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Art Dance

Nuance: Dancing with Light

September 16, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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In this new short from Marc-Antoine Locatelli, dancer Lucas Boirat is seen battling with various geometric forms of light that launch and morph as part of a carefully choreographed dance that marries human motion with motion graphics. It reminded me a bit of Proeigon. Gifs courtesy Vimeo.

 

 



Science

Incredible Footage of Trees Being Swallowed in Seconds by a Louisiana Sinkhole

August 22, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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In this clip shot yesterday by members of the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness in Louisiana, an entire stand of trees is suddenly swallowed by an underwater sinkhole above a collapsing salt mine. The sinkhole is part of an ongoing environmental disaster in Bayou Corne, and efforts are underway to prevent it from spreading, however it has already forced the evacuation of an entire town. (via Stellar)

 

 



Music

Beatbox Brilliance: Tom Thum at TEDxSydney

July 9, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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At about two minutes in to this ten minute performance by beat boxer Tom Thum my jaw was already hanging open, by about six minutes I had nearly thrown my computer off my lap. The Guardian was absolutely correct when it stated Thum “appears to have swallowed an entire orchestra and several backing singers”. The performance was shot at TEDxSydney last May in the famous Sydney Opera House and was just released online yesterday. Excuse me while I step outside to show this to random people on the street.

 

 



Animation

Animator Ian Padgham Flourishes Within Vine's 6-Second Recording Limit

June 5, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Since launching early last year the popular video recording app Vine has found itself capturing the height of world conflicts, the candid moments of celebrities, and the whimsical short films of creative artists.

One such person is Twitter video producer Ian Padgham who maximizes the use of every fractional second permitted by Vine’s brief 6-second recording limit. A master of stop motion, he often relies on a small wooden artist’s model which he manipulates to create surprisingly humanistic motion—an extraordinary feat given the linear nature of Vine. Make one tiny mistake halfway through and your recording is ruined. No editing allowed.

Padgham used Vine to shoot everything from 360 degree panoramas of Alcatraz to absurdly detailed nods to Eadweard Muybridge. Flooded with comments from other users as to the animator’s secrets, he’s also shot a few ‘how to’ clips showing some of his techniques. (via laughing squid)

 

 



Art Science

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits

May 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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You’re walking down a street in Brooklyn, gnawing on a piece of gum that’s past the point of flavorful.. In a hurry, you spit it on the ground without a second thought and continue about your day. Hours later, a mysterious woman arrives, surreptitiously collecting the sticky gum from the sidewalk and dropping it into a clear plastic bag which she then carefully labels. Flash forward a month later: you’re walking through an art gallery, and there, mounted on the wall, is a familiar face staring back at you. Astonishingly (or terrifyingly), it’s a 3D print of your face generated from the DNA you left behind on that random piece of gum that now appears in a petri dish just below the portrait. A few years ago this would have seemed like science fiction, the stuff of films like Gattaca, but to information artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, it’s how she makes her artwork here in 2013.

They say inspiration can strike anywhere. For Dewey-Hagborg, it happened in a therapy session. While staring at a framed print on the wall, she fixated on a tiny crack in the glass into which a small hair had become lodged. As her mind wandered, she imagined who this seemingly insignificant hair belonged to, and, more specifically, what they might look like. After that day, she became keenly aware of the genetic trail left by every person in their daily life, and began to question what physical characteristics could be identified through the DNA left behind on a piece of gum or cigarette butt.

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Sample Location 6. January 6, 2013 at 12:25pm; Wilson ave. and Stanhope St. Brooklyn, NY; MtDNA Haplogroup: D1 (Native American, South American); SRY Gene: present; Gender: Male; HERC2 Gene: AA; Eye Color: Brown

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Stranger Visions is the result of her fascinating, if slightly disconcerting, line of questioning and experimentation: 3D printed portraits based on DNA samples taken from objects found on the streets of Brooklyn. Dewey-Hagborg worked with a DIY biology lab called Genspace, where she met a number of biologists who taught her everything she now knows about molecular biology and DNA. Via an interview with the artist:

So I extract the DNA in the lab and then I amplify certain regions of it using a technique called PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction. This allows me to study certain regions of the genome that tend to vary person to person, what are called SNPs or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms.

I send the results of my PCR reactions off to a lab for sequencing and what I get back are basically text files filled with sequences of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs, the nucleotides that compose DNA. I align these using a bioinformatics program and determine what allele is present for a particular SNP on each sample.

Then I feed this information into a custom computer program I wrote which takes all these values which code for physical genetic traits and parameterizes a 3d model of a face to represent them. For example gender, ancestry, eye color, hair color, freckles, lighter or darker skin, and certain facial features like nose width and distance between eyes are some of the features I am in the process of studying.

I add some finishing touches to the model in 3d software and then export it for printing on a 3d printer. I use a Zcorp printer which prints in full color using a powder type material, kind of like sand and glue.

The resulting portraits are bizarre approximations of anonymous people who unknowingly left their genetic material on a random city street. So how accurate are the faces created from this genetic experiment? The artist likes to say they have a “family resemblance” and no, unlike the scenario depicted above, a person has never recognized themselves in any of her exhibitions. Yet. There are some things such as age which are virtually impossible to determine from DNA alone, so Dewey-Hagborg casts each portrait as if the person were around 25 years old.

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Sample Location 2. January 6, 2013 qt 12:15pm; 1381 Myrtle ave. Brooklyn, NY; MtDNA Haplogroup: H2a2a1 (Eastern European); SRY Gene: present; Gender: Male; HERC2 Gene: AA; Eye Color: Brown

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Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg with a genetically derived self-portrait.

Dewey-Hagborg will be giving a talk with a pop-up exhibit at Genspace on June 13th, and QF Gallery on Long Island will host a body of her work from June 29th through July 13th. You can follow the artist via her website and also her blog. All imagery courtesy the artist. (via smithsonian)

 

 



Science

Magnetic Putty is Completely Amazing/Terrifying

April 15, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Magnetic putty is just like any other putty in that you can handle it, sculpt it, and squeeze it in a fist as you visualize your enemies. But place it anywhere near a strong magnetic field and it will SPONTANEOUSLY ANIMATE and move to consume anything magnetic in its path like a voracious mutated slug. In fact the putty won’t stop moving until the object has been equally engulfed on all sides. PBS Digital Studios and Shanks FX used the putty in parts of their recent film short SCI-FLY, and just posted this extended cut of special effects shots that explore its heinous capabilities. To be fair, these clips are sped up quite a bit as the actual motion of the putty consuming other objects is only faintly perceptible in real time. Want to experiment with magnetic putty yourself? Get it here.