Armed with a pair of humble wooden chopsticks, a .74 cent plastic comb, and a few other minor modifications, Canadian musician James Hill can convert his ukulele into a ridiculous beat machine. Hill mimics a wide range of rhythmic genres from techno to hip hop in this brief clip shot at a sold-out 2011 show at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall in Felton, California. There’s a lot of build-up and preparation, the music starts around 3:45. (via Devour)
We all know that as the seasons change on Earth, temperatures rise and fall, plants grow or die, ice forms or melts away. Perhaps nobody is more aware of this than NASA’s Visible Earth team who provide a vast catalog of images of our home planet as seen from space. Last month designer, cartographer, and dataviz expert John Nelson download a sequence of twelve cloud-free satellite imagery mosaics of Earth, one from each month, and then created a number of vivid animated gifs showing the seasonal changes in vegetation and land ice around the world.
Despite having encountered numerous seasonal timelapse videos shot here on Earth, this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this visualized on such a large scale from space. It really looks like a heartbeat or the action of breathing. Read more over on Nelson’s blog, or see a much larger version of the gif here. (via Co.Design)
Built in 1931, this Art Deco railroad underpass in Birmingham, Alabama is a vital gateway between the heart of downtown and a new urban space called Railroad Park. In recent years the dark tunnel had deteriorated into an unwelcoming and potentially dangerous area, so the city hired sculptor and public artist Bill FitzGibbons to create a lighting solution that would encourage more pedestrian traffic. Titled LightRails the installation is composed of a network of computerized LEDs that that form various lighting patterns in the previously darkened underpass. (via contemporist)
Digital artist Paolo Čeric (previously) continues to crank out some of the most elegant and bizarre gifs I’ve seen lately. The Croatian artist relies on software like Cinema 4D, After Effects, and a programing language called Processing, as well as a wild imagination to strange forms that wobble and twist with energy. See more recent animations on his Tumblr.
And we have another great documentary short today. Meet Toronto-based artist Christine Kim whose recent artwork explores intersections between illustration, cut paper collage, and architecture. The video above is part 10 of an ongoing series of top-notch artist interviews conducted by filmmaker Jesse Brass called Making Art.
Designer David Graas recently released this great lighting object, a 3D-printed hood depicting a sprouting city that fits on top of an LED bulb. Titled Huddle, the light comes in both a pendant and floor version and is available in his shop. (via DesignTAXI)
Educator, scientist and artist Bobby Jaber retired from teaching chemistry over 20 years ago and decided to dedicate the next chapter of his life to combining his passions for science and art. To do this he began to mimic some of the most beautifully shaped molecules in existence using porcelain. Jaber says that because he spent so much of his life studying chemistry, the study of change in matter, that ceramics were a perfect extension as they dramatically demonstrate chemical change, especially at the physical level.
Filmmaker Dave Altizer filmed this brief documentary about Jaber’s artistic philosophy and how the 76-year-old continues to find meaning and success over 20 years into his artistic career. Make sure you catch the last few seconds.
Mother + Daughter is an ongoing portrait project by artist Carra Sykes who dresses and poses identically to her mother in various photographs. Sykes was looking for a way to lift her spirits while struggling with a long job hunt and was struck by her mom’s penchant for occasionally raiding her Goodwill donation bags to wear her old clothes. While the photos are not meant to be perfectly identical in composition or form, Sykes says the project has become an interesting study of their relationship and physical traits. You can follow the series over on Flickr. For similar projects check out the work of Irina Werning. (via My Modern Met, DesignTAXI)