Art, Technology & Conspiracy Theories


It has been quite a week for technology news, and in particular the announcement of a new type of 3D printer from power tool manufacturer Dremel. 3D printing has been supposed to transform our lives for many years, but the prediction of every home having a 3D printer has as yet, failed to materialise.

In 2014, research company Gartner put 3D consumer printing at the peak of a "Hype Cycle" for the technology, saying that mainstream adoption was more than five years away. Applications in medicine and technology are seen as the current uses for 3D printing, and we have even seen one being supplied to the International Space Station for printing out spare parts.

Dremel Idea Builder
Dremel Idea Builder (Image courtesy of Dremel)

The lack of home consumers buying in to the technology hasn't put off manufacturers from producing the kit. Searching on Amazon for 3D printers brings up hundreds of hits, all ranging from hundreds of dollars/pounds to many thousands. However, Dremel introduced an £850 "Idea Builder" in Britain, after a U.S. Launch last year.

While most manufacturers are aiming at the hobbyist, Dremel is focusing on ease of use. The printer looks more like a microwave oven than something that can produce a 3D rendition of something useful. It takes around 10-minutes from power on to start printing something, but as with all 3D printers that are aimed at the home market, the time to print something useful is slower than a snail on a go slow.

Dremel has provided its own software to build designs, and there are also hundreds of templates on the companies supporting website. The issue as I said is one of the time it takes to actually print something. A fully working catapult will take around 28-hours to print, but a golf tee will take as little as 15-minutes.

The process of printing is simple enough, you just press a couple of buttons and wait, and wait. The output is decent given the price point, although the printed designs are light, they do seem a lot less brittle than some other manufacturers attempts, but the question is do you really need one?

£850 is certainly a decent price point, but when you read Gartners research, I cannot help thinking that within the next few years we will see models with a faster output. The question really is how long do you really want to wait before you can print yourself a set of dice or a catapult? In the meantime, Dremels latest is a solid entry to the market.

One of the best things about the Dremel is that Idea Builder is operated with a touchscreen, there's no need to connect it to a computer, and its set-up instructions consist of just eight sides of A5 paper. It seems that finally the tech is becoming simple enough to use, but the speed of hobbyists 3D printers really does need to be increased.

Do you own a 3D printer? If so I would love to hear about how you use it, or was it something that you purchased but rarely ever use now the novelty factor has worn off? Feel free to leave a comment below and I'll feature the best in a future blog about 3D printing.


A new exhibition at Tate Britain transforms visual art into a multi-sensory experience. Surrounding paintings is a technology that produces sounds, scents, tastes, and tactile sensations, inspired by the artwork.

TATE London


The exhibit spans four rooms made up of paintings by Richard Hamilton, John Latham, David Bomberg, and Francis Bacon. Visitors will take the tour in groups of four, each wearing wristbands that monitor their levels of excitement and suggesting other works of art which might trigger similar emotions.

Sensorium is the winner of the IK Prize 2015, awarded annually to projects combining art and technology in a novel way. The brains behind the project are Flying Object, a creative agency whose founder Tom Pursey said that Sensorium’s main goal was "to have people look at art while they have a different experience, that makes the gallery a more changeable place." The Tate Sensorium will be on from 26 August to 20 September 2015 at Tate Britain, London.


Apple Watch
Apple Watch will soon be sold at Currys in the UK

As I said yesterday, while I have been away it has been a busy week for both art and technology. So here's a roundup of last weeks major news stories from the world of tech.

Apple wants to start creating their own original TV shows and movies in a move that both Netflix and Amazon Prime have already made inroads. According to reports, the tech giant have been meeting with Hollywood executives and even made a bid for "Top Gear" hosts, Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, and James May. Expect to see some of this programming start when the Cupertino giant release their next incarnation of the Apple TV.

Analysts have been speculating that Apple could also be looking into augmented reality technology. The company has recently acquired a few augmented reality startups like Metaio and PrimeSense. Could it also be that Apple are also working on VR technology?

In other Apple news, Tim Cook made a surprise appearance at Cisco's sales conference. Cisco has struck a surprise deal with Apple to make iPhones and iPads work better on networks powered by Cisco gear. In addition to all of this, the company has confirmed their next event to release the the iPhone 6C, 6S, and iPad Pro, will be the 9th of September. This could mean that we will see iOS 9 released around one to two weeks later.

In another move since the shell of Alphabet was announced, Google Life Sciences has partnered with a European pharmaceutical company to develop technologies to treat diabetes. Paris-based Sanofi currently makes a number of insulin medications along with devices to administer them.

It also appears that the hacked website of Ashley Madison was not just only occupied by many men, but also robots. The data that was dumped by the hacking group responsible, appears to contain more than 70,00 fake robot profiles. All of these impersonated women, and regularly spoke to men on the site.

