“Drosera” photo series
Joni Niemelä captures the moments within nature often looked over, the extreme details seen best through macro photography and an imaginative eye. One of Niemelä’s photographic obsessions is the carnivorous plant Drosera, more commonly known as the “Sundew,” a nickname which refers to droplets that collect on the plant similar to morning dew.
Sundews belong to the largest genera of carnivorous plants, including more than 194 species that lure, capture, and digest insects by using glands that cover their leaves. Through Niemelä’s macro photography he is able to zoom in on each dew-like drop, adding a mystical feel to the hungry plant.
Niemelä explains, “Sundews have always fascinated me, and I have been photographing these alien-like plants for several years now. My first first photo series ‘Drosera’ was mostly bright and vibrant, so I wanted to have some contrast to that in my second series of Sundews. I think the colors and the mood of ‘Otherworldly Blues’ reflect aptly the true nature of these carnivorous plants.”
“Drosera” photo series
“Drosera” photo series
“Drosera” photo series
“Drosera” photo series
“Otherworldly Blues” photo series
“Otherworldly Blues” photo series
“Otherworldly Blues” photo serie
Glass artist Ben Young (previously here and here) just shared a glimpse of his latest sculptural works made from layers of cut laminate window panes. The bodies of water depicted in Young’s work are usually cut into cross-sections akin to textbook illustrations, creating translucent geometric islands that can appear both monolithic or chamsic.
“I hope viewers might imagine the work as something ‘living’ that creates the illusion of space, movement, depth and sense of spatial being,” Young says. “I like to play with the irony between the glass being a solid material and how I can form such natural and organic shapes.” The self-taught artist, furniture maker, and surfer has explored the properties of cut glass for over a decade at his Sydney studio. Here’s a bit more about his processes via Kirra Galleries:
Each of Young’s sculptural works are hand drawn, hand cut and handcrafted from clear sheet float glass made for windows, then laminated layer upon layer to create the final form. He constructs models, draws templates, makes custom jigs and then cuts the layers with a glazier’s hand-tool. The complexity comes from the planning phase, where he says “I do a lot of thinking before I even start to draw or cut.” He then sketches the concept by hand and creates a plan using traditional technical drawing techniques: “I work with 2D shapes and have to figure out how to translate that into a 3D finished piece. Sometimes my starting point changes dramatically as I have to find a way to layer the glass to create certain shapes.” The texture and colour of the glass varies in every piece according to its thickness and arrangement.
I Thought They Worked Better. Paper. 33 x 28 x 2.5 in.
I Thought They Worked Better. Detail.
A pair of yellow headphones. A violin case. A set of keys. All miniature objects faithfully crafted from Japanese papers by Toronto-based artist Cybele Young, any one of which would be considered striking in its own right, but she doesn’t stop there. Each object, however mundane, is displayed step-by-step in a dramatic process of metamorphosis as it transforms into unusual organic lifeforms. A pair of rollerskates gradually becomes a network of fungus-like membranes, or an ordinary handbag grows an unnerving coat of sharp spikes. From her artist statement:
Engaging with abstract and familiar motifs, I juxtapose sculptures to create a sense of dialogue or play between them. I approach my work in series and components, ultimately building an ongoing inventory of personal experience and observation.
I compile these in various arrangements to create communities that interact and form new relationships – much like the small seemingly insignificant moments in our everyday lives that come together to create unexpected outcomes. These manifest as miniature theatres – one act plays, where shifts of scale and perception occur. Despite the absence of the human form there is an implied presence, where the viewer can project themselves into another world.
You Know That Place. Paper. 30 x 40 x 4 in.
If I Had Learned Earlier. Paper. 22 x 35 x 2.5 in.
In Close Range. Paper. 24 x 35 x 2.5 in.
It Came With Me Everywhere. Paper. 19 x 38 x 4 in.
It’s Worth it This Time. Paper hair curler, coils. 21 x 32 x 2 in.
It’s Worth it This Time. Detail.
I Was Thinking of Something Else. Paper lawn chair, leaves. 17 x 24 x 3 in.
I Was Thinking of Something Else. Detail.
Oh wow, this is a treat. The same people behind this experimental drumming video in 2013, Touché Videoproduktion Creative, just released a similar music video featuring a song written and performed by Joachim Müllner. The piece was recorded in 15 different locations and then stitched together only with video editing. All the sounds you hear were recorded on location. Stick with it even after the 1:00 mark, it gets more and more amazing. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
For his ongoing series The Fourth Wall, Hamburg-based photographer Klaus Frahm shatters the illusion of stagecraft by taking us behind-the-scenes of several European theaters. Shot from the vantage point of the stage looking toward the audience, the photos reveal the stark contrast of ornate auditoriums and the technological scaffolding that facilitates a major theatrical production. Frahm captures the elaborate configurations of lights and the surprising enormity of the fly space hidden just behind the red curtain that can be up to three times larger than the seating area.
Frahm says the intention behind his photography “is to give way for a new perspective, to entertain, to offer a fresh sight on familiar things,” and to “reveal something laying under the surface.” The Fourth Wall project began in 2010 when he was documenting a new theater for an architect which involved a series of shots facing the wings and other angles from the stage. When reviewing his polaroids later that day he was immediately struck by the image-within-an-image contrast of the warm, fully-lit theater seats and the cold, hidden infrastructure. Klaus had ingeniously turned the tables: suddenly the audience was the spectacle and the stage was reality.
