Amethyst Mountain. Oil on panel, 14″ x 11″
In these small oil paintings, Toronto-based artist Carly Waito depicts the most minute details of minerals and crystals as they sparkle and glimmer. Waito seems to have a profound understanding of how light affects an object and gives each work an amazing sense of depth and focus. From her artist statement:
As a painter, Waito has continued to pursue this inspiration, with a focus towards geology, geometry, light, and a sense of wonder and curiosity. These themes are uniquely encompassed by the tiny mineral specimens which have become her particular obsession. With each finely detailed painting, Waito focuses the eye on a specimen’s particular qualities, showing the beauty and magic that is present even in nature’s tiniest objects, if one looks closely enough and with a curious mind.
Collected here are a number of paintings spanning 2009-2015, but you can see many more through Narwhal Gallery. (via The Jealous Curator)
Dioptase II 8 x 10″. Oil on panel. 2014
Carly Waito Rhodochrosite II 6 x 8
Tangerine Quartz, 8 x 8in. Oil on panel. 2014
Amethyst VIII, 2015. 8 x 10 in. Oil on wood panel.
Dioptase. 10 x 9 in. Oil on Masonite 2011
Vesuvianite. 8.5 x 11 in. Oil on Masonite 2011
Amethyst Mountain III . 16 x 13″. Oil on panel. 2014
A rolling stone gathers no moss as they say, but this collection of stones manipulated by electromechanical devices are capable of performing George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” thanks to artist Neil Mendoza. Titled Rock Band, this kinetic sound art installation is actually four different instruments including a xylophone, a buzzing base, two spinners, and a pair of slappers. Mendoza describes how each device works:
Xylophone: Inside each of the tubes is a small pebble. When the Teensy receives a note for this instrument, it triggers a solenoid (electromagnet), to launch the pebble up a tube and strike a key. For the design of this piece, I wrote a piece of software that calculated the size each key needed to be to produce the appropriate frequency and then cut them out using a water jet cutter.
Bass: This is the small marble circle in the front. When the Teensy receives a note for this one, it causes the plunger of a solenoid (electromagnet) to vibrate at the frequency of the appropriate musical note against the rock.
Spinners: These are the two large objects on either side and are percussive. Inside each of these, there are two magnets attached to each end of a shaft. On the outside, there are two magnetic rocks, Hematite, that are attracted to the magnets on the inside. When a note is received, the shaft spins and one of the rocks is guided away from its magnet and launched through the air. It lands on a piece of marble that has been cut to size to fit in the machine.
Slapper: These slap the rocks with pieces of fake leather and provide some light percussion.
All of the machines were built at Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco as part of their artist in residence program. You can see more of Mendoza’s mechanical works on his website.
In Chichibu, Japan, two hours northwest of Tokyo, there’s an odd museum; perhaps the only one of its kind. It’s called the Chinsekikan (which means hall of curious rocks) and it houses over 1700 rocks that resemble human faces.
The museum houses all kinds of jinmenseki, or rock with a human face, including celebrity lookalikes like Elvis Presley. And according to a 2013 post on Kotaku, there are also movie and video game character rocks like E.T., Donkey Kong and Nemo.
According to the Sankei, the museum is currently run by Yoshiko Hayama, the wife of the original owner who passed away in 2010. But it was his rock collection that started it all. An avid collector, the late Shozo Hayama spent 50 years collecting rocks that looked like faces. His only requirement was that nature be the only artist.
There are currently so many rocks on display that some don’t even have names. So the owner occasionally invites visitors to name the rocks. The Chichibu Chinsekikan (Gmap) is a 10-min walk from Kagemori Station. However, it’s recommended that you call ahead if you plan to visit because the museum is known to unexpectedly close for personal reasons. You can explore more photos on Another Tokyo and Yukawa.net. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)
Head curator, Yoshiko Hayama.
Performing the role of a scientist, Benjamin Maus and Prokop Bartonicek’s kinetic machine Jller selects and sorts pebbles found on a 6 1/2 x 13 foot platform into a grid organized by geologic age. Without assistance, Jller analyzes the stones’ appearance to understand their correct placement, then transports them to the correct location.
All of the rocks for the project were extracted from a German river of the machine’s own name, pebbles that are either the result of erosion in the Alps or have been transported by glaciers. Because the history of this sample location within the river is known, it is a relatively straightforward process to assign each stone its geological age. To do this, Jller first analyzes an image of the stone it selects, extracting information like dominant color, color composition, lines, layers, patterns, grain, and surface texture. The machine then places the stones in alignment of age and type by sucking them into an industrial vacuum gripper and dropping them in the correct location within the grid.
The project is part of ongoing research in the field of industrial automation and historical geology, and was presented last December as a part of the exhibition “Ignorance” at Ex Post in Prague. The full video of the project can be seen below.
As part of his Celestial Series, Chicago-based digital artist David Brodeur rendered an alien world filled with berry-like plants, glowing crystals, and candy shaped orbs that sprout from the ground. Despite their exotic designs, Brodeur relies on common colors of familiar fruits to create this Willy Wonka-esque habitat where you can’t help but want to reach out and gobble everything up. You can see more from the series on Behance, and he also posts a new digital piece each day on Instagram.
“Roca del elefante, Heimaey, Islas Vestman, Suðurland, Islandia, 2014-08-17, DD 036” by Diego Delso. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Apropos of nothing, here’s a few photos of a natural rock formation off the coast of Iceland that looks like an imposing elephant with its trunk dipped in the Atlantic. Located on the island of Heimaey, the mountainous shape appears to be formed mostly from basalt rock that has the uncanny appearance of wrinkled elephant skin. You can see few more shots over on Flickr. (thnx, Amber!)