Iconclast Central Park Axis Mundi.JPG
State_Of_Emergency_Axis Mundi_1.jpg
Word Virus_Axis MUndi_1.jpg
homeless 1.jpg
2EDIT.jpg
3_w.jpg
crosswalk 4.jpg
09262019 Crash 1.jpg
Transform_1a.jpg
giant-foot-sculpture.jpg
IMG_4109.jpg
Kaaba St. Peters 1.jpg
This is not a Bridge_Axis Mundi Design_1.jpg
Soldier Oil Field.jpg
chair_FINAL (1).jpg
Oblique Sofas 1 Cropped.jpg
IMG_9830.JPG
Orgone+Factory+4.jpg
The Way to Golgotha-3.jpg
gold-boullion-tiles.JPG
Test 3.jpg
fxm8.jpg
Aktion 3.jpg
Iconclast Central Park Axis Mundi.JPG

LA+ ICONOCLAST COMPETITION Central Park


MANNAHATTA PLATEAU
FOR FREDRICK LAW OLMSTED
A Re-Enchantment for a Post-apocalyptic Ecology

"Reality is not always probable, or likely" 
-Jorge Luis Borges

The MANNAHATTA PLATEAU presents a dynamic ecological vision of nature integrated with urbanism. The ravaged original surface of Central Park is left as a regenerating wilderness, a temple to the raw power of nature. Built over it is a green mega-structure, a plateau that supports a raised parkland consisting of a patchwork of abundantly diverse interconnecting environmental zones.

The bold, linear aesthetic of the plateau offers a new perspective upon the wilderness that lies partially revealed beneath its cut-out surface. The 200ft high structure is inscribed by the lines and scale of the city itself — the typical Manhattan building lot (25x100ft) serves as the basic modular. The street grid is celebrated by being projected across the park’s surface, yet the rigid geometry of urban forms is broken down into sub-sections defined by the flowing lines of nature. In addition, supporting structures containing vertical circulation are clad in glass that directs light back onto the dystopic landscape below, whilst optically blurring the distinction between nature and architecture.

The plateau is infused with plants native to the region to re-establish the island of "Mannahatta" prior to the Dutch colonization. These plants form the basis of wild meadows, wetlands, wildlife refuges and insect habitats. Sustainable agricultural zones, including hydroponic farming enabled by rainwater harvesting, feature hanging gardens of local species of fruits and vegetables pollinated by nearby bee colonies. The plateau also foregrounds renewable energy sources, such as solar tiles, Wattway pathways (solar roads) and windmills oriented toward the prevailing wind.

The aesthetic of the plateau manifests an underlying conceptual scheme. As with Gilles Deleuze’s "A Thousand Plateaus", this structure allows us to envision the conception of the plateau as a ‘patchwork’ of dynamic juxtapositions that foster endless new connections. Unexpected juxtapositions and extensive circulation pathways are created between diverse zones for theatre, cinema and music, visual arts and local history, as well as activities such as hiking, swimming and ice-skating.

The MANNAHATTA PLATEAU uses its aesthetic to bring the diverse elements of nature and urban design into dynamic co-existence. As this project matures, new organic connections and cross-pollinations will occur between the revived Mannahatta plateau and the unplanned wilderness of Central Park beneath, creating a new ecological future from two versions of the past.

SCROLL DOWN

LA+ ICONOCLAST COMPETITION Central Park


MANNAHATTA PLATEAU
FOR FREDRICK LAW OLMSTED
A Re-Enchantment for a Post-apocalyptic Ecology

"Reality is not always probable, or likely" 
-Jorge Luis Borges

The MANNAHATTA PLATEAU presents a dynamic ecological vision of nature integrated with urbanism. The ravaged original surface of Central Park is left as a regenerating wilderness, a temple to the raw power of nature. Built over it is a green mega-structure, a plateau that supports a raised parkland consisting of a patchwork of abundantly diverse interconnecting environmental zones.

The bold, linear aesthetic of the plateau offers a new perspective upon the wilderness that lies partially revealed beneath its cut-out surface. The 200ft high structure is inscribed by the lines and scale of the city itself — the typical Manhattan building lot (25x100ft) serves as the basic modular. The street grid is celebrated by being projected across the park’s surface, yet the rigid geometry of urban forms is broken down into sub-sections defined by the flowing lines of nature. In addition, supporting structures containing vertical circulation are clad in glass that directs light back onto the dystopic landscape below, whilst optically blurring the distinction between nature and architecture.

The plateau is infused with plants native to the region to re-establish the island of "Mannahatta" prior to the Dutch colonization. These plants form the basis of wild meadows, wetlands, wildlife refuges and insect habitats. Sustainable agricultural zones, including hydroponic farming enabled by rainwater harvesting, feature hanging gardens of local species of fruits and vegetables pollinated by nearby bee colonies. The plateau also foregrounds renewable energy sources, such as solar tiles, Wattway pathways (solar roads) and windmills oriented toward the prevailing wind.

The aesthetic of the plateau manifests an underlying conceptual scheme. As with Gilles Deleuze’s "A Thousand Plateaus", this structure allows us to envision the conception of the plateau as a ‘patchwork’ of dynamic juxtapositions that foster endless new connections. Unexpected juxtapositions and extensive circulation pathways are created between diverse zones for theatre, cinema and music, visual arts and local history, as well as activities such as hiking, swimming and ice-skating.

The MANNAHATTA PLATEAU uses its aesthetic to bring the diverse elements of nature and urban design into dynamic co-existence. As this project matures, new organic connections and cross-pollinations will occur between the revived Mannahatta plateau and the unplanned wilderness of Central Park beneath, creating a new ecological future from two versions of the past.

Winning entry for LA+ ICONOCLAST COMPETITION TO REDESIGN CENTRAL PARK 2018 (sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania)

Reality is not always probable, or likely
-Jorge Luis Borges

MANNAHATTA PLATEAU FOR FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED: A Re-Enchantment for a Post-apocalyptic Ecology: presents a dynamic ecological vision of nature integrated with urbanism. The ravaged original surface of Central Park is left as a regenerating wilderness, a temple to the raw power of nature. Built over it is a green mega-structure, a plateau that supports a raised parkland consisting of a patchwork of abundantly diverse interconnecting environmental zones.

