Photography

An Incredible Aerial Tour of Earth’s Surface from the International Space Station

January 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Philadelphia-based photographer and videographer Bruce W. Berry Jr. brings together images from the International Space Station (ISS) in his new time-lapse video, The World Below. Berry used public content from NASA to form the meditative short film that reads like a supersized version of today’s popular drone landscape videos. The World Below offers a glimpse at the vast scale of our planet, with portions of the ISS in-frame to provide additional perspective. The film compares richly textured, abstracted topography with dense networks of bright lights to showcase the powerful impact of humans on the planet.

All video and time-lapse sequences were taken by astronauts onboard the ISS. Berry then edited, color graded, denoised, and stabilized the footage to create the seamless quality of the final film. If you’re interested to learn the specifics of the clips’ locations, the filmmaker lists them out to the best of his knowledge in the video notes.

Berry created a similar video in 2013, but decided to create the newer version due to the wealth of content that has become available since his original take. The ISS makes 14.54 orbits around the Earth every day, providing ample opportunity for new views. You can see more of Berry’s photography portfolio on his website, and watch more videos on his Vimeo channel. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 

 



Art

A Multi-Color Water Slide by Blu Serves as a Harsh Critique of Capitalism in Rome

January 8, 2019

Sasha Bogojev

Last year may not have been the most prolific for Italian street art legend Blu (previously), who besides releasing Minima Muralia, a 288-page collection of 15 years of murals, completed only two officially announced murals. His latest piece titled Capita, was recently shared on the elusive artist’s only official communication channel Blublu.org. The mural was painted in Rome’s Rebibbia neighborhood, and was realized in collaboration with Comitato Mammut, a self-managed civic organization. Painted using artist’s intricate illustrative style, the image depicts an imaginary amusement park water slide attraction as a sharp critique of the social injustices of capitalism.

The slide offers participants several colorful entry points on top with all but one ending in the same swamp-like cesspool of trash. The only slide that keeps its original color and shape, gold, is the one used by politicians, businesspersons, and religious representatives. Ending with a crystal clear pool with and cocktail table set on a lush green field, it’s a direct commentary on subdued class division present in modern societies throughout the Western world. The piece further comments on the dramatic shift in the political climate of his Italian homeland, especially in terms of immigration and the ongoing refugee crisis. Painted on an 8-story building, the work’s oceanic backdrop depicts small boats filled with people on one side with luxurious yachts floating on the other.

Earlier this year, Blu spent several days in Valencia, Spain, taking part in Sensemurs project, the first meeting of muralists whose goal is to raise awareness of the repeated abuses by the local port authority toward people living in the La Huerta (Orchard) area. For this mural he depicted port authority personnel as Egyptian pharaohs using the local community as a source of free slave labor. A few months later he began work on another large piece in Rome, painting revisited versions of the Greek Venus de Milo next to a similarly redone David by Michelangelo, as a commentary on the modern values of consumerist society. The piece is yet to be finished.

Blu remains completely focused on working with non-government organizations and groups, creating works as a gift and source of empowerment for local communities, all while trying to retain is anonymity. Exposing everyone from corrupt politicians to violent police or greedy real-estate moguls, the artist is continuously producing work that supports common people and their fight against an increasingly imbalanced economic and political system. (via Juxtapoz)

 

 



Photography

Enchanting Photographs of a Misty English Wood by Neil Burnell

January 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

British photographer Neil Burnell captures striking environments void of human subjects, often traveling to remote areas far outside of civilization. His ongoing series Mystical takes a look at the fairytale-like atmosphere created by the thick fog, gnarled trees, and moss-covered stones of Wistman’s Wood in Dartmoor, Devon, England. This particular wood has long been the subject of folklore and myth, with many writers describing it as the most haunted location in Dartmoor.

Despite the supernatural tales, Burnell is attracted to the atmosphere and photographic challenge of the English forest, and often visits the site at “blue hour” or the hour before the sun rises in the morning. “I have probably visited the woodland around 20 times in the last year, but unfortunately it has only had the required mist on two occasions,” Burnell explains to Colossal. “Photographing it without the mist/fog is a hard task and almost impossible to make images with the atmosphere I am looking for.”

