This remarkable chandelier from Hilden & Diaz projects a 360° shadow of trees and roots onto the walls surrounding it. Titled Forms in Nature the light was partly inspired by the drawings of Ernst Haeckel, the German biologist, naturalist, and philosopher (among other things) who is perhaps most famous for discovering thousands of new animal species and mapping them to a genealogical “tree of life”. Hilden & Diaz describe via their website that the shadows in their light are actually upside down:
Interestingly, the roots are those elements of the forest that are the most visible. Thereby the sculpture is not only mirrored, but also turned upside down in Hilden & Diaz’ artwork. [...] The shadows engulfs the room and transforms the walls into unruly shadows of branches, bushes and gnarled trees. Mirrorings are thrown out upon the walls and ceilings and provide weak Rorschach-like hints of faces, life and flow of consciousness. Dimming the lights transforms the installation and one senses a weak fire burning deep in the center of the forest.
It appears the light is just a concept right now, but feel free to join the chorus of people begging for the real thing. (via caoine.org)
Approach a sculpture by artist Diet Wiegman and you might be left scratching your head at this random assembly of trash and objects, but shine a light on this same pile of detritus and suddenly a perfectly formed shadow appears: the unmistakable form of Michael Jackson, Michelangelo’s David or even a faithful recreation of the Earth’s surface as it reflects off a metal tray. In no way limited to shadows, the the artists career which spans nearly 50 years (most of what you see above was created in the 1980s) has also involved ceramics, paint, and photography. Two other accomplished artists, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, have also created similar shadow sculptures, though most of these works by Wiegman appear to pre-date them a bit. You can see 38 light sculptures on his blog and read a bit more over on Alafoto. (via ignant)
The Profilograph is a bizarre device created by Chicago artist Pablo Garcia based on a series of four books written in 1528 by German artist Albrecht Dürer that examine the geometry of the male profile through carefully documented illustrations. The device transforms a series of Dürer’s drawings into a contiguous 3D extrusion that rotates on a circular spindle causing a shadow that morphs between each profile. The machine was designed in 2008 for an exhibition at the University of Michigan. You can learn more about the Profilograph here, and if you liked this also check out Kumi Yamashita’s origami profiles. (via vimeo)
Earlier this week London-based duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster opened their first solo show since 2006 at Blain|Southern in London. Titled Nihilistic Optimistic, the exhibition includes six large-scale sculptures built from what appear to be haphazard clumps of discarded wood but when illuminated by a light projector create uncannily accurate self-portraits of the artists. Via their artist statment:
Tim Noble and Sue Webster take ordinary things including rubbish, to make assemblages and then point light to create projected shadows which show a great likeness to something identifiable including self-portraits. The art of projection is emblematic of transformative art. The process of transformation, from discarded waste, scrap metal or even taxidermy creatures to a recognizable image, echoes the idea of ‘perceptual psychology’ a form of evaluation used for psychological patients. Noble and Webster are familiar with this process and how people evaluate abstract forms. Throughout their careers they have played with the idea of how humans perceive abstract images and define them with meaning. The result is surprising and powerful as it redefines how abstract forms can transform into figurative ones.
If you’re in London the next few weeks I think this is a must-see, if not here are some more installation views. The show runs through November 24.
Photographer and designer David A. Reeves has been working on a wonderful series of action vignettes made from cut-paper silhouettes. Each image is carefully layered and focused to create a pretty stunning depth of field including blurry backdrops of clouds and mountains. Check out his website for many more shots including scenes from Batman and some depictions from the wonderful video game Limbo. If you liked these also check out the work of Thomas Allen and these bookends by Knob Creek Metal Arts. (via geekologie)
Luminaris is a recent stop motion short from Argentine director Juan Pablo Zaramella featuring some delightful sequences using shadows, lightbulbs, and marbles. The film tells the story of a man living in a world controlled and timed by light and the plan he hatches to escape. Luminaris won the Audience Award and Fipresci Award at Annecy 2011, and was included in the Oscars shortlist for Best Animated Short. (via reddit)
At face value these small hand-carved wooden sculptures by scientist and artist John V. Muntean appear to be a random amalgam of mixed geometric shapes, curves and holes, but shine a light at the right angle and suddenly in the objects shadow is a discernable image. In fact, each sculpture contains three images, usually revolving around a theme. Via his website:
A Magic Angle Sculpture appears to be nothing more than an abstract wooden carving, skewered with a rod and mounted on a base. However, when lit from above and rotated at the magic angle (54.74º) it will cast three alternating shadows. Every 120º of rotation, the amorphous shadows evolve into independent forms. Our scientific interpretation of nature often depends upon our point of view. Perspective matters.