The bold, linear aesthetic of the plateau offers a new perspective upon the wilderness that lies partially revealed beneath its cut-out surface. The 200ft high structure is inscribed by the lines and scale of the city itself — the typical Manhattan building lot (25x100ft) serves as the basic modular. The street grid is celebrated by being projected across the park’s surface, yet the rigid geometry of urban forms is broken down into sub-sections defined by the flowing lines of nature. In addition, supporting structures containing vertical circulation are clad in glass that directs light back onto the dystopic landscape below, whilst optically blurring the distinction between nature and architecture.

The plateau is infused with plants native to the region to re-establish the island of "Mannahatta" prior to the Dutch colonization. These plants form the basis of wild meadows, wetlands, wildlife refuges and insect habitats. Sustainable agricultural zones, including hydroponic farming enabled by rainwater harvesting, feature hanging gardens of local species of fruits and vegetables pollinated by nearby bee colonies. The plateau also foregrounds renewable energy sources, such as solar tiles, Wattway pathways (solar roads) and windmills oriented toward the prevailing wind.

The aesthetic of the plateau manifests an underlying conceptual scheme. As with Gilles Deleuze’s "A Thousand Plateaus", this structure allows us to envision the conception of the plateau as a ‘patchwork’ of dynamic juxtapositions that foster endless new connections. Unexpected juxtapositions and extensive circulation pathways are created between diverse zones for theatre, cinema and music, visual arts and local history, as well as activities such as hiking, swimming and ice-skating.

The MANNAHATTA PLATEAU uses its aesthetic to bring the diverse elements of nature and urban design into dynamic co-existence. As this project matures, new organic connections and cross-pollinations will occur between the revived Mannahatta plateau and the unplanned wilderness of Central Park beneath, creating a new ecological future from two versions of the past.
- Dr. Jane Partner

Design: John Beckmann, Laeticia Hervy, Hannah LaSota and Sara Kostic
Visualizations and collages: John Beckmann, Laeticia Hervy, Ashley Lam and Alyssa Egnew
© 2018 Axis Mundi Design LLC

State_Of_Emergency_Axis Mundi_1.jpg

AMERICA: State of Emergency


AMERICA: State of Emergency is a deafening auditory and visual assault on the senses, an immersive environment of pure mayhem. It consists of a series of film projections on four walls, of police cars, fire trucks and emergency service vehicle’s flashing lights and sirens on a 20 minute loop at 120 decibels. Concept: John Beckmann | MoFO Projects
© 2017-2018, Axis Mundi Design LLC

AMERICA: State of Emergency


AMERICA: State of Emergency is a deafening auditory and visual assault on the senses, an immersive environment of pure mayhem. It consists of a series of film projections on four walls, of police cars, fire trucks and emergency service vehicle’s flashing lights and sirens on a 20 minute loop at 120 decibels. Concept: John Beckmann | MoFO Projects
© 2017-2018, Axis Mundi Design LLC

AMERICA: State of Emergency

It's getting faster, moving faster now, it's getting out of hand,
On the tenth floor, down the back stairs, it's a no man's land,
Lights are flashing, cars are crashing, getting frequent now
- Joy Division, Disorder


Conceived for the David Zwirner Gallery, AMERICA: State of Emergency is a deafening auditory and visual assault on the senses, an immersive environment of chaos and mayhem. Two perfectly fused NYPD Police Cruisers sit at the center of a series of film projections, which start with one flashing light in the east and slowly take over the four walls with a discordant collage of police cars, fire trucks and emergency service vehicles’ flashing lights and sirens. The projections gradually build in intensity from thrilling to terrifying as the colors become more hallucinatory, images break down to abstraction, flashing lights morph into dazzling strobes and the soundtrack rises to an mind numbing 120 decibels.

This installation is a machine for accelerating the transformation of news coverage into panic. The projections use found footage in homage to director Kenneth Anger’s stylized, hypnotic vision. The films mimic public hysteria caused by media over-saturation, causing rational judgement to give way to fear. The two merged police cars behave as if they are themselves immaterial projections that can pass through each other as easily as light. In a world where the real and the virtual become indistinguishable, the police cars seem to speed through each other, ominously merging into the shape of a post-truth crucifixion accident.

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Visualization: 3DRS
Run Time: 23 minutes
© 2017-2018 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Word Virus_Axis MUndi_1.jpg

Word Virus


After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say “I want to see the manager.”
—William S. Burroughs

Word Virus


After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say “I want to see the manager.”
—William S. Burroughs

Word Virus

In the beginning was the word and the word was God and has remained one of the mysteries ever since. The word was God and the word was flesh we are told. In the beginning of what exactly was this beginning word? In the beginning of WRITTEN history. It is generally assumed that spoken word came before the written word. I suggest that the spoken word as we know it came after the written word. In the beginning was the word and the word was God and the word was flesh…human flesh…It is worth noting that if a virus were to attain a state of wholly benign equilibrium with its host cell it is unlikely that its presence would be readily detected OR THAT IT WOULD NECESSARILY BE RECOGNIZED AS A VIRUS. I suggest that the word is just such a virus.
—William S. Burroughs, The Electronic Revolution

The interactive sculptures integrate an artificial intelligence program that will attempt to answer the visitors questions. The questions and answers are then recorded creating a slow moving feed back loop which over a period of time starts to break down the words, becoming cadences, utterances, and then ultimately pure sound or noise.

Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Imagery: John Beckmann and Sara Kostic
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

homeless 1.jpg

Visible Invisible


In the future no human being is to find
peace in the enjoyment of happiness
if others beside him are unhappy”
- Rudolf Steiner

What if we looked at the most unfortunate in society with the attentive gaze that we use for looking at art?

As Marcel Duchamp showed with his revolutionary urinal, the gallery space can enable us to look at familiar, mundane objects in a completely new way, finding beauty where we might habitually see ugliness. The contemporary gallery has since developed into a pristine white cube that shuts out the rest of the world to allow us a heightened sensory experience of aesthetic meditation. Galleries are seen as modern places of worship, but these white walls also have a darker side as spaces of social exclusion. They are the preserve of a glossy social elite and of a ruthless big business that is entirely divorced from broader social realities.

