Photographer Michael Massaia has created some amazing work with chewing gum. Yes, you read that one right.
Transmogrify#2 – Chewed Gum Sculptures-
All of the images are created from a single piece of chewed gum. I mold all the shapes by using my hand, tongue, and teeth ( the shapes are not created digitally). The sculptures range from anatomical organs, flowers, sea creatures, clothing, and abstractions. After I mold them, I mount them onto black plexi glass (or face mount them to regular glass), and photograph the sculpture using either a Creo scanner or a large format camera.
The rest of the series can be seen here, and WOW is about all I have. I have used a good number of unusual things to create art pieces, but chewing gum never entered my mind.
Cara Barer has found old, discarded books to be a great medium.
I transform books into art by sculpting them, dyeing them and then through the medium of photography presenting them anew as objects of beauty. I create a record of that book and its half-life.
Books, physical objects and repositories of information, are being displaced by zeros and ones in a digital universe with no physicality. Through my art, I document this and raise questions about the fragile and ephemeral nature of books and their future.
I arrive at some of my images by chance and others through experimentation. Without these two elements, my work would not flow easily from one idea to the next. A random encounter on Drew Street with a Houston Yellow Pages was the primary inspiration for me. After that chance meeting, I began to search for more books, and more ways to recreate them.
I realized I owned many books that were no longer of use to me, or for that matter, anyone else. Would I ever need a “Windows 95 Manual”? After soaking it in the bathtub for a few hours, it had a new shape and purpose. Half-Price Books became a regular haunt, and an abandoned house yielded a set of outdated reference books, complete with mold and neglect. Each book tells me how to begin according to its size, type of paper and sometimes contents.
As I begin the process, I first consider the contents of each volume. I only spent a few seconds on the “Windows 95 Manual”. The “New Century Dictionary of the English Language,” was a treasure. Its fascinating illustrations and archaic examples saved it from taking on a new form.
This transformation and photographic documentation led to thoughts on obsolescence and the relevance of libraries in this century. Half a century ago, students researched at home with the family set of encyclopedias, or took a trip to the library to locate information. Now, with computers, tablets and/or smartphones, an Internet connection and cloud storage, a student has the ability to amass knowledge and complete a research paper without ever going near a library. I have fully embraced all this technology, and would not want to be without it, but fear the loss of the beautiful record of books common over the last two centuries.
Have a look. *Thinks about the stacks of old manuals in the house*. I’m just going to have to play around a bit.