Saleena Wedderburn, SALLY - IAMME, 2014


Food For Thought: Art is Good For Your Brain!

A recent study by University Hospital Erlangen in Germany suggests that, other than relieving stress, coming into contact with art specifically by making art works or crafts, can create “a significant improvement in psychological resilience”. This is due to the excessive use of motor and cognitive processing in the brain, stimulating it. Such discoveries are beneficial especially to the elderly, as creating art keeps the brain healthy, which could help slow down the onslaught of memory loss. You can read more on the findings here.

Science, engineering and all other typically ‘non-artsy’ fields have artistic elements about them; in fact, mathematical equations, DNA and even microbiological elements can be seen as works of art all on their own, serving both aesthetic and educational purposes. Even bacteria, manipulated by scientists such as Eshel Ben-Jacob, can create psychedelic patterns based on natural formations due to change in temperature or environment. The results are truly groovy.

A certain amount of creativity and a sense of design were definitely needed to create “inFORM”, an invention from MIT which allows users to interact with objects through a screen (yes, the digital kind). This invention is capable of rendering 3D objects physically, allowing users to interact with each other no matter how far away they are.

Not only can our artistic side create new inventions or help us see the scientific world in a different light, but art can help keep the brain active and healthy for many decades, or in the case of Hal Lasko, almost a century. The 99 year old, who passed away this year, worked as a typographer in his youth, making fonts by hand. After becoming partially blind in his senior years, Lasko turned to digital mediums such as Microsoft Paint, creating over 150 digital pieces.

Art it seems is a lot more beneficial to us than merely another creative outlet and stress-reliever, and we have science to thank for reaching that conclusion!

-Anna Paluch



Expectations Vs. Reality / Game of thrones


The Invisible Presence

The works of Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller often create a potent atmosphere through the abundant use of antiquated objects and nostalgic memorabilia. Kitty Scott of the AGO astutely thought to link the words memory palace to their works, which have been collected in a retrospective show held at the AGO and the Vancouver Art Gallery, where I was lucky enough to experience it. This description is most accurate because each piece is a complex network of memories that are at once accessible and completely foreign to the viewer. Works such as Dark Pool, 1995, Opera for a Small Room, 2005, and The Killing Machine, 2007, are composed of dense collections of used objects that have a strongly uncanny presence. The objects are often well worn and bear the musk of a former possessor. They are commonplace objects: vinyl records, tea cups, personal diaries and journals, all domestic items that most visitors have been intimately familiar with at one point in their life. And yet now the objects are being used and displayed so strangely in dark, heavy installations that any personal memories evoked in the viewer are undeniably contaminated by a foreign presence.

In Opera for a Small Room Cardiff & Miller use programmed lighting and robots to create the visual and aural traces of an unseeable person performing for the audience. The sound system plays a recording of the invisible man scuffling through the room, sorting through the stacks of records and speaking to the audience. His presence is further supported by lighting that creates his shadow flickering around the room and robotics that pull out his chair and turn on the record players. The invisible presence of modern technology is disguised as the invisible presence of the ghost who inhabits the installation.

The Killing Machine has a menacing presence when visitors are first confronted with it. Two gangly and yet sinister robotic arms, as well as a variety of old television sets emitting buzzing static images surround an electronic dentist’s chair. The experience of the installation however only truly begins when the viewer inevitable pushes the large button that entices visitors to PRESS it. The Killing Machine is then brought to life and the viewer can only watch in horror as an invisible victim is tortured to death by the robotic arms equipped with firing pneumatic pistons that whirl in a dance of death around the chair. Click here to watch The Killing Machine in action.

Underlying the dated and decrepit objects of the Cardiff & Miller installations is a force used to create the eerie presence of their pieces. These artists ironically rely on the latest technology to bring new life and a new presence to their installations. Robotics and precise programming are essential to the execution of these pieces. Interestingly, in an interview with Canadian Art Cardiff explained that “Technology is not the subject matter for us,” and Miller was quick to follow, stating, “The concern is only in what it can do for us.”  Despite this aloof attitude towards technology, the duo is dependent upon the latest innovations to bring their ideas to fruition. Art and technology are inseparable from each other in the work of these two artists.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is set to host Lost in the Memory Palace from June 21st to September 21st, 2014.

- Emily Cluett


Happy Batman Day!


The gorgeous paintings of Joanne Nam.  Get her print at The People’s Printshop!


King David dreams of Versace

King David playing the harp (1622), Gerard van Honthorst / Versace, Migos ft. Drake, Meek Mill, Tyga, & Los

Thanks to @megalops for this submission!


Yes, I’m the real shady

The Familiar Objects (1928), Rene Magritte / The Real Slim Shady, Eminem


Florinda’s world

Florinda (1853), Franz Xaver Winterhalter / My World, Iggy Azalea


Notorious Henry VIII

The Family of Henry VIII (c. 1572), Lucas de Heere / Big Poppa, The Notorious B.I.G.

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