All posts tagged: Magic City

HUGE Inside and Out: “Magic City” Says Goodbye to Stockholm

HUGE Inside and Out: “Magic City” Says Goodbye to Stockholm

Magic City has a HUGE plan this weekend, the last great hurrah in Stockholm before it packs up and moves to the next city. Along with special programming and guests and late nights at the museum, Daniel Fahlström aka “Huge”, created a new signature helium balloon wall inside the space to mark the events.

A graffiti writer since age ten who grew up from north of the city, HUGE painted inside the exhibition as we all say goodbye to this wide-ranging educational, entertaining, and insightful take on a vast global graffiti and Street Art scene that continues to grow and change.

Huge. Stockholm Graffiti Wall of Fame. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Luckily for us, BSA received some great tips about where to check out the local scene and even a tour yesterday with Street Artist Vegan Flava through some of the cuttier slices of the Stockholm margins – complete with mean barking junkyard dogs and really friendly scrap metal recyclers – AND we caught this HUGE piece in the wild, so to speak.

With both of these piece to post, it’s a perfect circuit of indoor/outdoor art practice to end this Magic City note on.

Huge. Magic City Stockholm. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Live From Stockholm – “BSA Film Weekend” At Magic City: The Art Of Invention

Live From Stockholm – “BSA Film Weekend” At Magic City: The Art Of Invention

The “Magic City” touring exhibition of a cross section of Street Art and graffiti practitioners has hit Stockholm and we are excited to be there in just a few weeks to host a BSA Film Weekend. There are so many artists using their imagination and ingenuity to transform public space today and some are documenting it through film, bringing us all into the experience to share the magic and get some education along the way.

 

In addition to the regular film program curated by BSA that has been running through the Dresden, Munich, and Stockholm engagements of Magic City, we’ll be selecting special new examples of inventiveness that are part science, part D.I.Y., and all kinds of mind blowing for the HUGE MAGIC program.

Photo still from Vegan Flava short film: “While They Seek For Solutions”

When we’re not in front of the audience we’re really looking forward to touring the local street scene and meeting new friends and taking in some of the new exhibitions and workshops within “Magic City”, which has broken all kinds of records bringing a wide range of high quality works to enthusiastic audiences thanks to curators Carlo McCormick and Ethel Seno and the rest of the creative team Anni Nocenti, Rainer Verbizh, and Tobias Kunz – all under the direction and forward-thinking vision of director Christoph Scholz. It’s been a complete honor working with this amazing and talented team of visionaries and professionals. We’re also proud that our editor of photography and BSA co-founder Jaime Rojo is one of the artists featured in the exhibition alongside some of his peers and heroes. Rojo has selections of photos especially for kids throughout the show and a photo essay in the sculpture exhibition.

Many of the original “Magic City” team in Dresden three months before the opening in July 2016.

We look forward to meeting you this month in Sweden!

Each Friday BSA readers enjoy thoughtfully curated films; now Stockholm has the opportunity on February 23 and 24 to to experience it LIVE during two lectures at Magic City – which stays open till midnight Friday. Surprises are guaranteed.

Photo still from MOMO short film: “Three Tanget Half Ellipses”

Photo still from AKAY and Brad Downey short film: “Thrash Trap”

BSA Editor in Chief Steven P. Harrington, Magic City Curator Ethel Seno, Chief Curator Carlo McCormick, BSA co-founder and Editor of Photography Jaime Rojo. (Photo © Frank Embacher)


Imagine taking a trip with Steve Harrington and Jaime Rojo through some of their favorite short video pieces from their popular BrooklynStreetArt.com feature: BSA Film Friday. Experimenters, explorers, and dreamers all, you’ll see how today’s street artists are transforming our cities with a certain new kind of inventiveness that is part science and part D.I.Y. Each Friday BSA readers enjoy thoughtfully curated films; now Stockholm has the opportunity to experience it LIVE at Magic City. Surprises are guaranteed.

23 & 24 Februari | Street Art: The Art of Invention | Brooklyn Street Art | Tänk dig att ta en underhållande tur med Steve Harrington och Jaime Rojo genom några av deras favoriter bland korta videobitar från deras populära BrooklynStreetArt.com-program: BSA Film Friday. Äventyrare, upptäckare och drömmare – du kommer se hur dagens Street konstnärer omformar våra städer med en ny typ av uppfinningsrikedom som är delvis vetenskap och delvis D.I.Y. Varje fredag får BSAs följare njuta av de välproducerade filmerna. Nu får stockholmarna möjlighet att uppleva detta LIVE på Magic City. Överraskningar utlovas!

February 23
18-19.30 Film night | Brooklyn Street Art
Open until Midnight
ÖPPET TILL MIDNATT
 
February 24
18-19.30 Film night | Brooklyn Street Art

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Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2017

Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2017

Every Friday we invite you to stop by and take a look at new videos that have been submitted or recommended or that we tripped over walking by the railroad tracks. This year we showed you about 250 of them.

We call it BSA Film Friday and it travels with us to cities around the world now when we do it LIVE with you and other audience members in theaters and lecture halls and museums. The beauty of the video/film form is you can get a full story quickly, and you are often surprised by how transformative it can be. You can also see how many people are affected by urban and street culture through these films – we see people’s eyes light up when they realize that they too can create in public space, that the world is not simply a product but is a piece of art that many of their peers are now jumping in to co-create.

