3rd Video of work Ulrich de Balbian 16 August 2015

Ulrich de Balbian 16 August 2015, part3. http://www.newstylesgallery.info ; http://ulrichdb.blogspot.com/;https://ulrichdebalbian.wordpress.com/.  ‘Glimpses into my reality. A world that transcends all notions of a multi-verse. Please do not attempt to imprison me in your minute life world and mind set.”


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Sex with a stranger is more exciting? experiential life-coaching app

What would you answer? That was the starting point for Blast Theory’s app, Karen. Part game, drama and self-help quiz, this experiential app is inspired by our desire for self knowledge (think of those quizzes in glossy mags) and explores the idea of personal data and consent. Matt Adams, artist and co-founder of Blast Theory, takes us through the app’s development in this week’s App story, from drawing up the vital privacy policy to the “bonfire of the features” that occurred during the final few months of development.

Karen, at points, will appear to know things about you that she shouldn’t. Photograph: Blast Theory

If a life coach in an app asks you:

Sex with a stranger is more exciting, right?

What would you answer? This was one of our starting points for new smartphone app, Karen. As with my fellow Blast Theory artists Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, who helped create the app, I’m fascinated by the new kinds of intimacy, interaction and artistic experience created by mobile phones.

I’ve always been a sucker for those quizzes in glossy mags that promise something salacious with a side order of self knowledge (“Test your sex IQ”). While they rarely deliver on either front, these quizzes have endured for decades. Now websites such as BuzzFeed carry on the tradition of feeding our desire for personal know-how in bite-size chunks.

culture professionals

Our History & Approach

Blast Theory is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists’ groups using interactive media, creating groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting. Led by Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, the group’s work explores the social and political aspects of technology. Drawing on popular culture and games, the work often blurs the boundaries between the real and the fictional.

Blast Theory is based in Brighton, UK.

Our history

Early works such as Gunmen Kill Three (1991), Chemical Wedding (1994) and Stampede (1994) drew on club culture to create multimedia performances – often in unusual spaces such as film studios and accompanied by bands and DJs – that invited participation. The crime reconstruction installation Invisible Bullets (1994) was first shown at the Fete Worse Than Death in Hoxton. Something American (1996) treated the USA as the Wild West, quoting freely from Hollywood films on a billboard sized projection screen.

1997 was a major step forward: a nine month residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin coincided with a proposed performance called Succumbing suddenly shifting to become Kidnap (1998), in which two members of the public were kidnapped as part of a lottery and the resulting event was streamed online. Desert Rain (1999), a large scale installation, performance and game using virtual reality marks the first output of our collaboration with the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham. An Explicit Volume (2001) is an interactive installation using page-turners to control nine pornographic books and is part of a sequence of works that use found imagery and/or sexual material such as Choreographic Cops In A Complicated World (2000) and Viewfinder (2001).

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When John McGrath, Blast Theory’s artistic director, first asked us to develop a project with National Theatre Wales in 2013, we were keen to create a personal and intimate experience for smartphones in which you interact directly with the lead character. We wanted you to be challenged about how honest and open you might be and to experience the thrill of having your personality appraised.

We became fascinated with big data, in particular how governments and large companies are collecting information about us secretly and using it without our consent.

First steps for us included meeting with Dr Kelly Page, an expert in this area, to learn about the techniques developed by psychologists to measure personalities, and research into the history of the subject. We then rifled through hundreds of personality tests from across the decades. We chose some of the most fascinating, unnerving or significant scales and wove them into the story of Karen, a divorcee with just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

You interact with Karen through the app. At the start, she asks you some questions about your outlook and views of the world, to get a better understanding of you. She, and the app’s software, profiles you. Karen will give you advice based on your answers and over the next week you will have calls with her once or twice a day. I won’t spoil the experience, but it soon becomes clear that Karen is somewhat chaotic, with little care for personal/professional boundaries. She will get more and more curious and at points, will seem to know things about you that she shouldn’t. Is she spying on you?