Burnell continues to travel to Wistman’s Wood to seek the right environmental factors for a perfect image. You can follow his photographic adventures on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

Destination Art: A New Guide Looks at 500 Permanent Art Installations to Visit Around the World

January 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Agnes Denes, Tree Mountain—A Living Time Capsule—11,000 Trees, 11,000 People, 400 Years, 1992–96, Pinsiönkankaantie 10, 39150 Pinsiö. © Agnes Denes. (project 70, page 86) All images courtesy of Phaidon.

Agnes Denes, Tree Mountain—A Living Time Capsule—11,000 Trees, 11,000 People, 400 Years, 1992–96, Pinsiönkankaantie 10, 39150 Pinsiö. © Agnes Denes. (project 70, page 86) All images courtesy of Phaidon.

When traveling, it is a given that I will visit at least one museum dedicated to art. Most often it is someplace new—either an institution that has previously escaped my radar, or one that belongs to a city I have not yet explored. Although I enjoy viewing institutional collections, I am perhaps most drawn to works installed outdoors, especially if they require a bit of extra effort to reach. Phaidon has taken the burden out of researching secluded works and well-known urban installations by compiling some of the best into a new compendium titled Destination Art.

The book is a follow-up to their publication Destination Architecture (2017), and includes 500 artworks installed around the globe in 60 countries and 300 cities. The guide is a great resource for planning your next art pilgrimage to a far off corner of the Earth, or simply narrowing down a piece or two that have been hiding in your own backyard. The global guide is focused on site-specific modern and contemporary works from 340 artists ranging from Yayoi Kusama’s city-based collaboration with Coca-Cola in Matsumoto, Nagano in Japan to Louise Bourgeois’s “Crouching Spider” (2003) situated on a reflective pool outside the Château La Coste in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France. You can buy the book, which includes a wide range of murals, sculptures, sound installations, land art, and more, on Amazon and Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession, 2012, Matsumoto City Museum of Art, 4-2-22 Chuo, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-0811, Japan. © Yayoi Kusama (project 45, page 60)

Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession, 2012, Matsumoto City Museum of Art, 4-2-22 Chuo, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-0811, Japan. © Yayoi Kusama (project 45, page 60)

Nathan Coley, There Will Be No Miracles Here, 2006, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR, Scotland. Collection of the National Galleries of Scotland. © Studio Nathan Coley (project 81, page 98)

Nathan Coley, There Will Be No Miracles Here, 2006, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR, Scotland. Collection of the National Galleries of Scotland. © Studio Nathan Coley (project 81, page 98)

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture For Living Architecture, A House for Essex, 2015, Black Boy Lane, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2TP, England. Photo: Jack Hobhouse (project 100, page 117)

Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture For Living Architecture, A House for Essex, 2015, Black Boy Lane, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2TP, England. Photo: Jack Hobhouse (project 100, page 117)

Gianni Motti, Success Failure, 2014, Domaine du Muy, 83 chemin des Leonards, 83490 Le Muy, France. Courtesy Ardeis Genève et Domaine du Muy. © Gianni Motti. Photo: JC Lett (project 172, page 192)

Gianni Motti, Success Failure, 2014, Domaine du Muy, 83 chemin des Leonards, 83490 Le Muy, France. Courtesy Ardeis Genève et Domaine du Muy. © Gianni Motti. Photo: JC Lett (project 172, page 192)

Louise Bourgeois, Crouching Spider, 2003, Château La Coste, 2750 route de la Cride, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France. Courtesy Château la Coste. © The Easton Foundation/DACS, London/VAFA, NY 2018 (project 173, page 193)

Louise Bourgeois, Crouching Spider, 2003, Château La Coste, 2750 route de la Cride, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France. Courtesy Château la Coste. © The Easton Foundation/DACS, London/VAFA, NY 2018 (project 173, page 193)

