Category: Art

A Kinetic Artwork that Sorts Thousands of Random River Stones by Age 

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Performing the role of a scientist, Benjamin Maus and Prokop Bartonicek’s kinetic machine Jller selects and sorts pebbles found on a 6 1/2 x 13 foot platform into a grid organized by geologic age. Without assistance, Jller analyzes the stones’ appearance to understand their correct placement, then transports them to the correct location.

All of the rocks for the project were extracted from a German river of the machine’s own name, pebbles that are either the result of erosion in the Alps or have been transported by glaciers. Because the history of this sample location within the river is known, it is a relatively straightforward process to assign each stone its geological age. To do this, Jller first analyzes an image of the stone it selects, extracting information like dominant color, color composition, lines, layers, patterns, grain, and surface texture. The machine then places the stones in alignment of age and type by sucking them into an industrial vacuum gripper and dropping them in the correct location within the grid.

The project is part of ongoing research in the field of industrial automation and historical geology, and was presented last December as a part of the exhibition “Ignorance” at Ex Post in Prague. The full video of the project can be seen below.

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Tiny Paper Flowers Inspired by Pencil Shavings by Haruka Misawa 

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All images via Haruka Misawa

Attracted to the shape of the shavings that were formed while sharpening her pencil, designer Haruka Misawa decided to explore how they could be formed into realistic flowers. Printing paper with a color gradation, she tightly wraps it in a pencil-like shape so the flowers blossom outward when scraped against the shaver. Each flower created in this method is completely unique, Misawa’s technique making it impossible to replicate the same design of each of her 15-40 mm flowers twice.

You can see more of Misawa’s designs on her Instagram. (via Faith is Torment and This Isn’t Happiness)

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A Rotating 42-Layer Sculpture of Franz Kafka’s Head by David Cerny 

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Located in a busy shopping center in Prague, this twisting and reflective sculpture depicting the head of writer Franz Kafka is the latest kinetic artwork by controversial Czech artist David Cerny. Installed in 2014, the enormous mirrored bust is comprised of 42 independently driven layers of stainless steel and weighs in at some 45 tons. The piece brilliantly reveals Kafka’s tortured personality and unrelenting self doubt that plagued him his entire life. The layering of objects is a common motif for Cerny who built a similar rotating head that also functions as a fountain titled Metalmorphosis. (thnx, Chelsea & Diana!)

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David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

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David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

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David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

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David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

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INKS: Paintball Meets Pinball in a New Videogame from State of Play 

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For their latest video game INKS, London-based State of Play Games have created a new spin on classic pinball by turning the background of a pinball game into a piece of interactive art. As the ball traverses the course, the bright lights and clanking sounds of traditional pinball are replaced with pockets of watercolor paint that explode into flourishes. The ball in turn leaves trails of color as you solve each level.

State of Play are no strangers to turning a more tactile world into a digital game. You might remember their groundbreaking work in Lumino City (which won a BAFTA award) where real paper sets and characters were filmed and photographed as components of an immersive digital puzzle game. INKS has much of the same polish a detail, though allows for quicker gameplay. One of my favorite details is that every time you complete a level, the game board complete with paint trails is saved as a thumbnail like an artwork. You can even print and share them.

Inspired by artists like Miro, Matisse, Jackson Pollock and Bridget Riley, each table becomes a unique work of art in its own right, sculpted by the player as they fire an ink covered ball around the canvas. The player is encouraged to share their final work of art on social media with the iOS share function. They can even print them out if they like – with the story of their perfect game literally drawn on the canvas in front of them, something to be proud of and share.

Luke Whittaker from State of Play tells us they were partly inspired by Sam van Doom’s ink-based pinball game from 2012. It’s a visually stunning game with some pretty innovative ideas, even if you don’t particularly enjoy pinball. You can download INKS for iOS here.

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The Floor of an Historic Church Transformed Into a Reflective Pool of Multi-Colored Orbs by Liz West 

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All images by Hannah Devereux

Reflecting the architecture of the former St. John’s Church in North Lincolnshire, UK is Liz West‘s site-specific pool of over 700 multi-colored orbs titled “Our Colour Reflection.” These circular mirrors installed onto the floor of the now 20-21 Visual Arts Centre project hues of yellow, purple, red, blue, and 11 other colors onto the beams that surround them, adding a colorful dimension to the 125-year-old building.

“The work changes constantly, depending on what time of day it is,” West told The Creators Project. “As darkness comes, the gallery spotlights reflect off the colored mirrors and send vivid dots of color up into the interior of the former church building, illuminating the neo-Gothic architecture.”

Visitors can peer into the reflective pool to see how it refracts their own image, inserting themselves simultaneously into the history and artistic intervention of the space. The installation is also a reference to stained glass, as West focused on the history of the arts center as a former place of worship before starting the installation. You can catch the multi-colored light refractions of “Our Colour Reflection” through June 25, 2016. (via The Creators Project)

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Site-Specific Elephant Murals on the Streets of South Africa by Falko One 

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Garies, South Africa. 2015.

Working with the iconic image of the elephant, South African artist Falko One brings lumbering pachyderms to the facades of homes, alleyways, and businesses across the country. The Cape Town-based graffiti artist has been painting murals in the region since 1988, and though he depicts a wide range of subject matter in his artworks, the elephants seem to most easily capture the imagination of the viewer. Many of his site-specific murals incorporate elements of the building or even items far off in the background directly into the painting, creating fun optical illusions. You can follow more of his work on Instagram and on Global Street Art.

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Kalahari Desert, South Africa.

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Wesminster, South Africa.

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South Africa

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Johannesburg, South Africa

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Johannesburg, South Africa

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Karoo, South Africa

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