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Born in 1971 in London, Finn Stone is an abstract sculptor, designer and community artist. He has inherited all the exuberant energy, joy of life and strength of conviction of his Irish parentage. Combined, these qualities provide him with an inexhaustible source of gregarious inspiration, which embraces the most diverse creative disciplines.

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Surveillance for the People: James Bridle’s “The Right to Flight”

The Right to Flight,” the newest project from artist and writer James Bridle, involves flying a large, military-grade “helikite” balloon from the roof of Bold Tendencies, a multi-storey car park and art space in Peckham, South London. Bridle, known for his work touching on issues of technology, surveillance, and data, has equipped the balloon with a variety of payloads, from darknet routers to aerial cameras. However, instead of being sent to some secret NSA data center, the results are shared publicly and online. In this way, the project investigates how the power of surveillance and omniscience might be returned to the surveilled. Three silo-like aluminum rooftop structures, built especially for the project by architecture and design studio TDO, function respectively as a workshop, a hangar for the balloon, and an exhibition space. “The Right to Flight” takes its name from an 1866 treatise written by the Parisian photographer and balloonist Nadar, who proclaimed that mankind had a right to ascend to the heavens. Nadar was the first person to take aerial photographs, and he led the daring effort to break the Siege of Paris in 1870. But ballooning has also taken a darker turn: from the Zeppelin raids of the First World War to the use of surveillance balloons in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this project, Bridle attempts to rediscover Nadar’s utopias in the possibilities of contemporary technologies.

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Headed to FYF Fest this weekend?  

Make sure to stop by the Vans booth to check out sculptures by artist Abby Portner!  We got a chance to ask her a few questions while she gets ready to work on her newest sculptures for this year’s FYF Fest.  (Here’s two sculptures from last year’s 2013 FYF Fest above!!)  

Name / Location

Abigail Portner / Los Angeles

What’s your artististic background? Self Taught? Art school?

I went to Parsons School of Design in NYC, but most of the materials I work with and on now I have taught myself the process and how to make what I want to make.

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