Photographer Maria Svarbova is fascinated by the sterile, geometric aesthetic of old swimming pools, especially those built during the Socialist Era in her native country of Slovakia. Each scene she photographs is highly controlled, from the subjects of her works to the bright colors and dramatic shadows that compose each shot.
“The figures are mid-movement, but there is no joyful playfulness to them,” says Sarbova’s artist statement about the project. “Frozen in the composition, the swimmers are as smooth and cold as the pools tiles…Despite the retro setting, the pictures somehow evoke a futuristic feeling as well, as if they were taken somewhere completely alien.”
The series, In the Swimming Pool, began in 2014 and is her largest to date. Recently she published a book on the project through The New Heroes and Pioneers aptly titled The Swimming Pool Book which you can pre-order on Amazon. To see more of her photographs centered around Eastern European pools, head to her Instagram or Behance. (via Visual Fodder)
Taiwanese artist Hsu Tung Han recently unveiled his latest sculptural work, a 5-foot snorkeler that appears partially pixelated. Han often incorporates digital glitches into has carved figurative works, a few of which we shared earlier this year. You can see more views of this piece and other recent works on Flickr.
Oklahoma-based photographer Natalie Greenroyd was sitting on a raft in a swimming pool when her husband decided to jump in to splash her. She happened to have an underwater camera in-hand and clicked the shutter at just the right moment. You can see more of her photography on Instagram. (via Feature Shoot)
In this collection of illustrations titled Dones d’aigua (water women), Spanish artist and illustrator Sonia Alins depicts several women immersed almost completely underwater, just a head or foot poking out from the uncertain depths of cloudy liquid. A haunting tension emerges not only from the clever split view created by utilizing translucent paper to mimic water, but also from the slightly ambiguous situation of the figures. It’s not always immediately clear if the women are swimming or drowning. You can follow more of Alins’ work on Instagram or Behance, and a few of her pieces are available as prints. (via Supersonic)
In this documentary short titled Ten Meter Tower, Swedish filmmakers Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson paid 67 people $30 to climb to the top of a ten meter (33 foot) high dive for the very first time all while being filmed. Would they decide to jump? Would they be too scared? The resulting footage is surprisingly riveting as people slowly come to terms with their fears and make a decision. It’s one thing to admit defeat in private, but adding the cameras must add a near insurmountable amount of pressure. The filmmakers share with the New York Times:
In our films, which we often call studies, we want to portray human behavior, rather than tell our own stories about it. We hope the result is a series of meaningful references, in the form of moving images. “Ten Meter Tower” may take place in Sweden, but we think it elucidates something essentially human, that transcends culture and origins. Overcoming our most cautious impulses with bravery unites all humankind. It’s something that has shaped us through the ages.
Ten Meter Tower premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. (via Metafilter)
When photographer Will Strathmann was recently in Krabi, Thailand, he decided to head out during a full moon to witness the effects of bioluminescent phytoplankton in the nearby Andaman Sea. His curiosity was rewarded by a small group of swimmers who were causing the microscopic organisms to light up by agitating the water around them. The result was this amazing shot. You can see more of Strathmann’s photography on Instagram. (via NatGeo)