In the mid-1920s cinema technician, filmmaker, and cinematographer Claude Friese-Greene traveled across the UK with a new color film camera to create his famous collection of films, The Open Road. The filmmaker’s trip culminated in London with scenes that captured the daily life of Londoners as well as several iconic cityscapes. The films were restored in 2005 by the BFI and circulated widely online.
Fast forward 86 years later. Starting early last year filmmaker Simon Smith, armed with his own camera, traversed the footsteps of Friese-Greene to make his own film. The result is uncanny. Smith matched the original films shot by shot, mimicking the timing and angle almost perfectly for nearly 6 minutes of footage. While the differences between London of 1926 and 2013 are easy to spot when viewing the films side-by-side, what’s more amazing are the similarities. While clothing styles and car designs changed a bit, it’s almost impossible to tell some of these shots apart if it weren’t for the quality of the film. Watch it and see. (via Stellar)
Street artist ABOVE tells me via email that it took nearly seven months of searching around London to find the perfect location for his latest stencil of a breakdancer who appears precariously balanced atop the shadow of a parking sign. The piece is only viewable at night when a street lamp casts a shadow at the precise angle to make the illusion work. Fun!
I’m really enjoying these abstract city maps by Jazzberry Blue (warning: audio). The cities you see above as well as Jerusalem and New Delhi are available as Giclée prints over on Etsy. (via unknown editors)
Media architect Claudio Benghi and light artist Gloria Ronchi joined together in 2006 to form Aether & Hemera, an interdisciplinary collaboration that seeks “to research the aesthetic challenges of light and its power to trigger emotions and response, creating a sense of identity or setting a mood.” Their latest installation in London’s Canary Wharf is this beautiful fleet of 300 illuminated boats called Voyage. Each floating light is reminiscent of a paper-folded origami boat that is illuminated from within, and I’m told there is a wireless network in the vicinity that allows you to join with your mobile device and somehow alter the color of the entire installation.
Voyage will be up through February 15th, 2013, and while the lights are on during the day, the viewing is probably best at night. I want to thank photographers Sean Batten and Ian Docwra for providing the images for this post.
Using a rotring pen on white paper, Cornwall-based artist Mark Lascelles Thornton has embarked on a massive architectural drawing project called the The Happiness Machine. Each panel represents a stylized red and grayscale representation of architectural highlights from eight locations, so far including Chicago, New York, London and what appears to be a mix of Asian skyscrapers (Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, etc.). In addition to the meticulous detail of the buildings and clouds, the piece is all the more incredible considering its scale: the final piece will include eight panels spanning 8 ft. by 5 ft. (2.4 m. x 1.5 m.). The images here are great but you can see everything in much more detail over on his Tumblr. (via devid sketchbook)
This short clip from the Cargospotter aviation video channel shows a few dozen planes as they queue up for approach at London’s Heathrow airport. At 17x normal speed the wind currents seem to bounce the planes like small toys suspended from invisible strings and the perpetually moving clouds create the illusion of a constantly panning camera. In an internet flooded with time-lapse videos this is definitely a gem. (via metafilter)
It looks like a potential crackdown on graffiti artists prior to the 2012 Olympics in London didn’t involve the world’s most famous street artist. Two new pieces by Banksy were posted to his website this morning featuring his personal take on the games. I feel the same as Bobby over at The Fox is Black in hoping there’s more to come.
Update: There’s a great article over at The Atlantic Wire about Banksy and the politics of street art during the 2012 Olympic Games.