As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, and achingly beautifully normal. From looking at the Separation Wall and Banksy to a travelling crew of graffiti writers on farms in Polish pig country to the amazing dance troupe who interpreted the 5 floors of art installations in a downtown Berlin former bank, you have before you a massive buffet of a visual feast.

The final desert is hand-held phone video caught in the moment last month in Mexico City. We didn’t know Keith Haring was coming down the tracks to surprise us, and we didn’t know that this unpolished jewel would garner thousands of viewers and commenters – effectively placing this little piece of video at number 1 for its popularity. Maybe the fact that it is so raw is what people relate to – along with an ongoing adulation for Haring.

We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.


No. 15
Faith XLVII / Aqua Regalia Hong Kong

From BSA Film Friday 05.19.17

“Distant universes delicately tangled,” says the near-whispering narration as you are gazing upon scenes from Hong Kong – those interstitial moments that carry you between the more remarkable ones. Faith XLVII gives us a quiet look at these inside a the dencse cacophony called “Aqua Regalia”, looking at the parts of a culture that a visitor is sensitive to because they are not taken for granted. With this ability to see, one takes a quick course of a city, a society. Invariably you end up with more questions.

“We speak of death and birth in terms of celebration and mourning.” Faith XLVII is in search of more universal truths, the timeless ones, since we understand them so poorly. Herein are glimpses, romantic and unvarnished.

“This is one of the first videos I’ve co-directed, alongside filmmaker Dane Dodds,” Faith tells us. “Its a project that is close to my heart.”

No. 14
Gonzalo Borondo / Cenere

From BSA Film Friday 08.11.17

Borondo keeps it open for you. He provides the stage, the staging area, the proscenium, the altar, the emanating light, the associations and memories you have with your belief system, or lack of one. During his artist residency with Pubblica, curated by Carlo Vignapiano and Elena Nicolini in May, the Street Artist (among other things) creates a journey as much as a destination in this intimate chapel. The video by Gerdi Petanaj captures this and perhaps a little more.

 

No. 13
The Haus / Lunatix Dance

From BSA Film Friday 04.07.17

From the moment it opened on April 1st, the Haus was a hit! BSA was very lucky to be there in February for a full tour while still in development in Berlin, nearly dancing ourselves through all five floors of this former bank with full scale installations in places that once held offices, conference rooms, employee coffee lounges.

By inviting Creative Director/dancer Serdar Bogatin and the film crew “Shuto Crew” into the space with members of the Lunatix Dance Production troupe, these spaces and art environments come completely alive, invoking stories and dramas – clearly making the spaces into elaborate set-design pieces.

 

No. 12
Ella & Pitr / Frappés PinPins

From BSA Film Friday 05.05.17

The French duo Ella + Pitr here revel in the simplicity of the gestural act of a full-body full-bucket splash of black paint.

Carnal, visceral, overlaid with psychographical information, the motion of splashing inky pigment across a white quadrilateral is an act of defiance and a release of the inner chaos – instantly recognizable as chaos elsewhere in the world.

The uncontrollable quality, especially when purveyed within an atmosphere of prim control, provokes amplified emotions in some. Fear, liberation, rage, release. Which ones will you experience?

 

No. 11
Indecline/ Rail Beast

From BSA Film Friday 10.20.17

“This reminds why I hate vandals! All this does is create more unnecessary work for the guys at the paint shop,” says a commenter on the Vimeo page where INDECLINE has posted this locomotive takeover.

You see kids, this is why we can’t have nice things. I just mopped this floor and you come running in here with your muddy boots! For Pete’s sake.

Truthfully, this decidedly unpolitical piece is a surprise coming from INDECLINE. Guess they were taking the day off from railing against hypocrisy and injustice with this animated train that recalls Saturday morning cartoons like Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner.

 

No. 10
Olek / In the Blink of an Eye

From BSA Film Friday 01.13.17

“It is one thing to read about the events in those parts of the world, but it is something totally different to actually look in the eyes of the women who lost everything while running from the war,” says artist Olek about how her world view changed when crocheting the project featured this week.

While gathering and producing materials for her installation with Verket Museum in Avesta, Sweden, the Brooklyn based Street Artist was holding informal crochet workshops with volunteers who would be producing the decorative yarn skin that covered every single item inside and outside of the house with their handmade crochet stitches.

Some invited guests were refugees who had escaped war in Syria and Ukraine and the artist and local folks shared stories and crocheted, sewed, and prepared the art materials together over the course of a number of days. It was during these exchanges of personal stories that, “a conversation started that has changed me forever,” she says – and she immediately needed to reflect it in her project with the museum.

 

No. 09
Sebastian Purfürst – Soniconoclasm / Broken Motor

From BSA Film Friday 06.02.17

In Berlin recently we met a photographer/media artist/musician who showed us a music video he just made of regular people whom you might meet on the city streets at night. This spring he asked more than 25 of them to recite phrases and “cut-up of army radio slang phrases” and by splicing them together with his band mate’s recitation of the lyrics synched to their lips, the rawness and rage and disconnected connectedness of people whom you can meet on the street rang true. “

This unvarnished quality bypasses the styled self-awareness of a lot of commercial media, and the anger actually comes across as fear. Perhaps you’ll think its too dark in demeanor – but then suddenly the melding together of the faces into one common entity makes it magic, even transcendent – revealing a simple sameness of everyone.