That last point is important. Privacy and our use of user data was, of course, a key concern. The app has to gather and make use of highly personal information and we required the trust of users to do that. We spent a lot of time creating a privacy policy that was clear and robust.

We also had grand plans for how geolocation might be used. We wanted to ask the user whether they were at home, at work or out and about. Then we planned to give them different sessions based on where they were, but it proved just too complex. We were already in unknown territory and the last three months of development were a “bonfire of the features” at times! We stripped it down further and further.

Perhaps the biggest challenge we’ve faced is that the app is a hybrid, sitting somewhere between a game, a drama and a self-help quiz. We developed a strong story for Karen’s world with a great deal happening, but then realised this excluded the participant/player from what was happening.

Tester feedback became more positive as we stripped the story back to make it a world that exists almost entirely between the user and Karen. Words such as “intimate” and “addictive” started to crop up in tester reports and we knew we were on the right track.

A message from Karen

The Android version of the app will launch on 21 August, then in September, for one night only, we’ll invite everyone who completed the app to meet Karen in person at a secret UK location.

Our goal for the app was 3,000 downloads and this week we passed 10,000 for iOS. Most encouragingly, 35% of those who download the app go on to complete the nine-day long experience. Of those who finish, 37% have bought the personalised data report that we offer for £2.99. It shows that there’s an appetite for artistic experiences on mobile and that users are willing to commit time to and spend money on them.

App facts

Length of the project: three years; final shoot and build, six months
Companies involved: Blast Theory, National Theatre Wales, The Space, University of Nottingham
Size of the team: three artists, one lead researcher, one assistant, one lead developer, one producer, two actors, one director of photography, one sound person, one editor, an army of volunteers and 539 Kickstarter backers

Matt Adams is an artist and co-founder of Blast Theory

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Tate Gallery Sensorium :taste, touch, smell and hear

Galleries are overwhelmingly visual. But people are not – the brain understands the world by combining what it receives from all five senses. Can taste, touch, smell and sound change the way we ‘see’ art?

Figure in a Landscape 1945 Francis Bacon 1909-1992 Purchased 1950 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05941
Figure in a Landscape 1945 Francis Bacon 1909-1992 Purchased 1950 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05941
Interior II 1964 Richard Hamilton 1922-2011 Purchased 1967 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00912
Interior II 1964 Richard Hamilton 1922-2011 Purchased 1967 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00912
In the Hold c.1913-4 David Bomberg 1890-1957 Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1967 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00913
In the Hold c.1913-4 David Bomberg 1890-1957 Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1967 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00913
Full Stop 1961 John Latham 1921- 2006 Presented by Nicholas Logsdail and Lisson Gallery, London 2005 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T11968
Full Stop 1961 John Latham 1921- 2006 Presented by Nicholas Logsdail and Lisson Gallery, London 2005 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T11968

Tate Sensorium is an immersive display featuring four paintings from the Tate collection. You can experience sounds, smells, tastes and physical forms inspired by the artworks, and record and review your physiological responses through sophisticated measurement devices.

The experience encourages a new approach to interpreting artworks, using technology to stimulate the senses, triggering both memory and imagination. On leaving, you will be invited to explore the rest of the gallery using the theme of the senses as a guide.

About Flying Object

Winner of the IK Prize 2015, Tate Sensorium is the creation of creative agency Flying Object, working with a team of collaborators: audio specialist Nick Ryan, master chocolatier Paul A Young, scent expert Odette Toilette, interactive theatre maker Annette Mees, lighting designer Cis O’Boyle, digital agency Make Us Proud, and the Sussex Computer Human Interaction Lab team lead by Dr Marianna Obrist at the Department of Informatics, University of Sussex.

The IK Prize is awarded annually for an idea that uses innovative technology to enable the public to discover, explore and enjoy British art from the Tate collection in new ways.

