Soaring Murals of Plants on Urban Walls by Mona Caron

February 1, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Muralist Mona Caron (previously) has continued her worldwide Weeds series, with colorful renderings of humble plants growing ever taller on buildings from Portland and São Paulo to Spain and Taiwan. The San Francisco-based artist often partners with local and international social and environmental movements for climate justice, labor rights, and water rights, and selects plants, both native and invasive, that she finds in the cities where she paints. Caron also integrates tiny details into the main visual elements of her murals:

Several of these murals contain intricate miniature details, invisible from afar. These typically narrate the local history, chronicle the social life of the mural’s immediate surroundings, and visualize future possibility, and are created in a process that incorporates ideas emerging through spontaneous conversations with the artwork’s hosting communities while painting.

Caron regularly shares process videos and photos of completed works on Instagram, and she delves into the narratives behind several of her murals on her website.

Collaboration with Liqan




New Sparkling Blooms Photographed with Ultraviolet-Induced Visible Fluorescence by Craig Burrows

January 31, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Photographer Craig Burrows (previously) continues to explore a unique photography method called ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence that uses high-intensity UV lights to excite fluorescence found in some plants, animals, and various objects. Burrows chooses to focus on flowers, creating colorfully vivid interpretations of jade blooms, daisies, and irises that seem to practically glow from within.

Upcoming exhibitions of the artist’s work include the Preview of the Spring 2018 Flower Show in Greenwich CT and the col.lab gallery at Tokyo Polytechnic University. Burrows shares with Colossal that he is currently looking for venues to shoot larger scenes with UVIVF in addition to his existing body of work with smaller objects. You can follow more of his work on Flickr.



Design History Science

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: a Pre-Photographic Guide for Artists and Naturalists

January 31, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

First published in the pre-photographic age, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours was the preeminent guide to color and its classification for artists, scientists, naturalists, and anthropologists in the 19th-century. Without an image for reference, the book provided immense handwritten detail describing where each specific shade could be found on an animal, plant, or mineral. Prussian Blue for instance could be located in the beauty spot of a mallard’s wing, on the stamina of a bluish-purple anemone, or in a piece of blue copper ore.

The system of classification was first devised by German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner in the late 18th-century. Shortly after Scottish painter Patrick Syme updated Werner’s guide, matching color swatches and his own list of examples to the provided nomenclature.

The book’s poetic names, such as Arterial Blood Red, Berlin Blue, and Verdigris Green, added flourish to the writings of many researchers, allowing vivid descriptions for prose which had previously been limited to a more elementary color palette. Charles Darwin even used the guide during his voyage to the Madeira, Canary, and Cape Verde islands on the H.M.S. Beagle.

The 1814 book has now been republished by Smithsonian Books as a pocket-sized guide, providing a historic connection to vivid colors found in the field for a future generation of artists, scientists, and curious naturalists. You can preorder the 2018 hardcover for its release date on February 6, 2018.  (via Co.Design)



Animation Design Photography

Grid Corrections: A Short Film Shows How Straight Roads Bend to Respond to Earth’s Curvature

January 31, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

That the flat Mercator projection maps we encounter in classrooms show a distorted view of our spherical planet is fairly well-known fact at this point. But the real-life application of grids on the earth takes a subtler form with the grid system of roads that defines much of the United States’ travelways. Dutch photographer and filmmaker Gerco de Ruijter created a short film called Grid Corrections that brings together dozens of aerial shots of rural roads. The film demonstrates how the grids are merged to accommodate the earth’s curvature through sharp dogleg turns every 24 miles. Grid Corrections will be screened at the Grasnapolsky music festival, which is February 2 – 4 in the town of Radio Kootwijk, The Netherlands. (via Kottke)



Art Design Photography

A Floating Photographic Lab by Claudius Schulze and Maciej Markowicz

January 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Last year collaborative artists Claudius Schulze and Maciej Markowicz launched the aptly named project [2BOATS] — a duo of water-bound vessels that the pair steered from Hamburg to Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair and Paris Photo over the course of several months. Both boats serve as traveling studios for the artists, however with vastly different functions. Schulze’s handmade houseboat (with outdoor disco ball and hammock) doubles as a hub for creative workshops and discussions, while Markowicz’s studio is also a fully functioning camera obscura.

Schulze and Markowicz plan to end their journey at the Hamburg Triennale of Photography, which opens on June 7th, 2018. You can keep up with Schulze’s explorations on Instagram at @claudiusschulze, Markowicz’s large-scale camera obscura at @obscurabus, and read about previous events visited by the two photographically-centered boats on the [2BOATS] blog.

Photo © Hendrik Sommerfeld



Photography Science

Radically Unusual Caterpillars Captured by Photographer Igor Siwanowicz

January 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Scientist and photographer Igor Siwanowicz (previously) has made a name for himself documenting the phenomenal range of shapes, colors, and structures of creatures in the natural world. His many images of unique caterpillars include wild variations like feathery blue spikes, curling burnt-orange horns, and long black whiskers. Siwanowicz also works as a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia. He shares more than ten years of his photography on




Projection Wall: A Large-Scale Participatory Bubble Wall by Rintaro Hara

January 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Projection Wall is a floor-to-ceiling installation that produces a series of prismatic sculptures through a visitor-operated pulley system. The large-scale bubbles rise from a grid of rope as the pulley rises, which are then released into to the room by the force of eight fans set behind the soapy contraption.

The participatory work was built by Japanese artist Rintaro Hara for the 2017 Japan Alps Festival. Hara created a similar piece in 1998 titled Soap Opera, an installation inspired by the water-born aliens from the 1989 Sci-Fi Thriller The Abyss. You can see more of Hara’s moving installations (like this Rube Goldberg-inspired piece) on her website and Vimeo. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)



A Colossal


Brick Man