interactive

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Art History

Immerse Yourself in the 'Bob Ross Experience,' a Permanent Exhibit Dedicated to the Beloved Painter

November 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

Bob Ross on the set of The Joy of Painting. All images © Minnetrista, shared with permission

In the small city of Muncie, Indiana stands a three-story house with white columns lining the front stoop. Now unassuming, the brick structure formerly featured a sign at its entrance reading “WIPB TV,” denoting the camera crew inside recording beloved icon Bob Ross, who filmed more than 400 episodes of The Joy of Painting in the space from 1983 to 1994. Today, the house has been transformed to honor the legacy of the PBS artist, whose joyful manner and positivity inspired his devoted fans for more than a decade.

Formally called the Bob Ross Experience, the $1.2 million permanent exhibit and masterclass series pays homage to the painter by recreating the set where his soothing voice echoed instructions on blending pinks and blues for a sky or adding highlights. A rotating selection of his original paintings, like “Gray Mountain” and “Sunset Aglow,” line the home, which also features a 1980s-style living room complete with a plaid lounger. His personal items, including keys and hair pick, are on display, along with memorabilia celebrating Ross. Other than the artist’s palette knife, easel, and brushes, many of the artifacts are free to touch.

 

The studio

Opened in October, the museum is housed at the Lucius L. Ball House on the Minnetrista campus, a year-round gathering place with historic buildings, children’s entertainment, and workshops. About a half-mile up the street, the interactive exhibit continues in a building where “Certified Ross Instructors” teach masterclasses a few times each month. Participants are encouraged to embrace “happy little accidents,” just as Ross advocated in his episodes—many of which are available to watch on YouTube—as they paint serene landscapes, sunsets, and wildlife.

In the coming months, Minnetrista organizers plan to convert the upper levels of the house into gallery and studio space, according to The New York Times. To follow updates on the renovations or book your own Bob Ross Experience, visit the organization’s site.

 

Ross’s brushes

The Lucius L. Ball House, where Ross filmed The Joy of Painting

The entrance to the museum

The living room of the Bob Ross Experience

Artifacts on display in the museum

A Certified Ross Instructor teaches a masterclass

 

 



Design

Giant Seesaws Transform New York City's Garment District into Light-Filled Urban Playground

January 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Alexandre Ayer/Diversity Pictures LLC, shared with permission

New York City’s Garment District recently received a dose of cold-weather fun with Impluse, an interactive installation of 12 oversize seesaws that glow and emit sound when someone hops on one end. Originally shown at the Place Des Festivals in Montreal in 2016 before traveling to cities like Chicago, Boston, Scottsdale, the installation allows users to produce their own light and sound shows that transform the city’s dreary January streets. The seesaws range from 16 to 24 feet and contain LED lights that vary in intensity and speakers that play random musical sequences.

Designed by Lateral Office and CS Design, Impulse encourages people to come together in a “public space all year round, both summer and winter months, by engaging ideas of urban play,” the creators said in a statement. “Inspired by the iconic cover of the Joy Division album ‘Unknown Pleasures,’ as well as Steve Reich’s serial, minimal music, which plays with repetition, rhythm and syncopation, Impulse project explores how architecture can visualize sound.” You can be part of the communal display by visiting the installation, which is on Broadway until January 31, or if you’re not in the city, by checking out the Garment District on Instagram.

 

 



Animation Art

Futuristic Shapes Mirror Human Movement in a Responsive Animation by Universal Everything

May 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

A new project designed by the global design collective Universal Everything (previously here and here) mimics the unique movements of visitors at the entrance of the exhibition AI: More Than Human at The Barbican in London. Future You presents a non-human animated figure that wiggles, shifts, and bends in tandem with the user, presenting up to 47,000 possible variations in appearance. The animation also evolves alongside the user, becoming more agile as it learns movements specific to the visitor’s body. The exhibition opened earlier this month and runs through August 26, 2019. You can see more animated and responsive works by Universal Everything on their website, Vimeo, and Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

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Our Future You installation is now alive at @barbicancentre for #aimorethanhuman

A post shared by Universal Everything (@universaleverything) on

 

 



Art Design

Interactive Beams of Light Examine Movements of the Human Body During Milan Design Week

April 11, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images by David Zanardi

Ergonomic design company Humanscale analyzes the structure of the human body to create health-conscious furniture that eases tension during long office hours. For this year’s Milan Design Week the company invited collaborator Todd Bracher to design an interactive installation that would speak to how our bodies operate in space. The piece, appropriately titled Bodies in Motion, mirrors the movements of its guests with 15 spotlights that swirl in tandem with users’ limbs.

The work is a reinterpretation of the original scientific method of motion perception developed by Swedish psychophysicist Gunnar Johansson in 1973. Johansson observed movements by placing lights on different points of actors’ bodies and then recording their movements in the dark so he could interpret their actions without distraction. Bodies in Motion uses a more complex system developed by Studio TheGreenEyl to bring the experiment into the 21st-century. The collaborative installation is open from 10 AM – 6 PM daily through April 14, 2019 at Salon del Mobile. (via dezeen)

All images by David Zanardi

 

 



Art

Interactive Sculptures Mirror Visitors' Movements in Shimmering Fabrics and Cracked Clay

March 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Israeli-American artist Daniel Rozin (previously) creates performative objects that interact with the audience through mirroring. In his recent piece Cracked Mud (2019), a mound of clay pieces undulate and upturn in response to visitors’ movements below a low-hanging orb. The suspended light mimics the sun, hovering over the manipulated and cracked earth below. Another piece, Fabric Mirror (2019), uses a digital camera and 400 motors to capture the movements of those who walk past, imitating their gestures in twisting gold and red fabric. Both works allude to how the sun interacts with our bodies and the earth, the former representing a barren future, while the later explores our reflection bathed in shimmering gold. Each are included in Rozin’s solo exhibition Sol at bitforms gallery in New York through March 17, 2019. You can see more of his interactive sculptures and installations on his website. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



History

Dig into an Incredible Compendium of Objects Excavated from the Bottom of Amsterdam's Amstel River

July 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

During a nine year period in the early 2000’s a new metro line was excavated along the banks of Amsterdam’s Amstel river. The urban waterway had to be completely pumped, which gave archeologists a rare opportunity to examine the full spectrum of everyday and extraordinary objects which had fallen to the bottom of the prominent river. Below the Surface, a website created by the Department of Archaeology; Monuments and Archaeology (MenA), the City of Amsterdam; and their Chief Technology Officer, serves as an interactive compendium with access to images and information of 19,000 of the nearly 700,000 findings from the excavation site.

On the website you can explore the findings by date or dig into Below the Surface’s selection of object stories which provide context to specific pieces pulled from the river. An historical background is provided for select buttons, tokens, pottery segments, stamps, books, and other findings such as a 19th-century pipe cover decorated by a portrait of the Dutch navel lieutenant Jan Carel Josephus van Speijk or a 16th-century belt which bears the inscription: “Ik bin en ieger nu ik hebbe dat mi behaget” (or “I am a hunter and I now have what delights me”).

Meticulously divided display cases of the found objects are installed in the new metro line’s Rokin Station and can be visited by the public. A short documentary of the project can be found on Below the Surface’s website, with English subtitles coming soon. (via Kottke)