Artworks from the Tate collection

Tate Sensorium features four twentieth century British paintings from Tate’s collection of art. Flying Object and their team of collaborators have selected artworks that play with abstraction in different ways, all of which can be appreciated sensually in terms of their subject matter, use of shape, form, colour, style and your own imagination. Here are the four paintings that feature in Tate Sensorium.

David Bomberg, 'In the Hold' circa 1913-4

David Bomberg
In the Hold circa 1913-4
Oil on canvas
support: 1962 x 2311 mm frame: 1995 x 2355 x 63 mm
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1967© Tate

View the main page for this artwork

Francis Bacon, 'Figure in a Landscape' 1945

Francis Bacon
Figure in a Landscape 1945
Oil on canvas
frame: 1628 x 1464 x 120 mm support: 1448 x 1283 mm
Purchased 1950© Tate

View the main page for this artwork

John Latham, 'Full Stop' 1961

John Latham
Full Stop 1961
Acrylic on canvas
support: 3015 x 2580 x 40 mm
Presented by Nicholas Logsdail and Lisson Gallery, London 2005© The estate of John Latham (noit prof. of flattime), courtesy Lisson Gallery, London

View the main page for this artwork

Richard Hamilton, 'Interior II' 1964

Richard Hamilton
Interior II 1964
Oil, cellulose paint and collage on board
support: 1219 x 1626 mm frame: 1425 x 1830 x 100 mm
Purchased 1967
© The estate of Richard Hamilton

View the main page for this artwork

Technology and the senses


Touchless haptics work by using focused ultrasound from an array of speakers that vibrate on the visitor’s hand. This will create a sensation of touch, and no gloves or special equipment is needed. Touchless haptics use technology developed by the company Ultrahaptics.


Directional audio uses ultrasound waves to direct very precise sound waves across distances in a very precise manner. Listeners outside of the audio area will not be able to hear it, while for those inside the channel, the effect is similar to listening to headphones. Directional audio systems will be provided by Hypersound.


Flying Object collaborated with IFF’s olfactory design lab and perfumery team to produce bespoke scents, many created using ‘living naturals’ materials – captured through a Tenax™ trap or through liquefied gas extraction.


Master chocolatier and food inventor Paul A Young has developed an edible product that stimulates a haptic taste experience in response to the textural, painterly qualities and potential meanings of a specific artwork.


Visitors will be given the option to measure their body’s response to the experience using wearable devices. These wristbands measure electrodermal activity, a measure of perspiration, which indicates how calm or excited wearers are. Tate Sensorium will be using E4 wristbands, provided by Empatica, who offer medical quality sensing.

Lighting equipment is kindly provided by Rosco.

Information for visitors

  • Tate Sensorium is a free 15-minute experience. Free tickets are available on a first-come first-served basis from the Information Desk at Tate Britain’s Millbank Entrance on the day of your visit.
  • Tate Sensorium is recommended for adults and children aged 8 and above. Tate asks that parents do not take small children into the display with them.
  • Please note that visitors will be given a food product to consume as part of the experience. This product contains soya.
  • As part of the experience, visitors will be asked to wear wristbands that measure their physiological responses to sensory stimuli (skin conductivity and heart rate). This poses no risk to health. All data collected from visitors is anonymous. The data is used to give individualised feedback to visitors at the end of the experience and will be made available to scientists researching sensory interaction at The University of Sussex. By participating in this voluntary experience and completing a digital questionnaire at the end, visitors over the age of 18 give consent for their anonymous data to be used in this way. Data from wristbands worn by visitors under the age of 18 will be deleted immediately after they leave the experience.

The Cultivist for artists, collectors, etc;3D gallery online show of your work artists/galleries

Cultured-Magazine-Summer-2015-Cultivists-1We are The Cultivist, the world’s only global arts club offering uniquely privileged access to every aspect of the art world.

