All posts tagged: Iceland

Icelandic Murals, Northern Lights, “Wall Poetry 2016” in Reykjavik

Icelandic Murals, Northern Lights, “Wall Poetry 2016” in Reykjavik

The concept album was born in the Stoned Age when TV was black and white, back when disaffected teens had to trudge for blocks and blocks outside on the sidewalk to the record store and carry their rock and roll home on large heavy vinyl platters called albums, sometimes double albums.

In the snow. Barefoot.

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Heather Mclean collaborated on her wall with Minor Victories and the song “A Hundred Ropes”. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Rewarded for their hard work and sacrifice, these pioneering music fans opened those two record concept albums and used the big flat surface to pick the seeds out from their marijuana stash and roll a reefer.

Then they dropped the needle, turned up the dial, and lied on their back on their single beds surrounded by the two speaker stereophonic sound that gently vibrated their black-light posters on the wall, reading the song lyrics and metaphorically taking a wild and magical trip inside the cover art of the album.

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Heather Mclean. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“We paint the music you love to hear,” says Yasha Young in Reykavik, Iceland, as she imagines the thousands of music fans who will inundate this city in a few weeks for “Iceland Airwaves”.

For the second year Urban Nation, the Berlin-based arts organization working primarily within the Urban Contemporary Art scene, brings the musicians a powerful visual partner called “Wall Poetry”.

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Heather Mclean. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

By pairing one musician/group with one visual artist/group, Young, the director of UN, wants to re-create the concept album where the eyes have a newly created entryway into the music. Of course its only one interpretation but countless stories can be evoked from this intercultural exchange.

It’s the second year for the program, and we are very lucky to have these exclusive shots from Nikka Kramer of some of the first walls going up in advance of the festival, which this year features over 200 bands. Check out the stunning atmospheric images featuring northern lights; a poetry of their own.

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Heather Mclean. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Strøk collaborated on his wall with MAMMÚT and the song “I Pray For Air In The Water”. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Strøk. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Phlegm collaborated on his wall with MÚM The Band. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Phlegm. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Phlegm. Detail. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lora Zombie. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lora Zombie was inspired by the songs of L.A. based band War Paint for her wall. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lora Zombie. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lora Zombie. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Herakut collaborated on their wall with Kronos Quartet. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Herakut. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Herakut. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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INO. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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INO. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Don John. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Don John collaborated on his wall with Swedish musician Silvana Imam’s “Naturkraft”. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Don John. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Wes21 and Onur. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Wes21 and Onur. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Wes21 and Onur collaborated on their wall with the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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DotDotDot publicly collaborated on his wall with all the volunteers, locals, strangers and passers by using the word “perfection” as officially described on Google/dictionary. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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DotDotDot. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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DotDotDot. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016 artists in no particular order: Don John, Onur, Wes21, Ino, Heather Mclean, Herakut, Lora Zombie,Phlegm and Strok. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves is presented in partnership between Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art (UN Berlin) and Iceland Airwaves. For for about Wall Poetry read here.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he tells me I’m an idiot because I trust scientists about climate change and that actually it is a hoax created by the Chinese.

Sorry, everything reminds us of Donald J. Trump and his outlandish claim for the presidency. Even when we are looking at the new Faile mural in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Love Me, Love Me Not.

The Greenest Point is an initiative that wants to raise awareness of Climate Change and three Street Artists have just completed two murals here in Brooklyn to support it. The organization says that they hope to gather “together people from different backgrounds, professions and skill-sets who are bonded by aligned values and a common vision.” By integrating Street Art with technology, film, sound and voice, they hope that we’ll be more capable of piecing together the climate change puzzle as a collective.

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t pretend to be scientists, but we trust the ones we have and we decided that this week we would dedicate BSA Images of the Week  just to this new project and this topic. We also know that it is now well-documented that tobacco companies fought us citizens with disinformation and legislative trickery for decades before they finally admitted that smoking was killing us and our families, so there is reason to believe that oil companies and related industries who flood our media and politicians with money are possibly buying time while we’re all heating up the atmosphere.

