In the ever-widening world of drone photography, Reuben Wu (previously) has made a name for himself with his unique images that combine lighted drone patterns with stark observations of natural land formations. Two months ago, Wu travelled to Peru to continue his body of work called Lux Noctis. Peru’s Pastoruri Glacier is a rare remaining tropical glacier, sited at 17,000 feet above sea level in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range.
The trip was part of the filming for a Great Big Story (previously) video series titled “Made From Mountains,” and involved research, scouting, and treacherous travel to safely reach the glacier. In addition to the logistical challenges and the frigid, remote location, Wu shares with Colossal, “I photographed the glacier with conflicting feelings. I wanted to show evidence of its alarming retreat, yet I was drawn to the epic scale of the ice which remained. In the end I leaned towards the latter, but each photograph represents a bleak reality, a fading memory of what once stood.”
You can see more of the artist’s illuminated photography on Instagram and Facebook. Wu’s artist book of his Lux Noctis series is available for pre-order and is already almost sold out. Reuben Wu’s “Coors Light: Made from Mountains” episode is featured on greatbigstory.com. (via PetaPixel)
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Using modeling software and multi-material 3D printing, industrial designer Nicole Hone created a series of 4D-printed futuristic aquatic plants, or Hydrophytes, that are as full of character as the natural organisms they mimic. In the film of the same name, the hydrophytes are activated by pneumatic inflation in water, and transform into dynamic organisms that you could swear were actually alive.
“I have always been fascinated with nature,” the designer tells Colossal. “It inspires my design ideas and aesthetic. For this project, I became particularly interested in botany and marine life. I was amazed by the way sea creatures and corals moved, and I wanted to reflect similar qualities in my designs.” While working on her Master of Design Innovation thesis at Victoria University of Wellington, Hone learned about plans to redesign the National Aquarium in New Zealand. She thought that it would be interesting to develop a “future-focused exhibition” with moving models as an interactive installation for visitors. She began making test prints and discovered that the models moved best in water, which eventually became the pieces used in Hydrophytes.
Hone explains that software was used to create the shape, surface texture, and internal structures for the Hydrophytes. One benefit of the 3D printing system is that there can be a varying degree of hardness for the parts, but the machine can still handle printing them as a seamless object. During printing the works are encased in a support material, which Hone has to then painstakingly remove (sometimes a 4-hour process) by soaking them in water and using a toothpick. After cleaning, air is passed through the CGOs (computer generated objects) and they are placed in the underwater environments.
“They can respond to external forces such as gravity, water ripples or currents, and interaction with people or other 3D prints in real life,” Hone said. “Their man-made composite materials behave uncannily similar to living organisms.”
She went onto explain that each Hydrophyte has a unique character that is defined by both their style of movement and appearance. The colored lights that illuminate the printed plants were chosen to “complement each personality and amplify the emotive qualities of the film,” and the functions of each plant were inspired by the effects of climate change on marine species. “As the 4D printing experiments developed from abstract shapes into more plant-like models, their appearance and movement helped me think of which function would best suit each character,” she added. It’s fascinating to see the intersection of art and technology produce such a unique collection of objects. To view more of what Hone has created with her research, visit her website. (via Designboom)
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In French photographer Pierre-Louis Ferrer’s vibrant photographs, Dordogne, France is transformed into an enchanted land bathed in canary yellow. Ferrer’s colorful photographs illustrate the country’s idyllic topography, where the leaves upon the trees, fresh grass, and sculpted shrubbery are captured in the same vivid color.
While photographing, Ferrer takes time to observe his environment and decide on the best photographic technique to use. For his Dordogne photographs, Ferrer used an infrared photography technique which allowed him to capture the landscape in brilliant yellows. “My artistic approach is based on the invisible and imperceptible,” Ferrer tells Colossal. “I work with invisible parts of light (infrared and ultraviolet) and with techniques like long exposure to offer alternative views of our world.”
