Packing a Metaphysical Punch: Cody Hudson’s Vibes Melt Down 2043 is Imposingly Small and Smokily Hallucinatory

Case Studyo has collaborated with Chicago based graphic designer Cody Hudson to realize the limited edition Vibes Melt Down 2043, a small porcelain sculpture that matches its artistic appeal with an everyday functionality.  Hudson–also known by his artists name Struggle Inc.–intends Vibes Melt Down mainly as an incense burner. 

Case Studyo works all over the creative spectrum, publishing a variety and multifaceted library of works not necessarily tied by any overriding (oppressive?) predefined visual style, and Vibes Melt Down is the latest manifestation that lack of limitation: small, innovative, functional, artistic, and psycho-somatically inspiring all in one compact package. 

The skeletal structure of a strange zen-like animal comes to mind, if not a Día de los Muertos mask, when first confronting Vibes Melt Down, and reconciling this harshness and in-the-face death tone with the mellow, serene intent of incense burning yields an air of sublimity to the tiny, polished art work.  It’s even packaged in a screen printed wooden box with three cones of Nag Champa, Hudson’s recommended incense. 

While the incense works on a stimulating level, the amorphous and permeated contours of the sculpture attack the viewer’s sense of sight, and the result is spiritually calming and metaphysically enlightening.  The sculpture is very tiny, coming in at 20 cm x 20 cm, and runs in white, gold, or silver.  Two times as many white versions as silver or gold were produced, as if to solidify the ivory skull-like characteristic to Vibes Melt Down that in fact directly relate to Hudson’s intent to embody the hallucinatory evocations surrounding our awareness of life and death.  The packaging teases these ideas for potential purchasers with emotive icons, such as a headstone engraved with a prominent “You,” a globe, and what appears to be a decaying head; while various terms indicating differing states of perceptual awareness are imprinted down the side of the wood. 

Cody Hudson’s Vibes Melt Down 2043 is small enough to invite and profound enough to impress, its appeal operating on a variety of levels and its functionality widely evidenced.  As a table top centerpiece or a bathroom incense burner or a bureau decorative, it’s sure to heighten and enlighten no matter where it ends up in buyers’ homes.

Photography by Case Studyo