Generative Illustrations of the Human Form by Janusz Jurek

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Over the last year, Polish designer and illustrator Janusz Jurek has been exploring different forms of generative illustration as it relates to the human form. Some of my favorites are collected into a series title Papilarnie where bundled lines that look like lightning or roadways on maps converge into 3D arms, feet, and other incomplete bodies. You can see more of his generative illustration work over on Behance.

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The Force of Nature: A Series of Sculptures That Depict Mother Nature Hurling Planet Earth in Circles

After witnessing the destruction brought on by hurricanes in Thailand, the Southern U.S. and around the world, Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn began creating a series of sculptures titled ‘Force of Nature’. Made from bronze, stainless steel and aluminum, the sculptures, full of life and energy, depict mother nature hurtling planet earth around in circles. The powerful and furious image is meant remind us of the power of nature and what Quinn describes as our “false sense of security” towards it.

“After having seen the ravaged coast of Thailand and the Hurricane that affected the Southern States I decided to create a sculpture dedicated to Mother Nature,” explains Quinn. At any moment in time, nature’s wrath could be awakened, bringing with it sudden destruction. The sculptures, which have been installed all around the world, remind us of this fact. And for Quinn they also harken back to something more ancient and primitive: “This would be reminiscent of the early statues made as peace offerings to the Gods in the hope of quenching their anger.” (via Bored Panda)

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Artist Cai Guo­-Qiang Sends a 500-Meter Ladder of Fire into the Sky Above China

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Sky Ladder, realized at Huiyu Island Harbour, Quanzhou, Fujian, June 15, 2015 at 4:49 am, approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Photos by Lin Yi & Wen-You Cai, courtesy Cai Studio.

In the early morning hours of June 15, a huge white balloon filled with 6,200 cubic meters of helium slowly ascended into the sky above Huiyu Island Harbour, Quanzhou, China. Attached to it was a 500-meter long ladder coated completely with quick burning fuses and gold fireworks that was then ignighted by artist Cai Guo­-Qiang (previously) who has become known for his ambitious pyrotechnic artworks.

Titled Sky Ladder, the piece burned for approxmiately 2 minutes and 30 seconds above the harbor and was the fourth and final attempt to realize the performance. Guo­-Qiang had earlier attempted Sky Ladder in Bath (1994), Shanghai (2001), and in Los Angeles (2012), to varying degrees of success, but never considered his vision complete until now. He first imagined a ladder of fire as a child and has pursued the idea for 21 years. He shares about this last successful iteration of the event:

Behind Sky Ladder lies a clear childhood dream of mine. Despite all life’s twists and turns, I have always been determined to realize it. My earlier proposals were either more abstract or ceremonial. Sky Ladder today is tender, and touches my heart deeply: it carries affection for my hometown, my relatives and my friends. In contrast to my other attempts, which set the ignition time at dusk, this time the ladder rose toward the morning sun, carrying hope. For me, this not only means a return but also the start of a new journey.

Unfortunately there’s no official video of the performance available yet, but a few shaky cell phone videos have emerged. You can see more images of the performance on the artist’s website. All photos by Lin Yi and Wen-You Cai courtesy Cai Studio. (via Booooooom)

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Paint, Oil, Milk, and Honey Mix in this Surreal Macro Video of Swirling Liquids by Thomas Blanchard

It turns out that watching paint mix is a heck of a lot more interesting than watching paint dry. French director Thomas Blanchard shot this lovely short of colored paints, oil, milk, and honey as they mix and bead under a macro lens. He says the video is intended as “an analogy of feelings such as anger, love, sadness and joy [as they] they mix and eventually ease.” If you liked this also check out similar liquid experiments by Ruslan Khasanov.

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Terra Flamma: Stunning Long-Exposure Photographs of California Wildfires by Stuart Palley

The El Portal Fire burns on a hillside  in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park on Sunday evening July 27, 2014. The community of El Portal was under a mandatory evacuation. By Tuesday the blaze had burned nearly 3,000 acres.  Long exposure image.

The El Portal Fire burns on a hillside in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park on Sunday evening July 27, 2014. The community of El Portal was under a mandatory evacuation. By Tuesday the blaze had burned nearly 3,000 acres. Long exposure image.

The Etiwanda Fire burns shortly after dusk on April 30, 2014 in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Long exposure image.

The Etiwanda Fire burns shortly after dusk on April 30, 2014 in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Long exposure image.

The news of deadly wildfires ravaging California has been as awe-inspiring as it is terrifying. Great swaths of forests, mountains, fields, and entire neighborhoods can be incinerated in moments leaving nothing unscathed. For the last few years, Los Angeles-based photographer Stuart Palley has been shooting these fires as they rage across Southern California as part of a series he calls Terra Flamma.

