science fiction

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Art

Luminescent Zip-Tie Formations Are Shaped into Futuristic Organic Life by Artist Elisabeth Picard

May 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Ondulation” (2014), white zip-ties, RGB LED light, and painted plywood, 
36 x 36 x 6 ¼ inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil. All images © Elisabeth Picard, shared with permission

Montreal-based artist Elisabeth Picard curls, fans, and locks together hundreds of zip-ties into tremendously formed glowing sculptures and undulating installations. The futuristic artworks merge geological and organic elements with science fiction to create abstract formations that the artist likens to “landscapes, minerals, plants, micro-organisms, and sea creatures.”

Picard tells Colossal that since she began working with the nylon links in 2011, she’s used more than 300,000 ties. The artist hand-dyes each piece with pastels, earth tones, and sometimes fluorescent hues that will later glow under UV light and add depth with shadows. Some artworks even are assembled with a lightbox backdrop. Each glowing piece is designed to elucidate the contrast between the original material and the final structures, and numeric art, vector drawing, programming, and 3D printing all guide her research.

Find more of Picard’s artworks that consider the future of the natural world on Instagram and Vimeo.

 

“Evolution” (2015), 
dyed zip-ties with plexi lightbox, 
20.5 x 21.5 x 6 inches. Photo by 
Michel Dubreuil

“Volute 1 et Volute 2” (2013), 
dyed zip-ties, 
7 x 7 x 7 and 7 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil

“Flot” (2011), 
15, 000 zip-ties, glass, painted steel, and fluorescent light, 
28.25 x 76.5 x 38.5 inches. Photo by Michel Dubreuil

“Chlorophyta” (2015), dyed zip-ties with plexi lightbox, 
18.43 x 18.43 x 9.37 inches
. Photo by Michel Dubreuil

Left: “Navicula” (2015), 
dyed zip-ties and plexi plate
, 12 x 7 x 5.5 inches
. Photo by Michel Dubreuil. Top right: “Spirale” (2013), dyed zip-ties,
 13 x 10 x 4 inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil. Bottom right: “Staurastrum” (2015
), dyed zip-ties and plexi tablet
, 9 x 8.5 x 8.25 inches. Photo by Michel Dubreuil

“Strongylocentrotus” (2013), 
dyed zip-ties, with plexi lightbox, 
15 x 15.75 x 8 inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil

“Macro-organismes: Couronne” (2011-2016
), zip-ties, baked enamel steel, plexi lightbox, and programmable RGB LED, 
19 x 19 x 8 inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil

 

 



Art Illustration

Sprawling Pen Illustrations in Sketchbooks by Mattias Adolfsson Incite the Wild and Absurd

April 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mattias Adolfsson

Mattias Adolfsson’s (previously) impeccably detailed illustrations demonstrate his propensity for a controlled frenzy that borders on the chaotic but never quite passes the threshold. The Swedish artist creates fantastical drawings of city blocks, bizarre collections of writing utensils, and intricate menageries of deceased animals that merge science fiction, whimsy, and the absurd. While some of the muted artworks feature a central narrative, like the sea-bound ship below, each of his incredibly intricate pieces are impossible to consider with a single glance, in part because they cover the entire sketchbook spread. For more of Adolfsson’s sprawling illustrations, visit Instagram or Behance, and head to Etsy to add one to your own collection.

 

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Art Craft

Extraordinarily Intricate Cardboard Robots by Greg Olijnyk Feature Embedded Lights and Moveable Limbs

April 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Greg Olijnyk, shared with permission. Photographs by Griffin Simm

Imbued with a penchant for adventure, Greg Olijnyk’s cardboard robots are ready to zoom around on a Vesbot or dodge oncoming bumper cars. The fully operative sculptures have bendable limbs, spinning wheels, and glowing LED lights that add an ambience to “Speedybot Dodgem” and serve as functioning headlights. Olijnyk also created a robotic dog that’s perched on the back of the scooter as an intrepid companion.

The artist’s recent sculptures are similar to his previous projects that are influenced by science fiction. He tells Colossal that he has “a fascination with mechanical shapes, girders and, of course, robots, resulting in original works that hopefully, tell a bit of a story.” Each piece has a potential for movement, whether it be a figure who’s descended into a crouch or another with its hands positioned on its hips.

Based in Melbourne, Olijnyk is a full-time graphic designer and says he transitions to 3D, analogue projects as a way to contrast his daily digital work. Follow him on Instagram to see step-by-step process shots and check out the playful escapades his mustachioed robots and their pets undertake next.

