When checking out the Blindspot Gallery site I almost skipped right over these photographs by Jiang Pengyi thinking they were nothing more than ruin porn, but a closer glance revealed something quite different. Amongst the filthy detritus in Pengyi’s photographs, entire miniature cities emerge from the shadows, as if the evolution of cockroaches had dramatically accelerated resulting in the construction of bug-sized skyscrapers and transit systems. Though the photos aren’t meant as commentary on wildlife, but rather the excessive urbanization, redevelopment and demolition in the city of Beijing. Many more images here.
File this under I had no idea this existed. During the early 20th century residents of Fort Bragg, California chose to dispose of their waste by hurling it off the cliffs above a beach. No object was too toxic or too large as household appliances, automobiles, and all matter of trash were tossed into the crashing waves below, eventually earning it the name The Dumps. In 1967 the North Coast Water Quality Board closed the area completely and initiated a series of cleanups to slowly reverse decades of pollution and environmental damage. But there was one thing too costly (or perhaps impossible) to tackle: the millions of tiny glass shards churning in the surf. Over time the unrelenting ocean waves have, in a sense, cleansed the beach, turning the sand into a sparkling, multicolored bed of smooth glass stones now known as Glass Beach. The beach is now an unofficial tourist attraction and the California State Park System has gone so far as purchasing the property and incorporating it into surrounding MacKerricher State Park. (images courtesy digggs, matthew high, meganpru, lee rentz and linked to sources. via kuriositas)
I can’t get enough of Murilo Melo’s work apparently. These are two additional posters he designed for the World Wildlife Fund that show a dead tree and barren reef with their component wildlife removed and displayed alongside them asking you to imagine these ecosystems without plants and animals. Beautiful.
Carbon Sink is a controversial new installation at the University of Wyoming by British artist Chris Drury. The sculpture, a 36-foot spiral of logs morphing into charred coal, is constructed from trees that have died from skyrocketing beetle infestations across the western United States. The beetles population is usually tempered by cooler weather, but as global temperatures have grown steadily warmer due to climate change caused from the burning of fossil fuels and, ahem, coal, the insects have flourished resulting in decimated forests. Sounds like the perfect message for an art installation to me. However lawmakers in this coal mining state aren’t happy and veiled threats have been made to potentially cut funding to the university. For now the school is standing by Drury saying they support his artwork while not necessarily endorsing its message. (via lustik and climate adaptation)
The Almost Extinct Calendar designed by London firm The Chase for the BBC Wildlife Fund just picked up accolades at the 2011 D&AD Awards. The calendar displays an endangered animal for every day of the year and is not something I’m particularly eager to hang on the wall, but instead a grim reminder of the inevitable fate many species will soon face due to human interference in their environment. Not too get all soapboxy, but at a time when our culture’s attention is dominated by the internet, television, and other forms of media, it seems the creation of a successful environmental campaign is nearly impossible. That’s what I love about the direct nature of this. At a single glance, without even being able to read, the meaning of the design is painfully clear. Using the interactive calendar you can click to learn more about each animal and then make a donation. (via creative review)
As part of the Dogwood Initiative’s No Tankers campaign, creative agency Rethink Canada designed these oil tanker posters printed with water-soluble ink that when exposed to rainwater proceed to bleed onto everything below them, simulating the potential for oil spills in the region. (via i believe in advertising)
Conservationist Kerri Wolter who manages the Vulture Conservation Program in Magaliesberg, South Africa gets the opportunity to paraglide with several thousand vultures. Really incredible camera work and breathtaking shots of birds I wouldn’t normally consider so beautiful or majestic. Head over to Vimeo for the HD version which is an order of magnitude more awesome.