Here are new images of the two new murals in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn and an interview with the three artists who participated; Vexta, Askew, and long time Greenpoint studio residents, Faile.

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Faile: We feel it’s important to create work that can resonate with people on an emotional level. Something that we can live with everyday and that has a place in our lives that brings meaning to our experience. This is how we think people must learn to connect to climate change. It’s not something you can just think about, it’s something that you have to do everyday. It has to become part of you. We hope art has the power to be that wink and nod that you are on the right track. That the little things you do are meaningful and that change starts with you in the most simple of ways.

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Vexta and Askew. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Greenpoint has a history of blue collar communities who worked in factories producing goods for the both the merchant marine and the USA Navy. Those factories are all gone and only a few of the original settlers remain in the neighborhood such as the Polish community. How do you think the murals painted for the festival relate to them?
Vexta: Our collaborative mural hopefully offers a voice to people directly to people who will become a part of the history of Greenpoint and its legacy. We will have QR codes installed that link to video pieces that physically give Askew’s subjects a voice as well as linking to the birds calls and information about their situation.
Faile: We tried to be aware of the history of Greenpoint. The communities that make this neighborhood what it is. We tried to incorporate some nods to them through the work, specifically with the traditional Polish pattern in the socks. Unfortunately, Greenpoint is also home to some of the worst ecological disasters this country has ever experienced, the effects of which are still present. We wanted to bring something positive and something beautiful to the neighborhood that spoke to everyone. There are other historical murals in the neighborhood so it didn’t feel like it required another.

The neighborhood is also quickly changing. It’s home to many young families and has a vibrant creative class, not to mention our studio for the last 12 years. When creating an artwork in a public space, especially a park, there’s always that balance of trying to make something that people can connect with on a visceral, then psychological level in an immediate way–once that connection is made you hope they can dig a little deeper into the more subversive side of the meaning.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Faile:Whether you believe it or not there are basic things that people can do in their everyday lives to create a more beautiful environment around them. Picking up trash, recycling, being mindful that our resources are precious – none of these really imply that you have to have an opinion about climate change. Just the fact that we have a green space now in Transmitter Park is progress towards an environment that we can fall in love with.

We think that’s ultimately what the idea of Love Me, Love Me Not is asking. What kind of environment do you want? Do you want renewable green spaces that offer future generations beauty and room to reflect within nature? Or do you want to pave over the toxic soil and oil spills with the risk of repeating the past? If people can even ask themselves that question then we are at least engaging them into the dialogue where the seeds of action can be planted.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Vexta: For me as an artist it is the means that I have to talk about what I know to be important. Art also stands as this symbolic, most often visual, gesture that can bring people together, ignite debate and shine a light towards a new way of thinking that is perhaps still in the shadows of the mainstream. There is no more pressing issue right now than Climate Change.

There was a famous piece of graffiti up for a long time in my home city of Melbourne that read “No Jobs on a Dead Planet” in a beautiful font running down a power plant chimney. This work spurred my thinking back before I had begun making art professionally. That simple creative action out in public space was powerful and it spoke a simple truth and showed me that you can do a lot with a little. Art and art out in the streets is a great vehicle for talking about issues like climate change, because its a gesture in a shared space, it provides something to meditate on or think about that ultimately is a shared reality, this makes sense to me as climate change is a problem we need to work together to address.

Askew: I think that in particular art in the public space can be a very powerful way to put messaging on issues that matter right out in front of people who may not otherwise engage with it. Also an artist has the freedom to make the image captivating in a way that perhaps other platforms for speaking about serious issues don’t. People get bombarded with so much conflicting information every day especially via the mainstream media, art can put people in the contemplative space to engage differently.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: You have participated in at least one other art festival whose principal mission is to highlight the well being of our ecology and our planet. What would you say is unique characteristic of The Greenest Point that differentiates it from other festivals with equal goals?
Askew: Well I think this is different because it’s so focused on a specific place whereas the scope of other events I’ve painted look more generally at global issues. I think it’s great for communities to narrow their focus to directly around them to tackle very tangible local change. If every neighborhood did that globally, imagine the impact.
Vexta: I agree with Askew, What is special about The Greenest Point is that it’s very locally based yet has a global focus. The Greenest Point has brought so many different parts of our local community together, from creatives to government to business. It has shown us that people in our neighborhood really care about Climate Change.

