During the 1800s, when the art of photography was just getting off the ground, many were pointing their glass plate cameras at one of the unlikeliest of subjects: the tornado. As you can guess, tornados were not an easy subject to capture because of their unpredictability and power. Oklahoma’s McFarlin Library at the University of Tulsa recently acquired a collection that included a photograph of a tornado that hit the area early in the 1890s. This 1896 recording is being called “the first known photograph of a tornado”, although National Geographic and the Kansas Historical Society both have their own contenders that they believe are the oldest. Either way, all of these early photographs are eerily beautiful portraits of a sinister force in nature. To check out more photos and learn the history behind each, head on over to Hyperallergic.
Amsterdam is set to take street art off the...well...streets...and into a museum. At least that’s what curator Peter Ernst Coolen is planning for an old, former shipbuilding warehouse in the north of Amsterdam. Once home to the largest shipbuilding company in the world, the museum will pay homage to all of the graffiti that once covered the entire shipyard. It won’t be the first street art museum in the world, but Coolen told Hyperallergic that his will offer a totally different kind of experience considering the vast openness of the warehouse space. With hopes of opening by next summer, we think there might need to be an Indie Street field trip planned very, very soon! Head over to Hyperallergic to read the full interview with Coolen as he discusses plans for his newest endeavor.
From digitizing entire art collections to creating virtual tours of participating art museums, Google has been devoting serious time and money into its Google Art Project, officially launched 5 years ago. Just this week, Google updated its Google Arts & Culture App, allowing you to search for artworks by period, color and subject matter. A another nifty tool within the app is the Art Recognizer which allows you to point your device at a piece of artwork within any of the 250 participating partner museums and receive the corresponding info. It's like Shazam for art! Though critics are pointing out that many will not feel the need to physically venture into museums because of Google's digitizing efforts, there is a still a massive, much needed educational factor that the app introduces. Watch the informational video here, try out Google Arts & Culture online and read more about the digital arts initiative here.
Fancy a walk in the park? Fancy a walk in the park surrounded by contemporary art? Hmm, artwork presented on security fences and large mesh tarps is not what you were expecting, huh? Actually, this is exactly what currently greets you as you take a stroll through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in New York City. The exhibition, called Natural Disruptions, is a collaborative mural project being sponsored by Artbridge, a public arts nonprofit. Two artists - Mark Dorf and Anthony Goicolea - were the chosen ones for the project because their work represents nature by manipulating images through technology. In the end, by seeing real landscapes through a digital lens, Prospect Park becomes a very public space that allows its visitors the opportunity to escape their everyday realities through unnatural, beautiful worlds still unknown. Read more about the history of Prospect Park as well as Dorf and Goicolea’s inspirations over at Hyperallergic.
In the mid-1800s, Sir John Herschel experimented with how light effected iron compounds, and in the process, invented a new way to produce blue-tinted prints known as cyanotypes. While they were one of the most popular methods of photographic processes at the turn of the 19th - 20th century for their speed and ease, the cyanotype mostly faded away from popularity during World War I. Why? Because black-and-white images were starting to be perceived as a more “fashionable” choice. Many still snub cyanotypes and deprive them of their place in photographic history. But good news - the blue images are finally having their first major exhibition in the US at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts! In collaboration with Clark University, Cyanotypes: Photography’s Blue Period will venture into 150 years of the cyanotype, examining how a few dozen artists have experimented with the process. Good news for all you blues lovers! Read more about the history of the cyanotypes and the exhibition here and get a closer look at the range of photographs that will be available on view at the WAM!
For her Spring commission, artist Dora Budor has incorporated real props three 1990s Hollywood blockbusters as central elements for four new sculptures. She encased the artificially weathered and suitcase-sized architectural fragments — a triangular rooftop from Batman Returns (1992), two shipping containers from Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and a row of garage doors from The Fifth Element (1997) — in web-like tangles of steel, silicone, and epoxy clay. They fleetingly evoke the steel trees of Roxy Paine, only dirtier, slimier, and all around much more interesting. Read more