This yellow effect in Ferrer’s Dordogne photographs is due to a mix of visible and infrared light, and each plant species appears different depending on how it reacts to the light. “I use a selective filter that let’s pass a large part of infrared light and a small part of visible light,” Ferrer explains. “The main subjects of this technique are trees and foliage because they react a lot under infrared light.”
Although yellow is prevalent in nature; found in bananas, autumnal leaves, egg yolks, and the irises of some animal’s eyes, in Ferrer’s photographs he standardizes all natural elements, highlighting the color’s prevalence in natural forms.
As human eyes are not used to infrared light (due to its longer wavelengths), Ferrer’s photographs invite viewers to see Dordogne as through they are in a different dimension. The extravagant Jardins Suspendus at Marqueyssac and its ivy-covered châteaux are transformed into an ethereal world that might otherwise only appear in paintings.
Although fantastical, Ferrer’s photographs encourage mindfulness and allow us to reflect upon the importance of nature. “My goals are to invite contemplation, to realize the place of nature in urban places, to make aware of the impact of our environment on us, and our impact on the environment.”
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The Haze is a new immersive digital art installation from Japanese collective teamLab (previously) which situates guests at the center of a light-based vortex. The work uses light, fog, and sound to wrap guests in a mesmerizing cacophony of swirling spotlights which are reflected by a mirrored floor. A similar experience is created in the work Light Vortex II, which uses the same elements to choreograph an entirely different light show.
TeamLab recently opened Borderless, a 100,000 square feet museum dedicated to their digital installations in Tokyo. You can view more videos documenting the group’s projection-based works on their website and Vimeo.
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During his last few months in school, recent University of Maryland graduate Josh Sheldon built a light animation robot scaled to the size of his small college bedroom. For the personal project, Sheldon taught himself Blender, Python, and Dragonframe in just under two weeks. The device allowed him to create dazzling effects around spheres and cubes, with each animation taking between four and twelve hours to shoot. You can view the process behind Sheldon’s robot in the view below, and take a look at the code he used for each of his light paintings over on Github. More of Josh’s work, including these light portraits, can be found on his Instagram. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)
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Artist Dennis Wojtkiewicz paints enormous portraits of sliced fruit, often scaling four feet across or more. Each oil on canvas painting focuses exclusively on the edible subject, with dramatic backlit lighting seeming to light up the melons, citrus, apples, and kiwis. While Wojtkiewicz focuses on tiny details like individual segments of juice, striations, and the fuzzy skins, the realism is tempered by a slightly hazy, impressionistic finish. The artist is represented by Robert Kidd Gallery. You can see more of his paintings on his website. (via My Modern Met)
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One of the must-see shows in Amsterdam this summer is the debut museum solo of Studio Drift (previously) at Stedelijk Museum, which balances elements of tech art, performance, and biodesign. The exhibition, titled Coded Nature, presents a wide range of transdisciplinary works from the Dutch studio that engage with topics from sustainability to issues raised by the growing use of augmented reality.
Founded by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, Studio Design typically creates installation, sculptural works, video projections, and interactive VR. One of the standout pieces in their new exhibition is Drifter, a floating concrete monolith measuring 13 x 6 1/2 feet, which tenderly levitates inside one of the museum galleries (the video below shows the work on display in 2017 at the Armory Show in New York). The puzzling effect of seeing such a familiar object floating through space is emphasized with a video projection of the film Drifters, which follows the same concrete sculpture as it floats through the Scottish Highlands.
Contrasting the effect of the large floating concrete block is the breathtaking installation Fragile Future Chandelier 3.5 which consists of countless bionic dandelions with glowing LED lights at their centers. The labor-intensive installation, like many of the studio’s works, challenges relationships between man, nature, and technology. Other works include the light installations Tree of Ténéré and Flylight, and kinetic installations Semblance and In 20 Steps, which are all based on naturally designed forms or movements.
Studio Drift: Coded Nature will run through August 26, 2018. You can see more site-specific installations and science fiction-inspired works on the studio’s website and Instagram, and take a deeper look inside the duo’s process in the videos below.
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.