Completed in 1660, Charles Le Brun’s painting of Everhard Jabach and His Family had seen better days. The 355-year-old family portrait was covered in a badly tinted varnish, had multiple superficial scratches and structural damage had split the painting nearly in half. This video documents the 10-month restoration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art lead by Michael Gallagher that involved retouching, structural work, re-varnishing, and numerous other conservation techniques to bring this giant painting back to life. The Met also documented the process in some 20+ blog posts over on their website. (via Sploid)
Photographer Phoo Chan has seen more than his fair share of spectacular moments while photographing birds and other wildlife around his home in California, but perhaps nothing will ever top what he witnessed last spring while shooting near Kitsap, Washington: a crow riding atop a bald eagle. It only lasted for a few seconds, but Chan managed to capture the entire encounter on film. He shares about the image:
Crows are known for aggressively harassing other raptors that are much bigger in size when spotted in their territories and usually these ‘intruders’ simply retreat without much fuss. However, in this frame the crow did not seem to harass the bald eagle at such close proximity and neither did the bald eagle seem to mind the crow’s presence invading its personal space. What made it even more bizarre was that the crow even made a brief stop on the back of the eagle as if it was taking a free scenic ride and the eagle simply obliged.
As part of an exhibition last December at the Maison Des Jonglages (House of Juggling) in La Courneuve, France, magician and juggler Antoine Terrieux created this series of kinetic artworks using different arrangements of hair dryers. The dryers were positioned in such a way as to create an updraft for a paper airplane to fly around, a spinning vortex of water vapor, and other unexpected configurations. Terrieux also incorporates hair dryers into his performances. (via La boite verte)
This exceedingly clever animation by artist Alan Warburton transforms two compositions from J.S. Bach’s The Well Tempered Clavier (Prelude and Fugue in C Major) into a visual interpretation of music. Warburton used a form of graphical notation manifested as thousands of fluorescent light bulbs mounted around a gallery space and parking garage. As each light pops on in sync with the music, the bulb shape correlates with with length and pitch of each note.
In a 21st century take on the traditional Zen sand garden, artist Bruce Shapiro invented the Sisyphus Machine, an elaborate kinetic drawing machine that uses magnets to drag rolling steel marbles through a thin layer of sand to create complicated mandala-like patterns. Shapiro, who was once a practicing physician, has spent the better part of 25 years experimenting with computerized motion control and many of his Sisyphus Machines have been installed in locations around the world including a large device in Switzerland back in 2003 and at Questacon in Canberra, Australia in 2013. It appears the artist is currently working on a tabletop consumer version and if you’re interested you can sign up for his mailing list here. (via Core77, Fast Company)
We have been dreaming of robots since Homer. In Book 18 of the Iliad, Achilles’ mother, the nymph Thetis, wants to order a new suit of armor for her son, and so she pays a visit to the Olympian atelier of the blacksmith-god Hephaestus, whom she finds hard at work on a series of automata:Mendelsohn goes on to discuss "the fantasy of mindless, self-propelled helpers that relieve their masters of toil," and it seems incredibly interesting to read it in the context of DARPA's now even more aptly named POSYDON program and the permanent undersea hubs of the Office of Naval Research. Click over to The New York Review of Books for the whole thing....He was crafting twenty tripodsThese are not the only animate household objects to appear in the Homeric epics. In Book 5 of the Iliad we hear that the gates of Olympus swivel on their hinges of their own accord, automatai, to let gods in their chariots in or out, thus anticipating by nearly thirty centuries the automatic garage door. In Book 7 of the Odyssey, Odysseus finds himself the guest of a fabulously wealthy king whose palace includes such conveniences as gold and silver watchdogs, ever alert, never aging. To this class of lifelike but intellectually inert household helpers we might ascribe other automata in the classical tradition. In the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, a third-century-BC epic about Jason and the Argonauts, a bronze giant called Talos runs three times around the island of Crete each day, protecting Zeus’s beloved Europa: a primitive home alarm system.
to stand along the walls of his well-built manse,
affixing golden wheels to the bottom of each one
so they might wheel down on their own [automatoi] to the gods’ assembly
and then return to his house anon: an amazing sight to see.
Korean artist Do Ho Suh (previously here and here) is interested in how we interact with public space. Directed, shot, and edited by Nils Clauss, “Perfect Home” brings together several exhibitions from 2002-2012 to examine the breadth of Do Ho Suh’s immersive works. Due to the thin nature of the fabric Do Ho Suh often uses to construct his installations, the pieces are extremely difficult to capture without standing directly next to, or within. Perfect Home manages to look at the artist’s work as one might if physically in the space, producing angles that imitate a natural way of absorbing the work.
Clauss allows the audience to at first be alone with Do Ho Suh’s work, examining both minuscule details and the works from afar. At the very end of the film scenes that include others interacting with the work are introduced. These shots give the viewer a sense of how others interact with the space, and force us to share these now public works.
Do Ho Suh was born in 1962 in Seoul, and studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and sculpture at Yale University. Do Ho Suh’s work examines the malleability of space, both physically and how it is perceived metaphorically. The artist’s large scale and site-specific instillations often compare the individual to the collective. Do Ho Suh’s work is included in a number of museum collections internationally, and in 2013 was named WSJ Magazine’s Innovator of the Year in Art. Do Ho Suh now splits his work and residence between New York, London, and Seoul.