Research has shown that the brain registers the sight of homeless people on the street in the same way that it processes inanimate objects, failing to fully recognize them as fellow human beings. John Beckmann asks whether a more socially conscious kind of art can use the logic of found objects to prompt us to look at homeless people in a new way: with the sensitivity, openness and respect that art requires of us. ‘Visible Invisible’ invites those who are most marginal in society, and from whom we regularly avert our eyes, into the space where we look most carefully of all. We are therefore forced to look at what we so often do not wish to see.

Visible Invisible


In the future no human being is to find
peace in the enjoyment of happiness
if others beside him are unhappy”
- Rudolf Steiner

What if we looked at the most unfortunate in society with the attentive gaze that we use for looking at art?

As Marcel Duchamp showed with his revolutionary urinal, the gallery space can enable us to look at familiar, mundane objects in a completely new way, finding beauty where we might habitually see ugliness. The contemporary gallery has since developed into a pristine white cube that shuts out the rest of the world to allow us a heightened sensory experience of aesthetic meditation. Galleries are seen as modern places of worship, but these white walls also have a darker side as spaces of social exclusion. They are the preserve of a glossy social elite and of a ruthless big business that is entirely divorced from broader social realities.

Research has shown that the brain registers the sight of homeless people on the street in the same way that it processes inanimate objects, failing to fully recognize them as fellow human beings. John Beckmann asks whether a more socially conscious kind of art can use the logic of found objects to prompt us to look at homeless people in a new way: with the sensitivity, openness and respect that art requires of us. ‘Visible Invisible’ invites those who are most marginal in society, and from whom we regularly avert our eyes, into the space where we look most carefully of all. We are therefore forced to look at what we so often do not wish to see.

Visible Invisible

In the future no human being is to find
peace in the enjoyment of happiness
if others beside him are unhappy
- Rudolf Steiner

What if we looked at the most unfortunate in society with the attentive gaze that we use for looking at art?

As Marcel Duchamp showed with his revolutionary urinal, the gallery space can enable us to look at familiar, mundane objects in a completely new way, finding beauty where we might habitually see ugliness. The contemporary gallery has since developed into a pristine white cube that shuts out the rest of the world to allow us a heightened sensory experience of aesthetic meditation. Galleries are seen as modern places of worship, but these white walls also have a darker side as spaces of social exclusion. They are the preserve of a glossy social elite and of a ruthless big business that is entirely divorced from broader social realities.

Research has shown that the brain registers the sight of homeless people on the street in the same way that it processes inanimate objects, failing to fully recognize them as fellow human beings. John Beckmann asks whether a more socially conscious kind of art can use the logic of found objects to prompt us to look at homeless people in a new way: with the sensitivity, openness and respect that art requires of us. ‘Visible Invisible’ invites those who are most marginal in society, and from whom we regularly avert our eyes, into the space where we look most carefully of all. We are therefore forced to look at what we so often do not wish to see.

Case in point: Photographs of a homeless person taken outside of the Gagosian Gallery (West 24th Street) on September 20, 2019.

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Collages: John Beckmann, and Luna Huang
Photography: John Beckmann
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

2EDIT.jpg

Rabbit Hole


And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small”
- Grace Slick, White Rabbit

In their seminal work, A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari introduce the notion of "holey space.” Holey space is a space of complexity, ambiguity, hybridity, contradiction and otherness. The metaphor of holeyness evokes the subterranean – tunnels, caves, mines, sewers and burrows – with connotations of clandestine and illegal activity, and of the unknown. 

John Beckmann applies this subversive thinking to an empty art gallery that is filled with rabbits frolicking around, artificial burrows and escape hatches for gallery visitors. Here an apparently Alice-in-Wonderland aesthetic masks something more challenging and profound. This is entirely in keeping with "Alice in Wonderland" itself: a surreal fictional world where nothing is as it seems, and where, according to Lewis Carroll, it's playfulness masks a deep philosophical intent to question the functioning of logic and the nature of reality itself.

Design: John Beckmann | MoFO Projects
Axis Mundi Design LLC. © 2018

Rabbit Hole


And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small”
- Grace Slick, White Rabbit

In their seminal work, A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari introduce the notion of "holey space.” Holey space is a space of complexity, ambiguity, hybridity, contradiction and otherness. The metaphor of holeyness evokes the subterranean – tunnels, caves, mines, sewers and burrows – with connotations of clandestine and illegal activity, and of the unknown. 

John Beckmann applies this subversive thinking to an empty art gallery that is filled with rabbits frolicking around, artificial burrows and escape hatches for gallery visitors. Here an apparently Alice-in-Wonderland aesthetic masks something more challenging and profound. This is entirely in keeping with "Alice in Wonderland" itself: a surreal fictional world where nothing is as it seems, and where, according to Lewis Carroll, it's playfulness masks a deep philosophical intent to question the functioning of logic and the nature of reality itself.

Design: John Beckmann | MoFO Projects
Axis Mundi Design LLC. © 2018

Rabbit Hole

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small
- Grace Slick, White Rabbit

In their seminal work, A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari introduce the notion of "holey space.” Holey space is a space of complexity, ambiguity, hybridity, contradiction and otherness. The metaphor of holeyness evokes the subterranean – tunnels, caves, mines, sewers and burrows – with connotations of clandestine and illegal activity, and of the unknown. 

John Beckmann applies this subversive thinking to an empty art gallery that is filled with rabbits frolicking around, artificial burrows and escape hatches for gallery visitors. Here an apparently Alice-in-Wonderland aesthetic masks something more challenging and profound. This is entirely in keeping with "Alice in Wonderland" itself: a surreal fictional world where nothing is as it seems, and where, according to Lewis Carroll, it's playfulness masks a deep philosophical intent to question the functioning of logic and the nature of reality itself.

"Rabbit Hole" is dense with artistic references. The flamboyant architectural fantasias of M.C. Escher and Piranesi exist in tension with intimations of the dizzying installations of Yayoi Kusama, whose swarming spots have here been dug out into holes. There are resonances too with artists like Robert Gober, Jonathan Latiano and Henrique Oliviera who rupture gallery walls and floors, treating them as part of their sculptural material. Ladders evoke a rich heritage of meaning about aspiration and ascent. Symbolically ladders (Jacobs ladder) link earth with heaven and the underworld. The ancient game 'Snakes and Ladders' enacts the ups and downs of karmic rebirth, while artists from the visionary William Blake, Joseph Beuys to Louise Bourgeois have used this mundane object to represent spiritual ascent or psychological evolution.

