Category: Art

An Octopus Painted With 95-Million-Year-Old Ink 

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Esther van Hulsen at work on an octopus drawing using 95 million-year-old ink. Photo by Stian Steinsli

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Photo of the fossil on the left by Hans Arne Nakrem, photo of the powder on the right by Esther van Hulsen.

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Image of the completed octopus ink drawing. Photo by Esther van Hulsen

Dutch wildlife artist Esther van Hulsen was recently given an assignment unlike her typical drawings of birds and mammals from life—a chance to draw a prehistoric octopus 95 million years after its death. Paleontologist Jørn Hurum supplied Hulsen with ink extracted from a fossil found in Lebanon in 2009, received as a gift from the PalVenn Museum in 2014. After several millennia Hulson was surprised to find that the color had remained so vibrant, preserved all of this time in the cephalopod’s ink sac. “Knowing that this animal has used this ink to survive is absolutely amazing,” said van Hulsen of the prehistoric ink.

The idea to make such a drawing came from the story of Mary Anning, an English paleontologist and fossil collector who made a similar drawing from a fossil’s ink sac in the 1800s. Hulsen’s replication of the octopus now hangs beside its material origin in the Natural History Museum in Oslo. (via MetaFilter)

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A Sculptural Geometric Pop-Up Book By Tauba Auerbach 

Tauba Auerbach (previously) partnered with Printed Matter to publish the project [2,3], a large-scale book that exists between a children’s pop-up and sculptural object. The project folds neatly into its own custom sleeve, and contains six separate paper sculptures that spring to life when opened. Director Sam Fleischner filmed the project’s unboxing, catching the sweetly satisfying sounds of the books creaking to open, and the objects inside slowing falling into place. You can see more of Auerbach’s designs on Instagram. (via Juxtapoz)

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Site-Specific Pinhole Cameras Constructed From Nature Capture the Pacific Northwest 

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Site-specific pinhole image of Pescadero Creek, image via David Janesko

In a meta, Mother Nature-inspired project, artists David Janesko and Adam Donnelly use objects from the earth to photograph the environment from which they are found, often utilizing leaves, logs, dirt, and scattered wood to produce hazy images of the world around them. To date, the pair has made approximately 28 cameras, each with a preexisting lens. Janesko and Donnelly do not create an aperture for the natural cameras by hand, but rather use ones already available in the form of a chewed hole in a leaf or a piece of bark that already has a crack.

The body of the camera is much larger, and like the lens, is only constructed from the material around them, much like a small fort. One of the two will stand outside the camera as a shutter, while the other remains inside with the photographic paper, sometimes for as long as 45 minutes. “We build and photograph with the camera in a single day, we leave the camera as we made it, to fall apart and disappear back into the environment,” Janesko told The Creators Project.

Janesko and Donnelly attempt to capture the physical experience of their cameras in each photograph—producing a muffled and patient image of the lands which they enter. Previously the two had documented the San Francisco Bay Area, but are now heading to the Rio Grande River where their new land cameras will be recorded for an upcoming documentary. You can learn more about the film on their IndieGoGo. (via The Creators Project)

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Pinhole leaf lens, image via David Janesko

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Coachella Valley (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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Site-specific pinhole image of Big Basin, image via David Janesko

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Alamere Falls (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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King’s Canyon (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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Coachella Valley (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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Site-specific pinhole image of Point Reyes Kehoe Beach, image via David Janesko

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Gazo’s Creek (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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Gazo’s Creek (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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‘Ten Lessons For How to Work Better’ Installed Six Stories Tall in NYC 

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Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s “How to Work Better” mural, Public Art Fund, via NYRDaily. Photo by Jason Wyche.

An iconic mural towers over the intersection of New York’s Houston and Mott Streets, a 50-foot-tall piece produced in tandem with the Guggenheim’s exhibition “Peter Fischli and David Weiss: How to Work Better.” The simple, ten-point list is one that is not uncommon, in fact it is one often encountered in artists’ studios and offices tacked up as a reminder of effective work patterns and collaboration.

The readymade work is an adaptation of a list the artists discovered in a ceramics factory in Thailand three decades ago. Critic John Kelsey notes in the exhibitions’s catalogue that, “Taken from a factory in Thailand and displayed in a supremely wealthy nation with one of the strictest immigration policies in Europe, the text becomes an ironic reflection on the way things go for commuter drones within a productively mobilized post-society, some of whom happen to be artists and curators: ‘SMILE.’”

Even observed without the history of the mural, the piece speaks to the modern notion of always being busy, a reminder to slow down rather than rush through each subsequent task. The mural is a collaboration between the Public Art Fund, Fischli, and Guggenheim curators Nancy Spector and Nat Trotman. (via Guggenheim blog)

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Draw Infinite Geometric Designs With the DuoGraph, a Compact New Drawing Machine by Joe Freedman 

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The DuoGraph is the latest drawing machine from inventor and designer Joe Freedman whose Cycloid Drawing Machine took the internet by storm a few months ago. His elaborate devices are capable of producing amazing geometric patterns akin to a Spirograph on steroids. This new creation is quite a bit simpler to setup and use, relying on 7 gears and a number of parameters that can be changed quickly to produce infinite designs. While the DuoGraph is a bit more limited in its level of customization, it’s capable of producing elaborate Lissajous patterns which the larger device cannot. Learn more about it on Kickstarter.

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Figures of Birds Emerge from a Kinetic Flurry of Spray Paint 

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Brazilian artist L7M (previously) depicts owls, ducks, sparrows, and other birds materializing from a chaotic swirl of dripped paint and flourishes of spray. The graffiti birds not only contrast urban and natural elements, but also depict a distinct clash of both abstract and figurative techniques. According to Street Art News the artist was recently in Rome where he completed several of the pieces you see here. Check out more of his latest mural work on Facebook.

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