“This suspenseful individuality of the people is almost completely dissolved in the chorus,” says Sebastian Purfürst of his video with bandmate Markus F.C.Buhl.

Together they are called SONICONOCLASM.

 

No. 08
Pixel Pancho/ UN – Berlin

From BSA Film Friday 09.22.17

Pixel’s original installation was nixed by the city at the last moment but that didn’t prevent the Italian Street Artist from rallying to find another solution!

This new installation in the back courtyard was conceived of, designed, and constructed over a period of 4 days last week and became the secret surprise behind the museum for those who wandered there. Using landscaping techniques and botanical knowledge that come naturally from his farm in Italy, the artist create a mise en scène of epic impact with his robotic folk-futurist sculptures. Night time lighting took it to another world, but you can see the details better here in this short video Jaime Rojo shot on site.

 

No. 07
FifthWall TV / Occupied in Bethlehem – A visit to BANKSY’s “Walled Off Hotel”

From BSA Film Friday 06.16.17

“It’s almost become a playground for people to come to,” says your host Doug Gille as he looks at the section of the Separation Wall that the Banksy “Walled Off” Hotel is installed upon. “I think it is so crucial for people not to just come to see the wall or to paint on the wall,” he says.

“50 years under military control makes it the longest occupation in history,” is a quote that Gillen brandishes across the screen from the United Nations. The fact that Banksy is using his art star power to keep this on the front burner says a lot about the man.

“I think a lot of these people feel like we are forgetting about them and we have to remind them that we’re not,” says Gillen as he soul searches next to the Dead Sea.

 

No. 06
Various & Gould / City Skins – Marx und Engels

From BSA Film Friday 07.14.17

Conceptual Street Artists often perform interventions without explanation, satisfied with their own observations of the outcome. For Berlians Various & Gould the process has more often included the participation of the public – a way for more to take ownership and inspire dialogue. Sometimes many dialogues.

You may have seen our piece on their most recent public project called “City Skins”: Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould.  Here is a mini-documentary that shows you the artists, the process, and the thinking behind the process.

 

No. 05
Rurales

From BSA Film Friday 01.27.17

Now to the Polish pig farms! Another Street Art/Mural road trip movie, this time across Poland with JAYPOP, Seikon, Krik KONG and filmmaker Cuba Goździewicz. See the discoveries, the relationships, the reactions to the work from a warm and considered human perspective.

The beauty of randomness and the randomness of beauty. These guys are fully engaged with their surroundings, the opportunity, the myriad people they befriend or portend to make allies. It’s an uncharted trip where permissions are sought and often refused, but they never stop painting somehow.

 

No. 04
Swoon/ Fearless

From BSA Film Friday 10.13.17

Using existing and new footage of Street Artist Swoon and selected interviews with people in her orbit, director Fredric King presents and hour long documentary that looks over two decades of art making. The stories told and the insights that Calendonia Curry aka Swoon presents while en route to her next adventure illustrate the fluidity with which she pursues the creative spirit, whether on the street, on a vessel down a river, or installing in a museum. An integrated explorer, Swoon brings you into the fold to go on this journey that always feels like its just begun.

No. 03
Fin DAC/ Rooftop in San Francisco

From BSA Film Friday 08.25.17

On an expansive rooftop in rainy/sunny/rainy San Francisco, Street Artist Fin Dac brings to life ‘Shukumei’, an ebullient and mysterious muse. The film is largely a stop motion record of the work set to music, but did you notice how much dexterity and effort goes into this precision play when you are working at this angle, basically painting the floor? The remarkable integration of the glowing skylight orb, dramatically revealed, imparts the figure a mystical dimension as well.

Video editing by Tonic Media, Soundtrack by Mombassa/Lovechild, and shout out to Ian and Danielle at Rocha Art and Missy Marisa, model.

 

No. 02
Niels Shoe Meulman In Magic City / The Art Of The Street

From BSA Film Friday 12.01.17

Niels Shoe Meulman spent some nights in a Munich jail thirty years ago for mucking about on the walls. This year he was paid to do it in Munich for Magic City, the travelling morphing exhibition (now in Stockholm) where Street Art is celebrated along with all its tributaries – including a film program and a number of photographs by your friends here at BSA.

Born, raised and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Shoe shares here his new improvisational piece and some of his reflections on his process and his evolution from being in advertising as an art/creative director and reclaiming his soul as a graffiti/Street Art/fine artist. As ever, Martha is in the frame, putting him in the frame.

No. 01
Keith Haring- Rough Cut / Mexico City Metro

This rough cut lil’ video reached more than 300K individuals and had 100K views with thousands of shares on FB and on Instagram with dozens of comments and high engagement was easily propelled to the #1 spot.

From BSA Film Friday 12.01.17

It all took us by surprise last week in Mexico City when suddenly a whole train covered on both sides with Keith Haring’s work approached while we were waiting at the platform to catch the Linea 2 of the Metro. He made his name in part by illegally doing drawings like these in NYC subways and here now they are crushing a whole train. The name of the project is “Ser Humano. Ser Urbano” or “Being Human. Being Urban” and it aims to promote human values and human rights. The pattern you see is from “Sin Titulo (Tokyo Fabric Design)” – now stretched across these whole cars, if you will.