BSA: Your collaborative mural with Askew represents the current and future generations of children. What do you think is the principal message to send to the children so they are more aware of the problems facing our planet?
Vexta: My mural with Askew represents a coming together of numerous ideas. The future belongs to the youth and the world’s children will be the ones most impacted by Climate Change. I think they are really aware of this problem and it’s a very scary prospect. Our mural brought together not only representations of young people but also birds found in the NY state area that are currently climate threatened & endangered (according to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report) as well as icebergs made of my shapes that represent the particles that make up all matter.

I would hope that we can inspire them to feel empowered to make small changes that they see as being possible whilst also acknowledging that all the other parts of our world – the birds, animals, water, air and land are just as important as they are. We are all in this together.

Askew: For me personally, celebrating young local people who are giving their time to make change in Greenpoint around sustainability and community-building issues is immediately inspiring to other young people.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Askew: Everything we do has impact, positive and negative – that’s the duality we deal with inhabiting this space. It’s a closed system, resources are finite and so we must respect them and do our best to live in harmony with this earth that supports us and live peacefully amongst each other and the various other creatures we share this planet with. No one thing is going to make pivotal change but everyone being mindful and keeping the conversation and action going is what will make a difference.

Our special thanks to the team at The Greenest Point and to the artists for sharing their time and talent with BSA readers.

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One image from this week by Street Artist Sipros depicts Climate-Change-denying Donald Trump as the character The Joker, from the Batman movies. A frightening piece of political satire, or perhaps propaganda, depending on who you talk to. Mana Urban Art Projects. Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Lincoln Street Art Park. Detroit, Michigan. Septiembre 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Wall Poetry” in Iceland : Stunning Views and Music-Inspired Murals

“Wall Poetry” in Iceland : Stunning Views and Music-Inspired Murals

Urban Nation (UN) and Iceland Airwaves Festival Create Mural Program

Sound and vision are inextricably bound in the modern music canon, with inspired visuals leading our auditory imaginations at least since Toulouse-Lautrec’s depictions of Moulin Rouge orchestral and singing talents. Later illustrators were important for ushering us into the jazz era with snappy collage and geometrics for album covers and the birth of rock and roll expanded and shaped popular album-oriented daydreams. With every subsequent genre and subgenre of music from pop to rap to metal to disco and EDM, static and video artists continue to visually augment, interpret, define, and expand upon the music that we listen to.

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Telmo & Miel. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

This autumn in Iceland an equally inspired program pairing of 10 Street Artists with 10 musicians for the Airwaves music festival brought Reykjavik new murals from a mix of local and international artists. Since Iceland is the new Brooklyn, you’ll like to see how Berlin’s Urban Nation (UN) is precisely on top of something hot and icy with these eye-popping murals inspired by pace-setting modern sounds.

“I love music,” says UN Director Yasha Young as she describes the process that she and Iceland Airwaves’ Grímur Atlason and Henny Frímannsdottír went through to select music for their 1st edition of Wall Poetry. “We started to play our favorite bands from the lineup to each other, researched their album art, read their lyrics in great depth and watched all the video footage we could find,” she explains. “After that we decided who we thought would be interesting to approach for such a creative adventure. I know the artists I work with very well so it was more about listening to them and defining in more detail what the their individual ideas were for this project. The main goal for me was to pair them with the right collaborative partner musically and visually.”

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Telmo & Miel. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“With paintings in and around Reykjavik the artists had time to complete their walls in time for the 10 day music festival in November, drawing the attention of fans and locals who were interested in the artwork that is impacting their daily experience of the city. The musicians were asked to provide the street artists with a song, lyrics or poetry especially chosen or written for this project,” says curator Frímannsdottír on the site. “The visual artists were provided a city wall as surface for the large scale work.”

