NYC’s Central Park Photographed in Infrared by Paolo Pettigiani 

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Photographer and graphic designer Paolo Pettigiani recently took a stroll through New York’s Central Park armed with an infrared lens and took a number of fantastic shots that show the iconic park in a whole new light. The usual green grass and trees are transformed into a bright cotton candy pink which vividly contrasts with the aquamarine sky. The 24-year-old photographer moved to New York from Turin, Italy only two weeks ago and has been busy documenting his views of the city on Instagram. (via Behance, This Isn’t Happiness)

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A Subterranean Camera Obscura Captures the English Countryside 

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Collaborative duo Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer were so impressed by the view overlooking the rolling hills of Hadleigh Country Park in Essex, England that they decided to capture it in perpetuity. Instead of simply taking a photograph, Heinrich & Palmer decided to submerge a camera obscura into the ground, imbedding an 11.5-foot Weholite pipe into the side of a hill to be easily accessible by the nearby bike path.

The Reveal” was created to fit four to five people, and the 260 mm lens of the camera is fixed within the door, which needs to be closed tight in order for the “live” image to appear bright. Once you are securely inside, the bright scenery from outdoors comes in, snapping into focus on the back wall. Because of its location against the vast southern skies, Heinrich & Palmer explain that the landscape seems to fall away in the distance, and the passing ships give the image the quality of a moving oil painting.

The two installation artists met while studying fine art in Cardiff in the late 80s and have now been collaborators for over 20 years. Their work focuses mostly on the large scale, including films, installations, photography, and light boxes. You can see more of the artists’ work on their website.

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A Kinetic Artwork that Sorts Thousands of Random River Stones by Age 

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Performing the role of a scientist, Benjamin Maus and Prokop Bartonicek’s kinetic machine Jller selects and sorts pebbles found on a 6 1/2 x 13 foot platform into a grid organized by geologic age. Without assistance, Jller analyzes the stones’ appearance to understand their correct placement, then transports them to the correct location.

All of the rocks for the project were extracted from a German river of the machine’s own name, pebbles that are either the result of erosion in the Alps or have been transported by glaciers. Because the history of this sample location within the river is known, it is a relatively straightforward process to assign each stone its geological age. To do this, Jller first analyzes an image of the stone it selects, extracting information like dominant color, color composition, lines, layers, patterns, grain, and surface texture. The machine then places the stones in alignment of age and type by sucking them into an industrial vacuum gripper and dropping them in the correct location within the grid.

The project is part of ongoing research in the field of industrial automation and historical geology, and was presented last December as a part of the exhibition “Ignorance” at Ex Post in Prague. The full video of the project can be seen below.

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Tiny Paper Flowers Inspired by Pencil Shavings by Haruka Misawa 

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All images via Haruka Misawa

Attracted to the shape of the shavings that were formed while sharpening her pencil, designer Haruka Misawa decided to explore how they could be formed into realistic flowers. Printing paper with a color gradation, she tightly wraps it in a pencil-like shape so the flowers blossom outward when scraped against the shaver. Each flower created in this method is completely unique, Misawa’s technique making it impossible to replicate the same design of each of her 15-40 mm flowers twice.

You can see more of Misawa’s designs on her Instagram. (via Faith is Torment and This Isn’t Happiness)

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A Rotating 42-Layer Sculpture of Franz Kafka’s Head by David Cerny 

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Located in a busy shopping center in Prague, this twisting and reflective sculpture depicting the head of writer Franz Kafka is the latest kinetic artwork by controversial Czech artist David Cerny. Installed in 2014, the enormous mirrored bust is comprised of 42 independently driven layers of stainless steel and weighs in at some 45 tons. The piece brilliantly reveals Kafka’s tortured personality and unrelenting self doubt that plagued him his entire life. The layering of objects is a common motif for Cerny who built a similar rotating head that also functions as a fountain titled Metalmorphosis. (thnx, Chelsea & Diana!)

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David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

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David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

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David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

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David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

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INKS: Paintball Meets Pinball in a New Videogame from State of Play 

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For their latest video game INKS, London-based State of Play Games have created a new spin on classic pinball by turning the background of a pinball game into a piece of interactive art. As the ball traverses the course, the bright lights and clanking sounds of traditional pinball are replaced with pockets of watercolor paint that explode into flourishes. The ball in turn leaves trails of color as you solve each level.

State of Play are no strangers to turning a more tactile world into a digital game. You might remember their groundbreaking work in Lumino City (which won a BAFTA award) where real paper sets and characters were filmed and photographed as components of an immersive digital puzzle game. INKS has much of the same polish a detail, though allows for quicker gameplay. One of my favorite details is that every time you complete a level, the game board complete with paint trails is saved as a thumbnail like an artwork. You can even print and share them.

Inspired by artists like Miro, Matisse, Jackson Pollock and Bridget Riley, each table becomes a unique work of art in its own right, sculpted by the player as they fire an ink covered ball around the canvas. The player is encouraged to share their final work of art on social media with the iOS share function. They can even print them out if they like – with the story of their perfect game literally drawn on the canvas in front of them, something to be proud of and share.

Luke Whittaker from State of Play tells us they were partly inspired by Sam van Doom’s ink-based pinball game from 2012. It’s a visually stunning game with some pretty innovative ideas, even if you don’t particularly enjoy pinball. You can download INKS for iOS here.

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