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Ed Atkins /

The digital artist is becoming a contradictory creature; occupying the fringes of the online community and existing as a kind of digital subculture, yet still looking to the gallery space, the last bastion for ‘offline’ exchange of information, for exposure. One artist taking purpose in his position of straddling the in-between is Ed Atkins; a vanguard in digital manipulation creating works that are both technically proficient and penetrating in their presentation of relevant themes, cited by the Serpentine Gallery, an influential establishment in relation to any institutional theory of art, as one of the most prominent creators of his generation. Working with high definition animation, Atkins creates augmented landscapes in which he channels the poetic though often aggression-filled voice of  ‘a character that is literally a model, is demonstrably empty – a surrogate and a vessel’.  The resultant work is an audio-visual barrage, using sight and sound to provoke an immersive experience in the traditional sense, while holding strong the digital idiosyncrasies that make computer generated art what it is. As if mimicking the landscape in which they were created, his work responds to the ways in which we perceive and process information – watching the often incomplete and interrupted narrative layered in moving image can be a familiar experience to the scrolling generation fighting to maintain an attention span. Ahead of his exhibition at London’s Serpentine Sackler gallery this June (one which interestingly coincides with that of performance artist Marina Abramović in the same space) view a selection of works from his current exhibition at Zürich’s Kunstalle and more of his past work on his tumblr embedded below:

Ed Atkins exhibits at Kunsthalle Zürich until May 11th and at the Serpentine Sackler [...]

Stigmatophilia -Tattoo Fetish

The democracy of the internet has brought many unexpected views, experiences and ideas into our world in a way which was inconceivable before the accessibility and anonymity of our new digital world. Online forums, amateur literature and iPhone made films now mean we can share our deepest secrets to most banal activities to thousands of people. However the organisation of these confessions is scattered throughout the internet making more estranged confessions difficult to pinpoint into one place. Recently I’ve been looking into fetish where arousal occurs through the pain of being tattooed (or better known as stimgatophilia). Here are some of my favourite confessions for you to all enjoy.

The Gijs+Emmy Spectacle, Fashion and Jewellery design by Gijs Bakker and Emmy van Leersum

The Stedelijk Museum presents The Gijs+Emmy Spectacle, Fashion and Jewelry design by Gijs Bakker and Emmy van Leersum. The exhibition is based on a legendary fashion show presented by the artist duo Gijs Bakker (1942) and Emmy van Leersum (1930–1984) in 1967.

In the late 1960s, Bakker and Van Leersum, both trained jewellery designers and artists, created a furor with their avant-garde jewellery and clothing that fused fashion, design, and art. Two one-off events and numerous exhibitions brought Gijs and Emmy international recognition in the world of 1960s jewellery design and sparked a true revolution. Bakker and Van Leersum’s breakthrough came in 1967 when they presented their vision of a total concept of fashion and jewellery with a spectacular show at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The show was the opening event of the exhibition Edelsmeden 3.

The couple rejected the refined use of precious metals usually found in haute couture and the common folk aesthetic of handcrafted jewellery, and instead deployed everyday materials such as aluminum and nylon as the basis for oversized, geometric body adornments that combined elements of fashion, pop art and design. There is something incredibly forward thinking in the jewellery that they created, at a first glimpse its easy to label these designs as products simply of that design movement but their scale and complexity stands them apart from anything else happening at the time in terms of the history of jewellery design.

The most famous item of jewelry featured in the show is undoubtedly Bakker’s Stovepipe Necklace (with matching bracelet), now an icon of Dutch design. Bakker was the first designer to create a piece of jewelry of such audacity and on such a scale. It was a provocation.

Find out more about the exhibition

Boris Bidjan Saberi’s inspirations

We have spoken to fashion designer Boris Bidjan Saberi about his inspirations. From Helmut Newton self portraits, photographs of his favourite skateboarding magazines to the music he has been listening to in his studio we find out more about what excites Saberi.

SANG BLEU :  What music have you been listening to in your studio?



SANG BLEU : What is your favourite museum or gallery?

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

SANG BLEU : What is your favourite painting?

Painting is not really what inspires me.

SANG BLEU : What is your favourite photograph? 

Helmut Newton. Self-portrait with wife and models, among others. Newton’s photographs remains very inspirational to me.  He staged women complex faces and managed to underline their strength and pride, pointing simultaneously men’s gazes.  He had shown women in the ways I both love to see and watch them.


