cameras

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Design Photography

A New AI-System Designs Cameras as Playful Pop-Culture Mashups

June 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Mathieu Stern, shared with permission

A photographer doubling as an inventor of the bizarre, Mathieu Stern has been developing new cameras based on simple ideas: one collection is created for pharaohs, another designed by Aztecs, and others are inspired by superheroes and pop culture. The devices are visually intriguing and wildly diverse, but unfortunately, they’re not real.

Stern experimented with the new artificial intelligence system called DALL-E 2, which accepts short natural language text prompts and then generates near photo-realistic images, often with uncanny results. The latest version of the OpenAI software was released earlier this year—there’s a waitlist for access to the current iteration—and has since generated everything from a 3D raccoon puzzle to the modern masterpiece “Otter with a Pearl Earring.” Most of Stern’s descriptions involve “a medium format camera that looks like” followed by R2-D2, Groot, Homer Simpson, or another fictional icon. Others imagine what a Polaroid might look like if it were made of marble and wood or blended with Nintendo.

Stern released a video detailing how he used the new technology, and you can find more of his unusual mashups on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

A mashup of Nintendo and Polaroid

“Polaroid cameras made of marble and wood”

“Film cameras made for Pharaohs”

“A medium format camera that looks like Homer Simpson”

 

 



Art Design

Sci-Fi-Esque ‘Portals’ on the Streets of Vilnius and Lublin Connect Passersby in Real-Time

June 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Vilnius. All images © Portal, shared with permission

Prior to hopping on the train for their morning commutes, Vilnius residents can greet pals passing through a main square in Lublin, Poland, despite being 376 miles apart. Thanks to “Portal,” a sleek pair of screens installed in the city centers, passersby have the opportunity to wave hello and socialize with their counterparts just as if they were standing in front of each other on the street. Dubbed “a visual bridge,” the futuristic installation resembles large, round orbs embedded with screens and cameras that transmit views of the two locations in real-time.

“Portal” is the culmination of five years of research and design, and the project to expand to cities around the world, with two more eye-like devices coming to Reyjavik and London soon.

 

Lublin

Vilnius

Lublin

Lublin

Lublin

Lublin

 

 



Craft

Ornate Jewel-Toned Stitches Embellish Common Household Objects Made From Textiles

May 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sue Trevor, shared with permission

Whether a corded rotary phone or humble water pitcher, Sue Trevor’s household objects are all made from the same materials. The artist meticulously stitches ornamental sculptures that resemble common domestic items and vintage electronics. Covered in crisscrossed seams and textured rows, each piece is a product of combining embroidery, appliqué, and quilting techniques, and the resulting jewel-toned works are heavily adorned with flowers and other organic forms, shapes she derives directly from her garden in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

Prior to sewing the objects from hand-dyed Egyptian cottons and silks, Trevor studies the film camera or teacup and saucer she’s replicating and creates a pattern. She then “manipulates my heavily embroidered 2D pieces of fabric into sculptural 3D works of art, testing and trialing until I have the desired shape I want. I love the challenge of trying to dissect the structure of an object and translating it into one of my textile pieces.”

Peruse Trevor’s available sculptures on Etsy and Folksy, and see more of her work, which includes an array of functional and decorative pieces, on Instagram. You also might enjoy Ulla Stina-Wikander’s needlepoint tools and devices.

 

 

 



Art

Everyday Objects Are Sliced and Re-Assembled into Distorted Sculptures by Fabian Oefner

April 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Heisenberg Object V – Cortez” (2021), leather, foam, and resin, 30 x 18 x 15 centimeters. All images © Fabian Oefner, shared with permission

In Heisenberg Objects, Fabian Oefner (previously) translates quantum mechanic’s uncertainty principle into a sculptural series of segmented objects. The Connecticut-based artist uses resin to solidify the everyday items, which include sneakers, a Leica M6, a tape recorder, a Seiko clock, and flight recorder, before slicing them into countless individual pieces. He then aggregates those fragmented parts into dissected sculptures that resemble the original object through a distorted view of the inner and outer mechanisms.

Drawing its name from German physicist Werner Heisenberg, the series is rooted in the basics of the uncertainty principle, which states that no two particles can be measured accurately at exactly the same time. “You can either determine one parameter and ignore the other or vice versa, but you can never know everything at once,” the artist writes about Heisenberg’s idea. The two opposing views—i.e. the inner and outer layers of the common items—converge in Oefner’s sculptures and visualize the principle through skewed perceptions. “As an observer, you are never able to observe the object as a whole and its inner workings simultaneously. The more accurately we see one view, the less clearly we see the other,” he says.

Check out Oefner’s Instagram for more views of the re-interpreted objects, along with videos documenting the slicing process.

 

“Heisenberg Object III – Leica M6” (2021), aluminum, glass, and resin, 20 x 15 x 5 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object I – Seiko Clock” (2021), plastics, metal, and resin, 20 x 15 x 10 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object II – Tape Recorder” (2021), plastics, metal, resin, 30 x 20 x 8 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object VI – Cortez” (2021), leather, foam, and resin, 30 x 18 x 15 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object VI – Cortez” (2021), leather, foam, and resin, 30 x 18 x 15 centimeters

Detail of “Heisenberg Object IV – Flight Recorder” (2021), plastics, metal, resin, 50 x 50 x 40 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object IV – Flight Recorder” (2021), plastics, metal, resin, 50 x 50 x 40 centimeters

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Fabian Oefner (@fabianoefner)

 

 



Art Design

Kinetic Artwork Attempts to Get a ‘Little Piece of Privacy’ with Mechanized Curtain

February 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

Berlin-based artist Niklas Roy isn’t just concerned about his privacy and protection online. To stop passersby from peeping into his workshop, he strung up a white, lace curtain stretching only partially across his window. Titled “My Little Piece of Privacy,” the ironic project from 2010 was established to offer seclusion to the artist, while recording those who walked past his space. Each outside movement triggers a motor to position the thin fabric in front of the person attempting to look inside. The resulting footage shows various strategies people use⁠—think rapid arm waving and hopping from one spot to another⁠—to try to trick the mechanism tracking their positions. They never succeed for more than a second, though. You can find more of Roy’s projects interested in humor and technology on YouTube.

 

 



Art Photography

Vintage Cameras Dissected With a Saw and Suspended in Resin by Fabian Oefner

August 25, 2019

Andrew LaSane

For his latest series titled “CutUp,” artist Fabian Oefner (previously) used a band saw to slice film and still cameras into pieces, revealing their beautiful and complex inner workings. The pieces were rearranged, reassembled, and suspended in resin in interesting configurations. Each new sculpture transforms the tools for making art into new works of art designed to be viewed from multiple angles.

Explaining the production process, Oefner said in a statement that he uses a “unique mix of high-end and low-end technologies.” Resin is poured around the cameras to prepare the objects for cutting. Oefner’s preferred method for curing the resin around the cameras involves vacuum and pressure chambers that are capable of reaching precise temperatures and atmospheric pressures. The blocks are then dissected using an old band saw before being hand-polished and rearranged. The new forms are encapsulated in resin and polished again to reveal every detail.

For a video of the creation process scroll down, and for more exploded views of cameras and other objects, follow Fabian Oefner on Instagram.