Coffee Seeks Its Own Level. 1990. If one person alone lifts his cup, coffee overflows the other three cups. All four people need to coordinate their actions and lift simultaneously. Inspired by the principle “water seeks its own level”. I had been working on a series of projects using basic scientific principles learned in high school as a means to explore architectural issues.
The site of reversible destiny
The Reversible Destiny Foundation is an artists-architects-poets group formed by Madeline Gins and Arakawa. The Foundation’s work concerns the body, its simultaneously specific and non-specific relation to its surroundings. The philosophical findings of what a body or person is directs their architectural theories and works. The Foundation plans to collaborate with practitioners in a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to experimental biology, neuroscience, quantum physics, experimental phenomenology, and medicine. Their architectural projects have included residences, parks and plans for housing complexes and neighborhoods.
Tokyo-based artist Makoto Azuma doesn’t appear to believe in doing things by halves. His latest installation looks at the universe, beyond Earth, as a site for appreciating beauty and art. Two pieces, a Japanese white pine bonsai known as the “Shiki 1”, and an untitled arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, were launched into the stratosphere last week in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. This is part of project Exobotanica – Botanical Space Flight (see more pictures here), where Azuma heads a 10 person team, coupled with Sacramento-based JP Aerospace — “America’s Other Space Program”, a volunteer-based organization that constructs and sends vessels into orbit.
Azuma is interested in the beauty of organic movement in plants, and how this beauty would be suspended in space as a weightless environment. The objects themselves – the bonsai plant and the flower arrangement, have an almost uneasy juxtaposition in their nature. On the one hand, they are organic, Earth-bound items that send instant connotations to the viewer about the beauty of our natural world, yet both represent a natural world moulded by human hands – the miniaturised tree and the specifically arranged flowers. In the end, they can almost be seen less as art and more as specific examples of Earthly design; an amalgamation of human and mother nature’s architecture, broadcast to the universe beyond.
But equally as stunning is the documentary imagery itself, taken from orbit and brought back to Earth. Oh to see what those blossoms have seen!
salopp is an independent magazine for young photography. It provides a space for unknown new work. Founded by a graphic designer and four photographers, salopp presents a wide range of artists, each showing their unique visual world. salopp is published as often as possible. In german and in english.