Urban Cityscapes Emerge from Haphazard Brushstrokes 









When first discovering these paintings by Korean artist Jieun Park, either on a distant gallery wall or on a small website thumbnail, you might first mistake them for nothing more than thick abstract brushstrokes on on a large canvas. A closer look reveals entire nighttime cityscapes embedded in the blots of paint, glimpses of Paris, Hong Kong, Prague, and other cities from Park’s travels. The artist has numerous prints and originals available over on Saatchi Online.

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The Record Breaker: The Strange Story of Ashrita Furman Who Has Dedicated His Life to Breaking World Records 




It seems like fate that Ashrita Furman was born in 1954, the same year the first Guinness Book of World Records was published. As a child the New York native became fascinated with the annual record books but due to his lack of athleticism never dreamed he could ever accomplish something worthy of a “record.” Years later in 1978, with very little training, he entered a 24 hour bicycle race in Central Park where he surprisingly finished in third place. The near victory sparked something deep inside Furman, and the following year he set his first official record by doing 27,000 jumping jacks. Furman now holds more Guinness records (148) than anyone in the world.

In this life-affirming documentary short from Brian McGuinn we learn about Furman’s extremely bizarre life, and watch has he prepares to climb Machu Picchu. On stilts. (via Booooooom)

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inFORM: An Interactive Dynamic Shape Display that Physically Renders 3D Content 








While it’s debatable whether we’ll ever be able to teleport objects or people around the world at the speed of light, the inFORM system from Tangible Media Group at MIT might be the seeds of the next best thing. inFORM facilitates the real-time movement of physical “pixels” on a table surface that move in accordance with data from a Kinect motion sensing input device. The system allows people to remotely manipulate objects from a distance, physically interact with data or temporary objects, and could open the door to a wide variety of gaming, medical, or other interactive scenarios where people might be in remote locations.

One can only imagine the possibilities as the resolution of such a device increases. As mind-blowing as the video is above, the inFORM demonstrated has a relatively low resolution of 30×30 resulting in 900 moving “pixels”. As technology allows, what happens if the resolution doubles or quadruples and 3D content begins to appear exponentially more lifelike.

inFORM is currently under development at MIT’s Tangible Media Group and was designed by Daniel Leithinger, Sean Follmer, Hiroshi Ishii with help from numerous other software and hardware engineers. You can learn more about it here.

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Giant ‘Kelpies’ Horse Head Sculptures Tower Over the Forth & Clyde Canal in Scotland 

Kit Downey

Barry Ferguson

Barry Ferguson

Tracey Russell

Tracey Russell

Tracey Russell

Trixta Photography

Trixta Photography

Currently in the last stages of construction after nearly 7 years of development, the Kelpies are a pair of gargantuan horse heads by public artist Andy Scott that now tower over the Forth & Clyde canal in Falkirk, Scotland. The sculptures measure some 30 meters tall (99 ft.) and are meant as a monument to the horse-powered heritage of Scotland. According to Wikipedia:

The Kelpies name reflected the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 10 horses; a quality that is analogous with the transformational change and endurance of Scotland’s inland waterways. The Kelpies represent the lineage of the heavy horse of Scottish industry and economy, pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges and coalships that shaped the geographical layout of the Falkirk area.

The sculptures were modeled on two actual Clydesdales from Glasgow City and were constructed from structural steel with a stainless steel cladding, creating structures that you will soon be able to stand inside of. Although construction is nearly complete, the Kelpies will not open to visitors until April 2014.

Scott has created a number of smaller ‘Kelpies’ sculptures including a pair here in Chicago and at Purdue University. Photos above courtesy Kit Downey, Tracey Russell, Barry Ferguson, and Trixta Photography.

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Behind the Scenes of John Lewis’ Stop Motion Holiday Ad from adam&eveDDB 


UK department store chain John Lewis are known for the high production value of their annual holiday commercial produced in partnership with Adam&Eve/DDB. This year’s festive/sappy/tear-jerker ad, The Bear & the Hare, could have been produced using standard animation, but the creative team opted for a much more complex and time-consuming hybrid of hand-drawn animation converted into stop motion animation. The making-of video above is almost more impressive than the actual commercial, which you can watch here. BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!? The BBC tries to interpret the ad. (via It’s Nice That)

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