Documentary History Science
A Humbling Short Film Visualizes the Breathtaking Magnitude of 13.8 Billion Years of Cosmic Existence
The human conception of time is limited. We often think in hours, days, and years, units of measurement that are comprehensible when considering our lifetimes or those of generations past. Even decades and centuries, though, are only a minuscule fraction in the timeline of the universe and are wholly inadequate when assessing a nearly 14-billion-year history.
A new short by Alex Gorosh (previously) and Wylie Overstreet (previously) helps to visualize the immensity of cosmic creation beyond the clock and calendar. Four years in the making, “To Scale: TIME” takes the filmmakers to a 4.3-mile stretch across the arid Mojave Desert, where they install small lights to create a timeline of human civilization and the broader universe. Augmented with visuals of galaxies and historical events, the resulting work captures the magnitude of 13.8 billion years and is an awe-inspiring reminder of how small humans are in both time and space.
Watch the humbling film on YouTube, where Gorosh and Overstreet also share a making-of video that documents their process. “To Scale: TIME” is the second project in the duo’s series of model-based works and follows their striking visualization of the solar system.
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By Imprinting an Ornate Rug in Snow, Javier de Riba Draws Attention to Flora and Fauna Living in the Pyrenees
Catalan artist Javier de Riba (previously) once again collapses the boundaries between public and private, this time by adding a cozy intervention to a frigid environment. “Canal Roya” imprints a swath of fresh snow with the artist’s signature ornate motifs to mimic a rug-like covering on the frozen landscape.
Completed in early April, de Riba created the work near the proposed location of an 8-kilometer cable car connecting ski resorts in Astún and Formigal. The project, which drew criticism for its enormous price tag and disastrous environmental effects, would likely have displaced many of the animals, plants, and other organisms that inhabit that region in the Pyrenees. Thanks to pushback from activists, though, construction has since been halted.
Find more of de Riba’s ephemeral gathering spaces on Behance and Instagram.
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Dilapidated Mom-and-Pop Shops Stand Alone in the Scottish Highlands in New Paintings by Andrew McIntosh
In Dreamers, Andrew McIntosh simultaneously conveys the plight and resilience of small businesses, rendering lone shops and inns among desolate landscapes. The Scottish artist (previously) often taps into nostalgia and the forgotten, and he’s known for using the highlands of his childhood as a backdrop for his mysterious scenes in oil paint.
This new body of work, which is on view this month at James Freeman Gallery, pits the inhospitable landscape against the needs of commerce with a heavy dose of irony. A travel agency towers above a small island requiring a trip by boat to reach, a tanning salon glows amid a foggy forest, and a lawnmower repair shop stands amid an overgrown field. Often outfitting the buildings with flaking paint, neon signs, and graffiti, McIntosh positions each as a relic of a former era, positing that like the Romantic notions of a wild, untamable nature becoming outmoded, so is “the postwar idealism” of capitalism and enterprise.
If you’re in London, stop by the gallery to see Dreamers from May 18 to June 10. Otherwise, find more on Instagram.
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Editor's Picks: Animation
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