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Art Science

Colorful Basket Weaving Sculptures by Nathalie Miebach Transform Weather Data into Visual Art

March 18, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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“Musical Buoy in Search Towards a New Shore” (2009), all images courtesy of Nathalie Miebach

Nathalie Miebach‘s colorful sculptures look like children’s toys gone awry, as if the designer included far too many twists and turns for a child to possibly follow. It would make sense that these twisted routes would throw one off course, as they are modeled from scientific data pulled from wind patterns, often from storms, gales or blizzards. Miebach translates this quantified data into physical forms that mimic the twirling motions of the invisible weather they aim to imitate.

“The method that I use is basket weaving because basket weaving is a very simple three dimensional grid that I can use to translate data with,” said Miebach. “Everything in the sculpture, whether it is a colorful bead, a string, whether it’s a dowel or reed, represents a different data point. Nothing is put on there for purely aesthetic reasons.”

The Boston artist discovered this process while simultaneously taking an astronomy class at Harvard and learning basket weaving as an extracurricular activity. She yearned for a way to physically display the data she was learning about in class, and thus her 3D scientific models were born. In a field where one is not able to see the data they collect, her sculptures give a form to that which was previously only able to be felt, tasted, and smelled.

Not only do her pieces serve as aesthetic objects, but readable sources of concrete data. “It is important for me that these pieces are actually very accurate because I want them to live in the science world as much as in the sculpture or craft world,” said Miebach. “I still want you to be able to read the weather off of these sculptures.”

You can learn more about Miebach’s process while taking a peak inside her studio in the video from Great Big Story below:

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“To Captain Billy Tyne and His Crew” (2015)

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“Hurricane Noel” (2011)

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“The Andrea Gail” (2011)

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“And the Winds Kept Roaring Through the Night” (2011)

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“In the Shadow of a Giant” (2013)

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“Hurricane Noel,” 2011.

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The musical score for “Hurricane Noel.”

 

 



Photography

This Photograph of the NYC Winter Storm Looks Like an Impressionist Painting

January 27, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Photo © Michele Palazzo. Jonas Blizzard in New York, 2016.

While walking through the Jonas Winter Storm that swept across the East Coast last week, photographer Michele Palazzo captured this incredible shot of the Flatiron Building against a backdrop of swirling snow. With the exception of a few minor details like logos and a food cart, the image looks like an impressionist painting right out of another another century. The cloudy atmosphere and gusty winds create patterns that appear uncannily like brush strokes. You can see more of Palazzo’s shots from the morning of January 23rd on EyeEm.

Update: The folks over at EyeEm have a nice roundup of Jonas storm photos.

Update 2: The snowflakes you see in the window of the Flatiron are part of a paper origami installation by Chelsea Hrynick Browne in the Prow Artspace.

 

 



Amazing Science

An Unusual Cloud Phenomenon Above the Skies of Victoria, Australia

November 6, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Redditor big_mac_heart_attack Photographer David Barton snapped this extremely unusual weather event above the skies of Victoria, Australia. Apparently the unusual event is called a Fallstreak Hole (or commonly a ‘hole punch cloud’):

Such holes are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water has not frozen yet due to the lack of ice nucleation (see supercooled water). When ice crystals do form it will set off a domino effect, due to the Bergeron process, causing the water droplets around the crystals to evaporate: this leaves a large, often circular, hole in the cloud.

Not unsurprisingly, Fallstreak Holes are one of the most common cloud-related events reported as UFOs. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



History Photography

A Drought in Mexico Uncovers a 400-Year-Old Colonial Church in the Middle of a Reservoir

October 20, 2015

Johnny Strategy

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Usually when droughts occur and reservoir water levels recede, it’s not a good thing. But a certain drought in Southern Mexico is attracting a lot of enthusiasm. Water levels in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir have dropped by 82 ft (25 meters), revealing the remains of a mid-16th century colonial church. Known as the Temple of Santiago, the structure was erected by Dominican friars but then abandoned in the 1770s because of plagues.

The 48-ft tall church became a relic of memory in 1966 when the construction of a dam submerged it under water. Since then it’s only emerged twice: once in 2002 and again, now. As it did in 2002, the church has become a popular destination for tourists and local fisherman have been taking spectators out on boats to get a close-up view of the rare occurrence.

“The people celebrated,” recalls a local fisherman, of the last time the church emerged out of the water. “They came to eat, to hang out, to do business. I sold them fried fish.” If the drought continues, water levels could get low enough for people to walk inside the church.

Photos by David von Blohn, used with permission.

 

 



Design Science

The Tempescope is an Ambient Weather Device that Simulates the Forecast on Your Desktop

May 28, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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The Tempescope is a novel device designed by Ken Kawamoto that displays the upcoming forecast by simulating weather conditions inside a small translucent box. The device is capable of downloading information about upcoming weather off the internet, which it then translates into a variety of modes to replicate sunshine, clouds, rain, and even lighting. Kawamoto made an early version of the device available as a free open-source project called OpenTempescope so you can try building your own, but a consumer version is planned for Kickstarter later this year. If you liked this, don’t miss The Cloud. (via Sixpenceee)

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Art Photography

Bean: 1, Tourist: 0 — Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate Sculpture Fed-up with Chicago Weather

March 24, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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This photo pretty much sums up the feelings of an entire city as nearly 6 inches of snow fell on Chicago late this weekend. Local photographer Patricia Jones happened to be shooting by Kapoor’s Cloud Gate as tourists were snapping their own photos when the sculpture suddenly attacked. Hilariously perfect timing. (via Reddit, Instagram)

 

 



Photography

Ominous Supercell Thunderstorms Animated from a Single Photograph by Mike Hollingshead

January 30, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Weather photographer Mike Hollingshead, whose impressive storm photography we first featured around this time last year, has taken his editing a bit further by importing his supercell thunderstorm photos into Photoshop and setting them in motion. Hollingshead says these animations aren’t created like more traditional cinemagraphs, where moving elements from a video are isolated and the rest of the image is masked out. Instead, he uses only a static image and creates the animation from thin air. Most of the photos you see here were shot in Nebraska between 2004-2013. You can see many more examples on his website.