Artist and musician collaborations for Wall Poetry include:

Ernest Zacharevic + Dikta, Caratoes + Ylja, Tankpetrol + GUS GUS, D*FACE + Laxdæla saga, Deih XLF + Vök, Telmo Miel + Mercury Rev, Li Hill + John Grant, ELLE + ÚlfurÚlfur, Evoca1 + Saun & Starr, and The Ugly Brothers + Gísli Pálmi.

 

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Telmo & Miel. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

We spoke to Yasha Young about the first year of Wall Poetry and the challenges of mounting a project like this:

Brooklyn Street Art: How important is the visual aspect of music to you? Many people may not always make that connection.
Yasha Young: To me it is so very important. I am a visual person to begin with but I think that it is vital as an individual who works with and for artists to work across genres and with as many different creative aspects as possible to be able to create one lasting and meaningful overall experience.

I remember buying LP’s for their cover art and the stickers and zines that came with them. I remember Buzzocks’s and The Ramones buttons and the silk printed posters by the Sex Pistols that came with the LP if memory serves me correctly. I think about The Rolling Stones “Some Girls” sliding cover and the art for Pink Floyds ‘The Wall’ and the “Led Zeppelin III” album with its rotating cover art that you could interact with.

And of course music videos became huge productions; actually they are little films that often connect with you on an even deeper level and enhance your experience of the music. Videos were launch pads for creative careers and massive innovations; for example Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’, ‘Cry’ by Godley and Crème, Gorillaz’ ‘Clint Eastwood’, Radiohead’s ‘No Surprises’, and my all-time favorite song and visuals combination was  Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit’. Of course as we speak I’m thinking also about Iceland’s Björk and her video for ‘ Human Behaviour” and John Grant and Tate Shots collaboration… I could go on and on.

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Telmo & Miel. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“Mothrider” is inspired by the lyrics of Mercury Rev for “Moth Light”:

If, if I was a moth
I’d fly to the light in you
And if, if I was lost
I’d lose myself in you

Planets line up in the sky
Feel the waves go rushing by
Let’s just give it one more try
Ain’t got nothing to lose.”

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Telmo & Miel. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

(Young, continued) In my career I’ve had the great pleasure to be part of making album art happen for bands, such as KORN’s ‘Untitled’ for example. I worked with many bands on that creative level and it only deepened my connection and convictions when it came to art and music. Today we have a one-click behavior for experiencing streaming music that almost reminds me a little of when video killed the radio star. There is an essential part of the experience that is fading and we feed it with the “instant buy”.

I believe that we are losing more than ‘just’ the record store and the poster art or album cover. We are losing an essential and lasting connection that came with the purchase of the record or CD but was established long before; the multi-faceted creation of the entire visual aspect. You became part of a creative baseline and connected to the music through the visual work. Reading the lyrics as audio poetry on the back sleeve or the LP or interacting with the music and the art made it a much more lasting and impressive experience in my view. This is just the surface of what I think and would like to explore even further and on a deeper level next year when we return for the 2nd edition of Wall Poetry.

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Northern Lights. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Brooklyn Street Art: What inspired you to start the project?
Yasha Young: I am always inspired by new opportunities to bring together different artistic genres and unusual or challenging – but always exciting – new venues. I had been visiting Iceland Airwaves for many years and finally decided last year to find walls and spaces and to connect with the Iceland Airwaves crew.

My idea was to visually prolong the reach of the music and bring it onto the walls through well-conceptualized and executed art pieces. In a way I wanted to re-connect two entities that have always been vital and necessary for each other in a public space, with music and art spilling out of the concert venues onto the streets and into the lives of people.

It was almost like we were going to extend the music, with the core idea being “We paint the music you love to hear”. Once that  was established as the core of the project I very quickly had an idea of which visual artists would be not only be a great fit for the city and the project but also who would be able to work in rather unusual and unknown conditions – namely, the Icelandic weather, and I say this with great fondness for those wild and unpredictable skies.

