Pete Mauney has been interested in observing the dizzying patterns of planes at night since high school. As a teenager the photographer would watch airplanes has they circled Manhattan, imagining their trajectories and how they might intersect. Although he has worked with night imaging for the few decades since, it wasn’t until he began to photograph fireflies that the idea to return to his initial inspiration struck. As he practiced and improved his techniques for long exposure and editing, he realized he could make similar images of the swarms of airplanes that were circling large cities, rather than his backyard.
“Like the fireflies, airplanes are highly engineered systems that do the same thing reliably over and over again,” Mauney tells Colossal. “The chaos and form in the images come from them not happening in the same spot, but maybe a bit more over there, introducing difference. Each image is a mystery and I find the reveal moment about as magical as one can get within the otherwise non-magical world of digital photography.”
His photographs capture the streaks of light that blaze across the night sky when slowed down during a long exposure, showcasing prismatic flashes combined with starscapes and positioned above calm environments. Mauney will have an upcoming solo exhibition at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts (Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild) in Woodstock, New York from July 5, 2019 to August 18, 2019. You can see more of Mauney’s images, of both flying planes and darting insects, on his website and Instagram. (via Kottke)
Share this story
This past month the Amsterdam Light Festival (previously) opened its seven year, inviting visitors to observe 29 light-based works by international artists, designers, and architects along the canals and throughout the historical center of the city. Artworks were inspired by this year’s theme, a quote from media scientist Marshall McLuhan: “The medium is the message.”
Installations such as British artist Gali May Lucas’s piece “Absorbed by Light” address our contemporary obsession with screen-based technologies. Her piece features three figures next to each other on a bench, each head bent to peer at an illuminated phone. Guests can take a seat between the sculptures to get a better look at the piece, or simply rest and check their own device. Another piece, “Waiting” by Frank Foole features a paused loading wheel on the side of the building surrounding the silhouette of a person inside.
Many of the works are presented close to the city’s canals, making an even more spectacular scene when reflected in the water below. Sculptures like Jeroen Henneman’s “Two Lamps” pay tribute to this effect as the title references the lamp installed on the riverfront, and the one that is projected into the glassy surface underneath. The Amsterdam Light Festival continues to light up the city through January 20, 2019. You can see more documentation of this year’s festival on their website. (via Design Boom)
Share this story
ART ON theMART is a new Chicago-based art program that amplifies the works of contemporary artists, transforming their pieces into dazzling displays along the city’s riverfront. The new project uses large-scale projection to illuminate the 2.5 acre facade of theMART downtown for a series of curated digital animations.
The initial project included commissioned works by Jan Tichy, Diana Thater, Zheng Chongbin, and Jason Salavon. Thater’s work True Life Adventures explored the plight of elephants, zebras, giraffes and other animals who live in danger of poaching in Kenya, and included a soundtrack that was recorded in the their natural habitat. Salavon’s work Homage in Between presented 5 minutes and 35 seconds of neural network-rendered video that sampled imagery from Chicago art and design history and ended with mined images of common internet images such as cats and celebrity faces.
ART ON theMART is projecting a seasonal program of winter holiday images that run through the end of the year. Works will be projected five days a week (Wednesday – Sunday) for two hours each evening over the span of 10 months (March – December). Currently the project is accepting calls for entry for their March programming. You can enter on their website where you can also find more documentation from previous iterations.
Share this story
Inventor Simone Giertz is known for her hilariously disobedient robots like this breakfast machine designed to pour a bowl of cereal but which actually just sloshes milk across the counter, or her wake-up robot that jolts users awake by repeatedly slapping them in the face. Her latest invention started as a personal project, and has nothing to do with being harassed by a piece of metal machinery. The Every Day Calendar is an illuminated board with responsive buttons that correspond with each day of the year, and is intended to help users set and stick with their goals.
Giertz built the piece to encourage meditating, a habit she had been trying off and on for nearly 10 years. After each session she touched the light-up button, which allowed her to get a visual index of her daily accomplishment. The inventor recently completed her year-long goal, only missing the one day she underwent brain surgery. Every Day Calendar is not only an encouraging model for the easy days, but it is also meant to be a guiding light for the days that are not so easy. You can check out the project and learn a little bit more about Giertz on her Kickstarter page. (via Swissmiss)
Share this story
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)
Share this story
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)
Share this story
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.”
Share this story
Editor's Picks: Architecture
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.