"Rabbit Hole" fuses these diverse ideas into an architectural installation and performance that raises questions about the contemporary art world. Is it really a powerful underworld of counter-cultural subversion whose liminal spaces allow people to move beyond society's status quo? Or is it a warren of anxiety, self-reference and solipsism? I suppose it’s both.

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Visualizations: 3DS and Nicole Girdo
© 2018-2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

3_w.jpg

White Out


Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

White Out


Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

White Out

To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality.
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Imagery: John Beckmann and Linda Jopan
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

crosswalk 4.jpg

Crosswalk


Crosswalk

The fairest universe is but a heap of rubbish piled up at random”
- Heraclitus

Crosswalk was created on the spot from found objects, discarded shopping bags and clothing in the vicinity of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Materials: Metal cart, insulated jacket, luggage and various plastic bags

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Sculpture: John Beckmann
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Crosswalk


Crosswalk

The fairest universe is but a heap of rubbish piled up at random”
- Heraclitus

Crosswalk was created on the spot from found objects, discarded shopping bags and clothing in the vicinity of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Materials: Metal cart, insulated jacket, luggage and various plastic bags

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Sculpture: John Beckmann
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Crosswalk

The fairest universe is but a heap of rubbish piled up at random
- Heraclitus

Crosswalk was created on the spot from found objects, discarded shopping bags and clothing in the vicinity of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Materials: Metal cart, insulated jacket, luggage and various plastic bags

Concept, design and photography: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

09262019 Crash 1.jpg

Tragedy + Hope


Tragedy + Hope


Tragedy and Hope

The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy
― Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time

What has this war been about? Well, in a narrow sense it began as a war for oil. Yet even at the outset, much more was at stake than ensuring access to the cheap gas that ensures the American way of life.From day one, the larger purpose of America’s War for the Greater Middle East has been to affirm that we are a people to whom limits do not apply. The advertised purpose has been to liberate, defend, or deter. Yet the actual purpose has been far more ambitious in my view. The real mission has been to sustain the claims of American exceptionalism that have long since become central to our self-identity — to bring into compliance with American purposes the revolutionaries, warlords, terrorists, despots, or bad actors of various stripes given to defiance. To employ the kind of jargon that’s popular in this city, back in 1980, the United States set out in willy-nilly fashion to “shape” the greater Middle East. Given the conditions existing there, employing military means to bring the region into conformity with American purposes has resulted in an undertaking of breathtaking scope. Overtime, U.S.forces have been in action everywhere from Iran and Iraq, Lebanon and Libya, Somalia and Sudan, Bosnia and Kosovo, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq — the list goes on. Indeed, the list keeps on getting longer.

Along the way, we tried overwhelming force, and shock and awe. We invaded, occupied, and took a stab at nation-building. We experimented with counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism, regime change and decapitation, peace keeping and humanitarian intervention, retaliatory strikes and preventive attack, even something that the Air Force called “air occupation.” U.S.forces operated overtly, covertly, and through proxies. Almost certainly, they went places and did things about which we, the American public, today remain in the dark. Unfortunately, no administration, from Carter’s to the present, ever devised a plausible strategy for achieving these ambitious American aims. Each in turn has simply reacted to situations it confronted. Nor has any administration made available the means needed to make good on the grandiose ambitions that it entertained. Indeed, on the U.S. side, one of this conflict’s abiding qualities has actually been its paltriness.

The War for the Greater Middle East continues as if on autopilot. That the on going enterprise may someday end, that the troops will finally come home, appears so unlikely as to be unworthy of discussion. Strikingly, in the middle of a presidential campaign, the prospect of the troops ever coming home goes unmentioned. Like the War on Drugs, or the War on Poverty, the War for the Greater Middle East has become a fixture in American life and is accepted as such. Among the factors contributing to the lack of any serious challenge to the war’s perpetuation, it seems to me four standout: One is the absence of an anti-war or anti-interventionist political party worthy of the name. The on going war has long since acquired a perfidious seal of bi-partisan approval. And as such, the two major parties are equally disinclined to probe too deeply into this war’s origins, conduct, or prospects.

Finally, however, Americans themselves appear oblivious to what is occurring, policy makers having successfully insulated the public from the war’s negative effects. In a fundamental sense, the war is not our concern. In the 21st century, the prerequisites of freedom, abundance, and security are changing. Geo-politically, Asia is eclipsing in importance all the other regions of the world, a part perhaps from North America itself. The afflictions besetting large portions of the Islamic world will undoubtedly persist, but the irrelative importance to the United States as determinants of American well-being will diminish. In this context, the War for the Greater Middle East has become a diversion that Americans can ill afford. To fancy at this point that the U.S. military possesses the capacity to shape the course of events there is an absurdity, and indulging that absurdity further serves chiefly to impede the ability of the United States to attend to far more pressing concerns.

Ultimately, the game that matters will play out here at home rather than in some far-off place like Iraq or Afghanistan. Whether the United States is able to shape the greater Middle East will matter less than whether it can reshape itself, restoring effectiveness to self-government, providing for sustainable and equitable prosperity, and extracting from a vastly diverse culture something to hold in common of greater moment than shallow digital enthusiasms and the worship of celebrity. Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance, and security. If anything, it is having the opposite effect. And one day, the American people may awaken to this reality. Then and only then will the war end.
― Andrew Bacevich, America’s War for the Greater Middle East

Materials: Destroyed AS555 military helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter Group

Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Images: John Beckmann and Sara Kostic
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Transform_1a.jpg

Volkswagen Mutations


Cars form the building blocks of numerous prominent contemporary artworks, compelling because of their associations with freedom, prosperity, and status. The common characteristic of these works is that the vehicles are de-glamorized and de-aestheticized. Cars are buried as dystopian monoliths by Ant Farm, dismantled by John Chamberlain, stripped down by Walter De Maria and inflated by Edwin Wurm.