Meanwhile, the hack must have also given the site a bit of a boost because its user base is growing, even after the hacking scandal. Former CEO Noel Biderman, who stood down recently, says hundreds of thousands of users have joined the site since it was hacked.


Famed artist Ashley Longshore will bring her awesome pop art to New York for Fashion Week. The artist and Instagram star, who’s painted her own versions of Audrey Hepburn and Anna Wintour, will create a suite at Bryant Park Hotel that will be open during Fashion Week.

Kim Richards will have to find a new venue for poolside cocktails and drunken outbursts. The "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star is to be banned from the Beverly Hills hotel as part of a plea deal after her arrest there in April for disorderly conduct and kicking at cop, according to TMZ. The site says prosecutors offered her three years’ probation, 52 AA classes and 30 days community service. As part of the arrangement she would have to stay away from the fancy hotel.


Stik, a U.K. Graffiti artist has lived in hostels, and dodged police, all in the name of art and to put his trademark tags all over London. But now the artist is invited all over the world to put his tags on his stick figure works, many of them offering social comment.

Stik's work can be seen in New York, Tokyo and London, where he has painted the tallest piece of street art in the UK, standing at 125 feet (38m). Stik's works, which hang in the homes of Elton John, Bono and Brian May as well as being on the street, have been brought together in a book.

His latest piece, Sleeping Baby, has a limited edition print with 100 per cent of sales going to art projects at Homerton Hospital. I wouldn't be surprised if we see something similar from Banksy in the future.


More from Christie's now that the art world has awoken from its summer sleep.

New York – Since its launch ten years ago in March 2005 in New York, Christie's First Open sales have become a fixture on the global contemporary art circuit, providing the perfect venue for new and seasoned collectors to discover emerging artists and to explore lesser-known works by well-established names.

The September First Open sale includes 370 paintings, drawings and sculptures by blue-chip post-war artists such as Dan Flavin, Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Theodoros Stamosand Andy Warhol among others, alongside top works by today’s contemporary stars including Walead Beshty, Dan Colen, George Condo, Alex Israel, Oscar Murillo, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Gerhard Richter and Jonas Wood.The auction will be preceded by a public exhibition at Christie’s Rockefeller Center Galleries from September 26th to September 29th.

Han-I Wang, specialist in charge of the First Open sale speaks about a few lots:

Georg Baselitz’s Peasant Petitioners meeting V. I. Lenin (Serov) belongs to a series of paintings executed in homage to the German Expressionist artists from the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

The Expressionists had created vanguard paintings characterized by primitivizing tendencies and experimental color combinations. In the present painting, their lineage is clear in the figures' spectral bodies and mask-like faces, as well as in the composition's vigorous stylization and gestural brushwork. With its inverted image of peasant petitioners and striking chromatic palette against a plain background, Peasant Petitioners meeting V. I. Lenin (Serov) superbly demonstrates Baselitz’ brilliant subversion of conventional models of perception as well as his particular insight into the Post-War Europe. By drawing attention to the painted surface and establishing a dialectic between abstraction and representation, Baselitz invites the viewer to reappraise the figurative motif as painted object.

Jean-Paul Riopelle stands out as a unique figure in the abstract art scene of the 1950s. A product of France, the USA, and Canada, from whence stem his roots, the artist has retained his singularity.

In 1957, aged 34, he abandoned the reflexes of his early years for a more composed style of painting that revealed a new maturity as clearly demonstrated in Le Puits hanté. Imbued with poetry, Riopelle's painting prefers not to provide all of the keys to its reading, or at least not to limit itself to the single register of abstract landscapes to which it is often consigned.

Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002), Le Puit hanté, oil on canvas, painted in 1957. Estimate: $70,000-100,000

Alexander Calder (1898-1976), Necklace. Estimate: $150,000-200,000

Bracelet with Charms. Estimate: $80,000-120,000

Bracelet- Cuff. Estimate: $70,000-100,000

Ring. Estimate: $30,000-40,000

Although well-known for his iconic mobile and monumental outdoor sculptures, Alexander Calder also possessed an exception talent for working on a more intimate scale and throughout this career produced exquisite pieces of jewelry such as the ones from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection to be offered in the sale.

In Necklace the work displays the same sense of artistic formality and sense of grace that is contained in his larger-scaled works. As his grandson Alexander S. C. Rower observed, "Never satisfied with superfluous decoration, Calder used jewelry as an alternative way of communicating his artistic ideals, He developed a direct process using honestly industrial materials such as a brass and steel wire that he bent, twist, hammered and riveted in an immediate way."

