A blog by Bradley Phillips

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I do not remember how I stumbled on Michael Salter's work. A screen shot of what I came across has been sitting on my desktop for months now. Today I was clearing my desktop of unnecessary files and found it again. Michael's work is pretty neat, he is a Digial Art Professor at the University of Oregon and he builds awesome robots out of packaging foam, he calls them "styrobots". What I really like about them is their size, though not all are huge, he has made them up to 22 ft tall. Another cool thing is they are so impractical as a aesthetic art, while stunning to see, they are made of a material that is in no way archival and the larger ones are so big you would need a room simply dedicated to its awesomeness. But what really draws me to them is how fun they are, while a giant robot made from the by product of modern consumerism has a load of meaning and depth, they are exciting to see and enjoy. Sometimes I forget to enjoy art, because it is so often used as a forum to debate and express ideas on life, death, politics, the human condition etc... bla bla bla (all important ideas and uses) But a reason we all make art aside from its purpose is enjoyment of making it.

HERE is a short video of a team assembling one of his giant "styrobots" at San Jose Museum of Art as part of the exhibit Robots:evolution of a Cultural Icon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I've come across a few really great artists lately who are not photographers. This got me thinking about a question Scott Chandler posed "what is the difference between an artist who uses photography as a medium and a photographer." I would like to believe that we are all artists and typecasting us to our chosen / current medium is a travesty. However I feel the real insult is how photography can be neglected as art. (just some food for thought)

In any case here is the work of Brian M. Viveros. Brian's work is dark and iconic. Though each image presents a heroine in various states of macabre, each are decorated with a flower, a cigarette, and various military garb. Although beautiful, the images seem to express a less glamorous side of life - to the point of being a presentation of a pauperized or war consumed society.