Tag Archives: sand

Strong Winds Carve Otherworldly Towers from Frozen Sand on the Shore of Lake Michigan

DSC_8956 photo by Joshua Nowicki

DSC_8963 photo by Joshua Nowicki

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DSC_8988 photo by Joshua Nowicki

DSC_9056 photo by Joshua Nowicki

IMG_9048 photo by Joshua Nowicki

While exploring the shores around St. Joseph, Michigan last week, photographer Joshua Nowicki stumbled onto a bizarre phenomenon: dozens of small sand towers rising out of the beach, some over a foot tall. The strange layered sand castles are formed when blasts of wind slowly erode layers of frozen sand, much like how a river might slowly create a canyon. Nowicki returned yesterday to shoot more photos, but found that sunny skies were enough to melt them away. You can see more of his photography here. (via EarthSky)

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Peculiar Abstract Sandcastles by ‘Sandcastle Matt’

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No these aren’t the homes of mutant sea creatures or geographic oddities forged from centuries of tidal currents, they’re sandcastles built by a Massachusetts man who goes by Sandcastlematt. Using found objects like vines, plywood, and other junk he creates a sturdy framework to which he applies the classic drip method sandcastle technique resulting in these strange temporary structures that look like contemporary land art pieces.

One of Matt’s sandcastles recently made the rounds in a viral meme suggesting his work was the result of lightning striking sand, but Scientific American debunked it. See more of his castles right here.

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The World’s Smallest Sandcastles Built on Individual Grains of Sand by Vik Muniz and Marcelo Coelho

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Artist Vik Muniz (previously here, here, and here) is known for his gigantic composite installations and sculptures created from thousands of individual objects. In this new collaboration with artist and MIT researcher Marcelo Coelho, Muniz takes the opposite approach and explores the microscopic with a new series of sandcastles etched onto individual grains of sand.

The process of getting a sandcastle onto a speck of rock was anything but straightforward and involved over four years of trial and error utilizing both antiquated and highly technical methods. Muniz first drew each castle using a camera lucida, a 19th century optical tool that relies on a prism to project a reflection of whatever is in front of you onto paper where it can be traced. The drawings were then sent to Coelho who worked with a number of microscopic drawing processes for several years before deciding to use a Focused Ion Beam (FIB) which has the capability of creating a line only 50 nanometers wide (a human hair is about 50,000 nanometers wide).

Lastly, Muniz photographed the final etchings and enlarged them to wall-sized prints. He shared with the Creator’s Project: “When someone tells you it’s a grain of sand, there’s a moment where your reality falls apart and you have to reconstruct it. You have to step back and ask what the image is and what it means,” a fascinating play on scale and perception. Watch the new video above from the Creator’s Project to see how the project came together.

The sandcastles are on view starting today as part of a comprehensive exhibition of Muniz’ work spanning the last 25 years at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. (via The Creator’s Project)

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Sand Creatures Suspended in Midair by Claire Droppert

Sand comes alive and creatures are born in frozen moments of weightlessness...
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Sand comes alive and creatures are born in frozen moments of weightlessness...
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For her latest photographic series titled Sand Creatures, Rotterdam-based photographer Claire Droppert hurled clumps of sand through the air and captured the peculiar shapes with a high speed camera. Looking at the final images it was hard not to see the abstract forms of animals and other creatures that emerged from the weightless plumes of sand. Droppert has been sharing the series on Instagram, and you can see more photography on her website. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Desert Breath: A Monumental Land Art Installation in the Sahara Desert

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

Located near the Red Sea in El Gouna, Egypt, Desert Breath is an impossibly immense land art installation dug into the sands of the Sahara desert by the D.A.ST. Arteam back in 1997. The artwork was a collaborative effort spanning two years between installation artist Danae Stratou, industrial designer Alexandra Stratou, and architect Stella Constantinides, and was meant as an exploration of infinity against the backdrop of the largest African desert. Covering an area of about 1 million square feet (100,000 square meters) the piece involved the displacement of 280,000 square feet (8,000 square meters) of sand and the creation of a large central pool of water.

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

Although it’s in a slow state of disintegration, Desert Breath remains viewable some 17 years after its completion, you can even see it in satellite images taken from Google Earth. You can learn more about the project in the video above or read about it here. (via Visual News, Synaptic Stimuli)

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New Geometric Sandcastles from Calvin Seibert

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New York-based sandcastle artist Calvin Seibert (previously) just returned from a 10-day trip to Hawaii where he completed a number of his abstract, geometric sandcastles. For the past 30 years Seibert has worked as a sculptor’s assistant and puts some of his acquired skills in construction and basic carpentry to use while executing these perfect, angular sand structures. You can see more of his recent work here.

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Spontaneous Temporary Sand Paintings by Joe Mangrum

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Since 2006 artist Joe Mangrum has taken to the streets of New York, Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere armed with sacks of colored sand that he sprinkles by the handful to create sprawling temporary paintings. Each work is spontaneous in its design and evolves as Mangrum works, spending upwards of 6-8 hours hunched over the ground to complete each piece. The artist estimates he’s completed nearly 550 paintings over the last few years. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, his paintings have appeared at The Corcoran Gallery, the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, as well as The Asia Society. He also made a recent appearance on Sesame Street. You can see works in progress over on Facebook, and limited edition prints are available through King Art Collective.

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