Taking inspiration from auto-designer J Mays’s experimental redesign of the Beetle that transposed its front and rear, this work extends the design process into a surrealist game. The cars have a particular affinity with Hans Bellmer’s dissected and recombined cut-and-shut bodies, where two sets of legs might converge into a single headless torso. The application of these seemingly organic mutations to industrial forms is equally unsettling, transforming the familiar into the uncanny.

In reimagining surrealist sensuality and Dadaist mischief for the contemporary moment, this work challenges the supremacy of Jeff Koons’ sterile reproductions and proposes a daring new approach to re-working found objects. In an art world that so often fetishizes the truth-value of the ugly, we are dared to be unafraid of beauty and pleasure, and reminded that art and design are just as closely conjoined as the fused elements of these sculptures. Concept: John Beckmann | MoFO Projects
© 2017-2018, Axis Mundi Design LLC

Volkswagen Mutations


Cars form the building blocks of numerous prominent contemporary artworks, compelling because of their associations with freedom, prosperity, and status. The common characteristic of these works is that the vehicles are de-glamorized and de-aestheticized. Cars are buried as dystopian monoliths by Ant Farm, dismantled by John Chamberlain, stripped down by Walter De Maria and inflated by Edwin Wurm.

Taking inspiration from auto-designer J Mays’s experimental redesign of the Beetle that transposed its front and rear, this work extends the design process into a surrealist game. The cars have a particular affinity with Hans Bellmer’s dissected and recombined cut-and-shut bodies, where two sets of legs might converge into a single headless torso. The application of these seemingly organic mutations to industrial forms is equally unsettling, transforming the familiar into the uncanny.

In reimagining surrealist sensuality and Dadaist mischief for the contemporary moment, this work challenges the supremacy of Jeff Koons’ sterile reproductions and proposes a daring new approach to re-working found objects. In an art world that so often fetishizes the truth-value of the ugly, we are dared to be unafraid of beauty and pleasure, and reminded that art and design are just as closely conjoined as the fused elements of these sculptures. Concept: John Beckmann | MoFO Projects
© 2017-2018, Axis Mundi Design LLC

VW Mutations

This playfully subversive proposal takes one of the most famous design icons and transforms it into a new work that issues a challenge to some of the most important norms of contemporary art. The VW beetle has a loaded history. The Volkswagen company (meaning ‘people’s car’) was established in 1932 by the German Labor Front under Adolf Hitler.  Ferdinand Porsche’s Beetle design was chosen by Hitler as the means to fulfill his desire that every idealized German family should have a car. The Nazi-flag-red forms in the VW Mutations demand that we take a new perspective.

Cars form the building blocks of numerous prominent contemporary artworks, compelling because of their associations with freedom, prosperity, and status. The common characteristic of these works is that the vehicles are de-glamorized and de-aestheticized. Cars are buried as dystopian monoliths by Ant Farm, dismantled by John Chamberlain, stripped down by Walter De Maria and inflated by Edwin Wurm.

Taking inspiration from auto-designer J Mays’s experimental redesign of the Beetle that transposed its front and rear, this work extends the design process into a surrealist game. The cars have a particular affinity with Hans Bellmer’s dissected and recombined cut-and-shut bodies, where two sets of legs might converge into a single headless torso. The application of these seemingly organic mutations to industrial forms is equally unsettling, transforming the familiar into the uncanny.

In reimagining surrealist sensuality and Dadaist mischief for the contemporary moment, this work challenges the supremacy of Jeff Koons’ sterile reproductions and proposes a daring new approach to re-working found objects. In an art world that so often fetishizes the truth-value of the ugly, we are dared to be unafraid of beauty and pleasure, and reminded that art and design are just as closely conjoined as the fused elements of these sculptures.

Materials: Volkswagen Beetle, Type 1, 1966

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Visualization: 3DS
© 2018 Axis Mundi Design LLC. 

giant-foot-sculpture.jpg

Omnia Vanitas


What started as a humorous riff on a podiatrist client’s plastic anatomical foot model becomes a contemporary contemplation on the theme of vanity, which has occupied artists from the Netherlandish painters of the 16th and 17th centuries right through to Marilyn Minter, whose work revels in the seamy, dirty underbelly of the fashion world. The flayed rawness of bones exposes the transience and vulnerability of human existence, which is emphasized by the fact that it is also a cheap plastic simulacrum of the real thing. 

Omnia Vanitas


What started as a humorous riff on a podiatrist client’s plastic anatomical foot model becomes a contemporary contemplation on the theme of vanity, which has occupied artists from the Netherlandish painters of the 16th and 17th centuries right through to Marilyn Minter, whose work revels in the seamy, dirty underbelly of the fashion world. The flayed rawness of bones exposes the transience and vulnerability of human existence, which is emphasized by the fact that it is also a cheap plastic simulacrum of the real thing. 

Omnia Vanitas

What started as a humorous riff on a podiatrist client’s plastic anatomical foot model becomes a contemporary contemplation on the theme of vanity, which has occupied artists from the Netherlandish painters of the 16th and 17th centuries right through to Marilyn Minter, whose work revels in the seamy, dirty underbelly of the fashion world. The flayed rawness of bones exposes the transience and vulnerability of human existence, which is emphasized by the fact that it is also a cheap plastic simulacrum of the real thing. Slipping this ugliness into a glamorous stiletto with rhinestone-encrusted silver straps spotlights how futile—and in this case painfully deforming—are our attempts to dress up the inescapable truth. This glitz-over-guts sculpture is as barbed as it is humorous.

Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Image: Jessica Marvin
Photography: Jeffrey Hornstein
© 2012 Axis Mundi Design LLC

IMG_4109.jpg

Antenna for Nikola


Antenna

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
- Nikola Tesla

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Antenna for Nikola


Antenna

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
- Nikola Tesla

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Antenna for Nikola

The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. To understand the true nature of the universe, one must think it terms of energy, frequency and vibration
- Nikola Tesla

Concept and photography: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Kaaba St. Peters 1.jpg

Kaaba Displaced


The Kaaba Displaced, is an on-going series of architectural "thought experiments" whereby the holy Kaaba in Mecca has been relocated to a variety of different sites around the world. The new locations, the Piazza St. Pietro in Vatican City, Rome, and the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. For example, radically confronts belief systems and opens up new unexpected relationships between religion, meaning and site.

