Tag Archives: Art

Vancouver Contemporary Art: Instant Coffee at Western Front

Feeling So Much Yet Doing So Little: Instant Coffee’s Prospective Retrospective

Western Front is hosting a “prospective retrospective” for Instant Coffee, a collective of contemporary artists who focus on service-oriented art.

FRom February 17-April 7, 2012, check out Western Front to see what Instant Coffee has brewing (sorry):

About Instant Coffee:

As any good collective would, in 2005 the members of Instant Coffee drafted a “manifesto” of sorts. In it, they define themselves and their objectives in terms of their caffeinated namesake: Instant Coffee “mimics the real thing without the pretense of being better. It isn’t that much easier to make, but that much is reason enough to justify its particularities.”

The idea is that the real difference between instant and regular coffee is taste, and tastes change. After all, both deliver caffeine, but instant coffee is just a bit faster and easier to make: it’s cheap but effective.

I’m not going to try to describe the work- it’s better to just show you some of my photos, along with the video provided by Instant Coffee. As the artists say, “it doesn’t have to be good to be meaningful”. Enjoy.

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Feeling So Much Yet Doing So Little from Instant Coffee on Vimeo.

Portobello ReCollection: Giant Record Collection

Portobello Road Installation Features Giant Tom Waits Album

The Portobello ReCollection transformed a 100-meter brick wall into a giant record collection. Nearby residents were polled on their favorite albums, which would be included in the installation.

I was thrilled to see that Tom Waits’ Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards made the cut. Since it’s a triple album, it takes up lots of space. Nice.

Portobello ReCollection is the work of Natasha Mason and Teresa Crawley.

Orphans: Taking Up Space in a Good Way

Yin Xiuzhen: Cities in Suitcases

Yin Xiuzhen’s Portable Cities

Yin Xiuzhen has created miniature cities in open suitcases, using discarded clothing and other found materials. These textile sculptures are called, fittingly enough, Portable Cities.

Her current exhibition (at the Anna Schwartz Gallery in Sydney) features Melbourne, Shenzhen and Jia Yu Guan.

Looking at Mini-Melbourne, we can see that Yin cleverly rendered Flinders Street Station, the MCG and other notable landmarks. (Having never been to Shenzhen or Jia Yu Guan, I can’t comment on their veracity, but they sure look cool).

Yin spends time in each place and the buildings chosen for re-creation are ones that she finds memorable. It provides an interesting view of the locations and enforces her key message; you cannot truly understand, and therefore learn from an environment, unless you spend a good amount of time there.


Via designboom.

AT&T Rips Off Christo and Jeanne-Claude

If you’ve seen the recent AT&T ad, you’ve probably noticed the remarkable resemblance of those orange-draped landmarks to the Christo and Jeanne-Claude installation The Gates, which stood in NYC’s Central Park.

You’re not alone. AT&T had to put a disclaimer on the ad stating that Christo and Jeanne-Claude were not involved(yeah, we know), but that really only draws attention to the obvious, doesn’t it? It’s impossible that nobody working in a professional capacity at an ad agency would not have heard of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

You be the judge: here’s the ad, and below that is a photo of The Gates, which I took in February 2005.

The Gates, New York, 2005
The Gates, NYC: February 2005