Dan Colen is an artist who is known for his multidisciplinary practice primarily incorporating appropriated low-cultural ephemera in his art making. In Happy Accidents the artist is paying tribute to the abstract expressionist school, the linear motion of the gum material draws clear reference to the splashing technique typically found in works by the Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock.

Coined as ‘Warhol’s Child’ by New York magazine Dan Colen typifies the downtown art scene in the 2000s and his works resonate and speak well to collectors of the younger generation. Colen is represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York City.

Dan Colen (1979), Happy Accidents, gum on canvas, executed in 2010. Estimate: $150,000-250,000

Alex Israel’s Untitled (Flat), 2013, comes from the artist’s series of Flats, with the title referring to the backgrounds in theatre or film sets. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Alex Israel’s oeuvre reflects and comments upon the Hollywood dream and reality, and the city remains one of the main subjects of his artistic output. The present work has a shimmering oval surface as the colors blend together, creating a heavenly rendition.

Alex Israel (1982), Untitled, acrylic on stucco, wood and aluminum frame, executed in 2013. Estimate $150,000-200,000

Jonas Wood is one of the most exciting artists of our generation. His works provide an interesting angle by making every day subject matter look better than ever. Wood draws direct stylistic references from masters such as Henry Rousseau, David Henry and Alice Neel where the reality has been strictly flattened onto the canvas without any further disguise. Wood’s works have a very genuine sensibility that appeals to a wide range of audiences.

Jonas Wood (1977), Basketball, acrylic on paper, executed in 2008, Estimate: $6,000-8,000


Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), Abstraction, crayon and India ink on paper, 13 7/8 x 21 7/8 in. Executed in 1948. Estimate: $15,000-20,000

Brent Wadden (1979), with gold, hand-woven fibers, wool, cotton and acrylic on canvas 15 1/2 x 23 in. Estimate: $8,000-12,000

Yoshitomo Nara (1959), Untitled, colored pencil on envelope, 13 3/4 x 9 1.2 in. Drawn in 2003. Estimate: $30,000-40,000

Accompanying the First Open live sale will be an online sale which will give the opportunity for collectors worldwide to bid from September 25th to October 6th exclusively online at

Among the highlights to be sold, the online selection will include an exquisite drawing by Yoshimoto Nara (estimate: $30,000-40,000), whose work continues to break records in our online sales. For the Post-War art connoisseur, a rare work of paper by American abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann dated 1948 will be estimated $25,000-35,000.

Looking for young hot contemporary artists? The sale will offer great works by Michael Manning with Number Three, an acrylic and digital print on canvas (estimate: $18,000-25,000) and With Gold, one of the famous woven painting by Brent Wadden (estimate: $8,000-12,000).

All works will be on view at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries or by appointment outside of the public viewing times.


Auction: Wednesday 30 September 2015 at 9:30 am and 2 pm

Viewing: 26 – 29 September 2015


I must admit that I didn't quite get the time I planned when I went on the cruise. What I had planned in my head was to write for a few hours very early in the morning, but with so much to do, and so many new places to visit, time just flew by.

I visited a Volcano, and I also visited towns and cities, and a beach. I still managed to get some great shots, and I have started to print some of them out so that they can be painted, and I am in the process of refining the photographic shots in readiness for an appearance on this blog, and who knows? I might just upload a few of the best on Fine Art America.

As for the rest of today, I will be taking my new GoPro for a walk, hopefully capturing some of the beauty that's a little more closer to home. Expect to see some of my GoPro efforts just as soon as I figure it all out!

If you are into UFO's or conspiracy theories, then I have a feature coming up which you will either love or hate. Just how difficult is it to start a UFO conspiracy theory using art? Not that difficult if you have an iPad, An iPhone, a GoPro, and a whole load of apps! As soon as the final document is complete I will be writing up a step by step guide to creating a believable conspiracy theory!

It's not that I am bored, I love UFO's and I love reading not just the theories, but what appears to be conclusive proof that we are all from the planet Zorg! I wondered just how easy it would be, and also because I have recently taken a commission for a number of film props, all requiring aged paperwork. Some to be produced by hand, including Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, and others will be produced digitally.

But how do people create the many forged documents that litter the web between the smoking guns? I will warn you now, it's not something that can be achieved in five minutes, so far it has taken me a number of days. It has also cost me a small fortune in additional apps, but I am doing the research so you don't have to!

Tomorrow is my last day off before I go back to the day job on Tuesday, so I have a day of Drone flying planned. With five drones currently in my fleet, I really do need to start using them a lot more than I have done lately. Otherwise when I make a request to the wife for a new one, she will remind me that two of my older drones have only clocked up a few hours!

That brings me nicely on to one of my planned upcoming articles about drones and using them for photography and art. If you have any experience of using drones in this area, please feel free to get in touch or leave a comment below. In the meantime, have a great week and remember to check out my latest offer here.



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