The Cultivist makes your journey through art effortless and enriching. With a single card, you glide through museums, galleries and art fairs worldwide: no tickets, no bookings, no complications.

And that’s just the beginning. Through personal service and tailored experiences, we help you deepen your appreciation of the art that matters most to you. Through your membership you are also offering philanthropic support to the many art institutions we partner with.

Welcome to a new world of art.






Art Travel





With the nonstop circuit of art events keeping collectors constantly on the move, even the most seasoned among them can start to feel worse for the wear. Not only are there actual travel logistics to deal with, but to access the best, influential and new can be like ferreting out diamonds in the rough—exhaustive work that requires currying favors and mounds of research.

That’s what Marlies Verhoeven and Daisy Peat discovered during their years running Sotheby’s VIP program in New York and London, respectively. About six years ago, the two founded the program as a way for the auction house to build relationships with its top collectors. “The art market is a little like the property market,” says Verhoeven. “You don’t sell a painting every day, just as you wouldn’t sell a house every day. During those in-between times, we were interacting and trying to build a relationship—beyond selling.”










Select a plan and  gallery.

Add and position artwork.

Add pricing and provenance.

Set opening date and publish.

Share via social networks and email.

Update and replace sold artworks.

Moving Pictures: Brian Henry’s digital marvels illuminate—and sell


Tourists stand near the main entrance of SLS fixated and jaw-dropped, watching a digitally animated duck float on the giant LED cube above the Center Bar. Appearing three-dimensional, the illusion creates a rare moment when gawkers are too spellbound to pull out their camera-phones.

Brian Henry smiles.

This is his doing. The anamorphic duck designed for the 32-by-18-by-4-foot multisided LED screen follows his earlier design for it—a woman’s legs seductively swinging down from the projected molten liquid above, larger than life.

There’s no doubt that this town blazes in digital, but even with all the high-def conversation clamoring for attention on massive displays up and down the Strip, the cube and its 2.1 million pixels, angled to provide a 3D mirage, take branding and digital entertainment to a new level.

“It’s fun to pursue something that’s cool and supports the brand but doesn’t have a direct marketing approach,” Henry says. “Something that’s beautiful and smart, but doesn’t have to slap you over the head.”

In New York City’s Times Square, LED screens several stories high—including one that covers an entire city block—combine color, movement and engineering with the sophisticated design that defines competitive digital advertising. Companies throughout the world are developing supersigns, proclaiming “the largest” or “highest resolution” vehicles for visual content that’s stirring and sharp. The pylons and marquees of Las Vegas play a similar role, most serving as brands for properties as they battle the next sign (and next sign) for eyeballs. At SLS, 3D projection mapping on two building exteriors presents abstract colors rhythmically pulsating or futuristic figures playing with energy fields.

“Technology has been a cornerstone of the guest experience at SLS Las Vegas since its initial conception, from the groundbreaking 3D mapping at Foxtail Pool to the digital Starck Frames and main registration desk,” says SLS vice president of marketing Jared Rapier. “These installations complement SLS’ whimsical design and turn the resort into an ever-evolving work of art. The Center Bar is no different, and the international attention it has received demonstrates how the classic Las Vegas attraction has been adopted for the next generation of tech-savvy destinations.”

So Henry is in the right place at the right time. His understanding of the nuances of design developed over a career that began right out of high school, when the native Las Vegan took a job at Anchor Gaming photographing facades of iconic hotels and sketching them—images that would eventually be stamped onto commemorative Silver Strike gaming tokens.
Photo: Bill Hughes

At 38, his imprint is all over the Boulevard: the more than 300-foot full-motion LED sign at the Harmon Corner that he co-designed with Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO), the 260-foot vertically oriented Aria marquee, the Linq’s digital sign and lighting schemes on its hotel’s Vortex Roof Deck. Henry even programmed the synchronized luminescence of the Swarovski crystal starburst at the Grand Bazaar Shops in front of Bally’s. The 14-foot sculpture, jutting from the top of the Swarovski boutique, has more than 1,800 choreographed points of light.

