Artist Rachel Sussman Photographs the Oldest Living Things in the World before They Vanish 

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La Llareta (up to 3,000 years old; Atacama Desert, Chile)

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Spruce Gran Picea #0909 – 11A07 (9,550 years old; Fulufjället, Sweden)

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Welwitschia Mirabilis #0707-22411 (2,000 years old; Namib-Naukluft Desert, Namibia)

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Antarctic Moss #0212-7B33 (5,500 years old; Elephant Island, Antarctica)

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Jōmon Sugi, Japanese Cedar #0704-002 (2,180-7,000 years old; Yakushima, Japan

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Underground Forest #0707-10333 (13,000 years old; Pretoria South Africa) DECEASED

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Since 2004, Brooklyn-based contemporary artist Rachel Sussman has researched, collaborated with biologists, and braved some of the world’s harshest climates from Antarctica to the Mojave Desert in order to photograph the oldest continuously living organisms on Earth. This includes plants like Pando, the “Trembling Giant,” a colony of aspens in Utah with a massive underground root system estimated to be around 80,000 years old. Or the dense Llareta plants in South America that grow 1.5 centimeters annually and live over 3,000 years. This is the realm of life where time is measured in millennia, and where despite such astonishing longevity, ecosystems are now threatened due to climate change and human encroachment.

Sussman’s photographs have now been gathered together for the first time in The Oldest Living Things in the World, a new book published by the University of Chicago Press. Sitting at the intersection of art, science, and travelogue, the book details her adventures in tracking down each subject and relays the valuable scientific work done by scientists to understand them. It includes 124 photographs, 30 essays, infographics and forewords by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Carl Zimmer.

You can learn more about Sussman’s project in her 2010 TED Talk. (via Hyperallergic)

Update: Rachel Sussman was just named a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow.

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Bears on Stairs: A Stop Motion-Animation Created from 3D-Printed Frames 

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The creative team over at London-based DBLG recently released this in-house animation titled Bears on Stairs that involved old school stop motion techniques paired with modern 3D printing. The painstaking process involved printing a sequence of 50 tiny sculptures which had to be photographed one by one over a period of 4 weeks—all for a mere two seconds of animation. I love the texture on the surface created by the printer. See more over at DBLG. (via Visual News)

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Sky Art: Illustrations in the Sky Between Buildings by Thomas Lamadieu 

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French illustrator Thomas Lamadieu recently made stops in locations around Germany, Canada, Belgium and France where he shot several aerial views from inside claustrophobic courtyards which he then turned into quirky illustrations. We first shared Lamadieu’s work a year ago to the day, and I really like the progression he’s made since.

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‘Mobile Lovers’ & ‘Spy Booth’: New Murals from Banksy 

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After a brief hiatus from his whirlwind New York residency last October, Banksy emerged with at least two new pieces over the weekend. The first depicts a trio of shady government officials crowding around a phone booth using analog recording devices to eavesdrop on conversations. That piece popped up in Cheltenham, a borough of Gloucestershire, England which is not coincidentally home of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The second piece which depicts two lovers basking in the light of their mobile devices just appeared on Banksy’s website and is also presumably in the UK.

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Gritty New Cityscapes by Jeremy Mann 

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Rooftops in the Snow

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Times Square Lights

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7th Ave. Night

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Hell’s Kitchen

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Manhattan Nights

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The City Tempest

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The Last Light of San Francisco

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The Market Street Steamvent

It’s almost impossible for me to select a favorite piece when looking at paintings by San Francisco painter Jeremy Mann (previously). Each of his works seems so wholly genuine, a mix of mystery and grit that brings a sublime light to iconic cities like New York and San Francisco. Above are a selection of paintings from the last two years or so, and you should also check out his recent Figures series. (via one of my favorite new art Tumblrs, Anita Leocadia)

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Reflected Landscapes by Victoria Siemer 

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In this recent series of digital artworks, Brooklyn-based graphic designer Victoria Siemer begins with dreamy landscapes of mountainous forests shrouded in fog and clouds and then inserts giant reflective fragments that rise from the ground. The inversed image creates the uncanny effect of a monolithic mirror that towers over the photograph like a kind of portal. Siemer says via email that the images are open for interpretation, but her work often deals with the idea of visual or emotional fragmentation which originated from her college thesis. Another example is her recent series of humanized computer error messages recently making the rounds. You can see more over on her blog (occasionally nsfw). (via My Modern Met)

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