a few of their pieces here, but a more in depth look of their larger projects can be viewed on their site.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Independants

Tent City - July 2009
Librado Romero / New York Times

I always have an eye out for the non-profit sector of arts initiatives because they offer some of the most exciting programming within the field of contemporary art due to their uncompromising visions. Today I would like to share a few of the spaces that I have most recently discovered here in Germany and abroad.

Not An Alternative, Brooklyn

Not An Alternative manages a non-profit multi purpose venue named 'The Change You Want To See Gallery and Convergence Stage' who's mission is to integrate art, activism and theory in order to create a greater understanding of world events, semiotics and history. They recently teamed up with Picture the Homeless and Reclaim NYC to stage a temporary intervention on a bank owned lot in Harlem erecting a tent city for the Homeless. As an initial diversion for the protest, the participants dressed up as production crew members to stage a scenario for the filming of a music video. After the tent city was established more than 100 homeless and allied protesters joined to oppose the lack of affordable housing in the city and attempted to demonstrate the solutions that could be achieved for the homeless by utilizing vacant spaces in the city. Despite a successful day, at least 10 people were arrested for remaining on the property after being asked to leave by the police.

Not An Alternative houses a production workshop filming studio and editing suite. In addition to their exhibition program they offer regular lectures, screenings, workshops, artist talks and panel discussions.

Supportico Lopez, Berlin

'Basking in what feels like an 'ocean of grace', I realize that I am not looking at it but rather, I AM it, recogniszing myself.' - Emily Wardill, 2009

Supportico Lopez was founded in Napoli in 2003 and relocated to Berlin a few years later. The Gallery calls itself a 'curatorial project'. They function with complete autonomy relying entirely on the initiative of private individuals. They attempt, through their projects, to create a better understanding of the international contemporary art world and the social aspects that go into the production of artworks.

Having recently exhibited Emily Wardill was a particularly strong choice for Supportico Lopez. Their choices emphasize the gallery's reach and commitment towards being a competitive force within the Berlin gallery scene. Wardhill is a film maker and a senior lecturer at the Central Saint Martin's College of Art in London. Her work has been widely exhibited all over the world and is set to have a solo show at De Appel in Amsterdam in 2010.

The Next show at Supportico 'Exhume to Consume' from Marius Engh is scheduled to open on the 19th of September.

Self Service Open Art Space, Stuttgart

'Helen Remained Silent', 2009
Alan Cicmak

Self Service is a project by the Kunstverein Dialekt e.V. which is being temporarily run under the name White Heat in collaboration with the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Hermes und der Pfau, Katrin Mundt & Jan Lochte. Self Services program comprises installation, video, film screenings, drawing and painting. Currently on show is 'Hellen Remained Silent' from Alan Cicmak. The German born artist recently completed a residency in Los Angeles at the MAK Center where he researched a site called Surfridge, a no-mans land next to LAX airport, the result of a 1960's expansion project. Cicmak investigates the possibilities of representation in real space with sculpture, installation and film. I would recommend taking a look at his website which provides a very in depth look at his work. This show is definitely worth a visit.

Hermes und der Pfau, Stuttgart

Society for Actually Happening Art Presents 'A Rise and Fall' performed by Hands at White Heat Temporary Art Space, 7.7.2009

Hermes und der Pfau in Stuttgart is a young not-for-profit gallery founded by Anne-Sofie Ruckhaberle and Philipp Ziegler. The gallery presents regular solo and group exhibitions and was featured in this years NYC event for independent galleries 'No Soul For Sale' from X Initiative.

Opening on the 17 of September at 7pm will be Karl Orton's "The Jolly Smashing of the Uncanny'. The artist will be presenting an installation based on the idea of the art worlds interpretation of appropriation and its connection to the uncanny. Orton was born in the UK and studied at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt after working for Maison Martin Margiela in Paris for 3 years.