“Read Between The Signs” – Unique Recycled Road Signs Mural

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Situated along side Route 322, near Meadville, PA, this project was thought off by artist Amara Geffen and Arts & Design Initiative Director, in 2002 and has been an ongoing work ever since. It is realized through the collaboration between he Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Allegheny College’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED).

This is a form of community based art project, an original way of celebrating Earth Day. 1200ft long by 9ft tall, this fence is supported by an already existing chain fence around PennDOT’s storage lot and it is entirely made out of recycled road signs, combined as to depict places and people – for example the French Creek watershed, Allegheny Mountains, forests, roads or even PennDOT workers – but also features solar and wind powered kinetic components, thus paying a tribute to the environment.

It’s not only beautiful and original, but it has also managed to bring together the people of the community, having become the pride and symbol of Meadville.

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Waste Monster Is Made of Thousands of Plastic Bags

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A group of Slovenian environmentalists have created a scary waste monster, made of tens of thousands of plastic bags, to raise awareness to the world’s ever growing consumerism and waste problems.

To create their unique Plastic Bag Monster, the group of enthusiasts roamed throgh the streets of Ljubljana, collecting used plastic bags and plastic cups. In the end, they managed to come up with 40,000 plastic bags and 7,500 cups, collected from 12 kindergardens, 21 primary schools, 4 high schools, 3 colleges and 500 passers-by, from around Slovenia’s capital city.

As the waste monster keeps spreading its tentacles across Ljubljana, the message it sends becomes clearer – consumerism has gotten way out of control and that’s what spawned this abomination that has managed to adapt to our environment and is about to replace us at the top of the food chain. It is capable of reproducing at unimaginable speeds and feeds on people’s sloth and irresponsibility towards the environment. It knows no mercy, and unless we find it in ourselves to change, it will destroy us all…

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The World’s Most Elaborate Temporary Carpets

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No matter how elaborate and expensive, carpets have never really fascinated me, but the ones created by the guys at “We Create Carpets” are simply awe-inspiring. Using common materials, like pasta, toy soldiers or plastic forks, these guys create the most intricate temporary carpets. Each design is more impressive than the previous one, but what’s most impressive is these guys’ patience in setting every piece in just the right place, to ensure a perfect final result.

Check out the temporary carpets below, and prepare to have your mind blown:

Pasta Carpet

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Only in Africa – Elephants Calmly Walk through Hotel Lobby

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What would your reaction be if were to check into this hotel in Zambia and encountered this enormous and possibly dangerous African elephant in the lobby?

This is what happens when people get in the way between an elephant and his favorite snack and the owners of the luxurious Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia found this out on the hard way, when a family group of elephants simply walked through the hotel’s lobby to get to their mango tree.

Although they are wild animals, they seem to have gotten used to having people around them and have grown a special relation with everybody at the hotel.Interestingly enough, elephants get very close to the hotels staff but guests are advised not to get to close.

Building the hotel in their path was unintended, but the owner recognizes he had no idea that the elephants would return. This has been going on for several years and the group of elephants comes back every year around the month of November, eating their favorite fruits about four times a day.

The director of the Bushcamp Company, which that runs the Mfuwe Lodge, Andy Hogg, explains: “There are ten in that herd and it is only that herd that comes through. It is a strange thing. The matriarchal in the herd is Wonky Tusk, and she brings the nine others through and they come and go as they please.”

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Deep Space Fighter Bed Is Every Star Wars Fan’s Dream

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Children’s furnishing company Posh Tots is trying to fulfill every Star Wars fan’s fantasy of owning their very own Deep Space Fighter, by creating series of beds inspired by the iconic spacecraft.

That’s right Star Wars fanboys, after the incredibly awesome Millennium Falcon bed and Imperial Walker bunk bed, it’s time for another mind-blowing sleeping contraption. The Deep Space Fighter Bed looks like it’s been modeled after the Eta-2 interceptor that Anakin Skywalker piloted at the end of “Revenge of the Sith”, but the company allows its clients to make whatever custom modifications they desire, and they even throw in a free supporting wall mural that can depict anything from an army of elite fighters to a squadron of space fighters.

That sounds awesome, but that’s only because you don’t yet know the price. The Deep Space Fighter Bed starts at $18,000 dollars. Now I know it’s important to fulfill your child’s dreams, but for that much cash you could probably buy him a real ship.

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The Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani Yaen-koen Park

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Even though the name of this park might not sound very familiar you’ve probably heard about the Snow Monkeys of Japan.

The Jigokudani Yaen-koen (Hell Valley Wild Monkey Park) is located in the Nagano mountains and since it was opened, in 1964, this park has been the attraction of tourists from all over the world, eager to see the famous snow monkeys.

The Japanese Macaques (Macaca Fuscata) are monkeys native to northern Japan and very much used to being around people. Even so, the park’s officials recommend that you shouldn’t try  touching them or even looking directly into their eyes, as this is considered, in the monkey society, a sign of enmity.