This is from someone who believed he’d need to move to LA to have a creative career in art and design, but learned he could carve a niche in Las Vegas’ evolution from neon and argon and static marquees to building-sized animated and lighting sequences. As a student at Las Vegas Academy in the 1990s, he had in his backyard a city legendary for its sculpted neon art framed by the dark, one that has transformed into a landscape of 24-hour high-definition video advertising—sophisticated and carefully programmed televisions overcoming the night sky.

“Digital signage is the medium of the contemporary Las Vegas skyline,” says Danielle Kelly, executive director of the Neon Museum. “The sheer volume of information that can be communicated through digital is breathtaking and malleable. Not only is the content relayed on a sign key to articulating the personality of a property, but how that information is conveyed visually articulates the personality and flavor of the place.”

She adds that Henry “has had a hand in many of the freshest, most creative and most on-point environmental lighting designs in Las Vegas.”


As a child growing up here, Henry knew Fremont Street when cars drove up and down the gash of neon that yawned up into the sky. Now that stretch is covered with one of the largest LED video screens in world, literally blending past and present signage and mirroring the evolution of Las Vegas, a narrative that includes designers like Henry.
An image from Brian Henry’s <em>Machina Ex Machina</em>

An image from Brian Henry’s Machina Ex Machina

“My main drive was wanting to do something creative and artistic,” he says. “I could draw something that looked like a photo if I wanted to, but where’s the next step?

After his stint at Anchor Gaming, Henry spent 15 years with the esteemed YESCO. He worked in its interior sign division, first screen-printing belly glass on gaming machines and then designing animated sequences, leading him to work on some of the biggest projects at noted megaresorts. In 2013, he went independent with Brian Henry Design. Now he collaborates with YESCO while tackling solo projects, always tapping into the next thing.

That sentiment mirrors his approach to his personal artwork. He has created digital pieces for exhibits at the Life Is Beautiful Festival (where he whited out man-made elements in video footage of Nevada natural landscapes) and Trifecta Gallery. His Machina ex Machina at Trifecta in 2012 involved a computer program in which the machine went through a daily routine of waking itself up, creating an image every 30 seconds and saving it, resulting in thousands of computer-generated abstract works that could be ordered as one-of-a-kinds for print. Trifecta Gallery owner Marty Walsh later said that Henry’s show of parametric works was one of her favorites during her 11 years of operation, that for her it had one of the biggest impacts.

Henry and his wife, fashion designer Jennifer Henry (they met as teenagers working at Anchor Gaming), also had a studio and gallery in the Arts Factory for three years where they collaborated on art projects.
Brian Henry at Trifecta Gallery

Brian Henry at Trifecta Gallery

More recently, he’s collaborated with internationally recognized American artist Peter Wegner, whose work is in the permanent collections of major museums on both coasts.

Henry says his concentration on art projects is entirely separate from his commercial work.

“I don’t want to compromise my personal explorations,” he says. “That comes from absolutely compromising on the other side.”

His career is such that if he’s on the Strip chatting with someone and they ask, “So, what do you do?” the answer is easy.

German Museum Has a Living Copy of Van Gogh’s Famous Ear


Everyone knows that tortured Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh cut off his own ear. As if the actual act was not disturbing enough, another Dutch artist has for some reason fabricated the long-dead artist a new ear from genetic material provided oneby of the artist’s relatives, reports the Guardian.

When Van Gogh, in the midst of a psychic breakdown (or, depending on who’s telling the story, in a fight with Gauguin) chopped off his ear and presented it as a gift to a horrified prostitute way back in 1888, he had no idea that he was reserving a place in the art history textbooks for his now-missing appendage, which has since become one of the most famous body parts in human history.

Now, artist Diemut Strebe has taken genetic samples from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of the artist’s brother Theo van Gogh, and created a new ear, titled Sugababe, with computer imaging technology ensuring that the ear is a faithful copy of the artist’s body part.