The train itself is inexplicably having brake troubles, so we get some jerky spur-of-the-moment footage but all week on Instagram and Facebook we’ve received tons of comments from people reacting to this little bit of Keith video by Jaime Rojo on BSA.

 

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Carlo McCormick, “Magic City: The Art Of The Street”

Carlo McCormick, “Magic City: The Art Of The Street”

Nature is a petrified magic city.

With apologies to Novalis, this magic city of New York is too alive to be considered petrified – unless you are talking about being petrified by the sight of five rats on the subway tracks while you wait for the M train.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

“New York has more artists than rats,” Carlo McCormick once told us at a gallery opening a few years ago, with a glint of mischief in his eyes, which is often there. Since that time the greedy dullard named “Gentrification” has been pushing so many creative types out of NYC that the artist/rat ratio has been surely swinging in the rat population’s favor.

The art and culture critic McCormick writes about the ubiquity rats in his new book MAGIC CITY, a catalogue for the traveling European exhibition of the same name just published by From Here to Fame Publishing under the guidance of editor Don R. Karl.  Rats, McCormick writes, have appeared in many Street Art pieces during the last few decades; dropping names of seminal figures like Blek Le Rat, whose rats allegedly influenced Bristol’s Banksy, among others like eco-artist Christy Rupp, who wheat-pasted the long tailed critters on New York walls in the late 1970s and Ivar Vics, aka “Dr. Rat”, an early graffiti writer in Amsterdam.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

The 40+ strong artist lineup for this show that just moved from Dresden to Munich and that will open in Stockholm this autumn includes artists from across a spectrum of disciplines and backgrounds and influences: a survey that includes early NYC graffiti train writers like DAZE and photographers who captured them like Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper – to modern muralist Street Artists like ROA and Tristan Eaton, to illusionists like Leon Keer and Odeith, to head-scratching interventionists like Dan Witz and Brad Downey and social/political activists like Icy & Sot and Ganzeer.

Full disclosure: BSA was invited to curate the film program for MAGIC CITY and Jaime Rojo is one of the featured artists in the show with a children’s trail of his photographs as well as a section of his photography focusing on street sculpture. We’re proud of our involvement and thankful for the opportunity to share what we have learned with visitors.

The well-designed and easily accessible book gives ample overviews and concise descriptions of the artists, the work, their relevance to an ever-evolving urban art scene, and of course savory writings by McCormick with essays by Amber Grunhauser, Biancoshock, and journalist/filmmaker Annie Nocenti, whose writing is featured extensively throughout the entire exhibit as well.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

“The urban landscape is the physical manifestation of humankind’s uneven, uneasy, and even unhealthy relationship with nature,” begins McCormick in “Interventions”, one of the many essays throughout that bring into focus the various art practices at play in the man-made public environments that people traverse daily.

With historical reference and straight-up knowledge delivered with a wizard’s finesse and a sharp dry gin humor, he leaves you with an inescapable sense that you have been missing a great deal in the experience of your own city every day. Critique, mystery, discovery; It’s more than information, it’s a way of seeing.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

For the seer McCormick the messages are coded, the dialogue welcomed, the right of contesting public space assured. As curator and writer his reach is necessarily wide, yet his is also discerningly focused where it needs to be. By now we have grown accustomed to his innate talent for winnowing down to the pertinent and quietly powerful voices which give foundation to the whole, telling us that much more is possible on the street – and that we should expect it.

The fact that Director of SC exhibitions Christoph Scholz, who writes the introduction, embraces the street credo of ongoing reinvention and the ephemeral qualities of this broad practice of art-making speaks to Carlos’ ability to paint these complex concepts with words – as well as Scholz’ Spiderman sense of the pulsating rhythms that stir just below an audiences consciousness, leaving their synapses sparking.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

The roots of these forms of expression are said to be activist, even anarchist, as least subversive. To see many of these MAGIC CITY practitioners today lauded and their messages magnified in a traveling family-friendly exhibition means that sometimes we witness the flashpoint when subculture becomes the culture, by dint of its pure industry – and possibly because good ideas are good ideas and they resonate far and deep.

But presenting a truly alive and contemporary art-making scene inside a formal exhibition space is rife with landmines, any curator will tell you. Straddling, or perhaps surfing, across this ocean of practices, dichotomies, factionalism, political/social movements, territorial piss fights, accusations of cultural appropriation, and the ongoing turmoil of the commodifying forces that shape our perception of a global grassroots art-making movement – all these make putting together a show, at best, a somewhat harrowing task and appropriate for those with a steel stomach.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

Thankfully, McCormick also has steel-toed boots – good for walking and perhaps kicking ass if that seems appropriate, backed as he is with academic erudition, street cred, and that insouciant punk rock adoring stare that intones, “Talk all you want, this music is so loud that I can only see your raging eyes and your bloodied lips moving, darling. Kiss me.”

In his introduction, McCormick says, “Like the art it features, MAGIC CITY is a zone of unexpected encounters, art as born in interstice and the peripheral, appearing along those rips in the fabric of the ordinary where the extraordinary intrudes its wonderful illogic.”