Kaaba Displaced


The Kaaba Displaced, is an on-going series of architectural "thought experiments" whereby the holy Kaaba in Mecca has been relocated to a variety of different sites around the world. The new locations, the Piazza St. Pietro in Vatican City, Rome, and the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. For example, radically confronts belief systems and opens up new unexpected relationships between religion, meaning and site.

The Kaaba Displaced

The Kaaba Displaced is an on-going series of architectural "thought experiments" whereby the holy Kaaba in Mecca has been relocated to a variety of different sites around the world. The new locations, the Piazza St. Pietro in Vatican City, Rome, and the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. For example, radically confronts belief systems and opens up new unexpected relationships between religion, meaning and site.

Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Images: Melodie Vasseur
© 2017 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

This is not a Bridge_Axis Mundi Design_1.jpg

This is Not a Bridge


This paradoxical work takes the largest and most politically controversial architectural project of our time and transforms it into the worlds longest conceptual sculpture. ‘This is Not a Bridge’ refers back to the roots of text in conceptual art by echoing Magritte’s seminal surrealist painting 'The Treachery of Images' (1928/9), where the caption ‘this is not a pipe’ alerts the viewer to our casual acceptance of the illusionism inherent in visual representation – and teaches us to always question what art shows us.

John Beckmann’s provocative vision applies the surrealist logic of this semiotic game playing to the greatest challenge facing contemporary
architects. Its immaculately poised ambivalence leaves the viewer with their own game of interpretation. Is the stenciled text a defiant statement of the wall’s unashamed purpose to divide? Or is it a protest that laments the edifice’s failure to connect the people and communities that it separates? Both opposing interpretations are based on a common acknowledgement of the power of architectural forms to shape social structures.

This is Not a Bridge


This paradoxical work takes the largest and most politically controversial architectural project of our time and transforms it into the worlds longest conceptual sculpture. ‘This is Not a Bridge’ refers back to the roots of text in conceptual art by echoing Magritte’s seminal surrealist painting 'The Treachery of Images' (1928/9), where the caption ‘this is not a pipe’ alerts the viewer to our casual acceptance of the illusionism inherent in visual representation – and teaches us to always question what art shows us.

John Beckmann’s provocative vision applies the surrealist logic of this semiotic game playing to the greatest challenge facing contemporary
architects. Its immaculately poised ambivalence leaves the viewer with their own game of interpretation. Is the stenciled text a defiant statement of the wall’s unashamed purpose to divide? Or is it a protest that laments the edifice’s failure to connect the people and communities that it separates? Both opposing interpretations are based on a common acknowledgement of the power of architectural forms to shape social structures.

This is Not a Bridge

This paradoxical work takes the largest and most politically controversial architectural project of our time and transforms it into the worlds longest conceptual sculpture. ‘This is Not a Bridge’ refers back to the roots of text in conceptual art by echoing Magritte’s seminal surrealist painting 'The Treachery of Images' (1928/9), where the caption ‘this is not a pipe’ alerts the viewer to our casual acceptance of the illusionism inherent in visual representation – and teaches us to always question what art shows us.

John Beckmann’s provocative vision applies the surrealist logic of this semiotic game playing to the greatest challenge facing contemporary 
architects. Its immaculately poised ambivalence leaves the viewer with their own game of interpretation. Is the stenciled text a defiant statement of the wall’s unashamed purpose to divide? Or is it a protest that laments the edifice’s failure to connect the people and communities that it separates? Both opposing interpretations are based on a common acknowledgement of the power of architectural forms to shape social structures.

This is Not a Bridge’ also makes reference to other contemporary artworks that place words on buildings as a means to raise wider social questions. Banksy’s stenciled graffiti superimposes satire onto the urban landscape, whilst Jenny Holzer’s temporary projections wrap grand public buildings in enigmatic text. In the stark, imposing world of ‘This is Not a Bridge’ we are left to consider the ways in which architecture can manifest political agendas, and the potential of buildings to impact upon our own assumptions and lives.

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Collages: John Beckmann and Luna Huang
© 2018 Axis Mundi Design LLC. 

Soldier Oil Field.jpg

Toy Soldier Barricades


The threat to just about any place in the world where crowds tend to gather has never been greater. Barricades—of concrete, metal, razor wire, and other materials—have become commonplace presences around national monuments, cultural institutions and the epicenters of governmental and financial power. 

Toy Soldier Barricades


The threat to just about any place in the world where crowds tend to gather has never been greater. Barricades—of concrete, metal, razor wire, and other materials—have become commonplace presences around national monuments, cultural institutions and the epicenters of governmental and financial power. 

Toy Soldier Barricade

The threat to just about any place in the world where crowds tend to gather has never been greater. Barricades—of concrete, metal, razor wire, and other materials—have become commonplace presences around national monuments, cultural institutions and the epicenters of governmental and financial power. Axis Mundi proposes to literally animate the barricade concept, making it more dynamic, through the versatile use of 7 to 10 toy soldier shapes in oversized attack-formation poses that would be cast from bronze or fabricated in polished stainless steel. These forms immediately arouse nostalgia and patriotism cultivated in the childhoods of many, as well as the sense of security we associated with them when we were young. For those opposed to warlike playthings, the barrels have been left hollow to offer receptacles for flowers. They can be deployed in closed-rank phalanxes or spread out strategically depending on the level of threat. Their sculptural presence not only enlivens mundane, standard-issue barricades, but also serves to incite contemplation of war, our sense of imminent danger and the forces that we imagine represent it, our own ideas of protection and safety…the list of possible inquiries is endless.

Designed by: John Beckmann and Lane Lamerson, with Nick Messerlian, Alyssa Egnew | FOMO Projects
© 2008-2018, Axis Mundi Design LLC.

chair_FINAL (1).jpg

Lounge for Hermès


Lounge for Hermes designed by John Beckmann

Hermes Leather with contrast stitch. Swivel version available.

Lounge for Hermès


Lounge for Hermes designed by John Beckmann

Hermes Leather with contrast stitch. Swivel version available.

Lounge for Hermès

Hermes Leather with contrast stitch. Swivel version available.

Design: John Beckmann
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC. 

Oblique Sofas 1 Cropped.jpg

Obliques


In 1963 Claude Parent and Paul Virilio formed the "Architecture Principe" group with the aim of investigating a new kind of architectural and urban order. Rejecting the traditional axes of the horizontal and the vertical, they used oblique planes to create an architecture of disequilibrium, in an attempt to bring the habitat into a dynamic era of the body in movement.