The science of growing artificial ears dates back to 1995 and was developed by Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University’s Charles Vacanti. Believe it or not, the Van Gogh ear, which is displayed suspended in a clear nutrient solution inside a glass case, is probably less disturbing than Langer and Vacanti’s first ear, which was incubated on the back of a mouse.

Before Strebe tracked down Lieuwe van Gogh, she actually tried extracting DNA from a postage stamp the famed Impressionist had allegedly licked. Eventually, she settled for a living relative, who willingly provided saliva and cartilage samples. The two should share the same Y-chromosome, and about one sixteenth of their genes in total.

The admittedly creepy project, a strange hybrid of art and science (the artist calls it a “living art-piece”), is on view at Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, where visitors can use computer software that simulates nerve impulses to talk to the ear (whatever that means).

While the ear is just one of a limited edition, neither Van Lieuwe nor Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is interested in owning a copy, according to Dutch News.

Nevertheless, artificially-grown ears are becoming a trend of sorts. An episode of this season of Elementary, the Sherlock Holmes television series starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, featured a pair of replacement ears secretly incubated on a woman’s back, that figured in an elaborate murder frame-up job. According to the show, convincing faux ears are very easy to cultivate, and can be grown around a cartilage frame.

Sugababe will be on view at the museum through July 6, 2014, but Strebe may have plans to bring it to New York for her show at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts next spring.


Stelarc's third ear. Photo: Stelarc.

In the annals of strange things done in the name of art, Australian performance artist Stelarc is quickly making a name for himself.

Stelarc, a professor at Curtin University in Perth, was first inspired to grow a third ear in 1996, about a year after the technology to do so was first developed by Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Charles Vacanti of Harvard University. The pair incubated the world’s first artificial ear on the back of a mouse.

It took ten years for Stelarc to raise the necessary funds for an extra ear of his own, and to track down a team of plastic surgeons willing to perform the unorthodox procedure.

“You don’t really expect people to understand the art component of all of this,” Stelarc told ABC. “This ear is not for me, I’ve got two good ears to hear with. This ear is a remote listening device for people in other places.”

Stelarc's third ear. Photo: Stelarc.

At this point, the ear is a permanent fixture on Stelarc’s arm, having integrated the biocompatible frame surgeons inserted under the skin into its own tissue and blood supply within six months. Next, the artist hopes to raise the organ further off his arm by growing an ear lobe from his stem cells.

The final step would be to insert a wireless microphone that will let interested parties around the world tune into Stelarc’s days, eavesdropping at any and all times—privacy be damned.

“If I’m not in a wi-fi hotspot or I switch off my home modem, then perhaps I’ll be offline, but the idea actually is to try to keep the ear online all the time,” Stelarc explained.

He’s already tested out a microphone, but developed an infection that ended an otherwise successful trial.

Other artists have explored technologically-minded surgical modifications to their body, such as Wafaa Bilal, whose body rejected a camera implanted in the back of his head, and Neil Harbisson, a cyborg activist who drilled an antenna into his skull in 2004. Harbisson’s antenna allows him to receive phone calls and connect to the Internet, and translates colors, some beamed down via satellite signal, into sound.

Stelarc has explored cyborgization before, performing with a mechanical third hand, and placing cameras in his lungs, colon, and stomach.

“I am particularly interested in that idea of the post-human, that idea of the cyborg,” Stelarc told CNN. “What it means to be human will not be determined any longer merely by your biological structure but perhaps also determined largely by all of the technology that’s plugged or inserted into you.””


Vincent Aiello, framed sculpture of the foreskin made from silicon resin.

Italian artist Vincenzo Aiello is celebrating the foreskin—and protesting male circumcision with the aid of a Kickstarter campaign.