Therein may lie the magic.

Carlo McCormick. Tristan Eaton. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

MAGIC CITY, The Art in the Streets, curated by Carlo McCormick, co-curated by Ethel Seno, features the work of: AIKO, AKRylonumérik, Andy K, Asbestos, Benuz, Jens Besser, Biancoshock, Mark Bode, Bordalo II, Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas, Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Isaac Cordal, Daze, Brad Downey, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Shepard Fairey , FINO’91, Ganzeer, Anders Gjennestad, Ben Heine, HERAKUT, Icy & Sot, Leon Keer, Loomit, MadC, OAKOAK, Odeith, OLEK , Qi Xinghua, Replete, ROA, Jaime Rojo, Skewville, SpY, Truly, Juandres Vera, WENU, Dan Witz, Yok & Sheryo and Ernest Zacharevic.

Carlo McCormick. Ernest Zacharevick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

Carlo McCormick. Olek. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

Carlo McCormick. Leon Keer. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017


Photos of all the catalogue plates by Jaime Rojo

Novalis quote stolen from essay by Mr. McCormick.

Magic City: The Art Of The Street by Carlo McCormick was published by From Here To Fame Publishing, Berlin 2017. Produced by SC Exhibitions

 

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BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

brooklyn-street-art-15-top-stories-2016-740

Museums, Festivals, and Activism – three of the themes that garnered the most traffic on our published stories on BSA and The Huffington Post this year.

From a scholarly Street Art related exhibition in St. Petersburg to the opening of the Mima Museum in Belgium to the Anti-Banksy exhibition with the Blu controversy in Bologna and the “Magic City” exhibition in Dresden, BSA readers were astutely studying the slow but steady move of Street Art from the street to the museum and the academic canons.

But you also liked the huge multi-player outside exhibitions as well – with stories from Sicily and Northern Spain to Northern Mexico, BSA readers were interested this year in seeing how eclectic locally-organized Street Art festivals and projects are done, and who is doing them.

Finally activism played a big role in what you were re-Tweeting and “liking” and sending to your friends – From Icy & Sot installing anti-radiation work in the Native American desert and then talking about oceans polluted with plastic, to a United Nations food program with kids and artists in El Salvador, to highlighting Indigenous peoples rights with Jetsonorama, to a US cross-country tour to save endangered species by one artist and a Greenpeace show in Barcelona addressing the same issue with 35 artists, it looks like BSA readers are engaged and concerned about socio-politico-environmental issues left and right.

On a side note, we were honored that our El Salvador article was picked up and published in spanish on the UN World Food program website – HERE.

Of course it was good to see that you liked the feature on the notorious graffiti crew 1UP and seeing Nychos slay New York as well. Tasty!

These are the TOP 15 articles on BSA for 2016 from the more than 365 postings we did this year – meaning they all beat at least 350 articles to get here. Congratulations to us all.


No. 15
Borders and Boundaries : A Multi-Disciplinary Exhibit at St. Petersburg’s Street Art Museum

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SpY. Street Art Museum (SAM). St. Petersburg, Russia. May 2016. (photo © Evgeniy Belikov)

Rafael Schacter Takes a More Nuanced Approach to the Migration Crisis

Commerce and technology have been eroding traditional constructs of the borders and boundaries, especially in the age of the Internet, satellites, transnational banking and trade agreements that create governing bodies that openly dismiss national sovereignty, integrity, identity, aspirations. Borders and boundaries are contested, guarded, or disregarded at will; open to international capital, porous to immigration, hardened by armies.

Daily they are in the headlines: Trump’s plans to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, Syrian war refugees immigrating across European borders, Israel and Palestine’s ongoing land and settlement disputes, even maritime territorial claims of China and the Phillipines in the South China Sea that were ruled upon yesterday  – all reveal clues to our historically complicated relationships and geo-political perspectives.

Art to the rescue! continue reading here


No. 14
Icy & Sot Stencil An Enormous Blue Whale in LA

brooklyn-street-art-icy-sot-Endangered-Species-Mural-Project-los-angeles-Jess-X-Chen-01-16-web-6

Icy & Sot. Endangered Species Mural Project. Los Angeles, CA. January 2016 (photo © Jess X. Chen)

“The brothers spent two solid days hand cutting the multi-layer stencil here on Melrose Avenue. How many pieces? “19 pieces,” says Icy. “Its not that big but it has a lot of details” The composite image features an enormous whale emerging from the sea in full view of a coastline packed with industrial forms which presumably are dumping contaminants directly into the waters.

As ever, the brothers crash into each others sentences while talking to us. “Whatever happens in the ocean… it comes back to us,” says Sot. “Whether is trash or plastics or oil..”

Icy jumps in, “The fish eat them and then we eat the animals and we have the plastics inside of us.”

“Yeah, It’s a cycle. We are all making a lot of trash – we are affecting the world. Then it all comes back to us,” says Sot… Continue reading here


No. 13
MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

brooklyn-street-art-MAYA-HAYUK_THEPICKLES-MIMAMUSEUM.EU_2016-web

Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)

What is it about Brooklyn Street Art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York Street Art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our  modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably…Continue reading here


No. 12
San Salvador, Street Artists, Food Insecurity and “Conect-Arte”

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Vexta.Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

“Six street artists took their social engagement a step further in El Salvador last month and taught youth some serious skillz from the street.

