life

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Animation Illustration

A Wildly Relatable Animation About Existential Dread Reminds Us to Enjoy the Moment

February 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Existential dread, we all have it. A poignant animation by Alisha Liu captures our collective anxiety as it zeroes in on a typical Sunday afternoon in Central Park. The main character (i.e. all of us) breaks the calm with questions about the meaning of life, human insignificance, and of course, the overwhelming feeling that nothing matters. Through minimal scenes, the short film shifts between both mundane moments with passersby and expansive shots of the star-studded galaxy. Ultimately, though, Liu reminds us to get out of our heads and enjoy the afternoon sunshine.

Based in Los Angeles, Liu created the film while in her second year at CalArts, and you can see more of her classmate’s work on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

An Extraordinary Time-Lapse Captures the Microscopic Development of a Single Cell into a Newt

February 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In Becoming, a time-lapse film by Jan van IJken (previously), a single cell splits. Then it splits again, and again, and again, morphing and quivering as new quadrants continually appear and divide. The cell belongs to an alpine newt, and during most of its transition from a single cell zygote to hatched larva it looks remarkably like a sunny-side up egg. The film’s rapid timeline condenses four weeks of growth into six minutes, presenting a speedy and awe-inspiring glimpse at how we all begin.

“I wanted to capture the origin of life,” van IJken tells Colossal. “What is particularly interesting I think, is that the basics of embryonic development are the same for all animals, including us. I think the way we develop is a true miracle. In my film you can see individual cells move to the place where they belong in the embryo. How is this possible? It is all managed by a precise internal clockwork in each individual cell.”

Van IJken used time-lapse photography and video in combination with a trinocular microscope to precisely observe the details of the newt’s development. You can view more of his work, including a trailer for his first film Facing Animals, on Vimeo.

 

 



Amazing

The Time You Have (In Jelly Beans)

June 23, 2013

Christopher Jobson

jellybeans

In a poignant new video, online performance artist Ze Frank physically illustrates how most people spend the majority of their life using jelly beans to delineate time. Starting with 28,835 beans representing days of the average human lifespan he slowly subtracts the time spent sleeping, working, eating, and commuting to arrive at a much smaller square by proportion that represents our “free” time that suddenly puts things in stark perspective. Hopefully some of those working, cooking, and caring days are just as fulfilling as the days you have left to fill with fun, art, and adventure.

 

 

A Colossal

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