'Small Bangs (2013),' a science-inspired series of artwork using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) principles by Troika
artist statement: The ‘Small Bang’ series (2013) are ink drawings by which a circle or dot of black ink is applied to chromatography paper, which reacts by separating the dye until the black disappears. What is left are concentric shapes that bleed and spread with myriad colours.
The artworks are therefore not what they seem: for they are both the various colours that make up the absolute black ink and the separated colours of its intrinsic makeup. The title ‘Small Bang’ suggests the fundamental origins of the Big Bang of the universe, and the fact that all matter was created from darkness.
Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a chromatography technique used to separate non-volatile mixtures. Thin layer chromatography is performed on a sheet of glass, plastic, or aluminium foil, which is coated with a thin layer of adsorbent material, usually silica gel, aluminium oxide, or cellulose. This layer of adsorbent is known as the stationary phase.
After the sample has been applied on the plate, a solvent or solvent mixture (known as the mobile phase) is drawn up the plate via capillary action. Because different analytes ascend the TLC plate at different rates, separation is achieved.
Thin layer chromatography can be used to monitor the progress of a reaction, identify compounds present in a given mixture, and determine the purity of a substance. Specific examples of these applications include: analyzing ceramides and fatty acids, detection of pesticides or insecticides in food and water, analyzing the dye composition of fibers in forensics, assaying the radiochemical purity of radiopharmaceuticals, or identification of medicinal plants and their constituents 
A number of enhancements can be made to the original method to automate the different steps, to increase the resolution achieved with TLC and to allow more accurate quantitative analysis. This method is referred to as HPTLC, or “high performance TLC”.
Additional photo source: Reach Devices
Troika: The Path of Least Resistance/ The Path of Most Resistance/ Delta, 2013
The ‘Light Drawings’ are a series of works on paper, the remains of electric discharges that appear in the shape of intricate repeat-basic forms.
There, in a process of defiant playfulness, the order of nature is revealed by the mean of a sophisticated and terrifying technology, while the tracery and vulnerability of the edges where it meets the void are reflections of our desire as human beings to ‘physically master’ nature.
'Path of Least Resistance' presents the remains of a 50,000 volts electric discharge as it burns its way through paper. The series of delicates fractal patterns reveal an imminently natural rule as the electric current propagates through the medium unpredictably but always where it is easier for it to go. The results evokes rivers, tributaries, oxbow lakes, blood vessels, veins, capillaries, and plant roots, the patterns of which all stemming from the same genetic law.
'Path of Most Resistance' forces the charge to assume a circular pattern, one of the first figures of abstraction, in an act reminiscent of the ‘Opera Contra Natura’ of promethean myths.
With ‘Delta’ (2013), the charred pathway distinctly assumes the patterning of a river delta.
Joe Meiser: Mobile Transcendence Device, 2009
The Mobile Transcendence Device shifts an individual’s brainwaves to the Theta state that is associated with the transcendence achieved in deep meditation or prayer. This device consists of a visor fitted with a brightly pulsating light that is attached to a bone-embellished box, resembling a reliquary. The bones are a reference to death and are included because mortality and the experience of transcendence seem to be two sides of the same coin.
Phillip K Smith III : Lucid Stead, 2013
Phillip K. Smith III, an American artist based in Indio, California, has recently completed a stunning light installation in the middle of the California High Desert, near the small town of Joshua Tree. Titled ”Lucid Stead,” the work is actually an artistic intervention on a 70-year-old abandoned homesteader shack that plays with the concepts of light and shadow, reflection, projection and change. During the day, the structure reflects its surroundings through mirrors placed in both the shack’s openings and some of the boards on the walls. This acts to create an optical illusion of transparency, while at the same time transforming the desert into a material in its own right. As the sun sets, light gradually begins to emanate from the shack, with the door and windows transforming into solid-colour blocks that change from one colour to the next at an almost imperceptible pace. Interior white lighting seeps through the cracks on the walls, revealing the internal bracings and the shack’s supports. The installation plays beautifully with the concepts of receiving and transmitting: what during the day is a passive reflective object, at night becomes a dynamic illuminating presence that projects itself outwards in bold, bright colours.
Installations made using thousands of dollars in discarded lottery tickets by Ghost of a Dream
Under the artists’ name Ghost of a Dream, Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom started a collaborative project in New York, where the two artists live. After artist’s residencies in Basel and Berlin, Galerie Paris Beijing is pleased to welcome them for the first time to Beijing and present site-specific installations in a solo show entitledPrice of Happiness.
Based on collages and large scale objects, their strongly visual works revolve around promises of wealth offered by the lottery. Lottery tickets are pasted everywhere inGhost of a Dream’s work. These scratched tickets carry real dreams that mostly disappear just as quickly as they come. Although they are just discarded bits of paper, they represent fantasies of opulence, which vanish and reappear with each new lottery ticket.
In Price of Happiness, these dreams come alive through artistic compositions of objects, mirrors, photographs and slogans. In a country which is fascinated by the Western way of life and at a time where universal dreams are associated with consumption frenzy, these artists show us faded dreams and the process which is inherent in this fast easy money game: the hope of winning followed by the frustration of losing. In the end, these escapist moments make us lose much more than we win, as they create a bright future that will never exist.
Both born in the USA, Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom met while attending graduate school at Rhode Island School of Design, where Adam graduated in painting and Lauren in sculpture. They founded the artistic duo Ghost of a Dream in 2007 and a year later made their first piece in the Easy Money series, The Dream Car. Their work has been exhibited in New York, Rhode Island, Miami, Berlin, London and Basel and also has been featured in The Guardian (London), The Independent (London), Time Out (New York), and the World of Interiors among other publications. In November 2009, they received the first annual Young Masters Art Prize in London.’
press release courtesy of Galerie Paris-Beijing
Fashion and Art collide when Hunter and Gatti turn fashion shoots into paintings
Hunter & Gatti, Series No2, mixed media – acrylic over photography in canvas.
Hunter & Gatti were responsible for a jewelry photo-shoot for Vogue with model Gertrud Hegelund. The resulting images, mixed and overlaid in post production, became the canvases of the series’ paintings.
‘Gertrud’s acting, set against such a neutral background, was very expressive and lent an utterly natural look to the photos. From this came the idea to blend the images to create suggestive combinations. During postproduction, various pictures are often combined, using the body from one with the best face from another. In this case, montage was taken to the extreme to truly blend two images.
In combining the photo with the painting, we wanted to play on the distortion of the images to experiment with the blend of flesh tones with the background of color or black and white. This partial blur, or distortion of part of the image, is a play on reality and abstraction that creates an interesting dialogue between photography and painting. When you look closely at the part that is distorted with paint, it creates a texture where flesh tones mix with black, white and jewelry colors, emulating the effect of a camouflage print.’Hunter & Gatti
Edible “Chocolate-paint” by Nendo, 2013
Chocolates like a set of oil paints. Tubes in a box of paints contain a variety of colours, and these chocolates a variety of flavoured syrups. The labels indicate each chocolate’s flavour and also function as wrappers, keeping fingers clean for eating. A design that combines the childhood excitement of opening a new box of paints and the thrill of opening a box of chocolates you’ve been given unexpectedly.
photos by Ayao Yamazaki