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Elle. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you choose the lyrics? Was it a difficult process?
Yasha Young: Actually I only picked the bands and visual artists. It was more about creating and encouraging the connection between both of these groups to get their beautiful creative minds talking together. Once connected they picked songs and talked about their choices in depth. I was a bystander, a very curious fly on the wall and following the process was simply amazing. To read the exchanges and feel the moment the spark ignited – that moment to me is, and will always be, what marks true curatorial success and is key to all collaborative creative projects.

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Elle. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Elle was inspired by the song “Tuttugu og Eitthvað” by Úlfur Úlfur

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Elle. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Brooklyn Street Art: Were there any challenges along the way? Specifically regarding logistics..
Yasha Young: ( laughs ) Yes! Many many many – but less in the actual execution of the vision and more in the daily production. For example the wind picks up and the mechanical lifts start swaying in the wind like a leaf. It was “Safety first” of course so we had to stop working immediately. Often the rain can be surprising and torrential and water runs down the walls like little waterfalls washing all the hard work from the night before off the wall again. But these artists are professionals and in my job the goal is to work as innovatively as possible – always finding or inventing new methods and finding other options.

It’s part of the journey and it can actually be fun. For my stubborn mind the only factor that will always be in way is time – we have not found a way to stop it or make more of it.

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The road where the valley ends and the glaciers begin. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Deih One. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Deih One. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Deih One. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Deih took inspiration from Icelandic band Vok Music’s song “Waterfall” for this mural.

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Deih One. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Giant ice cubes on the beach. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Li’ Hill. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Li’ Hill. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Li-Hill. Detail. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Li-Hill worked in collaboration with John Grant and his song “Pale Green Ghosts” for this mural.

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Li-Hill. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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The carcass of an air plane on the beach. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Caratoes. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Caratoes. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Caratoes. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Caratoes took inspiration to paint this whole house from the lyrics of the song “Ode To a Mother”by Icelandic band Ylja.

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Caratoes. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Waterfall. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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D*Face. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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D*Face. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

D*Face depicts the Icelandic saga of Laxdaela; a tale of love, betrayal and intrigue.

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D*Face. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Northern Lights and Ice Cubes. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Ernest Zacharevic. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lithuania’s Ernest Zacharevic transformed the shadow of an earlier building into a personal photo book.

“It’s inspired by the song ‘I Miss You’ by Dikta,” says Ernest. “The image has the same sadness and nostalgia in the photographs that I felt in the piano track song. The work is my imagining of all the past scenarios that could have happened in this old heritage house, physically and emotionally being taken down and rebuilt.

It’s more about memory because after I spoke to a lot of locals they were very nostalgic about how Reykjavik used to be, not so keen on how modernized it has become.”

Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Tank Petrol. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Tank Petrol. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Tank Petrol’s modern take on the myth of Freya, considered to be the mother goddess of Love and Beauty.

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Tank Petrol. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Ice cube. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Evoca One. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Evoca One. Process shot. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Evoca One tells the story of the Sauna and Starr song “Gonna Make Time” about home and returning to those waiting on shore.

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Evoca One. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

 

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The gang. Wall Poetry-Urban Nation in collaboration with Iceland Air Waves. Reykjavik, Iceland. October, 2015. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Our special thanks to photographer Nika Kramer for sharing her amazing shots with BSA readers.

To learn more about Iceland Airwaves please click HERE.

This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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BSA Covers the Globe, Top Stories with HuffPost in ’12

BSA is not just Brooklyn, you know. Last year we brought you new Street Art from Atlanta, Arizona, Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Bronx, Brooklyn, Brisbane, Bristol, Costa Rica, Chicago, China, Dominican Republic, The Gambia, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Istanbul, Italy, Jamaica, Johannesburg, Kenya, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Miami, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Norway, NYC, Palestine, Panama, Paris, Perth, Queens, Reno, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and Trinidad. And that is a partial, incomplete list. Remember that the next time someone says we cover just Brooklyn and New York. Not quite.

