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Art History Photography

Behind the Scenes of Elgin Park, a Retro City of Optical Illusions Photographed by Michael Paul Smith

February 4, 2015

Christopher Jobson

Here at Colossal we’ve long been fans of photographer Michael Paul Smith whose broad life experiences lead him to the creation of Elgin Park, a fictional 20th century town filled with miniature 1/24th-scale models of cars and buildings. Smith mixes his carefully crafted model sets with die-cut automobiles and real-life backdrops, taking advantage of an optical illusion known as forced perspective. The photos have been a massive hit with the internet, racking up over 70 million views on his Flickr account alone.

Smith recently sat down with documentary director and producer Danny Yourd of Animal to discuss his significant personal challenges and life experiences that are now the driving force behind his photography. This is a must-watch for any creative grappling with aspects of identity or personal history in their artwork. He’s is also on the verge of publishing a new book, Elgin Park, which is available now for preorder. Seen here are some of his most recent photos along with behind-the-scenes views, there’s much more over on Flickr. (via PetaPixel)

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Art

Rush Hour: Hilarious Footage of an Intersection Edited to Create Potentially Catastrophic Traffic Patterns

September 16, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films (previously) is back with his magnificent live video editing skills. This time the Argentina-based director transforms a typical intersection into an absurdly choreographed dance of cloned cars, bicyclists and pedestrians who at almost every moment appear destined to collide. I’ve watched this three times and I still keep yelling at the screen. So well done.

 

 



Art

This Is What Happens When You Attach a GoPro Camera to a Moving Car Wheel

July 28, 2014

Christopher Jobson

Though we may be rapidly heading toward peak GoPro, and the number of unique scenarios where the tiny video camera is used to film something is dwindling, gems like these still persist. For his Video Sketchbook class at the University of Wisconsin, Ryan Fox attached a camera to his car wheel while driving around at night, and this is the dizzying result. This should probably come with a list of seizure/vertigo/hypnotism warnings. (via Vimeo)

Update: Hey, if you liked this, also check out Paul Octavious’ photo series of spinning vinyl, Grandpa’s Records (scroll right).

 

 



Art

Beautiful Fordite Stones Created from Layers of Automotive Paint are a By-Product of Old Car Factories

May 22, 2014

Johnny Strategy

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image via talyer jewelry

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.

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image via flickr user m e sweeney

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image via flickr user nebbie

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image via flickr user m e sweeney

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image via flickr user Sue Kershaw

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image via Fordite.com

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image via flickr user Sue Kershaw

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image via flickr user Sue Kershaw

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image via Fordite.com

 

 



Art

Metropolis II: A Kinetic Sculpture That Circulates 100,000 Miniature Cars Every Hour

March 3, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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This is a lovely video about Metropolis II, an impressive kinetic installation that circulates 100,000 toy cars every hour through a vast network of 18 tracks. Created by conceptual artist Chris Burden, the piece has been on view since 2011 at the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Via the museum:

Chris Burden’s Metropolis II is an intense kinetic sculpture, modeled after a fast paced, frenetic modern city. Steel beams form an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one six lane freeway, and HO scale train tracks. Miniature cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour; every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the dense network of buildings. According to Burden, “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars produce in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st century city.”

Video by Supermarché.

 

 



Art

Midday Traffic in San Diego Collapsed and Reorganized by Color

December 17, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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In this new video art clip from San Diego-based filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker, we watch as a 4-minute shot from the Washington Street bridge in San Diego is deftly edited, sorted, and compressed resulting in perfectly color-coded traffic. Kuckenbaker notes:

The source footage for this video is a 4-minute shot from the Washington Street bridge above State Route 163 in San Diego captured at 2:39pm Oct 1, 2013. My aim is to reveal the color palette and color preferences of contemporary San Diego drivers in addition to traffic patterns and volumes. There are no CG elements, these are all real cars that have been removed from one sample and reorganized.

The filmmaker wowed us at about this time last year when he condensed five hours of plane landings into 30 seconds. (via Stellar)

 

 



Art Illustration

Auto Aerobics by Chris LaBrooy

November 19, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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I’m really enjoying this series of stretched and interlinked classic cars by UK-based illustrator Chris Labrooy. Labrooy graduated from the RCA with an MA in design products and has since been using various 3D tools to explore the intersection of typography, architecture, product design and visual art. His has exhibited at the design museum in London and his work appears in numerous illustration and design publications. You can see more in his portfolio and over on Debut Art. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

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