When reviewing the security footage from outside his house in Austin, Texas, Al Brooks spotted an unusual sight: a bird seems to hover past the camera with its wings completely stationary. Of course it wasn’t really hovering (and no, it’s not suspended by strings) but rather the frame rate of the camera matched the flaps of the bird’s wings perfectly resulting in a stroboscopic illusion. This is the same stroboscopic effect you might see in a video of airplane propellers that aren’t moving or when the wheels on a car appear to be frozen. More
Perched on the Songshan mountain in rural Henan, China, this new temple designed by Latvian architecture studio Mailītis Architects brings a whole new perspective to the legendary Shaolin monks: specifically an aerial perspective. The recently completed Shaolin Flying Monks Temple contains a one-of-a-kind levitation pavilion that houses a vertical wind tunnel designed in part by Aerodium that blasts participants toward the sky in the center of a 230-seat amphitheater. More
Over the last year, Netherlands-based artist Jeroen van Kesteren has been toiling away at these sculptural airships as part of a series titled Orphanage for Lost Adventures. Made primarily from cardboard, aluminum foil, adhesives, and an assortment of papers used for sails and propellers, the whimsical flying machines have a distinct steampunk feel. More
Airportraits: Composite Flight Path Photos Capture Planes Landing and Departing from Worldwide Airports
For his ambitious Airportraits series, photographer Mike Kelley sets up camp outside of airports and meticulously photographs planes as they takeoff and land—shooting thousands of photos per location. He then uses Photoshop to isolate the planes and combines the images into the composite “portraits” you see here. Each image tells a fascinating story about the nature of each airport and the many unseen variables that affect the flight paths of each airport like noise regulations, plane size, and air traffic patterns. More
Perched in the sky fifty-two stories above Tokyo, a new exhibition celebrates a 30-year retrospective of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio famous for anime films like Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke. The centerpiece of the Studio Ghibli Expo is a room filled with various airships from several Ghibli films, specifically a sizeable illuminated replica of a ship from Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky that rises and falls as if airborne, complete with dozens of whirring propellers. More
A digital artist and photographer who goes by the name Kagaya recently spotted this unusual sight of a commercial airliner appearing to blast a contrail of rainbows out of its engines. Spotted above Oshino-Mura, Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan, the rare phenomenon is most likely a form of cloud iridescence caused by the perfect convergence of water vapor and sunlight. Kagaya explains that he was nowhere near the event and had to use a long telephoto lens to zoom in on the plane. More
Melbourne-based Daniel Agdag (previously here and here) produces fantastical models of machines as a way to explore his own daydreams of what may be lurking inside our most basic structures, the machinery kept hidden under steel or concrete. Agdag wants to draw attention to the complexity of the everyday, highlighting the gears and systems deep inside the objects that make our lives more convenient. Agdag builds these imagined contraptions from cardboard rather than metal, meticulously constructing the objects to appear much more durable than their actual materials suggest. More
A Singapore Airlines A380 Model Plane Crafted Entirely from Manila Folders by Designer Luca Iaconi-Stewart
A traditional paper airplane takes one sheet of paper and approximately 90 seconds. A Luca Iaconi-Stewart-designed paper airplane? 1,000 hours, 100 manila folders, 50 X-Acto blades, and an entire bottle of glue. The San-Francisco based designer has previously built a 1:60 scale Boeing 777 model and to the delight of detailed hobbyists everywhere he’s now constructed another, this time a scale model of a Singapore Airlines A380.
A challenge for Iaconi-Stewart was the variety of seating that comes with the plane’s design, ranging from basic economy seats to first class suites that include fully operating sliding doors. More
Videographer Paul Parker used the ‘echo’ effect in video editing software After Effects to show the flight paths of birds near his home in Cornwall, UK. Parker also filmed birds flying past his window for an hour and compressed it into just a few seconds to show what it would look like if they all flew by at once. Artist Dennis Hlynsky uses the same effect any many of his own bird and insect videos seen here previously. More
Artist and designer Eleanor Lutz has a special knack for science illustration. On her blog, Tabletop Whale, she recently shared this great series of admittedly non-scientific charts that deconstruct the wing patterns of birds and insects. After spreading across the web like wildfire the last few days she quickly turned it into a print available through Artsider. (via Kottke) More
If you want to create detailed and imaginative flying machine sculptures that look like they’re about to take flight, cardboard is hardly the material to use. Unless of course you’re artist Daniel Agdag (previously), who has been toiling away creating a series of new works each more detailed and fascinating than the next. “The Principles of Aerodynamics” is Agdag’s first solo exhibition where his series of cardboard contraptions that portray his “ongoing pursuit of escape through the metaphor of flight” will be on display through Aug 31, 2014. More
Editor's Picks: Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.