Also while we were surveying what we did in 2012, we were curious to see which were the top stories we covered for the Huffington Post, measured by hits, social sharing, and emails sent to us. Here are the top stories you liked the most of the 44 we cross-published with Huffington Post Arts & Culture in 2012. (A complete list at the end of the posting)

Baltimore Opens Its Walls To Street Art

 

MOMO. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Atlanta Hosts First All Female Street Art Conference 

Neuzz (photo © Wil Hughes)

OS Gemeos And “The Giant Of Boston” 

Os Gemeos “The Giant of Boston” at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. This side of the van was with Graffiti Artist Rize. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

(VIDEO) 2012 Street Art Images of the Year from BSA 

Slideshow cover image of Vinz on the streets of Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mexico City: High Art in Thin Air

Escif (photo © courtesy of All City Canvas)

UFO Crashes at Brooklyn Academy of Music

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

‘See No Evil’ in Bristol Brings Thousands to the Streets 

El Mac. (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

What’s New in Bushwick: A Quick Street Art Survey 

QRST in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sex In The City: Street Art That is NSFW

Anthony Lister in NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NUART 2012: International Street Art Catalysts in Norway 

Ben Eine (photo © Ian Cox)

Springtime in Paris : Une Petite Revue of New Street Art

David Shillinglaw and Ben Slow (photo © Sandra Hoj)

Pulling Strings in Berlin; “Heinrich” The Public Marionette

Various & Gould “Heinrich” (photo © Lucky Cat)

“Poorhouse for the Rich” Revitalized by the Arts

Adam Parker Smith. “I Lost Of My Money In The Great Depression And All I Got Was This Room”, 2012. Installation in progress in collaboration with Wave Hill. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here is the complete list of BSA / Huffington Post pieces for 2012

 

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“NUART 2012” International Street Art Catalysts in Norway

“By far the best exhibition we’ve yet created,” says Martyn Reed, organizer of the Nuart 2012 street art festival as it draws to a close in Stavanger, Norway.  What’s left after two weeks of painting, panel discussions, and parties stands on it own; The Art.

On old factory buildings, bricked stairways, in labyrinthine tunnels, and hanging on gallery walls, the city itself has welcomed international Street Artists to do these installations over the last decade and the funding for the events, artists, and materials are largely contributed to from public grants.

It’s a stunning model of arts funding that we’d like to see more of; one that is sophisticated enough to make behavioral and aesthetic distinctions and that is appreciative of the positive contributions of Street Art to the contemporary art canon. Here is one model that recognizes the importance of art in the streets as something necessary, valued. And the city of Stavanger keeps inviting a varied mix of well-known names and newcomers who show promise year after year.

Ben Eine (photo © Ian Cox)

At some point during the panel discussions at Nuart Plus this year there was talk about the dulling effect that the growing popularity of Street Art festivals specifically and sanctioned public art generally can sometimes have on the finished pieces. Certainly we are all familiar with those brain-deadening community murals of yesteryear that include lots of diversity, droning morality lectures and cute ducks. But we think the right balance of currency, community, and unchecked creativity can often catalyze great results, and smart people will know how to help keep it fresh.

Another topic discussed this year, at least in part based on our 2011 essay “Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World”, which we wrote for Nuart’s “Eloquent Vandals” book, is the game-changing influence that the Internet continues to have on the Street Art movement itself.  Considering that in the last year alone we have shown you art in the streets instantly from Paris, Iceland, Istanbul, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Copenhagen, London, Sweden, Atlanta, Bristol, Baltimore, Boston, Berlin, Beijing, Brooklyn and about 25 other cities on five continents, we think it’s worth quoting the intro from that essay; “The Internet and the increasing mobility of digital media are playing an integral role in the evolution of Street Art, a revolution in communication effectively transforming it into the first global people’s art movement.”

Aakash Nihalani (photo © Ian Cox)

Solidly, Stavanger took a lead in the Street Art festival arena early and is still setting standards for high quality as an integrated cultural event without compromising integrity with so-called ‘lifestyle’ branding. These images from 2012 show just a sampler of the many directions that Street Art is taking us, with traditional graffiti and letter-based influences and new overlays of 20th century fine art modernism keeping the scene unpredictable and vibrantly alive. Nuart artists this year included Aakash Nihalani (US), Dolk (Norway), Eine (UK), Ron English (US), Saber (US), Sickboy (UK), Mobster (UK), HowNosm (US), Niels Shoe Meulman (NL), Joran Seiler (US), and The Wa (France).