Designed by John Beckmann
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC

Obliques


In 1963 Claude Parent and Paul Virilio formed the "Architecture Principe" group with the aim of investigating a new kind of architectural and urban order. Rejecting the traditional axes of the horizontal and the vertical, they used oblique planes to create an architecture of disequilibrium, in an attempt to bring the habitat into a dynamic era of the body in movement.

Designed by John Beckmann
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC

Obliques

In 1963 Claude Parent and Paul Virilio formed the "Architecture Principe" group with the aim of investigating a new kind of architectural and urban order. Rejecting the traditional axes of the horizontal and the vertical, they used oblique planes to create an architecture of disequilibrium, in an attempt to bring the habitat into a dynamic era of the body in movement.

Designed by John Beckmann
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC

IMG_9830.JPG

Eye on the Ball


Antenna

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
- Nikola Tesla

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Eye on the Ball


Antenna

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
- Nikola Tesla

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Eye on the Ball

Hitting and throwing became the most powerful actions in the animal kingdom. These actions became the primary tools for humans to survive historically. Survival skills become sports actions in the modern, civilized world. Different sports were invented with modification of the sports actions. Many performance problems occur just because these actions are parts of human nature and humans know too much about these actions. For example, for every action, a human knows the results of this action. It is very hard for a human to concentrate on the actions only and ignore the results of these actions. Thinking about the results has become one of the most serious interferences of that action itself. Human physical actions are complicated by human mental thoughts and intellectual understandings. Sports actions are not just physical actions. Sports actions have to be modified if it is necessary and executed with specific mental thoughts in order to fit in any specific sport.

Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Photography: Found internet images
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Orgone+Factory+4.jpg

Orgone Factories


Orgone Factories For Wilhelm Reich (An on-going ‘thought experiment’ in Post-Fictional Histories)

I am well aware of the fact that the human race
has known about the existence of a universal energy
related to life for many ages. However, the basic task
of natural science consisted of making this energy usable.”
- Wilhelm Reich

Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), moved to New York in 1939, and shortly after arriving coined the term "orgone"—from "orgasm" and "organism"—for a biological energy he said he had discovered, which he said others called God.

Reich designed a device called a cloudbuster (or cloud buster) which He believed could produce rain by manipulating what he called "orgone energy" present in the atmosphere.

Orgone Factories


Orgone Factories For Wilhelm Reich (An on-going ‘thought experiment’ in Post-Fictional Histories)

I am well aware of the fact that the human race
has known about the existence of a universal energy
related to life for many ages. However, the basic task
of natural science consisted of making this energy usable.”
- Wilhelm Reich

Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), moved to New York in 1939, and shortly after arriving coined the term "orgone"—from "orgasm" and "organism"—for a biological energy he said he had discovered, which he said others called God.

Reich designed a device called a cloudbuster (or cloud buster) which He believed could produce rain by manipulating what he called "orgone energy" present in the atmosphere.

Orgone Factories For Wilhelm Reich (An on-going ‘thought experiment’ in Post-Fictional Histories)

I am well aware of the fact that the human race
has known about the existence of a universal energy
related to life for many ages. However, the basic task
of natural science consisted of making this energy usable.”
- Wilhelm Reich

Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), moved to New York in 1939, and shortly after arriving coined the term "orgone"—from "orgasm" and "organism"—for a biological energy he said he had discovered, which he said others called God.

Reich designed a device called a cloudbuster (or cloud buster) which He believed could produce rain by manipulating what he called "orgone energy" present in the atmosphere.

The cloudbuster was intended to be used in a way similar to a lightning rod: focusing it on a location in the sky and grounding it in some material that was presumed to absorb orgone—such as a body of water—would draw the orgone energy out of the atmosphere, causing the formation of clouds and rain. Reich conducted dozens of experiments with the cloudbuster, calling the research "Cosmic orgone engineering".

A cloudbuster consists of an array of parallel hollow metal tubes which are connected at the rear to a series of flexible metal hoses which are equal or slightly smaller in diameter to the parallel tubes. Alternatively, the rear of the tubes are joined together to a single large diameter pipe and flexible metal hose. The open end of these hoses are placed in water, which Reich believed to be a natural orgone absorber. The pipes can be aimed into areas of the sky to draw energy to the ground like a lightning rod.

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Collages: John Beckmann and Dalal AlSahaf
© 2018 Axis Mundi Design LLC. 

The Way to Golgotha-3.jpg

The Way to Golgotha (for Jakob Boehme)


Orgone Factories For Wilhelm Reich (An on-going ‘thought experiment’ in Post-Fictional Histories)

I am well aware of the fact that the human race
has known about the existence of a universal energy
related to life for many ages. However, the basic task
of natural science consisted of making this energy usable.”
- Wilhelm Reich

Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), moved to New York in 1939, and shortly after arriving coined the term "orgone"—from "orgasm" and "organism"—for a biological energy he said he had discovered, which he said others called God.

Reich designed a device called a cloudbuster (or cloud buster) which He believed could produce rain by manipulating what he called "orgone energy" present in the atmosphere.

The Way to Golgotha (for Jakob Boehme)


Orgone Factories For Wilhelm Reich (An on-going ‘thought experiment’ in Post-Fictional Histories)

I am well aware of the fact that the human race
has known about the existence of a universal energy
related to life for many ages. However, the basic task
of natural science consisted of making this energy usable.”
- Wilhelm Reich

Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), moved to New York in 1939, and shortly after arriving coined the term "orgone"—from "orgasm" and "organism"—for a biological energy he said he had discovered, which he said others called God.

Reich designed a device called a cloudbuster (or cloud buster) which He believed could produce rain by manipulating what he called "orgone energy" present in the atmosphere.

The Way to Golgotha (for Jacob Boehme)

In 'Yes' and 'No' all things consist.
For it is the young tree grown out of the old root
which shall illuminate what the old tree has been in its wonders.
― Jacob Boehme

The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. The stations grew out of imitations of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem which is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. The object of the stations is to help the Christian faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the Passion of Christ.

