Is it a toy? A tool? It’s both, and it’s amazing. Polar is a modular pen and stylus made of 12 neodymium magnets that can be disassembled for all kinds of quirky and functional purposes. The pen is the brainchild of Andrew Gardner over at Indiedesign and is one of many great projects to appear since Kickerstarter expanded into Canada only two weeks ago. Polar will come in both silver and 24k gold models, in multiple colors, and has an add-on of chrome-plated steel ball bearings to create additional magnetized objects. Pick one up over on Kickstarter.
Magnetic putty is just like any other putty in that you can handle it, sculpt it, and squeeze it in a fist as you visualize your enemies. But place it anywhere near a strong magnetic field and it will SPONTANEOUSLY ANIMATE and move to consume anything magnetic in its path like a voracious mutated slug. In fact the putty won’t stop moving until the object has been equally engulfed on all sides. PBS Digital Studios and Shanks FX used the putty in parts of their recent film short SCI-FLY, and just posted this extended cut of special effects shots that explore its heinous capabilities. To be fair, these clips are sped up quite a bit as the actual motion of the putty consuming other objects is only faintly perceptible in real time. Want to experiment with magnetic putty yourself? Get it here.
I’m really enjoying these kinetic sculptures by artist Laurent Debraux who works primarily with magnets, metallic objects and ferrofluid. The artist was just exhibiting at the Kinetica Art Fair in London and if you missed it head over to YouTube channel where you can catch over 30 videos of his work.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a quality Rube Goldberg device here on Colossal and it appears the folks over at Toronto-based 2D House have stepped up to the challenge. Isaac Newton vs. Rube Goldberg is an extremely slick chain reaction aided by magnets and all matter of visual trickery. Just watch, try to guess which way is up, and have your mind blown. 2d House has also produced a number of other Rube Goldberg devices which you can see here. (via colossal submissions)
For the past few months Indianapolis-based artist Tasha Lewis has been traveling around the country creating guerrilla installations using a swarms of 400 cyanotype butterflies printed on cotton fabric (cyanotype is a photographic printing process that results in blue images, just like blueprints). Each blue insect is embedded with powerful magnets allowing her to place them on any metallic surface without causing damage, which as far as impermanent street art goes, is brilliant. Of her work she says:
My current body of work was drawn from an investigation into the cultural/scientific/historical context in which the cyanotype was born. Popularized by scientists, and botanists in particular, the cyanotype is intrinsically tied into the scientific recording boom of the late 19th and early 20th century. These are the times of the curiosity cabinet, the prints of Anna Atkins and a rush of explorers/scientists to colonial lands only to bring back specimens from foreign ecosystems. [.. ] The cyanotype is a process of documenting. The resultant image is a kind of scientific stand-in for the actual object in question. It is the trace of the original. In this way, like cyanotype’s use for building blue prints in more recent centuries, my work is formed as the re-presentation of something real; it is somehow not quite the object itself.”
Tasha has published photos of numerous installations on her Tumblr, definitely worth a look. (via empty kingdom)
UK designer Dominic Le-Hair made this slick magnetized poster by cutting rubber magnets into letters with an x-acto knife and sandwiching them between sheets of paper before dusting it with iron fillings. See more of the project here.
A representative from the Superconductivity Group at Tel Aviv University conducts a demo of quantum superconductors locked in a magnetic field for the ASTC. Excuse me while I clean fragments of my brain off my monitor. If somebody had shown me this in grade school I would be a physicist now. (via stellar)
Filmmaker Kim Pimmel (previously) has just posted another one of his magnetic short films that he calls “analog generative experiments”. In this new video he combined dish soap bubbles with exotic ferrofluid liquid and filmed it with a macro lens to create some astonishing, pulsating effects. I can hardly believe this isn’t digital. Wow. (thnx, kim!)