Coming from Brazil, Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, New York, and New Jersey, this international crew took the time to share and teach about painting, art, and how community can be built. The program Conect-Arte is a newly launched initiative by the United Nations World Food Programme, which as the name suggests, also is in the city to address a more core need to battle food insecurity. With Conect-Arte the goal is to also meet youth in some communities and help with positive role models an options with an eye on transforming lives through developing art and related creative skills that can provide income and channel energy in ways productive to community.

Together the artists worked on projects with 45 teens and younger kids over the course of the a week-long workshop in San Salvador, teaching street art techniques like stencil, lettering, mural painting, sculpture, even hot air balloon making. The goals are huge, like reducing violence, food insecurity, increasing access to economic opportunity. The tools here are art, the creative spirit, and strengthening relationships.

We bring you some images of the works that were made by the visiting artists and some of their observations and experiences during the Conect-Arte program…Continue reading here


No. 11
Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“A couple of weeks ago BSA was in Dresden, Germany to help lay plans for a new Street Art show opening there this fall called “Magic City” and naturally we hit the streets with bicycles three days in a row to see the city’s graffiti, Street Art, and murals whenever time would permit. The first day we had the honor of getting a tour from Jens Besser, an artist, author, lecturer, and producer of mural festivals in the city who sped ahead of us through a labyrinth of streets to show us a number of the impressive murals he and partners have brought to the city in the last decade or so…Continue reading here


No. 10

Louis Masai: “The Art Of Beeing” Tour Kicks Off in NYC to Save Endangered Species

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Bog Turtle. Endangered. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October  2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Activism and Street Art go hand in hand and some artists are skilled at activating public space for hearts and brains to spark and cogitate. During the last 15 years we’ve documented a number of seriously affecting artworks on the street that use text and/or imagery to address political, social, environmental, and economic issues and opinions by artists as varied as Shepard Fairey, Banksy, John Fekner, Ganzeer, LMNOPI, Myth, Gilf!, Gaia, LNY, Jetsonorama, and any number of one-shot authors. In this election year there are too many Trumps to count, and a few Hillary pieces as well.

Undaunted by commercial interests and able to deliver directly to the passerby, Street Artists know that their visual message isn’t guaranteed acceptance but they take a chance anyway. The ones that reflect the sentiments on the street tend to last longer, aesthetics count, and so does spelling, at least that is our inductive observation.

One London artist who seriously raises awareness about the Earths’ endangered species is Louis Masai, a painter, sculptor, illustrator and Street Artist. Starting this week in New York Masai is beginning a 20 mural tour across the United States to talk about the hard working, honey-making, pretty pollinating bee – and a number of our animals that are in danger of dying off completely…Continue reading here


No. 9
1UP in Berlin : “ ‘All City’ Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It ”

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1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“An amorphous shape-shifting consortium of Berlin-based aerosol hooligans named 1UP is one of those graffiti crews who eventually make the entry into graffiti street lore because of the scope and daring of their travails.

Primarily Berlin based, you’ll find their almost-commercial sounding name on roofs, walls, abandoned factories, and in tunnels in many cities around the globe. Without a clear idea of the exact number in their association nor precise membership these daredevils are most often described as white men in their twenties and early thirties reveling in the athleticism and sport of graffiti, in addition to style. The tag itself appears to be rather “open source” at times, with only insiders able to keep track of the distinct hand styles forming the ubiquitous name on thousands of surfaces…continue reading here


No. 8
A “Cathedral” of Characters in Northern Spain

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RIM. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“It’s a cathedral of characters, this abandoned furniture factory forty kilometers outside of Barcelona. Cartoons, illustrations, portraits are everywhere; a curious collection of aerosol spray pieces that highlights the popularity of the animated and exaggerated personalities among graffiti and Street Artists in this region of the world.

The character may be a salty with a haggard stare, or reference a topic with a bit of satire. The scene may be serious, comical, ridiculous or purely sci-fi and horror. You discover the stories and allegories as you walk through the empty manufacturing rooms now flooded with natural light and dust. Expressions and situations here are full of drama that may trigger your empathy, startle your attention, elicit a shiver, or creepily fondle your funny bone…Continue reading here


No. 7
“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

“They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.

The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils…continue reading here


No. 6
BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

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Tadlock (photo © @around730)

“An anti-Banksy & Co. Street Art show opened in Bologna Italy the same night as its controversial bank-backed cousin with brand new works by 50 or so Italian and international Street Artists and open admission to their outdoor ‘museum’.

 “It is free and spontaneous, as Street Art should be,” says an organizer and participant named About Ponny as he describes the exuberant and sometimes saucy toned exhibition on the grounds of the sprawling former headquarters of Zincaturificio Bolognese which is destined for future demolition.

“The message we want to convey is that true street art is found where it was born, in the street and not in the paid exhibits,” says Bibbito, who along with two other out-of-town street artists named Jamesboy and Enter/Exit found food and couches during their installations thanks to an association of artists called L’Associazione Serendippo. Together, these artists say, they and other organizers want to send a “strong signal” by creating “one of the largest museums of ephemeral street art ever made”. The new coalition named this project “R.U.S.Co” (Recupero Urbano Spazi Comuni) or (Urban Renewal Common spaces).