Thanks to Ian Cox for sharing these images, some exclusive and some previously published.

Aakash Nihalani installing a piece on the street. (photo © Ian Cox)

Sickboy takes in his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Saber at work. (photo © Ian Cox)

Saber (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

Jordan Seiler (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr takes in the wall. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr makes MOM proud. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr indoor installation. Detail. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr makes friends with the notoriously wet climate in Stavanger. (photo © Ian Cox)

Ron English at work on his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Niels Shoe Muelman working on his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Niels Show Muelman (photo © Ian Cox)

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Images of the Week 04.15.12

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Don John, Enki, General Howe, James Nardone, Never, Rae, Sheryo, Stikman, The Yok, and Willow.

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Never, The Yok and Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Never, The Yok and Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

General Howe is waging war in Wisconsin (photo © General Howe)

Willow (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown in Reykjavik, Iceland (photo © Enki)

Artist Unknown in Istanbul, Turkey (photo © James Nardone)

Artist Unknown in Istanbul, Turkey (photo © James Nardone)

Don John in Berlin, Germany (photo © Don John)

Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rae (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We don’t mind sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not take the photographer’s name off the .jpg file. Otherwise, please do not re-post. Thanks!

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Chris Jordan : A Bold Light Artist Hits Iconic Icelandic Church

Rafmögnuð Náttúra: The Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik, Iceland

It’s not that light artist Chris Jordan didn’t find the sweeping supersonic jet-shaped façade of the church inspiring. He just wanted to make it visible again to the people in town.

Hallgrímskirkja, the Lutheran church in the center of Reykjavík, with it’s soaring steeple and outstretched wings it has been an architectural icon since it’s completion in 1986 and anyone first laying eyes on the largest Icelandic church is usually impressed by it’s command and design.  And yet, somehow even pivotal architecture can disappear before our eyes due to familiarity and it may take a visionary talent like Jordan to bring it back to our attention with animation, mapping, color, and pattern.

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

From his home in New Yorks’ Chinatown, Jordan, who teaches interactive design at Baruch College and New York University, talks about his work in the same way that Street Art is often credited in the urban environment: art as activation.  “Activating is about changing people’s perceptions of overlooked or invisible spaces. A building can become an archetype, invisible, like for a New Yorker, for example, the Statue of Liberty. You look at it, and it disappears into the thousands of times you’ve already seen it. So for me, this light project was so exciting because here’s this massive landmark church that this whole town can’t see anymore.. made completely fresh and new. To see that reflected back at me through the faces of viewers was exhilarating.”

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

That observation perhaps was the pinnacle of his Icelandic experience in February when he camped out in front of the church over four days in the back of a box truck with his collaborator Marcos Zotes, a handful of computers, three projectors, and a low budget. Together they created a series of site-specific video performances that brought to life Zotes’ idea for a project called Rafmögnuð Náttúra.

The two had met while Jordan was performing his 24 hour timelapse of Hurricane Irene inside an engineered cloud at New York’s Bring to Light Festival last October. Zotes asked if Jordan would like to collaborate on a project to illuminate the 150 foot wide façade of a church in for the Winter Lights Festival in Iceland.  Since Jordan has over the last decade created installations appearing at MoMA, The New Museum, The Whitney, The Museum of Natural History, The Chelsea Museum, in Times Square, and many unusual places in between, he had a good idea what cool stuff he would like to do. With the free help of other artists, software designers, and even NASA, Jordan brought a mind-blowing façade to the church that Zotes had only imagined.

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

“We collaborated on how we could, with a very limited budget, create something spectacular for the festival,” explains Jordan.  “We knew that the majority of the budget would be going for projectors so we called our friends up to help us with creating animation sequences that could be mapped to the facade, in triple-HD resolution.”

