Worlds first solar panel mural unveiled in San Antonio

November 17, 2017 by  
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In a world where solar farms are shaped like giant pandas, there’s certainly room for some solar butterflies. Determined to beautify our cities by converting solar panels into creative works of public art , the Seattle-based Land Art Generator Initiative just unveiled the world’s first solar mural installation, called La Monarca, by San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz. La Mariposa solar mural – recently unveiled at the San Antonio Arts Festival, Luminaria – was created through advanced PV Film technology that lets light easily pass through the printed film that adheres to the panels. The beautiful mural is just the first step in the Land Art Generator’s plan to combine sustainable energy infrastructures with public art. Working with local artists, architects, landscape architects, engineers and scientists, the organization hopes to provide more collaborative platforms that enable cities to put a new artsy spin on their clean energy generation . Related: World’s cutest solar farm in China is shaped like a panda According to the artist, La Monarca was inspired by San Antonio’s status as the National Wildlife Federation’s first Monarch Butterfly Champion City . A fitting symbol to be put on a clean energy installation , the monarch butterfly represents the threat that wildlife faces due to global warming and climate change. After the festival, the solar art mural will be moved to its permanent home inside a pollinator garden on the EPICenter campus in San Antonio where it will be used to generate solar energy directly into the building. + Land Art Generator Initiative Images by Land Art Generator Initiative

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Worlds first solar panel mural unveiled in San Antonio

Durable canvas cloth with embedded solar cells generates 120 watts per square meter

November 17, 2017 by  
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Tents , sun shades, and canopies could generate renewable energy with Norway-based company Tarpon Solar’s solar canvas . They created flexible tarpaulins, integrated with bendy solar cells from Swedish company Midsummer . Instead of simply finding shade from the sun, with Tarpon Solar’s product people could obtain clean power from the sunlight striking a canopy or tent. Tarpon Solar laminated solar cells onto a flexible canvas to create a product with numerous potential applications – shade for a restaurant patio, a swimming pool covering, or canopies in refugee camps are just a few of the possibilities. The company says the canvas can also be included in a passive home design. The product could even open up the possibility of solar power generation in places where traditional solar panels couldn’t easily be deployed, according to Tarpon Solar’s website. Related: New solar canopy provides both shade and clean energy Tarpon Solar utilized Midsummer’s solar cells in a product that recently won first place in the MTI Technology Award competition. The CIGS cells, or copper-indium-gallium-selenium, are made without cadmium, a toxic material Midsummer says is often used in CIGS or thin film solar cells. They listed the benefits of CIGS cells as having high efficiency, low weight, durability, and flexibility. The solar cells generate around 120 watts per square meter. Tarpon Solar technical manager Marius Borg-Heggedal said in a statement each canvas is custom made, so the type of fiber and amount of fabric varies among products. The company’s website says the laminated cloth is that utilized in the sailing industry. Borg-Heggedal said solar cells are integrated during production and “become part of the material.” Midsummer described the canvases as very light, saying in a statement with the solar cells integrated “the weight becomes almost the same as with conventional PVC material and the canvas is also stronger and more durable.” + Tarpon Solar + Midsummer Images courtesy of Tarpon Solar and Midsummer

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Durable canvas cloth with embedded solar cells generates 120 watts per square meter

Provocative street art installation shows baby peering over US-Mexico border wall

