We’re not crying, you’re crying. Music’s ability to improve the mood and boost cognitive skills in people with dementia has long been documented. “Music is no luxury to them, but a necessity,” wrote neurologist Oliver Sacks in his 2008 book Musicophilia. “It can have a power beyond anything else to restore them to themselves, and to others, at least for a while.” Such is the case in this video of former NYC ballet dancer Marta C. González who was given the opportunity to listen to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, a piece of music we can assume she performed numerous times as shown in the interspersed archival clips from the 1960s. The music seems to awaken the choreography stored deep in her brain as she begins to spontaneously perform from her wheelchair. González founded and directed her own dance ensemble called Rosamunda.
The video was recorded last year in Valencia, Spain and published by Música para Despertar (Awakening Music), a non-profit organization that brings music to patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dimensia to help raise awareness of its therapeutic impact. (via Kottke)
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Dramatic Decaying Flowers in Tiffanie Turner's Solo Show "What Befell Us" Challenge Notions of Beauty and Perfection
In her latest solo exhibition, What Befell Us, California-based artist Tiffanie Turner explores notions of aging, imperfection, and perishability. Massive flower blossoms including dahlias, garden roses, ranunculus, and strawflowers are formed from Italian crepe paper and span more than five feet across. While in her previous work Turner strove for the ideal phenotype of each flower, in What Befell Us the artist pushes past perfection to investigate our collective relationship to flaws and damage.
The artist shares with Colossal that she felt strongly pulled to focus on climate change and environmental peril in her latest show. She expresses concern that humans’ resistance to perishability with plastic and preservatives also hastens irreparable damage to the earth. And, as a woman experiencing aging in a superficial society, Turner saw personal parallels with our global obsession with freshness and perfection. She explains:
When I started to choose my specimens for this show, instead of superimposing formal imperfections onto these pieces, I sought out flowers that are beautiful even though they are not perfect. For example, the two strawflowers in the show are two sides of the same coin. One is still bright and colorful, but its center is deformed as it starts to lose moisture. The other is older, its petals slumped back from the fading, greying center. Each are “imperfect”, but both are undeniably still beautiful. Why just keep trying to create more beauty. Why can’t we just see more things as beautiful?
What Befell Us is on view at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco through June 15, 2019. Follow along with Turner’s latest work via Instagram. And if you’re inspired to create paper flowers of your own, the artist’s in-depth instructional book is available on Bookshop.
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LATA 65 is connecting art between generational divides, matching older citizens of Lisbon with a relatively young form of art—graffiti (“lata” means “can” in Portuguese). Through workshops attendees learn the history of street art while making their own stencils and tags, ultimately incorporating their work in murals across the city. These bright colors go into run-down parts of the Lisbon, and each new artist is aided by the help of well-known street artists.
The goal of LATA 65 is to eliminate the many cliches that come with street art by widening both its audience and participants. Through introducing the art of graffiti to a different group of makers, the project hopes to create a solidarity between all groups involved while adding some colorful designs to the city along the way. (via mashkulture, Messy Nessy Chic, CollabCubed, and mental_floss)
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Editor’s note: Watch the whole thing. With sound. Don’t skip around. Just let it play, or else you’re missing out.
Aging is fascinating thing to document in film and photography, from Noah Kalina’s 12+ year portrait a day project to Diego Goldberg’s family portrait series that began in 1976, it’s interesting to see how many different approaches there are. This new clip titled Danielle from filmmaker Anthony Cerniello tries something I’ve never seen before and packs an amazing punch.
Last Thanksgiving, Cerniello traveled to his friend Danielle’s family reunion and with still photographer Keith Sirchio shot portraits of her youngest cousins through to her oldest relatives with a Hasselblad medium format camera. Then began the process of scanning each photo with a drum scanner at the U.N. in New York, at which point he carefully edited the photos to select the family members that had the most similar bone structure. Next he brought on animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle who worked in After Effects and 3D Studio Max to morph and animate the still photos to make them lifelike as possible. Finally, Nuke (a kind of 3D visual effects software) artist George Cuddy was brought on to smooth out some small details like the eyes and hair.
The final result is pretty remarkable, if a little bizarre. Not quite out of the uncanny valley, and yet pause the movie at any moment and it feels like you’re looking at a plain portrait. While it plays the transitions are just slow enough that you’re only vaguely aware anything is happening. It’s amazing as it is weird. He tells me via email:
I wanted to make a person, I felt like I could tell a story with that, but it ended up feeling slightly robotic, like an android. I’m OK with that. Things never come out the exact way you plan them, but that’s the fun. The score I imagined would tell this woman’s life, with events speeding by as she aged, but in the end I thought it would be more interesting to go with an abstract piece of sound, and my friend Mark Reveley really came through because I love how it sounds.
Cerniello normally edits commercials and music videos for the likes of 30 Seconds to Mars and Kings of Leon, you can see much more of his work over on his website.
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Editor's Picks: Design
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.