 

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Design Photography

Massive Wild Animals Wander Russian Streets in Surreal Composites by Vadim Solovyov

April 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Vadim Solovyov, shared with permission

Seeing a raccoon washing its paws in the rivers of Saint Petersburg or an octopus tumbling out of a city bus would be a startling sight for most city dwellers. Artist Vadim Solovyov, though, takes those surreal scenes a step farther as he imagines massive rooks, penguins, and chameleons invading the Russian city. While many of the composites feature the animals in nature, some position them in spaces typically occupied by a human, like a sloth behind the candy-covered counter of a convenience store.

Solovyov tells Colossal that he began the uncanny series as a way to explore strange events in his real life. For example, he said the giant raccoon and its presumptive counterparts “quietly make their way through the deserted evening city to the embankments and shyly rinse something in the water there. Thoroughly. Not less than 20 seconds,” which is a reference to current handwashing suggestions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

The artist says he values his work’s visual and textual components equally.

Giant animals (are) only one of the features of this world. Their origin, the history of the world itself can be found in fragments from the texts under the posts. Many posts exist in the context of actual events in my city and country. Through my work, I often convey in a veiled (and sometimes weird) way important for me issues or problems of society (attitude to animals, politics, social flaws). But this, of course, does not exclude the fact that some works are an ironic “visual game” without additional deep meanings.

For the complete collection of the meandering wildlife and their respective stories, head to Solovyov’s Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Illustration

Tales From the Loop Enlivens the Gravity-Defying Dystopia of Simon Stålenhag’s Illustrations

February 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

An uncanny television series is founded in Simon Stålenhag’s fantastical worlds. Covered previously on Colossal, the Swedish artist’s digital illustrations often position robots in open countrysides and consider the prosthetic capabilities of virtual reality. Tales From The Loopwhich gets its name directly from one of Stålenhag’s projects—is set in a fictional universe that explores the potential of merging technology and human curiosity in a futuristic dystopia.

Launching April 3, the television series is based on the understanding that “not everything in life makes sense” as it chronicles the lives of those residing in the Loop, a machine built to uncover answers to the world’s mysteries. It features a gravity-defying universe that sees floating objects, snow ascending from a pile on the floor, and pieces of a house ripped upward. Retro robots even foster relationships with the families and children immersed in the explorative environment.

For a deeper look into the inspiration behind the new show, check out Stålenhag’s book by the same name or head to his Instagram.

All images © Simon Stålenhag, from Tales From the Loop

 

 



Art Craft

Sci-Fi Inspired Cardboard Sculptures by Greg Olijnyk Feature Fully Articulated Limbs and Working Motors

November 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs: Griffin Simm

To balance out his working life as a graphic designer focused on 2-D digital projects, Greg Olijnyk creates cardboard sculptures  in his free time. The remarkably refined artworks are made with packaging-grade cardboard and tracing paper, and finishing touches added with LED lighting and glass accessories.

Cardboard’s affordability and malleability, as well as its surprisingly pleasing surface texture and color, have made it the medium of choice for Olijnyk. The designer tells Colossal that each piece comes together organically, and he draws inspiration from sci-fi books and things he finds on Pinterest as he evolves each concept. “Every piece has the limitations and advantages of the cardboard material in mind, how it bends, how strong it will be, etc.,” Olijnyk explains. “The sailing boat sculpture started with the desire to use a pleated, folding effect to simulate water and the rest of the form evolved over the course of a few months.”

As part of his engineering efforts, Olijnyk incorporates movement and articulation. His robot limbs are movable, and wheels rotate. In some of his works, the designer even incorporates solar panels and small motors to activate various components. “Even if, once behind glass, they remain frozen in a pose, I like to know that the capacity is there to bring them to life,” Olijnyk tells Colossal.

Olijnyk notes that he admires fellow Melbourne-based sculptor Daniel Agdag, who creates similarly fanciful worlds using precisely manipulated cardboard. See more from Olijnyk’s studio as he starts new projects and shares the process on Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Fantastical Swirls of Strange Hybrid Creatures Fill Vorja Sánchez’s New Illustrations

June 26, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Insomnia

Spanish illustrator Vorja Sánchez (previously) continues to plumb his imagination to create wildly original drawings and paintings. Constellations of real and invented wildlife, plants, and mysterious critters that seem to be a combination of the two, coexist in the artist’s colorful multi-media illustrations. Sánchez shares his work on Instagram and Facebook, where he also provides details on works for sale and updates on collaborative projects and murals.

Insomnia (detail)

Mediterranean Insects

Mediterranean Insects (detail)

Seaheart

Winter Stroll

Serenity of the Organic Chaos 

La Cosecha

(Untitled)

Invisible Boat (detail)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Artist Cat Enamel Pins