The Fourth Wall: A Rare View of Famous European Theater Auditoriums Photographed from the Stage

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For his ongoing series The Fourth Wall, Hamburg-based photographer Klaus Frahm shatters the illusion of stagecraft by taking us behind-the-scenes of several European theaters. Shot from the vantage point of the stage looking toward the audience, the photos reveal the stark contrast of ornate auditoriums and the technological scaffolding that facilitates a major theatrical production. Frahm captures the elaborate configurations of lights and the surprising enormity of the fly space hidden just behind the red curtain that can be up to three times larger than the seating area.

Frahm says the intention behind his photography “is to give way for a new perspective, to entertain, to offer a fresh sight on familiar things,” and to “reveal something laying under the surface.” The Fourth Wall project began in 2010 when he was documenting a new theater for an architect which involved a series of shots facing the wings and other angles from the stage. When reviewing his polaroids later that day he was immediately struck by the image-within-an-image contrast of the warm, fully-lit theater seats and the cold, hidden infrastructure. Klaus had ingeniously turned the tables: suddenly the audience was the spectacle and the stage was reality.

You can see more from the Fourth Wall series on Fram’s website. If you enjoyed this, also check out the work of David Leventi. (via It’s Nice That, thnx Kevin!)

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Fantastic Embroidered Zoetrope Animations on Turntables by Elliot Schultz

If there’s one thing we can’t get enough of on Colossal it’s zoetropes, a filmless animation technique that relies on a rotating sequence of images or objects that’s photographed or displayed with a strobe light to create the illusion of motion. We’ve seen a few different takes on the medium from chocolate to 3D printing to ceramics to my all-time favorite the turntable phonotrope. For his degree project at the ANU School of Art in Australia, digital artist Elliot Schultz devised his own method: the Embroidered Zoetrope.

The 2013 installation involved the creation of 10″ discs embroidered with sequences of images that fit on standard turntables. Each piece was displayed with a standard strobe light that effectively brought the animation to life. The precision of the machine embroidery coupled with the texture of thread makes these really special to watch. He shares about the project:

Inspired by the work of Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker, I aimed to guide my production process indirectly through the limitations afforded by alternative media. Their invention, the pin screen, was used as the sole medium in the production of six short films, and shaped the outcome of their work. In response, I have designed and embroidered animated sequences onto discs, similar to the Phenakistokope, Zoopraxiscope and Stamfer Disc layouts. This repurposing of media introduced strict parameters, namely spatial, tonal and temporal, and has greatly informed all stages of my process.

Watch the video above to see Schultz’s animations in action, and you can see a nicely presented project view of the embroidered zoetrope over on Behance.

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Photo by Dylan Kovacevic

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Photo by Dylan Kovacevic

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Bookshelf Superheroes Appear to Save Your Favorite Reads

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Created by Artori Design, these fun metal bookshelves give the impression a stealthy superhero is saving your books from certain doom. The sideways version uses a magnet to harmlessly attach the end of the books, while the other model is a wall-mounted floating shelf that gives the impression a caped crusader is giving your books a boost from below. The shelves are currently available through Designboom. Suggestion to Artori: a lot of my favorite book superheroes are women.

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New Delicate Cut Paper Flowers by Maude White

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Paper-cutting artist Maude White (previously) continues to astound us with her painstaking illustrations cut from single sheets of paper. Limited to only negative and positive space, she explores poetic compositions of line and shape as she renders each piece with a knife. White is currently working on a series of blooms as part of an upcoming exhibition at Buffalo Arts Studio, and if you want to learn a bit more about her process she recently did an interview over on Block Club.

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Kujira Carbon Steel Knives Mimic the Form of Whales

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Designed by blacksmith Toru Yamashita in Japan’s Kochi-prefecture, these high carbon steel knives are designed in the form of five different whales, the blades forming the baleen mouth of each species. The Kujira blades were originally made for children as a tool for sharpening pencils or cutting paper, but have since been marketed abroad as a general purpose utility or chef knife. At about $50 each the knives aren’t cheap, but it appears the whale shape is strangely perfect for small hands and with the right care they would probably last a lifetime. Some of the models are available through Hand-Eye Supply, but it looks like a few are sold by Yoshihiro Cutlery on Amazon. (via Core77, Attics of my Life)

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Sleep Amongst the Condors 400 Feet Above a Sacred Valley in Peru

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Suspended 400 feet above Peru’s Sacred Valley of Cusco are three capsules that appear like Space Age airstream trailers. These transparent sleeping pods are intended for unfazed adventures, crafted from aerospace aluminum and weather resistant polycarbonate giving each visitor a 300 degree view of the valley below.

Skylodge Adventure Suites was created by the company Natura Vive, a group of young entrepreneurs who aim to show people of any age or experience level a mountain adventure. As a part of the thrill, visitors must either climb or hike a challenging trail with the help of ziplines to reach their sleeping quarters in the sky.

Each 24 ft. by 8 ft. capsule suite holds four beds, a dining area, and bath, ensuring a comfortable internal temperature and atmosphere with the inclusion of six windows and four ventilation ducts. The pods also have a clear dome at the top of each, which Natura Vive explains also has curtains for privacy “from the curious gaze of the passing condors (your sky neighbors).” (via designboom)

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