Ten years ago, after a tsunami struck near Chennai, India, a camera repairman named Sekar noticed a pair of displaced green parakeets perched near his back porch. He immediately started to feed them with rice from his home, and the birds soon nested nearby and slowly—and then not so slowly—began to multiply.
The 62-year-old now cares for an estimated 4,000 birds that live near his home, spending almost 40% of his income on their care. He rises around 4am to start cooking giant pots of rice which he services twice daily on a latticework of boards on the roof of his home. This video from Aravind Kumar takes us into Sekar’s home to see what taking care of several thousand exotic birds looks like.
Here’s a lovely series of swimming figures painted by Colombian illustrator and painter Pedro Covo. Covo splendidly captures the obscuring nature of water as splashes are rendered in frenetic splatters of paint, and the sinuous lines of bodies seem to evaporate into brush strokes. The artist most recently exhibited at Río Laboratorio, and has also worked as an illustrator for the Walt Disney company. You can see a bit more over on Instagram and at the Colagene Creative Clinic. (via The Daily Blip, Empty Kingdom)
Since first stumbling onto an early type of image projector called a magic lantern over 40 years ago, Richard Balzer became instantly obsessed with early optical devices, from camera obscuras and praxinoscopes to anamorphic mirrors and zoetropes. Based in New York, Balzer has collected thousands of obscure and unusual devices such as phenakistoscopes, one of the first tools for achieving live animation.
The phenakistoscope relies on a disc with sequential illustrations to create looping animations when viewed through small slits in a mirror, producing an effect not unlike the GIFs of today. These bizarre, psychedelic, and frequently morbid scenes (people eating other people seemed to a popular motif) were produced in great volumes across Europe in the early to mid 19th century. Balzer and his assistant Brian Duffy have been digitizing and animating these discs and sharing the results on Tubmlr since 2012 (previously). Seen here is just a sampling of their efforts over the last year or so, but you can see plenty more here.
This year to celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), tequila maker el Jimador is partnering with notable printmaker Chris Bourke for the 50 Skulls Project: fifty distinct works of art that access the vibrant spirit of Día de los Muertos.
The pieces feature Bourke’s variations on the traditional skull theme, combining the Day of the Dead’s storied symbolism with the artist’s defined personal style. He uses a variety of color combinations and patterns that accentuate and add nuance to the imagery. Taken as a whole, Bourke’s work reflect the diversity and liveliness of yearly Day of the Dead festivals hosted throughout the world.
To go along with the commission, el Jimadoris organizing variousconteststo win a set of Bourke’s prints, plus the chance to win a VIP table at Callooh Callay’s Day of the Dead party in Shoreditch, and of course a bottle of el Jimador. Please drink responsibly.
Complete with its own theme song, this Rube Goldberg machine made for Japanese educational television program PythagoraSwitch features a brave little red ball named ‘Biisuke’ who rescues his other friends from being trapped elsewhere in the device—And then they all escape together while running away from bag guys! The team behind the program designs a shorter contraption for every single episode of PythagoraSwitch, but this longer one was created for an extended episode over the summer. You can see 200 additional clips from the show at varying levels of quality on YouTube. (via Twisted Sifter)
With origins that date back as far as the Tang Dynasty (around the year ~700), the Chinese craft of Dongyang wood carving is regarded by many to be one of the most elegant forms of relief carving in the world. The craft is still practiced in a few workshops in the region of Dongyang, China, and most commonly appears as ornate decoration on ‘everyday’ objects such as cases, cabinets, stools, desks and tables.
Perhaps the most ambitious manifestation of Dongyang wood carving is seen on enormous mural-like panels intended to be hung as artwork as seen here. You can see a few more examples via Lustik, Orientally Yours, Michael Lai, and XDYMD.COM
For her latest series Shake Cats, Portland photographer Carli Davidson trained her high speed camera on a parade of flittering felines, capturing each cat mid-shake in an explosion of fur, skin, and spit. You may recognize Davidson’s work from her previous portraits of shaking dogs and puppies. This new series proves to be equally humorous—if not more so—and is accompanied by an equally fun video, seen below. She even managed to get a cameo of famed internet cat Lil Bub.
The most frequent question Davidson gets about the series is how she coaxed the cats into shaking. The assumption is that she simply dumps water on them, but the answer is much more humane. After acclimating to the studio, some cats shake when simply pet by a human hand dipped in water. In other instances the cats were photographed during a standard ear cleaning using Epi-Otic ear cleaner applied by an animal care professional.
Most of the 61 cats appearing in Shake Cats are rescues, and Carli also had the opportunity to shoot regular high-quality portraits for each animal to encourage online adoption (which in most cases happened almost immediately). A portion of Davidson’s advance from the book will support three Portland shelters who provided its subjects.