September 18, 2017 by  
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Renowned street artist JR has installed a provocative new piece on the US-Mexico border. Best-known for his artistic commentary on social issues, JR reportedly designed a poster of a large baby peering over the border fence from the Mexican side. MyModernMet reported that the piece was installed in response to Donald Trump’s border wall rhetoric, as well as his efforts to rescind the DACA program that protects children of undocumented immigrants from being deported. The installation, entitled Kikito, is visible from the American side. Marc Azoulay, who manages JR’s New York Studio, said Kikito is the nickname of a 1-year-old Mexican boy who resides in Tecate, Mexico, where the installation is located. The activist and his team constructed an enormous wooden frame to support the gigantic poster. The project organized with renowned curator Pedro Alonzo  (who has worked with  Os Gemeos ,  Banksy , and  Swoon ) is still a work in progress. Work in progress on the Mexican side of the US/MEXICO border A post shared by JR (@jr) on Sep 6, 2017 at 1:33pm PDT Related: Street artist uses reverse graffiti to transform dirty cars into animal art As MyModernMet reports, JR’s work always centers on faces. His goal is to prove that if we look at one another without prejudice, the world would be a much different and better place. For his work on the separation wall between Israel and Palestine , for instance, the street artist pasted Palestinian portraits on the Israeli side and Israeli portraits on the Palestinian side. When all was done, people couldn’t distinguish one from the other. This newest installation is additional evidence that JR isn’t afraid to tackle difficult topics. JR told MyModernMet : “I think there is no such thing as art trying to change the world. But being an artist and creating art in tons of different contexts, no matter what the mood is and sometimes against the codes that stand around you, is a way of breaking society and changing the world—just by trying.” It was immensely gratifying to work on this project on the US/Mexico border with @JR and his amazing team. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. A post shared by Pedro Alonzo (@trucatriche) on Sep 6, 2017 at 11:09pm PDT ART PROJECT at the US/MEXICAN border – live now A post shared by JR (@jr) on Sep 5, 2017 at 10:46am PDT + JR Via MyModernMet Images via JR

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Provocative street art installation shows baby peering over US-Mexico border wall

Explosion of color takes over an abandoned Puerto Rican factory

April 26, 2017 by  
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An artist’s brilliance breathes new life into a desolate tobacco factory in Caguas, Puerto Rico . Bright sprays and colorful drips have seemingly exploded all over the factory’s formerly lifeless walls in local artist Sofia Maldonado’s eye-popping intervention, Kalaña. Created as part of Cromática: Caguas a Color , the community engagement piece transformed the building into a piece of art and new home to educational workshops, presentations, and other artistic events. Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado and her team of helpers used all parts of the factory interior as canvas. Florescent blues to neon pink and yellows are splashed across the concrete walls punctuated by a few scribbled tags while old graffiti peeks out from behind the latex paint. “My work is mainly inspired by colors and also the Caribbean way of living, and experiencing light and color,” said Maldonado. “The idea of the project is to inspire and open the door to different projects that reuse abandoned spaces. Kalaña is my interpretation of public art . It’s intended for the public to explore to get inside an abandoned building and to experience an explosion of color. But it is also a piece that is activated by different social engagements. That’s one of my main goals: how can I integrate the community in my artwork.” Related: Javier de Riba graffitis gorgeous geometric patterns onto the floors of abandoned buildings Kalaña injects a welcoming energy to the space and the bright colors help set the tone for positive community collaboration. Maldonado was one of seven artists to explore the intersection between art, community, and abandoned architecture in Cromática: Caguas a Color. The piece was completed in 2015. + Sofia Maldonado Via Popup City Images via Sofia Maldonado

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Explosion of color takes over an abandoned Puerto Rican factory

Ai Weiwei to build 100 fences in NYC to shed light on immigration issues

March 28, 2017 by  
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As debates over immigration policy and the refugee crisis continue to rage across the United States, Ai Weiwei , the Beijing-born provocateur, has revealed his plans to raise more than 100 wire security fences across New York City. On view from October 12 through February 11, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”  will be a commentary on the barriers, both psychic and physical, that divide us as a people. The multi-site installation, which is expected to span locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, will be one of Ai’s largest public art projects to date. Indeed it’s the most ambitious to be commissioned by the Public Art Fund , which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. “Ai Weiwei transforms an ordinary architectural element into a series of striking installations,” said Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund. “’Good Fences Make Good Neighbors’ invites us to consider the role of the fence in a modern society as well as our own relationship to the object in question: Does this fence serve a purpose? Does it feel imposed or like it belongs? What does it separate me from? What side of the fence am I on? Does it protect me, or do I feel constrained?” Ai’s exhibition takes its name from “Mending Wall,” a poem by Robert Frost about a stone wall that separates the narrator’s property from his neighbor’s. The pieces will appear to grow out of the urban landscape in unexpected contexts, Baume said, including on rooftops, the spaces between buildings, and on bus shelters. Related: Wool art installation repurposed into blankets for Syrian refugees For Ai, who lived in New York for a time, the political is personal. “I was an immigrant in New York in the 1980s for 10 years and the issue with the migration crisis has been a longtime focus of my practice,” Ai said. “The fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbor,’ which are connected to the current global political environment. But what’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same. Some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more.” + Ai Weiwei + Public Art Fund Via the New York Times