Concept and photography: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC. 

gold-boullion-tiles.JPG

Oligarch Bullion Tiles


A metaphor for a culture of money gone wild and reckless, these gold bullion tiles provide an especially acerbic commentary on the growing wealth gap. 

Oligarch Bullion Tiles


A metaphor for a culture of money gone wild and reckless, these gold bullion tiles provide an especially acerbic commentary on the growing wealth gap. 

Oligarch Bullion Tiles

A metaphor for a culture of money gone wild and reckless, these gold bullion tiles provide an especially acerbic commentary on the growing wealth gap. As gold bullion implies the value behind currency, these tiles wryly point to the “one percent’s” inflated self-image and sense of worth. It’s the sort of excess an evil genius like Goldfinger would have in his bathroom. The tiles also telegraph the way in which decoration and design have become new forms of pornography for the global elite.

By making them out of porcelain and covering them with a gold metallic glaze, they instantly and wittily become democratic objects, enabling anyone to maintain the fantasy of having a powder room that looks like a miniature Fort Knox. At the same time, they also allude to desire and trophies, to the way we worship money and celebrity and secretly aspire to the hedonistic life they lead.

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Renderings: Silvia Tosques
© 2015 Axis Mundi Design LLC

Test 3.jpg

Air Force One


This work explores the role of design in constructing American national identity. Donald Trump has commissioned two new Air Force One jets from Boeing and is taking the opportunity to personally oversee a redesign of the planes. The jets have had the same iconic livery since 1962, when the Kennedys worked with Raymond Loewy to put together a sleek and stylish look to represent the USA overseas: sophisticated shades of blue were combined with a typeface inspired by the original Declaration of Independence.

Trump wants to make it ‘more American’ by changing the scheme to ‘red, white and blue’. But as Twitter quickly pointed out, Russia’s presidential plane, amongst others, already uses the same colours. The new designs are yet to be revealed, but it has been claimed that Trump has asked for larger planes with bigger beds and softer towels.

Air Force One


This work explores the role of design in constructing American national identity. Donald Trump has commissioned two new Air Force One jets from Boeing and is taking the opportunity to personally oversee a redesign of the planes. The jets have had the same iconic livery since 1962, when the Kennedys worked with Raymond Loewy to put together a sleek and stylish look to represent the USA overseas: sophisticated shades of blue were combined with a typeface inspired by the original Declaration of Independence.

Trump wants to make it ‘more American’ by changing the scheme to ‘red, white and blue’. But as Twitter quickly pointed out, Russia’s presidential plane, amongst others, already uses the same colours. The new designs are yet to be revealed, but it has been claimed that Trump has asked for larger planes with bigger beds and softer towels.

You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything
- Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States

Air Force One

This work explores the role of design in constructing American national identity. Donald Trump has commissioned two new Air Force One jets from Boeing and is taking the opportunity to personally oversee a redesign of the planes. The jets have had the same iconic livery since 1962, when the Kennedys worked with Raymond Loewy to put together a sleek and stylish look to represent the USA overseas: sophisticated shades of blue were combined with a typeface inspired by the original Declaration of Independence.

Trump wants to make it ‘more American’ by changing the scheme to ‘red, white and blue’. But as Twitter quickly pointed out, Russia’s presidential plane, amongst others, already uses the same colours. The new designs are yet to be revealed, but it has been claimed that Trump has asked for larger planes with bigger beds and softer towels.

So what is the President imagining? In John Beckmann’s lavish collages, the pimped-up planes reflect Trump’s ubiquitous fusion of political office with personal aggrandizement. The jet thrusts through the air between a pair of perpetually splayed legs like a rocket-launcher of machismo, the ultimate phallic extension. The blinged-up interior shows just as vividly that political power equals personal pleasure, from the opulence of the strip-show bed to the literal-minded enjoyment of artist Allen Jones’ subversive bondage chairs. This is a playground of superficial glamour where Trump can engage in ego battles with like-minded world leaders through styleless excess.

Concept and Design: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Visualization: 3DS
Collage: John Beckmann and Miray Akbulut
© 2018 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

fxm8.jpg

Spirit Control FXM


Spirit Control FXM


Spirit Control FXM

In 1781, German author Friedrich Nicolai visited Messerschmidt at his studio in Pressburg and subsequently published a transcript of their conversation. Nicolai's account of the meeting is a valuable resource, as it is the only contemporary document that details Messerschmidt's reasoning behind the execution of his character heads. Messerschmidt devised a series of pinches he administered to his right lower rib. Observing the resulting facial expressions in a mirror, Messerschmidt then set about recording them in marble and bronze. His intention, he told Nicolai, was to represent the 64 "canonical grimaces" of the human face using himself as a template.

During the course of the discussion, Messerschmidt went on to explain his interest in necromancy and the arcane, and how this also inspired his character heads. Messerschmidt was a keen disciple of Hermes Trismegistus (Nicolai noted that among the few possessions that littered Messerschmidt's workshop was a copy of an illustration featuring Trismegistus) and abided by his teachings regarding the pursuit of "universal balance": a forerunner to the principles of the Golden ratio. As a result, Messerschmidt claimed that his character heads had aroused the anger of "the Spirit of Proportion", an ancient being who safe-guarded this knowledge. The spirit visited him at night, and forced him to endure humiliating tortures. One of Messerschmidt's most famous heads (The Beaked) was apparently inspired by one of these encounters.

Concept and photography: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC. 

Aktion 3.jpg

Milano Azione


Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Milano Azione


Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.

Milano Azione

If your brakes go out, you want to do three things. First, downshift to a lower gear. Second, if you have regular brakes pump the brake pedal fast and hard to build up brake fluid pressure. If the brakes haven’t started working after three or four pumps go on the step three which is use the parking brake. Gradually apply the parking brake and be prepared for the car to skid.

If none of the brakes work, put the car into a low gear and steer in a safe direction until the car completely rolls to a stop. Don’t turn the steering wheel too much but just enough to avoid obstacles. If you’re at highway speeds it may be advisable to scrap your car against the guard rail or divider using the friction to slow the car down. If you do this, come in at a shallow angle and gently rub the car against it. In order to warn other drivers that your brakes are out you can honk your horn and flash your lights

Concept: John Beckmann | FOMO Projects
Photographs: Pandora Morgan
© 2019 Axis Mundi Design LLC.