The new 16,000 m2 open-air art show may appear as a rather curious development because its method of protest runs completely counter to that of the shows’ most vocal and high-profile critic, BLU, who last week protested the same show by defiantly destroying 20 years of his own public paintings, rather than making new ones…Continue reading here


No. 5
Raising Yellowcake in Grand Canyon: Icy & Sot, Jetsonorama in Arizona

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Icy & Sot. “Nuclear Plant” Navajo Nation. Arizona. June 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

“Yellow Cake: A simple sweet dessert confection that gets its signature color from 8 egg yolks and a cup of butter, and is great with either vanilla or chocolate icing.

Yellowcake: A type of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Also, its radioactive. Also, Colin Powell showed off a vial of it at the United Nations to sell the Iraq invasion in 2003 to that body and the world.

Being more knowledgeable about the dessert variety of yellow cake than the desert variety of uranium contamination, we turn to Street Artists Jetsonorama and Icy & Sot to educate us about the active uranium mines that are at the North Rim of The Grand Canyon. The three worked jointly in June to create new public works addressing the topic and we have each of them here for you to see.

“The issue of uranium contamination and nuclear waste is timely as there is an active uranium mine at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon presently and a proposal to start mining at the South Rim,” explains Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas), who is a local artist, a practicing doctor, and a social activist advocating for the people who live on the reservation and the natural environment in general…Continue reading here


No. 4
Nychos Slays in New York : IKONS Revealed as Never Before

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Nychos. “Dissection of Sigmund Freud”. Vienna Therapy. Manhattan, NY. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Scientists, psychologists, surgeons…in the end we’re all driven by a similar curiosity.”

This month has been a whirlwind in New York for Austrian Street Artist /fine artist /illustrator named Nychos and he’s made quite the iconic impression. Anchored by a show that opened last weekend of canvasses and illustrations at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea named “IKON” and assisted by a co-branded sculptural event with the Vienna Tourist Board, the surreal dissectionist didn’t rest there.

In the weeks leading up to and after these events he also managed to hit a number of walls in Coney Island, Bushwick, and Jersey City…oh and he knocked out a box truck as well.

In addition to pulling out an astounding sculpture of Sigmund Freud looming over a couch that drew a crowd to the foot of the (also iconic) Flatiron Building at 23rd and 6th, the afterparty and reception featured Dominic Freud, the great grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, who surmised that if he were alive today he would definitely have wanted to put Nychos on his couch…Continue reading here


No 3
35 Artists in Barcelona Trying To Save The Arctic with Greenpeace

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La Castillo. Save The Arctic. Barcelona, Spain. April 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“Yesterday our posting was about artists in London creating works about endangered species and today we go to Barcelona where 35 artists joined with Greenpeace and a local group named RebobinArt on April 9th to create works centered on environmental issues, especially the quickly disappearing polar ice cap.

Only three days later scientists announced that the Greenland “Melt” has happened one month earlier than usual this year, smashing records and causing scientists to reexamine their measuring instruments to make sure they were working correctly.

The art-platform model of RebobinArt is interesting because they are a community organization that manages spaces and issues permits for painting for competitions, festivals, exhibitions, educational programs, and cause-based events like this one.

Under the guidance of Director Marc Garcia, RobobinArt promotes and facilitates a different sort of public painting that is not strictly commercial and yet it is clearly not the freewheeling graffiti/street art based stuff that made Barcelona such a magnet for artists in the early-mid 2000s…Continue reading here


No. 2
Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

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Chip Thomas. The original photograph of JC Morningstar holding her dog on a swing. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

“Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.

The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Red show that evening.”…Continue reading here


No 1
Chihuahua, a Mexican Desert City with a Few “Street Art” Blooms

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Paola Delfin. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Chihuahua is like one big ranch,” says a local reporter who guides you around this desert city known for beef, cheese, sotol, cowboy boots… and a growing middle class – thanks to the hundred plus multinational maquiladoras operating here with a focus on aerospace, medical equipment, and automobile manufacturing.

The “ranch” metaphor is meant to be welcoming, but it also lets you know that this city of nearly a million can still feel like a small town. This is the capital of Mexico’s largest state, which goes by the same name. And yes, the diminutive and scrappy dog originated here – as did Pancho Villa, and you can visit his homestead if you like.

It’s not the typical city where you might expect to find Street Art, yet only a few blocks from the government palace downtown that holds two stories of wall paintings by Mexican muralist Aarón Piña Mora, you will find new paintings in the dusty side streets that indicate a more international flavor is present…Continue reading here

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“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

40 Artists Up Along Main Street, 12 More in the BSA Film Program

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Curators Ethel Seno and Carlo McCormick in front of a new mural by German duo Herakut announcing the premiere of Magic City in Dresden. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


 

“Nature is a petrified magic city.” – Novalis

Curator Carlo McCormick quotes Novalis by way of describing this new exhibit of an eclectic blend of terrific troublemakers, pop-culture hijackers, and show-stopping crowd pleasers drawn from cities all around the Street Art/ graffiti /urban art scene today – and forty years ago. This is a welcoming walk of unexpected intersections that only McCormick and co-curator Ethel Seno could imagine – and pull together as a panoply of street wizardry that acknowledges activism, artistry, anarchy, and aesthetics with a sincere respect for all. It will be interesting to see how this show is viewed by people who follow the chaotic street scene today in the context of its evolution and how they read the street signs in this city.

