The Small Knocking Down the Big is a 2009 installation by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie made from hundreds of cut wooden dominoes meant to loosely demonstrate the effects of something that has become known as Domino Magnification (if you really, really enjoy physics see the recent work of J. M. J. van Leeuwen). The basic premise is that any domino can knock over another domino that’s roughly 1.5 times larger, meaning that if you gently pushed a normal sized domino into a chain of bricks that increase in size each time by 1.5, the 32nd object will be large enough to topple the Empire State Building. In the video example above it takes only 13 dominoes starting with an object the size of a bean to knock over a 100 lb. slab!
Zhijie’s installation is somewhat less mathematical and more visual, but the same mathematical principles hold true. Participants are invited to knock over the smalles dominoes at the outer branches of the installation which eventually gain enough momentum to knock over the thicker blocks at the trunk. (via lustik)
In his continued forays into experimental botany that blur the lines between art and science, artist Makoto Azuma (previously) has reimagined the bonsai tree, one of the oldest Japanese artforms. This latest work titled Water and Bonsai, began with a dead branch from a juniper tree which was carefully attached to java moss meant to simulate the form of leaves. The entire piece was then submerged into a modified hydroponic environment similar to some of his earlier aquatic plantscapes replete with LEDs, a filtration system, and C02 emissions that encourage photosynthesis. See more over on Spoon & Tamago.
I’m a huge fan of alternative Christmas trees in urban centers, from last year’s plastic bottle tree in Lithuania to the abstract tree currently up in Brussels, any idea seems better than heading out to the local forest and hacking down a pine tree older than my grandparents. This year in Hasselt, Belgium a pair from the design firm Mooz created this concept of an enormous tree covered in 5,000 pieces of ceramic donated from local residents. Called the “Taste Tree” the piece was meant to be a sort of communal celebration as residents were invited to contribute unused dishes to the tree that now stands nearly 30 ft. tall in Hassel’s main square. (via designboom)
This gorgeous time-lapse by filmmaker Jamie Scott starts off like any other video capturing the change of the seasons with the movement of the sun, but then around :30 something pretty remarkable happens. To create the effect Scott filmed in 15 locations around New York City’s Central Park, two times a week, for six months using the exact same tripod and camera lens settings resulting in the footage you see here. (via jason sondhi)
Botanical artist Makoto Azuma (previously here and here) just completed work on this lovely bonsai tree made entirely from LEGO bricks. The excruciating detail from the undulating moss surface to the craggy, multicolored tree branches is clear evidence of Azuma’s intimate understanding of the botanical world. If I encountered an actual set like this you couldn’t take my money fast enough. See a bit more detail here. (via spoon and tamago)
Cambodian Trees is a digital projection work by French artist Clement Briend who traveled to Cambodia to photograph these sculptural representations of deities and spirits from Cambodian culture overlaid on trees in several urban areas. Of the series Briend says:
It’s a beautiful surprise when the projected spirits awaken and reveal themselves at night as though they are made of the towering trees themselves. The photographic light installations echo the spirituality of the few sprouts of nature in the predominantly urban landscapes. It is a visual imagining of the divine figures that inhabit the world, as seen through an environmentally aware spiritual eye.
Though I’m generally not a fan of digital projection, I really enjoy Briend’s utilization of tree branches to lend volume to the photographs of sculptures, in essence giving them life. To see several more images from this series, head over to his website. All images courtesy the artist. (via empty kingdom)
Huge mounds of firewood are a common site here in the midwest, but in the capable hands of Michigan artist Michael McGillis a row of logs becomes a unexpectedly beautiful sight. Titled Wake the piece was originally installed back in 2006 at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota and consisted of a 95-foot long trench of cut trees painted purple in the middle as if to reveal a suprising new species of plant. A simple idea, wonderfully executed. (via my darkened eyes)
In that brief window of time when the foggy remnants of night clash with the rays of early morning sun, photographer Boguslaw Strempel positions himself atop high mountain peaks to capture these beautiful landscapes around Poland and the Czech Republic. See many more photos here. (via my modern met)