They are the most north-living species of primate, able to survive temperatures of below -15 °C. Their bodies are covered in a brown-gray coat of fur and they have red skin on their face, hands and bottom. Although they sometimes spend their time in the mountains, they just love bathing and swimming in the hot springs. In the park you can sometimes find about 200 monkeys enjoying the hot water of Japanese onsen in the spring and especially during Japan’s extremely cold winters.

The sight of monkeys in hot water with snow falling on their heads is particularly beautiful.

The Jigokudani park is located in the center of Japan, on the valley of the Yokoyu River, in a harsh environment where snow is present for about four months, reason enough to be named Hell Valley, although the monkeys seem to love this place.


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Bike Polo Is Quickly Becoming a Popular Sport

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Derived from the traditional equestrian sport the English are so found of, bike polo started out as just another underground urban sport, but is now one of the most popular cycling sports in America.

Bicycle polo can be traced back to 1891, when Irish cyclist Richard J. Mecredy first came up with the crazy idea of riding the bike with one hand and holding a polo mallet in the other. Back then, it was played on grass, just like horse polo, and it wasn’t until the last decade that bike polo started being played on hard surfaces.  Bikers first started competing in Bike Polo games in cities like New York, Chicago and Seattle, but thanks to the Internet, it quickly spread to other US cities, and is now a regimented sport, with a clear set of rules and its own championship – the North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championships.

The game of Bike Polo basically features two teams of three members chasing a street hockey ball, trying to kick it through the opposition’s small goal. Their mallets are made from plastic tubes and old ski sticks, and their fixed gear bikes only have one handlebar, to allow better control of the hockey ball. As you can imagine, this is not the safest sport in the world, especially considering it’s played on hard surfaces and there are a lot of crashes involved. Players try to gracefully avoid bumping into one another, but that’s not very easy to do on a bicycle, and accidents do happen. But that’s precisely what makes bicycle polo an adrenaline filled sport, and that’s why so many people love it.

Bike polo is well on its way to becoming a mainstream sporting event, as authorities keep building more and more sanctioned places to practice the sport, all across the United States, and players hope they’ll soon be able to organize world class bike polo competitions.

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The Krzywy Domek – Poland’s Crooked House

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Looking at these photographs you have to wonder whether  this is real or the result of an optical illusion.

The Krzywy Domek, as it is originally called, is part of the Rezident shopping center in Sopot, Poland. It is three stories high, has a total of about 4,000 square meters and is now the “residence” of a pub called the Wonky Pub. Although it’s architecture is similar to that of the surrounding buildings, this Crooked House seems weary or melting. Ever since it was built, in 2004, the Crooked House became Poland’s most photographed building.

This unusual house is the result of Polish architect’s Szotynscy Zaleski  imaginative mind, who was inspired by Jan Marcin Szancer‘s fairytale illustrations and also by Per Dahlberg’s art, whose drawings you can find inside the Krzywy Domek. (video).

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The Incredible Crochet Art of Agata Oleksiak

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True, there are many out there, especially women, who are very into knitting or crocheting but it seems to me that this time passion got a little bit out of control for Olek, real name Agata Oleksiak,a young woman born in Poland, currently living in NYC. It all started as a method of relaxation that soon became a form of art or, as she herself admits, a way of conveying the inseparability of life and art.

“Life and art are inseparable. The movies I watch while crocheting influence my work, and my work dictates the films I select. I crochet everything that enters my space. Sometimes it’s a text message, a medical report, found objects. There is the unraveling, the ephemeral part of my work that never lets me forget about the limited life of the art object and art concept. What do I intend to reveal? You have to pull the end of the yarn and unravel the story behind the crochet.”

Olek’s art may be shocking at first but is a real wake-up call for those willing to admire here work. Bursting with color, most of the times intentionally used “in conflict”, the works of art in which she has put an immense amount of effort and passion convey an image of the world that can only be seen through the eyes of an artist. Her crocheting varies from costumes for film or theater to large pieces meant to give a new image to an abandoned house, a Polish WWII bunker or the windows of the public boat in Istanbul, just to give a few examples.

In 2004 Olek received the Ruth Mellon Award for Sculpture and also won the commercial competition of the Apex Art Gallery but ever since she started,about a decade ago, her work has been admired in galleries all over the world.

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Matthew Albanese Creates Stunning Landscapes from Household Objects

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Looking at the beautiful landscapes of Matthew Albanese, you couldn’t even imagine they are made with objects you yourself have around the house.

Matthew’s career as a landscape creator began about three years ago, just when he had become bored with his job as a visual merchandiser and was looking for an outlet. One day, he knocked over an entire tub of paprika, and as he was struggling to clean up the mess, the shade of the spice got him dreaming. It reminded him of Mars and what an exotic yet unreachable place it was. That’s when he decided that if couldn’t go to the Red Planet, he would bring it to him. He rushed out and bought five kilograms of paprika and created his very first household landscape – Paprika Mars.