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Ai Weiwei to build 100 fences in NYC to shed light on immigration issues

Tiny ice pods provide shelter for cold weather adventurers

February 10, 2017 by  
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Czech architecture firm Mjölk Architekti has built a series of tiny ice pods, the design of which took first place in the Warming Huts Competition five years ago, in their home town of Liberec. The “Polar Hens” sit adjacent to the Liberec dam so that local hikers and ice skaters can take a break in the  icy retreats . The igloo pods are made out of a  very thick ice shell  of compressed frozen river water. To construct the pods, a large inflatable balloon is equipped with a sprinkler connected to a compressor and generator. A water pump sprays icy water over the air-filled silicone balloon, creating a thick wall of ice that glows with a light blue tint . When the walls are thick enough, the inflatable base is removed, leaving a nicely formed igloo in its place. Although the pods look small from the outside, the smooth interior is quite spacious, and provides a nice haven for cold weather adventurers. Related: Ice Sculptures Embedded with Seeds Repopulate Riverbeds as they Melt The Polar Hen design won the Warming Huts Competition in 2012 . The annual event features architecture firms from all over the world showcasing their unique cold-weather shelter designs along the Red River Mutual Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The winning designs are chosen by a “blind” jury who judge the entries based on creativity in terms of materials, shelter characteristics , assembly and form, along with integration with the landscape. + Mjölk Architekti Via Archdaily Images via Mjölk Architekti

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Tiny ice pods provide shelter for cold weather adventurers

Artists build treehouse ‘Visitor Center’ at Mexican border

February 6, 2017 by  
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Putting a sardonic, yet poignant twist to typical welcoming centers seen in national parks, Japanese artist collective, Chim?Pom has created a “U.S.A Visitor’s Center” on the Tijuana border. The treehouse shack is perched high in a tree overlooking the border wall that separates Tijuana from San Diego, California. The “Visitors Center” is a rickety wooden structure that sits precariously among the feeble tree limbs located on a family home in Colonia Libertad area. The desolate Mexican neighborhood has seen countless amounts of Mexican migrants pass through on their way to cross the border. The artist collective, (formed in Tokyo in 2005) met the owners, whose self-built house sits adjacent to the treehouse, while visiting Mexico last year. Related: Apartments made out of re-used materials pop-up in protest of the housing crisis in Munich The Japanese team installed the protest art installation last July as a metaphor of the “unreachable USA”. One of the artists in the collective, Ellie, was previously denied entry into the country when working with a Japanese TV crew. In an interview with Hyperallergic, Chim?Pom explained the inspiration behind the project, “National parks like the Grand Canyon have visitor centers to learn about places that you cannot enter. In Tijuana, there are many people who cannot enter the US. So for people like them and Ellie, this is a USA Visitor Center to think about what America is.” In clear view of the treehouse, the artists also placed a white cross on the American side of the border. With a little help from the community, Chim?Pom scaled the border wall to place the cross there as a symbolic gesture to liberty. Next to the cross, the artists dug a circular hole paying tribute to a previous installation. Both of the installations, “Libertad” and “The Ground” represent a place of “in-betweenness and uncertainty”, a state many immigrants can relate to these days under Donald Trump’s immigration ban . Both of the US-based installations will most likely be removed soon by authorities, but the Visitor’s Center is on private land, hopefully ensuring a little longevity. “Since it’s a center to view ‘Libertad’ and ‘The Grounds,’ it’s essentially like an art gallery, but once those two works are removed it won’t have that function,” Chim?Pom said. “But you’ll still be able to look over the US, and if a new wall is built, you would be able to see the construction.” + Chim?Pom Via Hyperallergic Photography via Chim?Pom and MUJIN-TO Production. Lead photo by Osamu Matsuda.