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

Cildo Meireles, Inmensa [Immense], 1982–2002, Instituto de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico Inhotim, Rua B 20, Brumadinho, Brazil. Courtesy the artist and Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo. Photo: Tiberio França (project 492, page 535)

Cildo Meireles, Inmensa [Immense], 1982–2002, Instituto de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico Inhotim, Rua B 20, Brumadinho, Brazil. Courtesy the artist and Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo. Photo: Tiberio França (project 492, page 535)

Janet Echelman, Her Secret is Patience, 2009, Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States. Photo: Christina O’Haver (project 428, page 468)

Janet Echelman, Her Secret is Patience, 2009, Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States. Photo: Christina O’Haver (project 428, page 468)

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

 

 



Design

Little Tree Library: A Clever Twist on the Donation-Based Community Library Gives New Life to a Big Old Stump

January 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Thanks to the nonprofit Little Free Library, chances are you have encountered a small house-like structure on a public thoroughfare, with a front door that opens to allow passersby to give or take a free book. The program exists in 88 countries, with over 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries. In addition to the goodwill-fueled, donation-based libraries, one of the charms is that each one is customized. Many sport unique paint jobs or even entirely off-the-wall architecture, like the Swedish flag-bedecked Library in the shape of a water tower, which pays homage to the real structure, a beloved fixture in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago.

One family in Idaho took their Library design to the next level with a “Little Tree Library,” carved out of a 110-year-old cottonwood tree stump on their property. Sharalee Armitage Howard, you’ll not be surprised to learn, works as a librarian and previously studied bookbinding, according to her Facebook profile. She spearheaded the complex installation on her front lawn, including dentils that, upon closer inspection, are actually miniature books complete with titles. The Library also features interior and exterior lighting, to give the space an extra-homey glow, as well as a “roof” over the top of the stump to help prevent its weathering away.

KREM, the local news station in Coeur d’Alene made a video (below) to give those outside the small town a closer look at the Howard’s new addition. You can find a Little Free Library near you on the organization’s website, which also offers premade kits if you don’t have any large stumps on hand.

 

 



Craft Design

Time-Lapse Video of Woodworker Keith Williams Shows How Flat Plywood Boards Become Smooth Patterned Spheres

January 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Woodworker Keith Williams of Oddball Gallery in Minier, Illinois creates geodesic spheres that balance math and art. Each sculptural form is created from 170 wood triangles that are then hand-assembled into 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. Next these shapes are glued together into an angular 180-sided ball that is placed onto a lathe and transformed into a completely smooth sphere.

As Williams removes approximately 1/4″ of wood, natural rings from the plywood are brought to the surface, covering the final piece in a dizzying array of concentric circles. You can watch a behind-the-scenes look at how these objects are made in the video above. FInd more peeks into the Oddball Studio on Williams’ website and Youtube. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art Craft

Carefully Molded Paper is Shaped into Personality-Filled Animal Portraits by Tiffany Miller Russell

January 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Colorado-based wildlife artist and natural history illustrator Tiffany Miller Russell uses carefully molded paper to express the unique characteristics of her animal subjects. To start the sculptural works, the artist first creates an original drawing. She then she cuts and forms found specialty papers by hand to build a three-dimensional collage atop the underlying illustration. “I delight in the unique and unusual,” she shares with Colossal, “and my goal when creating is to communicate with my viewer that excitement. I hope to pass along a little bit of wonder for the world around us.”

In addition to creating paper sculptures for the past fifteen years, the artist has also volunteered in a zoology prep lab and paleontology lab to further her knowledge and personal passion for evolutionary history. Miller Russell explains, “I’ve always felt a connection to animals. They have personalities and go about the world in their own ways that matter to them. Humans can anthropomorphize them, and cultures can bound them up in symbols and mythology, but that makes little difference to these creatures which have been going about their business and doing their own thing for millennia.”

The video below offers a time-lapse view of Miller Russell’s hands-on process. The artist tells Colossal that some of her larger tableaux can take up to 300 hours to complete. You can discover more of her three-dimensional animal portraits on her website and Facebook, as well as Etsy, where the artist offers originals and prints for sale.