If you visited Governor’s Island in New York last summer you most certainly saw the billowing, cloud-like structure that sits in the middle of the lawn. And if you’re anything like my kids you probably dashed up to it to see exactly what thing was. But it’s not until you get up close that you realize it’s made from many, many plastic bottles stringed together. “53,780 used plastic bottles,” says designer Jason Klimoski, “the number thrown away in NYC in just 1 hour.” Klimoski and his team at STUDIO KCA collected the bottles – a combination of milk jugs and water bottles – and lashed them together to create “Head in the Clouds,” a pavilion people can walk into, sit inside, and contemplate just how much plastic is thrown away every day.
The structure, however, was temporary and the team is now looking for its next home. If you’re interested in having this in your back yard get in touch with the designers.
How does an island in New York City’s East River go from being notoriously feared, almost 100 years ago, to being completely forgotten about today? That’s the story behind North Brother Island, the subject of photographer Christopher Payne’s new photo book.
A 10-minute boat ride from the Bronx’s Barretto Point Park, North Brother Island originally housed Riverside Hospital between the 1880s and 1930s. While in operation, the hospital served hundreds of patients who suffered from extremely communicable diseases, including smallpox, typhus, scarlet fever and even leprosy. It was also where “Typhoid Mary” was quarantined, and where she eventually died. In a 1935 profile for the New Yorker, the editor Stanley Walker described the island as “…a dismal spot. Sitting there, one may see, as the best view, the gas tanks on the Bronx shore. Now and then a ferryboat glides past. At night the dirty water of the East River laps against the rocks, making a messy, ghostly noise.”
The island’s facilities have since been decommissioned and the island itself abandoned since 1963. It sank into the depths of our memories until 2008, when Christopher Payne wrote a proposal to photograph and document the island in its current state. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation agreed, and thus began Payne’s expeditions, which would continue for the next 5 years. His stunning photographs are now available in his new book, “North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City.” (via Animal and Slate)
It’s almost impossible for me to select a favorite piece when looking at paintings by San Francisco painter Jeremy Mann (previously). Each of his works seems so wholly genuine, a mix of mystery and grit that brings a sublime light to iconic cities like New York and San Francisco. Above are a selection of paintings from the last two years or so, and you should also check out his recent Figures series. (via one of my favorite new art Tumblrs, Anita Leocadia)
The Cyclist’s Empire is the latest cycling-inspired print from the folks over at 100 Copies who print (as you might have guessed) only 100 copies of all their posters. This particular design was created using 7 different kinds of bicycle tracks that were rolled onto paper to mimic the structure of the Empire State Building. There’s only 75 left and these will be gone almost instantly so get one while you can.
Digital artists and photographers Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, arguably the masters of cinematic animated gifs, recently shared this wonderfully executed series of images featuring locations in their native New York as viewed Armani eyeglasses. Cleverly, as objects and people move across the lenses they suddenly snap into focus, revealing the finer details of Times Square, Central Park and Grand Central Station. You can read more about the series over on Ann Street Studio. (via Ignant)
These videos by Adam Magyar are one of those things that are difficult to explain verbally, but as soon as you see it, you realize how completely amazing it is. Filmed in Tokyo, New York and Berlin, Magyar positioned himself on trains as they pulled into subway stops, filming the waiting crowds at 50 frames per second using a high speed camera. The resulting footage creates an uncanny feeling as the train is clearly moving quickly through the station, but the people seem to remain motionless. Any of these scenes wouldn’t seem out of place in a Ron Fricke film. To learn more about how Magyar filmed them, head on over to PetaPixel. (via The Fox is Black)
Update: There’s another great piece about Magyar’s work over on Medium.