His project, titled “HUFO: The Missing Piece” (shorthand for “HUman FOreskin”) is dedicated to raising awareness about circumcision and the negative impact that circumcision can have on a man’s emotional health and sex life.

Aiello creates hyperrealistic foreskin sculptures using silicon resin and is selling them, displayed in frames inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, for $1,000 a pop as part of an “intactivist” Kickstarter campaign. This campaign could be the perfect bookend for the successful campaign to build a massive vagina sculpture in Texas (see Help Kickstarter Artist Build Six-Foot Vagina For Texas Women).

Smaller pledges will earn you a print or T-shirt showing the piece, which Aiello created after carefully studying circumcision surgeries to determine how the foreskin, dubbed “America’s censored body part,” is removed. For $10,000, the artist will build one of his signature mosaics in which the sculpture will be displayed.

The HUFO projects questions whether it’s “ethical for parents to remove functional tissue from their children’s bodies to conform to social or cultural norms,” and compares the American propensity for male circumcision to widely decried African traditions of female circumcision. Aiello claims that the foreskin is important erogenous tissue, and that the surgery to remove it is painful and potentially traumatizing to infants.

“Circumcision has become so commonplace in the US that parents often forget that circumcision is a surgery,” Aiello states on the Kickstarter page. “Every other surgery in Western medicine requires both compelling and urgent medical reasons to perform without consent.”

Aiello, who was circumcised as an adult for undisclosed medical reasons, has also founded a research company called Foregen, dedicated to developing medical techniques that will successfully regenerate the foreskin.

With 42 days remaining, HUFO has already raised nearly $13,000 towards its $40,000 goal.

foreskin compared to iPhone 5s

Collectors’ Mindsets Move from the Physical to Digital;change from art world to art experience


As Neon Mob illustrates, it’s the digital age, and that means art galleries and collectors are seeing a reshaping of the art world

Anna Johansson

Most art galleries you visit today will feature mostly (if not all) physical paintings, sculptures, and other artwork. Any artwork portrayed on a screen would be considered a little too different for the traditional museum. However, more and more prominent art galleries are sharing digitally-created art, and thanks to websites such as Neon Mob that make the creating and selling of digital art easier than ever, we are seeing a general shift from physical art to digital in galleries and museums around the country. 

Digital Art’s Impact Today

Today, more than 2 billion people are on the Internet, and many of that number spend four hours or more per day online. With that in mind, it’s important to recognize the powerful effect that the digital world has on our culture, particularly where art is concerned. It dulls some senses, but heightens others, particularly sight and sound.

One of the biggest pushes today for recognizing digital art as a celebrated art form comes from Jonathan Openshaw’s new book Postdigital Artisans. The book explores the effects of digital art and how it can fit in with traditional works.

“The virtual is no less real than the ‘real’ and the physical cannot be disentangled from the digital,” Openshaw explains in the pages. “More importantly, the mindset and aesthetics that came with digital technology are reshaping the material world around this.”

Essentially, Openshaw is not so much calling for a complete turn toward digital art as a better relationship between the two. He believes that a digital/physical relationship between the two art mediums will help to reshape the art world around us and produce a general shift in the traditional art collector’s mindset.

The Shift Toward Digital

Thanks to this eye-opening piece of literature as well as some other strong opinions on the matter, more and more collectors are beginning to move their mindsets to the digital world. More artists are also embracing the change.

For example, Steve Bloom has been working to produce the type of relationship between digital and physical that Openshaw spoke of. He pairs his unique talents in ancient printmaking with some contemporary digital processes to deliver his internationally renowned imagery.

In fact, his art is so renowned that he is one of the few artists that showcases his work that uses digital processes.

“A true pioneer of the digital art movement, Steve is one of the few to have his digital creations hanging in galleries,” reports a biography written by Park West Gallery.

Other popular artists who have been so fortunate to share their artwork in galleries include Maiko Takeda, Daniel Arsham, and Joan van der Wiel.