“We developed a workflow and a template for each animator to follow; then compiled the animations together into a final 15-minute composition. In addition, I contacted friends at NASA for solar imaging data, and created animations using graphic and solar elements. The dream was to have northern lights over the building with the accompanying solar data displayed. Although the solar and earth weather didn’t collaborate, the animations of the sun in a dark cold city on this Norse façade were very appropriate and powerful.”

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Jordan’s work over the years has included explorations into memory, and elements of photography, film, interactivity, and projections. We talked with Jordan about traveling to Iceland, transparent ideas, the importance of community, and what a light artist has to go through to reactivate an icon.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about the trip to Iceland?
Chris Jordan: We went to Iceland with just one day before the opening. The Icelandic people were incredibly accommodating, and set up three massive projectors inside a box truck, with a massive piece of glass mounted on it. The box truck became our projector-heated cabin in the center of Reykjavik for four days. Location is everything! It was a great setup. The projectors were aligned and from there I mapped the content using the software MadMapper by Garage Cube. Garage Cube are also friends of mine and they  helped me troubleshoot the tech issues the day before. The opening event had the band For a Minor Reflection accompany us, right after the mayor of Reykjavik introduced the festival to the audience.

But the day before this we went through myriad technical issues. Many times I thought this was going to either look horrible, or crash altogether. There was no budget for a backup computer, or to test the entire setup beforehand. Luckily, Iceland has an early sunset, so we gleaned a couple crucial extra hours to configure everything. The mapping was completed literally seconds before the mayor spoke. It all went off smoothly and the people that braved the intense horizontal-downpour cheered.

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Brooklyn Street Art: You managed to transform a landmark into a completely different light using your creativity.  Doesn’t that feel pretty powerful?
Chris Jordan: Yes. It was pretty fantastic we were able to do this on such a small budget. It absolutely required a community to make happen. When our main computer failed, the Icelandic underground came to the rescue. One person there offered graphics cards he’d had in a drawer. Another brought us snacks from a nearby cafe. That community effort is really what made this project powerful for me.

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Brooklyn Street Art: You were given no budget whatsoever, aside from a plane ticket and 3 projectors. How do you plan for a live performance with the inevitable technical issues?
Chris Jordan: Years and years of failure. I read an Edison quote the other day, “If you want to succeed, double your failure rate”.  I’m also a huge proponent of transparency, modularity, and scale. These tenets allow me to see unique solutions to problems, and find compelling solutions. Light art is still maturing as a public medium, as last November’s Occupy Wall Street “Bat-signal” projections attest. It’s a wide-open field for creative expression.

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Brooklyn Street Art: Without revealing your trade secrets, is it true you plan to introduce more community interaction into your future work?
Chris Jordan: Always. There’s an axiom I live by: “There is no art without politics”. You either choose to engage it, or you choose political apathy. This ties in with ideas around real-time performance and feedback. I hate the word “rendering”, as it equates to “pouring concrete” on ideas that demand continuing dialog. “Trade secrets” imply hoarding of knowledge. I only want to work with transparent ideas and accessible technologies that ‘spotlight’ the individual’s role in society through creativity. I try to live an open-source life.

Brooklyn Street Art: What role does community play in this project and in your philosophy?
Chris Jordan: I love interacting with communities and to give them the control to create dialogue. This fascinates me, and informs my work constantly. My next long-term outdoor installation is on Governor’s Island, where I’ll be engaging the broadest spectrum of people on the planet (New York) in playing and building, using buckets and stop motion photography. For me it’s all about the community. Without it, we are making monoliths to our egos.

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan on the back of their box truck. (photo © Enki)

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” – Chris at work on his live creations. (photo © Enki)

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra”. Mission control trailer. (photo © Enki)

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” (photo © Enki)

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With very special thanks to Enki for sharing this incredible photographic story.

Rafmögnuð Náttúra, a concept by Marcos Zotes created by Marcos Zotes and Chris Jordan

We would also like to recognize the other creators and contributors to the project:
Animators Thessia Machado, Noa Younse, Andrea Dart and Steven Tsai
Performer Coco Karol
Videographers Azmi Mert Erdem and Raghul Sridharan
Photographer Enki
and the music group For a Minor Reflection

 

 

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