Maybe More Than One Sheet of Paper, But Still
February 22, 2008 7:44 AM   Subscribe

I got a forwarded email this morning purporting to be images from a contestat the Hirshhorn “Modern Art Gallery” in DC. The images were pretty cool; I’m not the only one who thought so. Just one thing, it turns out there was no contest and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has no connection that I could find with the artist, Peter Calleson. Still, however you find it, the work is well worth a look.
posted by mygothlaundry (16 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I got this a couple weeks ago too! I was going to post it, but after a little research (much like yours), found there was no contest, though still I really liked the artists work. Thanks for going the extra step.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:05 AM on February 22, 2008

I'm a huge fan of Peter Callesen's work - and I've seen dozens of variants of email forwards containing photos of his designs, with no credit given. PDFs, powerpoint slideshows, bundles of jpeg images, and so on, in several different languages.

A paper artist friend of mine and I were discussing this exact thing just yesterday, and we were wondering what kind of insane viral marketing value such a stunt might produce, if there was some way to make sure it always linked back to yourself.

Anyway, Peter has some great work featured in the fantastic book Tactile, along with many other gifted paper artists, in case you'd like to see some more. (or, of course, check out his web page linked in the FPP, he has a lot of his portfolio online.)
posted by EricGjerde at 8:12 AM on February 22, 2008

Peter Callesen (not Calleson) on Artnet.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:14 AM on February 22, 2008

These were really great. Thanks for posting!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:15 AM on February 22, 2008

I got this a couple weeks ago too! I was going to post it, but after a little research (much like yours), found there was no contest, though still I really liked the artists work.

As did I. Then I checked Mefi and found that he had been posted here before. Not sure under what title, though.

Anyway, it's all good. Well, except the stupid spam. Why make up a story about this?
posted by asok at 8:32 AM on February 22, 2008

I'm amazed at how often Calleson's work pops up online. The way he shows you how he builds 3D worlds out of 2D objects - the cut-out tracings - makes me feel like I'm looking at a beautiful schematic, like the exploded view of an engine. It's a rare piece of art that lets you have both the work itself and the work that went into it.
posted by suckerpunch at 8:36 AM on February 22, 2008

Funny... He even has a music video?
posted by R. Mutt at 8:40 AM on February 22, 2008

What is the deal with people just making stuff up and emailing it to their friends? I mean, I understand why people forward stuff, but why the lies? What motivates people to invent these totally banal untruths?
posted by delmoi at 8:50 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oops, drat, CallesEn, not Calleson. Sorry about that and the lack of a space between contest and at. I need more coffee.

Yeah, I can't figure out the motivation behind the email either. If it's a deliberate hoax, what is the point? Googling it doesn't lead to any one site or obvious marketing attempt; the whole thing just seems so random somehow. And if it isn't deliberate but some strange kind of unconscious decision made by someone looking at the images divorced from all context and thinking, aha, this must be a contest at the Hirshhorn then wtf? Why make it up? Where would you see the images out of context anyway? Where did it start? It's mysterious.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:59 AM on February 22, 2008

It got you to post it to metafilter, so you rewarded the fishy behavior, eh?
posted by Dave Faris at 9:08 AM on February 22, 2008

Calling! Original internet research content project here: who originated the chain, and why dd they just make shit up?
posted by mwhybark at 10:11 AM on February 22, 2008

Previously, related and related. But still worth an FPP because his work is wonderful!
posted by ceri richard at 10:18 AM on February 22, 2008

Argh! And I searched and didn't see any of them.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:32 AM on February 22, 2008

I doubt someone just made the whole thing up on the spot. It likely started out as a simple "Hey check this out," and gradually morphed into its current form with a little speculation and the desire for a more substantial explanation. Probably took several hundred forwards to get to where it is today.
posted by sportbucket at 11:52 AM on February 22, 2008

These are extremely cool.
posted by painquale at 12:46 PM on February 22, 2008

So nice to see Peter Callesen's work, any time.

Good thing you did some decent detective work mygothlaundry. I think your research is right on the mark. So interesting the caliber of most of the schlock sent out in mass emailings, the hoaxes, kitsch, images without credit, misinformation. Why spread ignorance?

The first time I saw Callesen's work a couple of years ago was in this link. I don't think there is an artist out there doing the kind of work he is. It's quite jaw droppingly marvelous.

There's a lovely narrative aspect to his work, a playful or dramatic story telling, which sometimes has some of the ooh ahh wonder of a magician making a dove appear out of thin air and leaves me with a "How does he *do* that!?" amazement.

Two other artists, Brian Dettmer and Su Blackwell, garner similar astonishment with their three dimensional book sculptures.

There's an artist named Sam Buxton, who does some of this delicate cutting/silhouette work in miniature steel sculptures that one can buy quite cheaply. *next year's Christmas wish list, I want this adorable one for 7 pounds, Mikro Man 06 Jungle.

Intricate paperwork art I've posted about that have some of the techniques included in Callesen's art, silhouettes or kirigami architecture.

In any case, it's great to see Callesen's latest work. Thanks for the post.
posted by nickyskye at 5:01 PM on February 22, 2008

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