Old car factories had a harmful impact on the environment, releasing toxic chemicals into the air, land and water. But it wasn’t all ugly. Oddly enough, one of the by-products of car production was Fordite, also known as Detroit agate. The colorful layered objects take their name from agate stones for their visual resemblance. But instead of forming from microscopically crystallized silica over millions of years, Fordite was formed from layers of paint over several tens of years. Back in the day, old automobile paint would drip onto the metal racks that transported cars through the paint shop and into the oven. The paint was hardened to a rock-like state thanks to high heats from the baking process. As the urban legend goes, plant workers would take pieces home in their lunch pails as a souvenir for their wife or kids.
Since then, car production has modernized and Fordite has been rendered a relic of the past. Artisans have been using the colorful material for jewelry but it’s not a stretch to imagine a future when these pieces sit behind glass in a museum. The colors can also be used to judge how old they are because car paint was subject to different trends. In the 1940s cars were mostly black or brown enamel while the 1960s ushered in an age of colorful lacquers. (via My Modern Met, Fordite.com)
Update: The Michigan State University Museum confirms they have a fordite sculpture in their collection.
image via flickr user nebbie
image via Fordite.com
image via Fordite.com
Here’s a number of new pieces from last year or so by artist Pablo S. Herrero (previously), almost all of which are collaborations with either David de la Mano or E1000. The artist was most recently in Gaeta, Italy where he completed the piece at top with E1000 for the Memorie Urbane Street Art Festival. (via Street Art News)
Drawing inspiration from early theatrical training, and influenced by methods of staged photography and set design, artist Barry Underwood (previously) transforms ordinary landscapes into something out of science fiction. The artist utilizes LED lights, luminescent material, and other photographic effects to create fleeting abstract landscapes that are influenced by both accidental and incidental light. He shares via his artist statement:
My artwork examines community and land-use in rural, suburban and urban sites. I created this series of installations by researching local agricultural, industrial, and recreational land-use. Curiosity about ecological and social history of specific places drives my work. By revealing the beauty and potential of an ordinary landscape an everyday scene is transformed into a memorable, visual experience. Each photograph image is a dialogue – the result of my direct encounter with nature and history. Inspired by land art, landscape photography and painting, as well as cinema, my images are both surreal and familiar.
Underwood will open an exhibition of both old and new work at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery in New York titled Scenes, on May 29th, 2014. You can see more over on Johansson Projects and read a 2011 interview at Juxtapoz. Images courtesy Sous Les Etoiles Gallery and the artist.
Created by Israel-based designer Amit Sturlesi, these animal desktop night lights and lamps are made from laser cut acrylic glass that is lit from below with hidden LEDs. They have a number of different geometric designs available, see more here. (Lost at E Minor)
Over the past few days there have been several time-lapse videos circulating around the web of a supercell storm forming over the skies in Wyoming. While that video is incredible, this footage by photographer Stephen Locke, captured near Climax, Kansas on May 10th of this year, is even more astounding. A massive vortex of clouds, rain, lightning, and a clearly visible sunset to boot. (via Vimeo)
Could this be the most meta thing on the entire internet? Just so we’re clear, the title isn’t a typo. This really is a GIF of a Vine of a video of a flipbook of a GIF of a video of a roller coaster. Created yesterday by Televandalist using a handy Flipbookit.