Cavity Mechanism #12 w/ Glass Dome. 2013. Mixed. 23″ x 13″ x 13″. All images via Dan Grayber.
Dan Grayber‘s works exist at the intersection of sculpture and physics, pieces carefully designed to solve the problems created by their own existence. The sculptures each include a rock suspended within a glass enclosure, the rock’s weight perfectly balanced by the mechanisms, systems, and pulleys that surround it.
Grayber relates this play of tension and balance to personal relationships, which serves as another influence to his work outside of visual interests in industrial design, construction machinery, and the children’s game Cat’s Cradle.
“Cavity Mechanism #6, from 2009, [seen below] is one of the most obvious pieces to speak about interpersonal relationships that I’ve made,” said Grayber to Venison Magazine. “There are two identical mechanisms inside of a glass display dome, and one small cable that runs between the two mechanisms. This cable holds all of the tension between the two mechanisms, and they both need to remain in place to maintain the tension. I was really thinking about co-dependence when I made the piece. If either mechanism were to slip, or the connection between them to break, it would cause both to fail.”
You can see more of Grayber’s experiments in equilibrium on his Instagram and Facebook. (via Boing Boing and Makezine)
Cavity Mechanism #21. 2016. Mixed. 13″ x 14″ x 14″
Cavity Mechanism #24. 2016. Mixed. 13.5″ x 6.5″ x 6.5″
Cavity Mechanism #18. 2015. Mixed. 11″ x 5″ x 5″
Cavity Mechanism #23. 2016. Mixed. 7.5″ x 5″ x 5″
Display Case Mechanism #6. 2016. Mixed. 24.5″ x 16″ x 11″
Display Case Mechanism #6. 2016. Mixed. 24.5″ x 16″ x 11″
Cavity Mechanism #20. 2016. Mixed. 29.5″ x 12″ x 12″
Director Thomas Blanchard (previously) has teamed up with photographer Oilhack to create this dizzying new video of paint, soap, and oil mixing together titled Galaxy Gates. We’ve seen more than a handful of videos like these here on Colossal the last few years, but these guys somehow manage to push the envelope quite a bit into an entirely new realm of visual experimentation. The duo filmed for almost 4 months and included only around 2% of their work in the final edit. You can see more of their collaborative work on We Are Color.
WoodSwimmer is a new short film by engineer and stop-motion animator Brett Foxwell, who has built armatures for films such as Boxtrolls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Created in collaboration with musician and animator bedtimes, the work follows a piece of raw wood through a milling machine, capturing its unique growth rings, knots, and weathered spots through a series of cross-sectional photographic scans. Due the speed at which the images are animated, the log’s grains begin to flow like granules of sand—shifting, mixing, and flowing in a vibrant dance that seems completely removed from its rigid material.
“Fascinated with the shapes and textures found in both newly-cut and long-dead pieces of wood, I envisioned a world composed entirely of these forms,” Foxwell told Colossal. “As I began to engage with the material, I conceived a method using a milling machine and an animation camera setup to scan through a wood sample photographically and capture its entire structure. Although a difficult and tedious technique to refine, it yielded gorgeous imagery at once abstract and very real. Between the twisting growth rings, swirling rays, knot holes, termites and rot, I found there is a lot going on inside of wood.”
Heads up: watching this full-screen in HD with sound makes all the difference. You can see more of Foxwell’s works, like his 19-minute film Fabricated, on his Vimeo.
Thanks to the Library of Congress, you can browse and download high-resolution copies of more than 2,500 Japanese woodblock prints and drawings from the library’s online collection. The prints, most of which are dated before the 20th-century, were amassed from a large group of collectors, including notable donors such as President William Howard Taft and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Despite the diversity of genres and traditions represented by the library’s large collection, the most prolific works are ones created in the tradition of the Japanese art form of Ukiyo-e or Yokohama-e. Ukiyo-e was developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) between 1600 and 1868 during a relatively peaceful period. The subject and inspiration for many of the prints includes that of entertainment and leisure, such as scenes from kabuki theater and fashionable restaurants.
The style of Yokohama-e was built on methods of production from Ukiyo-e around the time that American naval officer Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) led an expedition to Japan in the mid-1850’s. New trade agreements between Japan and the West brought travers to the country, inspiring Japanese artists to capture tourists walking throughout the port city, and borrow images from Western newspapers.
You can see the entire collection of historic works on the Library of Congress’s website. (via Open Culture)
“Bird by bird I’ve come to know the earth,” said Pablo Neruda in his book Art of Birds, a quote that has since inspired artist Dina Brodsky to begin her own exploration of birds in an ongoing miniature painting project by the same name: Bird by Bird. The artist first began the project last year as a way to explore the native birds around New York city as her now 18-month-old baby napped in a stroller. The endeavor has since grown to incorporate more rare and exotic birds depicted in everything from ballpoint pen to watercolor and gouache. The bird paintings have become so popular with fans that she’s created a dedicated Instagram account to collect them all.
Heads facing downward, eyes closed, the figures inhabiting the world of painter and sculptor Jaime Molina (previously) seem to be in a state of deep contemplation or sorrow. Or maybe they’re just hungover and taking a nap. The mystery is part of Molina’s intention as he assembles these strange characters from found wood to inhabit his fictional world called “Cutty Town” — he refers to the objects themselves as “Cuttys”. At once strangely familiar and approachable, the pieces sprout hairdos of bent nails, cacti, and leaves that add more questions left only to the viewer to answer.
The Colorado-based based artist most recently exhibited several works with Stefanie Chefas Projects in Portland and Galería UNION in Buenos Aires, and he has a few works available through Thinkspace Gallery. (via Juxtapoz, Creators Project)