playlist

Art made of unusual stuff

Immerse yourself in the weirdly wonderful world of art made from unconventional materials.

  1. 6:06
    Brian Dettmer Old books reborn as art

    What do you do with an outdated encyclopedia in the information age? With X-Acto knives and an eye for a good remix, artist Brian Dettmer makes beautiful, unexpected sculptures that breathe new life into old books.

  2. 7:04
    Alexa Meade Your body is my canvas

    Alexa Meade takes an innovative approach to art. Not for her a life of sketching and stretching canvases. Instead, she selects a topic and then paints it—literally. She covers everything in a scene—people, chairs, food, you name it—in a mask of paint that mimics what's below it. In this eye-opening talk Meade shows off photographs of some of the more outlandish results, and shares a new project involving people, paint and milk.

  3. 13:03
    Meklit Hadero The unexpected beauty of everyday sounds

    Using examples from birdsong, the natural lilt of emphatic language and even a cooking pan lid, singer-songwriter and TED Fellow Meklit Hadero shows how the everyday soundscape, even silence, makes music. "The world is alive with musical expression," she says. "We are already immersed."

  4. 7:46
    Liu Bolin The invisible man

    Can a person disappear in plain sight? That's the question Liu Bolin's remarkable work seems to ask. The Beijing-based artist is sometimes called "The Invisible Man" because in nearly all his art, Bolin is front and center — and completely unseen. He aims to draw attention to social and political issues by dissolving into the background.

  5. 5:30
    Magda Sayeg How yarn bombing grew into a worldwide movement

    Textile artist Magda Sayeg transforms urban landscapes into her own playground by decorating everyday objects with colorful knit and crochet works. These warm, fuzzy "yarn bombs" started small, with stop sign poles and fire hydrants in Sayeg's hometown, but soon people found a connection to the craft and spread it across the world. "We all live in this fast-paced, digital world, but we still crave and desire something that's relatable," Sayeg says. "Hidden power can be found in the most unassuming places, and we all possess skills that are just waiting to be discovered."

  6. 4:19
    Nathalie Miebach Art made of storms

    Artist Nathalie Miebach takes weather data from massive storms and turns it into complex sculptures that embody the forces of nature and time. These sculptures then become musical scores for a string quartet to play.

  7. 7:32
    Dustin Yellin A journey through the mind of an artist

    Dustin Yellin makes mesmerizing artwork that tells complex, myth-inspired stories. How did he develop his style? In this disarming talk, he shares the journey of an artist — starting from age 8 — and his idiosyncratic way of thinking and seeing. Follow the path that leads him up to his latest major work (or two).

  8. 14:51
    Vik Muniz Art with wire, sugar, chocolate and string

    Vik Muniz makes art from pretty much anything, be it shredded paper, wire, clouds or diamonds. Here he describes the thinking behind his work and takes us on a tour of his incredible images.