Spanning 15,000 square feet, the installation Liquid Shard subtly sways above downtown Los Angeles’s Pershing Square, a glittering band of what appears to be silver streamers. The piece, by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, is actually composed of holographic mylar and monofilament, the materials which give the work its reflective quality. As the two layers of the piece undulate with the wind they range from 15 to 115 feet off of the ground, creating a natural movement some have compared to swaying sea flora.
Shearn was inspired by humans’ collective observation of nature and the limited knowledge of what we see around us, which is why he intended the piece to be viewed from above as well as below. It is when things are zoomed in or slowed down that we begin to understand the workings of the plants and animals around us, and sense the movements that are imperceptible with our limited vision.
“Like fractals recurring progressively, we feel the currents of air on our skin but do not see the larger movements,” said Shearn. “I wanted to play in that realm with this technology I have been developing.”
Mechanical Horn Centaur Beetle, 2015. 100 x 100 x 150 cm. Jati Wood, Pine Wood, Electric Dynamo.
Indonesian artist Dedy Shofianto creates unusual kinetic sculptures of insect-like creatures by carving almost every component from wood. Though powered by hidden electronics it’s the exquisitely detailed mandibles, wings, antennae, and gears of these hybrid creatures crafted from locally sourced jati (teak) wood that take center stage. It would seem that a lifetime of wood craftsmanship would have been brought to bear on each piece, all the more impressive considering Shofianto created these pieces when he was only 24 years old while still in school—he graduated from the Art Institute of Indonesia just last year. You can see more of his kinetic works at Redbase Contemporary Art.
Evolution, 2015. 120 x 100 x 144 cm. Jati Wood, Pine Wood, Electric Dynamo, Ultrasound System.
Nyanyian Kumbang Tanduk, 2015. 100 x 80 x 150 cm. Jati Wood, Electric Motor, Ultrasonic Sensor.
Seeking Identity, 2015. 70 x 50 x 125 cm. Jati Wood, Gamelina Wood.
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In a great example of just how powerful consumer cameras have become, watch as this Nikon P900 zooms into the night sky, transporting you from a parking lot in Quebec to the surface of the moon. According to DL Cade at PetaPixel, the built-in optical zoom maxes out at 83x but the camera is capable of continuing with digital zoom. “The P900 features 166x ‘Dynamic Fine Zoom,’ putting the final equivalent focal length at a mind-numbing 4000mm.” I don’t even know that that means exactly but it sounds like a whole lotta zoom. Video by Daniel Pelletier. (via Sploid, PetaPixel)
With layers of porcelain surgically peeled back like skin, UK artist Beccy Ridsdel (previously) reveals the colorful internal workings of ceramic dishes. The artist refers to the pieces as “dissections in progress” and displayed earlier iterations alongside actual surgical implements to further heighten their anatomical nature. Titled “Under the Surface,” the ongoing series suggests each porcelain cup or plate has an internal biology of floral decorations that can be explored by removing bits of exterior. Many of Ridsdel’s latest pieces are currently available in her online shop.
Merging two of the ultimate pastimes—books and puzzles—the Codex Silenda has to be physically solved in order to read it. And no, these aren’t simple word games and math problems, but rather deviously complicated mechanical puzzles crafted from laser-cut wood that are embedded within each part of this 5-page book. The solution to each puzzle physically unlocks the next page. As the reader moves through the book a short story is also revealed, etched on pages opposite the puzzles.
The Codex Silenda was created by industrial designer Brady Whitney who is currently funding the it as project on Kickstarter. At the moment it looks like all funding tiers involving the book have filled, quadrupling their funding goals, but maybe they’ll add additional levels soon. (via Gizmodo)