Neon Mob Plays a Factor 


However, in the future, it won’t only be celebrated artists like those mentioned above who have their digital art hung in prominent art collectors’ libraries. One new website called Neon Mob is making sure that art collectors of every caliber have the opportunity to not only create, but become compensated for the their art.

Neon Mob is a digital collectible’s platform that helps connect artists and art enthusiasts. Artists have the opportunity to publish series of digital illustrations that can be bought, sold, traded, shared, and displayed in every corner of the web.

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The interface of the website is really quite simple, and if you get confused at any point, there are simple instructions to follow. Basically, artists make the artwork on their computer, and then upload it into the system to begin selling and promoting it.

Each piece uploaded to the website is assigned a rarity and print distribution rating. These symbols are a copyright of sorts to help the artist keep track of their work.

Once the illustrations are made, it’s time to write a story, or at the very least, write a description and title of the work. In this field, a simple explanation of the piece probably isn’t enough. You’ll want to engross your audience with a story.

After the artist has put the final touches on your artwork and the story that accompanies it, they can publish and promote it. There are avid fans of Neon Mob already who will take a look at new pieces, but artists are encouraged to share their work through social media.

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The harder they work to promote their art, the faster artists get paid. Currently, the artist can keep up to 70 percent of their sales, depending on the package and their deal with Neon Mob.

This particular website is exactly what budding digital artists need to get their foot in the door and make a living off of this new art form. Though many collectors are still struggling with the idea of shifting their mindsets to the digital age, more and more are beginning to embrace the new concept and are looking to see stronger digital/physical relationships in the future.

Neon Mob 


Panel art

It’s not enough to turn the education system upside down: SOLE is about to enter a world many of us consider off-limits.

Contemporary art is often portrayed as an elitist world full of large canvases with coloured dots and hefty price tags, but Helen Burns believes it doesn’t have to be that way.

The SOLE Central research fellow has spent her career helping children and adults explore their creativity through contemporary art and now she’s applying all she’s learnt so far to a new exciting project.

Gallery in the Cloud will give school children and other gallery audiences the chance to become curators of their own contemporary art galleries. Supported by the SOLE method of learning collaboratively in groups, they will create digital artworks inspired by their own experiences that will reflect their own individual identities.

The resulting art collection will be self-curated, using cloud-based technology to create an ever-evolving gallery.

“It challenges the usual conventions of a gallery space and turns the concept of an ‘art world’ on its head, focussing instead on the ‘experience’ of art, which is accessible to everyone,’ says Helen.

This dented war robot (above) is from one of Helen’s previous art-based learning projects. The child who made it said it represented their experience of learning as ‘battered, but not giving up’

Helen is focussing initially on children at transitional periods in their education, such as SATs. “These are tough times for them,” she says. “A combination of the skills and resilience gained through creating contemporary art using SOLE could have a really positive effect on their ability to cope when they’ve got a lot to deal with.

“SOLE pedagogy and contemporary art actually have a lot in common as they can both be good vehicles for developing your own ‘voice’ and there are no wrong answers.”

The artists will be able to constantly revisit their artwork over several years, giving them the opportunity to expand and reflect on what they have already achieved.

As part of this initial development stage, Helen has been in discussion with the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. She would also like to collect ideas, opinions and questions about the project from the School in the Cloud community to help take it forward.

We’ll be re-visiting this story on social media next year, but if you would like contact Helen in the meantime, she can be reached by email.

About Helen
After graduating from Glasgow School of Art, Helen spent 10 years working as an Artist Educator in school and community settings in Scotland and the North East.

Since completing a MA in Library and Information Management, she has worked in cultural and creative education for organisations such as the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Tyne and Wear Museums.

Formerly a Research Associate at Durham University, Helen is now a SOLE Central Research Fellow at Newcastle University, where she is bringing together SOLE pedagogy and arts-based learning practice. She also teaches art, craft and design on the University’s Primary PGCE course for trainee teachers.