Circle of an Abstract Ritual is the latest stop motion timelapse from artist Jeff Frost (previously) who creates short films that defies description. This latest work gathers hundreds of thousands of photographs taken over the last two years during wildfires, riots, and inside abandoned houses where he created a series of optical illusion paintings. Frost says the film “began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing,” and that it is in part “a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.” Whatever it is, or is not, it’s really up to you to decide. I definitely recommend watching through to the end for the scene with trees. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
This fun urban intervention from small car manufacturer Smart attempts to redesign the humble traffic light by making it a bit more interactive. The team built a nearby dancing booth rigged with cameras that translates the dance moves of real passersby into a pixelated ‘don’t walk’ silhouette inside a crosswalk light. The video claims the installation resulted in 81% more people stopping at the light instead of walking out into the street. The piece was created for Smart’s promotional/safety campaign titled WhatAreYouFOR. (via Designboom)
Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films (previously) is back with his magnificent live video editing skills. This time the Argentina-based director transforms a typical intersection into an absurdly choreographed dance of cloned cars, bicyclists and pedestrians who at almost every moment appear destined to collide. I’ve watched this three times and I still keep yelling at the screen. So well done.
Give it Up is a new track released yesterday by Israeli musician and composer Kutiman. The song was created entirely using vocal and instrument tracks lifted from 23 different YouTube videos of mostly amateur musicians, credited here. If you liked this, you’ll be happy to learn this is just the first track off his upcoming album Thru You Too which the artist says will be comprised entirely of unrelated YouTube videos.
In other composing-music-with-videos news, Andrew Huang created a version of the 80s hit 99 Red Balloons… using only red balloons. Included here for your listening pleasure.
This slick commercial for Japanese high-speed optical internet service au Hikari has a pretty novel take on the Rube Goldberg Machine. Each sequence in the device is powered (or otherwise set in motion) by a single beam of light sent through magnifying glasses and mirrors to burn strings, pop balloons, and melt bits of ice. Even if you’re Rube Goldberg’d out lately, this is worth a watch. (via The Kid Should See This)
If you’ve ever been to a science museum or taken a physics class, you’ve probably encountered an example of a pendulum wave. This video shows a large-scale pendulum wave contraption built on private property in the mountains of North Carolina, near Burnsville. The mechanism relies on 16 precisely hung bowling balls on a wooden frame that swing in hypnotic patterns for a cycle of about 2 minute and 40 seconds. Via Maria Ikenberry who filmed the clip:
The length of time it takes a ball to swing back and forth one time to return to its starting position is dependent on the length of the pendulum, not the mass of the ball. A longer pendulum will take longer to complete one cycle than a shorter pendulum. The lengths of the pendula in this demonstration are all different and were calculated so that in about 2:40, the balls all return to the same position at the same time – in that 2:40, the longest pendulum (in front) will oscillate (or go back and forth) 50 times, the next will oscillate 51 times, and on to the last of the 16 pendula which will oscillate 65 times.
Because the piece is outdoors, a number of factors prevent the balls from precisely lining up at the end, but it’s still easy to get the idea. In a perfectly controlled environment you get something like this.
Update: The pendulum was built by Appalachian State University teacher and artist Jeff Goodman.
Designer and woodworker Frank Howarth has a passion for building things with his hands, he makes everything from shelves and chairs to toys and tables. But there’s one thing he might be even more passionate about: showing people how he does it on his YouTube channel. In some of his most popular films, the Howarth removes himself completely to create stop-motion animations with thousands of photos, where the objects appear to build themselves. In the two shown here he builds a trio of bookshelves and a lawn chair. If you liked this, don’t miss the Triumph Spitfire clip. (via The Awesomer)