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Curator Ethel Seno with Managing Director Dieter Semmelmann and exhibition Designer Tobias Kunz cutting the ribbon at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

McCormick, in his customary self-effacing humor, expects there to be some shit flying – as anyone who is involved in this scene expects from the hard-scrabble rebellious margins and subcultures that this art-making interventionist practice rises from. There also are a growing and coalescing mini-legion of scholars and academics who are currently grappling with the nature and characteristics of this self-directed art-making practice rooted often in discontent – now organized inside an exhibition that is ticketed and sold as a family friendly show.

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Street Artist and pop mashup painter Tristan Eaton in front of his new mural wall at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

In his descriptions of the public sphere, the writer, historian, author, and cultural critic McCormick often refers to graffiti and street artists messing with “contested space”. It’s an apt description whether we are talking about the public space in high-density gleaming metropolises or the bombed-out grid-less and polluted quagmires of human fallibility and urban un-planning that dot our globe; all public space its nature is contested.

Here is a place used by many artists to protest, agitate, advocate, or deliver critique – and many of the artists in this exhibition have done exactly this in their street practice, often pushing limits and defining new ones. Dig a little into many of the individual story lines at play here and you’ll see that the vibrant roots of social revolution are pushing up from the streets through the clouds of propaganda and advertising, often mocking them and revealing them in the process.

Ultimately, this Magic City experience is an elixir for contemplating the lifelong romance we have with our cities and with these artists who cavort with us within them. “Our Magic City is a place and a non-place,” McCormick says in a position statement on the exhibit. “It is not the physical city of brick and mortar but rather the urban space of internalized meanings. It is the city as subject and canvas, neither theme park nor stage set, but an exhibition showcasing some of the most original and celebrated artists working on and in the city today.”

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Mixed media Street Artist Asbestos from Dublin, graffiti master/ painter Chris “Daze” Ellis from NYC, and Tristan Eaton from Los Angeles at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Curator Carlo McCormick with New York billboard/culture jammer and artist Ron English in front of his new wall mural at premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Dutch anamorphic art master Leon Keer with Polish crochet transformer/Street Artist Olek at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

BSA curated the film program for Magic City with a dynamic array of some of the best Street Art related films today presented together in a relaxed environment. In this video hosted by Andreas Schanzenbach you get a taste of the works that are showing that we draw from our weekly surveys on BSA Film Friday. Over the last few years we have had the honor of presenting live in-person to students and scholars and fans an ever-evolving collection of videos that speak to the spirit experimentation, discovery and culture-jamming outrageousness of urban interventions, graffiti and Street Art.  The BSA Film Program at Magic City presents a survey of some of the very best that we have seen recently.

Magic City artists include:
Akrylonumerik, Andy K, Asbestos, Ben Heine, Benuz, Biancoshock, Bordalo II, Brad, Downey, Dan Witz, Daze, Ernest Zacharevic, Ganzeer, Henry Chalfant, HERAKUT, Icy & Sot, Isaac Cordal, Jaime Rojo, Jens Besser, Juandres Vera, Lady Aiko, Leon Keer, Loomit, MAD C, Mark Bode, Martha Cooper, Oakoak, Odeith, Olek, Ori Carin / Benjamin Armas, Qi Xinghua, Replete, ROA, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Skewville, SpY, Tristan Eaton, Truly, WENU Crew, Yok & Sheryo

The BSA Film Program for Magic City includes the following artists:
Borondo, Brad Downey & Akay, Ella + Pitr, Faile, Farewell, Maxwell Rushton, Narcelio Grud, Plotbot Ken, Sofles, Vegan Flava, Vermibus

Some behind the scenes shots days before the Premiere

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Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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DAZE reviewing his work at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Urban naturalist ROA at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Sheryo strikes a pose while the guys build the installation she did with The Yok at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Ganzeer’s Graphic Novel Imagines a “Solar Grid”

Ganzeer’s Graphic Novel Imagines a “Solar Grid”

The Solar Grid is a serialized sci-fi graphic novel in 9 parts by Ganzeer, the Egyptian Street Artist whose work on the streets during the Arab Spring caused him to fear for his safety, escaping to the US and in the process garnering press.

His work as an artist or course continues and this summer he is promoting his illustrated vision of a future based on his observations of the present wholesale consolidation and hoarding of planetary resources and the accompanying interruptions in our fundamental natural systems.

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Ganzeer. The Solar Grid. Photo still from the video.

“The concept of the Aswan dam is controlling a central natural resource. I figured if I was to apply it to the whole planet, that resource is obviously the sun. That’s what we see in the future with the two kids. As the sun sets, the solar grid automatically turns on and turns off as soon as the sun rises again,” he tells David Batty in The Guardian, as he describes the story that unfolds in chapters.

The next chapter is released in August, which is also when the list of artists participating in Magic City in Dresden will be released. We can happily tell you the Ganzeer is one of the them.

Learn more about The Solar Grid HERE.

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Ganzeer. The Solar Grid. Photo still from the video.

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Ganzeer. The Solar Grid. Photo still from the video.

Ganzeer: The Solar Grid. Trailer

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