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Photography Profesor Has Camera Implanted in the Back of His Head

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Photography professor Wafaa Bilal, at the New York University, has a let’s say original vision on what we generally refer to as art.

He intents to put together an exhibit of art called “The 3rd I” which will be featured at the  Arab Museum of Modern Art in Mathaf. And for that particular reason he implanted a camera in the back of his head. Well,not literally,but he had a titanium plate implanted at a piercing shop. This allows him to attach a camera using magnets, camera which will take a photo every minute. The only time Bilal won’t be able to use it will be on campus at NYU, thus protecting the privacy of his students.

The opening of The Arab Museum of Modern Art will take place on Dec. 30, occasion with which they are hosting the “Told/Untold/Retold” exhibition, gathering the works of 23 key modern artist, including Wafaa Bilal.

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Ingenious Architect Uses Aluminum Cans as Shingles for His House

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Richard Van Os Keuls has used flattened aluminum soda and beer cans as siding for his plywood house extension, after deciding conventional materials were too expensive.

Van Os Keuls, an architect from Silver Spring, Maryland, first got the idea of incorporating flattened aluminum cans into his trade after seeing a car drive over a discarded soda can. He thought to himself that it would make a pretty decent aluminum shingle, so he began building his own stash of old cans to experiment with, at a later time. That time came around when he finished the plywood extension on his house, and began looking for a cheap material to side it with.

The ingenious architect admits his idea of using aluminum cans has nothing to do with art or the environment, as he was simply looking for a cheap and durable alternative to conventional siding materials. Wearing heavy construction boots, Richard first stomped on the cans and then flattened them even further with a sledgehammer, rounding the corners so people wouldn’t get cut when leaning up against the house. He found that flattening each can was time-consuming, so he started working on several at a time. When they were ready to be placed on the wall, he would place 30-40 cans overlapping each other and secure them with a long aluminum nail.

At first, he wanted to paint over the cans, but as the siding started to take place, the color mosaic looked better and better, and he even made sure that no no two same color cans were put together. He began ordering cheap colorful beer and soda cans from other countries, just because he wanted as many different colors as possible. But he needed a lot more cans than he could buy, if he was to complete the siding, so he tried to collect more from the neighborhood dump. That got him cited twice, and earned him fines for theft of city property and transporting stolen property, so he had to rely on donations from neighbors.

When he finally completed his unique project, Richard Van Os Keuls’ house was covered by around 22,000 flattened aluminum cans. He says they aren’t noisy when it rains, and while aluminum tends to develop a chalky oxidation, the ink on the cans has significantly slowed up the process, so his can-covered home is still a colorful inspiration to architects and designers around the world.

 

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New York Gallery Hosts Erwin Wurm’s Exentric “Gulp” Exhibiton

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Lehmann Maupin gallery in New York recently hosted Erwin Wurm’s Gulp exhibition, an eccentric yet interesting approach on modern society.

Using furniture, clothing or even statues representing humans, Erwin Wurm makes an attempt to express the way everything surrounding us can form or  even deform an individual. Almost unwillingly  the viewer finds himself involved in this intricate dialogue engendered by Wurm through his art.

Explaining the addressability of  his art but also his purpose, the artist says “I want to address serious matters, but in a light way. I want to reach more than just an elite circle of insiders. My work speaks about the whole entity of a human being: the physical, the spiritual, the psychological and the political.”

Erwin Wurm is an Austrian-born artist. His work has always been about a giving the viewers a new perspective on life and on how they relate to everyday objects or situations, managing to provoke it’s viewers imagination and, in a certain way, reinterpreting the whole concept of sculpture.

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The Tech Junk Cities of Franco Recchia

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Italian artist Franco Recchia uses old computer parts to create his unique tech junk cities – mixed media sculptures that replicate famous metropolises.

Driven by a simple curiosity to see what is inside the computer case, Recchia takes apart old computers and uses their parts to create ingenious urban skylines. A “testament to what is beautiful, elegant and functional in the modern object” his tech-junk sculptures are made from various parts like radiators, old motherboards, various slots, and even case parts. These works of art are the artists way of showing that every thing made by the human hand has great beauty, if used in an original-enough way.

You can check out Franco Rocchia’s amazing tech-junk cities on ARTmine, where you can also purchase some of them. They are priced between $2,400 and $8,100, no the cheapest artworks you can find, but definitely among the most original.

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The Plastic City of Bang-Yao Liu

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Plastic City” is a colorful replica of Shanghai City out of cheap plastic objects bought by artist Bang-Yao Liu, on the streets of China’s bustling city.

While some may see just a bunch of colorful plastic objects, young Bang-Yao Liu went out of his way to create replicas of Shanghai buildings and landmarks. Scouting the streets of Shanghai for cheap plastic objects to use in his unique project, the artist used his experiences around the city as inspiration. Bins, plastic boxes, buckets, crates and other plastic things were used to create the Plastic City.

The 24-year-old Taiwanese artist created Plastic City as a commission piece for Converse, who wanted something that would show people it doesn’t take much to make the ordinary extraordinary.

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