SANG BLEU : What is your favourite costume design from a film?

I’m not that found of costume designs. I often find non senses which break the global story.  Star Wars has some nice points in.

SANG BLEU : What is your favourite building?

More than through one of its physical achievement, Architecture influences me as a discipline.  Its technicality seems very challenging, and is also very similar to tailoring. Understanding and imagining a shape through floor planes and moving it to a 3dimensional volumes is fascinating. Besides, the graphical characters of those plans reminds me very much of patterns and fabric structures, it had been a deep influence for my most recent collection Structurism

SANG BLEU : Could you name us one individual who you think their style is inspiring to you? 

Boris Bidjan Saberi : Emotions, moments, versatile instants shared with my family and friends are more

inspirational to me than iconic individuals. If I had to name one individual, I’d say Joseph Beuys.

SANG BLEU : What is your favourite either out of print magazine or old issue of a magazine? (for example a certain era of a magazine that is still running)

My practice of skate board and my [...]

Re-coding Online Porn Spaces

Embrace all fetishes licensed by Calvin Klein, refuse with disgust any female body bigger than Terry Richardson’s thumb, only re-blog Tumblr GIFS of women elegantly convulsing in response to some deft fisting. Preferably, forget your own partialities if you can remember them.

Concepts of sexual normalcy, acceptability and appeal are interwoven through every facet of consumption, pouring themselves over our dark spaces and private geographies. It seems as though quests to satisfy or even discover alternatives are attached to a degree of shame, wrongness or plain inaccessibility. That’s not to say that extreme fetishes and perversions are not catered for, rather, those very practices are framed with a hetero-normative stiffness where the watcher is rarely mirrored if not totally erased. Despite this framework, sex-positive initiatives are permeating online landscapes, continuing from the post-porn movement initiated 30 years ago, though at present it’s finding ground in start-up culture.


I stumbled across Come4 whilst watching a YouTube clip from this years Transmediale Conference in Berlin. The panel, titled ‘Tube as Trashure’, focused on porn’s Internet infrastructure, its economy and influence on body perception – porn as social trash and private treasure. Porn activist Slavina introduced Come4 as the ‘first user-generated, non-profit ethically driven erotic porn site’. There is an obvious dichotomy between a billion dollar industry and the terms ‘non-profit’ and ‘ethical’, although if anything is to pull porn out of its monotonous tragedy, a sort of ‘green’ approach might do it.

The platform aims to cater for a diverse range of sexual preference when it fully launches, whilst the money visitors spend on the site’s multi-media content directly funds a charity supported by the platform at that given time (currently it’s the Asta Philpot [...]

Anthropodermic Bibliopegy

Anthropodermic bibliopegy, or the practice of binding books with human skin, has been around since the 16th Century. The earliest known example is a 13th century French bible; however, the practice seems to have reached a heyday in the 1800s, when medical and anatomical texts were bound not infrequently by physicians in human flesh and criminals’ confessions were sometimes bound in the prisons’ unclaimed remains.

Many of these historical volumes have made it into the hands of prestigious American Universities: Harvard’s libraries contain at least two (not including the Practicarum quaestionum later found to be sheepskin), and Brown University and the UPenn’s libraries each have their own. Joseph Leidy (1823-1891), a paleontologist and professor of anatomy at UPenn and later Swarthmore, was known to have a collection of human-bound books from the skin of his patients. One of these volumes, An Elementary Treatise on Human Anatomy, was bound in the flesh of a Civil War soldier, for which Leidy was likely a military physician. The history of UPenn’s medical texts and anthropodermic bibliopegy was discussed in a 2006 article in the Daily Pennsylvanian, which elucidated the strong ties of the university with this practice, claiming that the university operated a successful medical school during a heyday of human book binding, and that skins were often obtained and tanned at the Philadelphia General Hospital.

Another volume, currently housed in the Boston Athenaeum, is the deathbed confession of convict James Allen (alias George Walton, alias Jonas Pierce, alias James H. York, alias Burley Grove, the highwayman), told to a warden and ultimately bound in the flesh of the author. An even more sinister volume, with the words “EXECUTED 28 JAN 1829″ stamped on the cover, is supposedly made of the skin from Edinburgh murderer William Burke, who, [...]

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