butterflies

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Design Science

Spectacular Genetic Anomaly Results in Butterflies with Male and Female Wings

April 28, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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James K. Adams, Professor of Biology, Dalton State College

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Kim Davis, Mike Stangeland, and Andrew Warren, Butterflies of America

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Andrew D. Warren

In the realm of genetic anomalies found in living organisms perhaps none is more visually striking than bilateral gynandromorphism, a condition where an animal or insect contains both male and female characteristics, evenly split, right down the middle. While cases have been reported in lobsters, crabs and even in birds, it seems butterflies and moths lucked out with the visual splendor of having both male and female wings as a result of the anomaly. For those interested in the science, here’s a bit from Elise over at IFLScience:

In insects the mechanism is fairly well understood. A fly with XX chromosomes will be a female. However, an embryo that loses a Y chromosome still develops into what looks like an adult male, although it will be sterile. It’s thought that bilateral gynandromorphism occurs when two sperm enter an egg. One of those sperm fuses with the nucleus of the egg and a female insect develops. The other sperm develops without another set of chromosomes within the same egg. Both a male and a female insect develop within the same body.

Above are some great examples of bilateral gynandromorphism, but follow the links above and below for many more. (via Live Science, The Endless Airshow, Butterflies of America, IFLScience)

 

 



Art

New Bird & Butterfly Flip Book Machines by Juan Fontanive

April 15, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Artist Juan Fontanive (previously) constructs perpetually looping flip book machines that depict flying birds lifted from audubon guides and illustrations of butterflies. Part film and part sculpture, almost every aspect of the flip books are assembled by hand from the minutely toothed gears, clips, nuts, bolts, wormwheels and sprockets to the carefully screen printed imagery. Of the curious devices Gild Williams remarked, “Fontanive’s artworks seem strangely possessed, producing curiously moving animals that are neither living nor dead, or creating ghostly systems which seem to float mid-air and follow a pace and logic of their own.” You can see much more of his work over at Riflemaker.

 

 



Photography

Gorgeous Macro Photographs of Butterfly and Moth Wings by Linden Gledhill

March 26, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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A biochemist by training, photographer Linden Gledhill is fascinated by the beauty of infinitesimally small aspects of nature and science, from capturing the flight of insects to exploring the beauty of magnetic ferrofluid. Among his most jaw-dropping images are macro photographs of butterfly wings that reveal complex patterns that look like perfectly organized flower petals. These tiny protrusions are actually scales, similar to what you would find on reptile, though extremely small and fragile. Gledhill’s photography recently inspired an episode of Smarter Every Day where Destin Sandlin learns how to shoot similar photos. (via awkwardsituationist.tumblr.com)

 

 



Art

Architectural Renderings of Life Drawn with Pencil and Pen by Rafael Araujo

January 17, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Nautilus

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Caracol

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Double Conic Spiral, process

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Double Conic Spiral. Ink, acrylic/canvas.

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Calculation (Sequence) #2. Acrylic, china ink/canvas.

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In the midst of our daily binge of emailing, Tweeting, Facebooking, app downloading and photoshopping it’s almost hard to imagine how anything was done without the help of a computer. For Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo, it’s a time he relishes. At a technology-free drafting table he deftly renders the motion and subtle mathematical brilliance of nature with a pencil, ruler and protractor. Araujo creates complex fields of three dimensional space where butterflies take flight and the logarithmic spirals of shells swirl into existence. He calls the series of work Calculation, and many of his drawings seem to channel the look and feel of illustrations found in Da Vinci’s sketchbooks. In an age when 3D programs can render a digital version of something like this in just minutes, it makes you appreciate Araujo’s remarkable skill. You can see much more here. (via ArchitectureAtlas)

Update: Rafael Araujo prints are now available in the Colossal Shop.

 

 



Art Design Illustration

Moth: A New Woodcut Print from Tugboat Printshop

October 17, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth over at Pittsburgh-based Tugboat Printshop just announced a new woodcut print titled Moth. Shown in production here, the final piece will be a 2-color print measuring 18″ x 25″ and is now available for pre-order. Art and design blogs everywhere were smitten earlier this year with their equally beautiful Moon print. The duo also has an upcoming exhibition of woodcut prints at the Arm in Brooklyn, opening Thursday, November 7th.

 

 



Art

Delicate Butterflies Cast in Glass Dust by Michael Crowder

October 16, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

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Photo by Tom DuBrock

Currently on view at Wade Wilson Art in Houston, Texas is this spectacular collection of glass butterflies by artist Michael Crowder titled Mariposa Mori. The artist forms the brittle insects using a technique called pâte de verre that involves the fusion of tiny glass particles. The final pieces are then displayed in wood cases with felt lining similar in form to traditional entomology display boxes. For other artworks Crowder has been known to use similar particulate substances like sugar, chocolate, marble dust or cigarette ashes. Via Wade Wilson:

The butterflies are made in a method called pâte de verre, which translates to “paste of glass.” Itself a 19th century French creation, pâte de verre is at its simplest melting glass particles together. The variation on this technique that I have developed is to use very small particles of glass roughly the size of grains of sugar and to heat them to a precisely controlled point where I can melt and fuse the particles together, but still allow them to retain an open crystalline surface texture. The effect is almost impossibly delicate and fragile looking, as a butterfly wing should be.

You can see much more of Crowder’s work on his website. The exhibition runs through October 25th. (via Ex-Chamber)

 

 



Art

Magnetized Cyanotype Butterfly Installations by Tasha Lewis

October 3, 2012

Christopher Jobson

For the past few months Indianapolis-based artist Tasha Lewis has been traveling around the country creating guerrilla installations using a swarms of 400 cyanotype butterflies printed on cotton fabric (cyanotype is a photographic printing process that results in blue images, just like blueprints). Each blue insect is embedded with powerful magnets allowing her to place them on any metallic surface without causing damage, which as far as impermanent street art goes, is brilliant. Of her work she says:

My current body of work was drawn from an investigation into the cultural/scientific/historical context in which the cyanotype was born. Popularized by scientists, and botanists in particular, the cyanotype is intrinsically tied into the scientific recording boom of the late 19th and early 20th century. These are the times of the curiosity cabinet, the prints of Anna Atkins and a rush of explorers/scientists to colonial lands only to bring back specimens from foreign ecosystems. [.. ] The cyanotype is a process of documenting. The resultant image is a kind of scientific stand-in for the actual object in question. It is the trace of the original. In this way, like cyanotype’s use for building blue prints in more recent centuries, my work is formed as the re-presentation of something real; it is somehow not quite the object itself.”

Tasha has published photos of numerous installations on her Tumblr, definitely worth a look. (via empty kingdom)

 

 

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