More than just capturing flames or firefighters, Palley focuses instead on the entire landscape surrounding each event. By utilizing long exposure techniques he incorporates trails of sparks, the lights of firefighting aircraft, and even the stars above to create images that speak more to the strange beauty of wildfires than simple editorial documentation.

Though Palley often jumps at the opportunity to photograph a fire at a moment’s notice, he’s also well prepared. He takes a number of precautions including completion of the US Forestry Service’s “Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior” to better ensure his safety.

You can follow more of Palley’s work on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

The French Fire burns overnight in the Sierra National Forest near the town of North Fork, CA on August 1st, 2014. The blaze was burning in steep, rugged, and remote terrain.

The French Fire burns overnight in the Sierra National Forest near the town of North Fork, CA on August 1st, 2014. The blaze was burning in steep, rugged, and remote terrain.

The Way Fire burns on August 19, 2014 in the Sierra National Forest near Kernville, CA overnight.  Long exposure image.

The Way Fire burns on August 19, 2014 in the Sierra National Forest near Kernville, CA overnight. Long exposure image.

The Meadow Fire burns overnight near Half Dome in Yosemite National Park early Monday September 8, 2014. As of Wednesday the fire had burned over 4,500 acres and was 10% contained.  Long exposure image.

The Meadow Fire burns overnight near Half Dome in Yosemite National Park early Monday September 8, 2014. As of Wednesday the fire had burned over 4,500 acres and was 10% contained. Long exposure image.

The Shirley Fire burns at night off of Old State Rd near Lake Isabella, CA while a helicopter circles overhead and crews work on a slopover. Long exposure image.  The Shirley Fire burns overnight near Lake Isabella, CA on the evening of June 15, 2014. By morning the fire had burned 2200 acres and was 10% contained. At least two structures were lost. Date 20140615 Date 20140615

The Shirley Fire burns at night off of Old State Rd near Lake Isabella, CA while a helicopter circles overhead and crews work on a slopover. Long exposure image.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along it's northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night. The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along its northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along it's northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night. The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along its northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along it's northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night. The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along its northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Friday June 19, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 13,000 acres and was 10% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Friday June 19, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 13,000 acres and was 10% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Friday June 19, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 13,000 acres and was 10% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Friday June 19, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 13,000 acres and was 10% contained.

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The World’s Oldest Multicolored Printed Book Has Been Opened and Digitized for the First Time

All images courtesy Cambridge University Library

All images courtesy of Cambridge University Library

The earliest example of multicolor printing is now available for the public eye, digitally available through Cambridge University Library’s Digital Library site. The 17th century book, Manual of Calligraphy and Painting (Shi zhu zhai shu hua pu), is so fragile that it was previously forbidden to be opened, its contents a total mystery before its recent digitization.

The book was created in 1633 by Ten Bamboo Studio and is the earliest known example of polychrome xylography, invented by Hu Zhengyan. The technique, also referred to as douban, uses several printing blocks applied in succession with different inks to achieve the appearance of a hand-painted watercolor. The Cambridge site explains that the although the skill required to achieve such douban prints is admirable, the gradations of color within the book are what led to its reputation as “perhaps the most beautiful set of prints ever made.”

The manual contains eight categories showcasing birds, plumbs, orchids, bamboos, fruit, stones, ink drawings and miscellany. All of these sections of the manual are contained in the original “butterfly binding,” and has been identified to be the finest copy in the original binding by a leading scholar.

In addition to Shi zhu zhai shu hua pu, the library has also digitized other selections from its Chinese collections including the oracle bones (the earliest surviving examples of Chinese writing anywhere in the world), a Buddhist text dated between 1127 and 1175, and a 14th century banknote that threatens forgers with decapitation. (via Hyperallergic)

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Artist Charles Young Completes Work on Daily Paper Model Project After Designing 365 Structures

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It’s daunting to witness the labor poured into a 365-day creative project, be it taking a daily photo, doing a quick sketch, or even writing a few lines. Edinburgh-based artist Charles Young (previously) gets particularly high marks for completing his daily paper model project that he started a year ago today as a way to explore design, architecture, and model building.

Every single one of his 365 models were designed, cut, and assembled daily using 220gsm watercolour paper and PVA glue, with many of the structures incorporating moving components that Young photographed to create quick animations. The pieces are frequently infused with bits of whimsy and ingenuity, probably the result of any undertaking requiring so many different random ideas. Although he’s now stopped working, Young hopes to eventually display the cityscape somewhere in its entirety. You can find more of his paper architecture on Etsy.

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