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Artists build treehouse ‘Visitor Center’ at Mexican border

Torontos 8 Winter Station winners to revive citys frozen beaches

February 3, 2017 by  
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Toronto’s freezing beaches will soon be a hotspot of activity. The third annual Winter Stations design competition recently unveiled this year’s eight winners, a series of temporary art installations that will take over the city’s east end beaches beginning February 20. These interactive pieces will be built atop ordinary lifeguard stands and offer designs ranging from a Japanese onsen-inspired installation to a modern lighthouse. The Toronto Winter Stations competition selected five professional and three student teams to create temporary sculptures for the Toronto beachfront created under the theme of “Catalyst.” The competition seeks visionary designs that reinvent the waterfront landscape into an inviting and memorable place during a time of year when the frozen beaches are normally deserted. “Winter Stations 2017 delivered, once again, gutsy and lyrical transformations of ordinary lifeguard stands,” said Lisa Rochon, Winter Stations Design Jury Chair. “Visitors will be able to touch and feel their way along the beach, experiencing luminous shelter from the wind, warming waters for their feet, and designs that celebrate the Canadian nation of immigrants.” Related: 7 Burning Man-style winter stations unveiled for Toronto’s snowy shores The winning entries in the professionals category include: Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela’s I See You Ashiyu, an installation where visitors can dip their feet into a Japanese hot spring-inspired basin; studio PERCH’s North, a suspended forest of 41 trees hung upside down; Mario García and Andrea Govi’s Collective Memory built from recycled bottles in reference to a statistic that says nearly one-half of the Canadian population over the age of 15 will be foreign born or a child of a migrant parent by 2031; Dionisios Vriniotis, Rob Shostak, Dakota Wares-Tani and Julie Forand’s BuoyBuoyBuoy, a reflective sculpture mimicking the motion of multiple buoys; and Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva’s modern interpretation of a lighthouse in The Beacon, which will also double as a drop-off location for non-perishable items like canned food or clothes. The selected student works include University of Waterloo’s Flotsam and Jetsam that speaks to the ills of plastic consumption; Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology’s the Illusory that uses mirrors to distort perspectives; and Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto’s Midwinter Fire, which immerses visitors in a miniature version of a Southern Ontario winter forest. + Winter Stations Via ArchDaily Images via Winter Stations

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Torontos 8 Winter Station winners to revive citys frozen beaches

Temporary dome made from newspapers pops-up in Beirut

November 14, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/189543978#at=0 Paper Dome recently popped up in Beirut’s Sanayeh Garden . A dream team of 10 local architecture students, guided by Atelier YokYok  and Ulysse Lacoste, built the structure in just seven days. Its skeleton was assembled from local pine wood, and the skin is made up of folded newspaper “tiles”. Related: Designer Woojai Lee recycles newspaper into “marbled” furniture The ephemeral structure, which offers shade and shelter to curious passersby, rests on one point so that it can be easily lifted. Once inside, visitors can enjoy the tranquility of the space and reflect on the fragility of life. Paper Dome was designed as part of Art in Motion , a public art festival in Beirut , for the inclusion of wide audiences from diverse socio-economical backgrounds. + Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste + Art in Motion Via UrDesign Photos by  Atelier YokYok

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Temporary dome made from newspapers pops-up in Beirut

NeSpoon adorns urban spaces with oversized doily art

October 4, 2016 by  
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NeSpoon’s creations have recently embellished various walls, streets and public parks around Poland , New Zealand and France. Aesthetically, they draw inspiration from traditional embroidery, yet the different creations are made using ceramic, rope or a stencil, and a spray can. The ‘urban jewelry’ can be imprinted on the wall, can take shape as an  aerial sculpture or as a doily detail on a wall. Related: NeSpoon’s Delicate Doily Art Adorns a Stretch of the Baltic’s Oak Beach Each piece is handmade by the artist herself or with the hand of traditional folk artists with whom she works. NeSpoon explains her passion for lace : “In lace there is an aesthetic code which is deeply embedded in every culture. In every lace we find symmetry, and some kind of order and harmony. Isn’t that what we all seek for instinctively?” + NeSpoon Via This is Colossal

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NeSpoon adorns urban spaces with oversized doily art

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