It is one of my great regrets that I didn’t head up to New York over the last few weeks to catch Ann Hamilton’s groundbreaking installation, The Event of a Thread, at the Park Avenue Armory. Perhaps the only saving grace of not seeing it in person, or having not covered it on Colossal as coverage bounced around the web, is this gorgeous new video by my friend Paul Octavious who managed to catch a final glimpse of the installation before it closed last weekend. As visually stunning as it appears, I’m certainly left asking… “So what does it all mean!?” A field of swings suspended 70 feet in the air, a gargantuan white curtain attached to a network of ropes and pulleys, readers sitting at giant wooden tables reading to nearby pigeons. Via the Armory:
Visual artist Ann Hamilton combines the ephemeral presence of time with the material tactility for which she is best known to create a new large-scale installation for the Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Commissioned by the Armory, the event of a thread references the building’s architecture, as well as the individual encounters and congregational gatherings that have animated its rich social history. A multisensory affair, the work draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself, illuminating the experience of the singular and collective body, the relationship between the animal and the human. The address of the readers to the pigeons shifts at the end of each day, when a vocalist on the drill hall’s balcony serenades their release to flight. Each day’s song is cut with a record lathe, and the resulting recording is played back the next day.
To read more about the artists intent and purpose you can read her artist statement (PDF). Thanks to Paul for letting me use his imagery here, you can see more photos he shot by following him on Instagram.
The Profilograph is a bizarre device created by Chicago artist Pablo Garcia based on a series of four books written in 1528 by German artist Albrecht Dürer that examine the geometry of the male profile through carefully documented illustrations. The device transforms a series of Dürer’s drawings into a contiguous 3D extrusion that rotates on a circular spindle causing a shadow that morphs between each profile. The machine was designed in 2008 for an exhibition at the University of Michigan. You can learn more about the Profilograph here, and if you liked this also check out Kumi Yamashita’s origami profiles. (via vimeo)
This is one of the more impressive full moon time-lapses films you’ll ever see. Directed by Mikey Schaefer and produced by adventure filmmaker Bryan Smith, this remarkable clip captures American free climber Dean Potter as he traverses a highline tied to Cathedral Peak in Yosemite National Park. To get the wild perspective Potter used a camera equipped with a Canon 800mm super telephoto lens positioned over a mile away. Beautiful.
Update: Several people have written to clarify that this is technically not a “time-lapse” film, as both the climber and moon are actually moving in real time, it’s only the magnification of the moon that seems to mimic similar films that capture it in motion. Fair enough.
I love the visual of this small GoPro camera attached to this man’s trombone. The music becomes perfectly synchronized with the actions, which while totally predictable is still unexpectedly awesome to watch. (via kottke)
Boston-based animator Jake Fried just released his latest psychedelic animation, The Deep End, which was drawn entirely with ink, coffee, and white-out. The animation is continually layered on top of itself as forms morph, bend and transform across the screen. I can’t help but wonder how thick the final canvas is with so many layers of illustration. If you were as blown away by this as I was, you’re in luck: see some of his earlier animations such as Sick Leave and Waiting Room.
Filmmaker Julian Tay shot some footage of the 2012 New Years fireworks at Docklands in Melbourne, Australia and then decided to see what happened if he digitally reversed it. The result is strangely beautiful as all the little rockets move in reverse creating pretty counter-intuitive visuals, imploding into nothingness. An appropriate addendum, Reddit user ksli832 was reminded of this passage by Kurt Vonnegut from Slaughterhouse-Five:
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks… When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody again.
Happy new years folks, 2013 is going to be amazing. (via laughing squid)
The Re: Sound Bottle is the audio equivalent of running around in a field in the summer collecting fireflies in a jar. Designed by Jun Fujiwara from Tama Art University, the bottle is simple in its usage but absurdly complex in its design which relies heavily on software to handle the recording, storing, and playback of audio tracks. To use it you simply uncork the device and if sound is present it immediately snaps into recording mode. As you record more individual sounds, an audio database is formed and tracks are automatically selected to create rhythmic tracks, essentially like a miniature robot DJ in a jar. To listen, you again uncork the top and wait for your personal soundtrack to play. Jun says he hopes the Re: Sound Bottle (still just a concept) will help people interact more directly with music by recording the audio from their daily life. The bottle won a special judge’s prize at the 2012 Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Awards earlier this year. (via jason sondhi)
Firewall is a new interactive artwork by New York media artist Aaron Sherwood created in collaboration with Michael Allison. The presentation is relatively straightforward but still visually stunning: different ‘modes’ of light are projected onto a taut membrane of spandex which then reacts kinetically in response to touch. Firewall was made using Processing, Max/MSP, Arduino and a Kinect that work in tandem to create the experience and will be used in an upcoming performance art piece involving dancer Kiori Kawai who will interact with the piece on stage. Learn more over on Sherwood’s blog. (via designboom)