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Design

Mirage: Doug Aitken’s Mirrored House Creates a Kaleidoscopic View of the Surrounding Swiss Mountains

February 10, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Doug Aitken, Mirage Gstaad, 2019,
 Part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, Gstaad, Switzerland.
 Image courtesy of the Artist; Photo by Stefan Altenburger.

For this year’s Elevation 1049, a series of site-specific installations dotting the mountain town of Gstaad, Switzerland, the chosen theme is “Frequencies.” In response, Los Angeles-based artist Doug Aitken (previously) installed a house-shaped structure made almost entirely of mirrored surfaces that reflect the mountains, skies, and trees. Aptly named Mirage Gstaad after the region and its optical effect, the ranch-style structure echoes the snow-covered landscape while also disappearing into the surrounding environment. The structure’s angled walls and ceiling easily bounce light, which creates a kaleidoscopic view of the area’s mountain peaks when seen from within.

The materials for the structure were sourced locally and transported by truck to the site back in November before the snow season began. Aitken and his team tell Colossal that the location and materials were chosen in collaboration with local authorities to “be conscious of environmental issues, such as the fritting (the aluminium stripes) that were added to the reflective surface for the safety of birds.”

Having launched alongside the program at the beginning of February 2019, Aitken’s structure will continue to reflect the changing landscape of Gstaad for the next two years. Admission to the mirage and other Elevation 1049 installations is free. For locations and directions head to the project website, and for more of Doug Aitken’s work, follow his studio on Instagram. (via designboom)

Doug Aitken, Mirage Gstaad, 2019,
 Part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, Gstaad, Switzerland.
 Image courtesy of the Artist; Photo by Stefan Altenburger.

Doug Aitken, Mirage Gstaad, 2019,
 Part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, Gstaad, Switzerland.
 Image courtesy of the Artist; Photo by Stefan Altenburger.

Doug Aitken, Mirage Gstaad, 2019,
 Part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, Gstaad, Switzerland.
 Image courtesy of the Artist; Photo by Stefan Altenburger.

Doug Aitken, Mirage Gstaad, 2019,
 Part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, Gstaad, Switzerland.
 Image courtesy of the Artist; Photo by Stefan Altenburger.

Doug Aitken, Mirage Gstaad, 2019,
 Part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, Gstaad, Switzerland.
 Image courtesy of the Artist; Photo by Torvioll Jashari.

Doug Aitken, Mirage Gstaad, 2019,
 Part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, Gstaad, Switzerland.
 Image courtesy of the Artist; Photo by Torvioll Jashari.

Doug Aitken, Mirage Gstaad, 2019,
 Part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, Gstaad, Switzerland.
 Image courtesy of the Artist; Photo by Torvioll Jashari.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Winter’s Magic: Dramatic Ice Crystals Formed in Ephemeral Spheres

December 31, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

A simple mixture of corn syrup, dish detergent, and water creates magical winter snow globes when blown into bubbles on snow. Frosty shapes dance across the fragile transparent bubbles, starting out as distant stars that expand and almost tesselate to form a continuous surface pattern. The straightforward yet delicate DIY project is dramatically documented by Ontario-based nature photographer Don Komarechka in his short film “Winter’s Magic.” Komarechka’s video features the best clips from over 400 takes that were originally shot for the BBC’s Forces of Nature documentary series. The artist works in macro, landscape, and nature photography. He also teaches workshops, and sells prints of his work, from snowflakes to spiders, on his website. For the curious, Komarechka explains the process and the technical aspects of the project on YouTube. (via The Kid Should See This)

 

 



Photography

Black and White Photographs Capture the Striking Appearance of Bare Trees Against Snow-Filled Landscapes

December 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All photos by Pierre Pellegrini, Switzerland; Courtesy of the Galleria Valeria Bella Stampe, Milan, Italy.

All photos by Pierre Pellegrini, Switzerland; Courtesy of the Galleria Valeria Bella Stampe, Milan, Italy.

Swiss photographer Pierre Pellegrini is drawn to remote landscapes dotted by tree groves, snow-topped piers, and structures that have fallen into a state of disarray. Long exposure photographs force Pellegrini to sit quietly with these scenes, meditatively taking in the high contrast landscape as his camera processes the deep blacks and brilliant whites that emerge in the dead of winter. “I simply photograph what I feel, and am always looking for moments and situations where everything is in its place,” he explains to Colossal. “I try to find a sort of harmony between what I see and what I feel.” You can see more of his square format black and white photographs on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

The Diverse and Rugged Beauty of Nordic Glaciers and Icebergs Captured by Jan Erik Waider

August 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Jan Erik Waider (previously) splits his time between Hamburg, Germany and traveling through the harsh and unpredictable climate of Nordic countries like Greenland, Iceland, and Norway. In each of these locations Waider seeks the most remote and hidden locations, wishing to present rarely seen perspectives of the native landscape to a larger audience. For more than a decade he has captured the monumental beauty of northern glaciers, isolating their color and shape in a way that makes the icy cliffs appear almost extraterrestrial.

In one ongoing series titled Remnants, Waider finds abandoned pieces of icebergs that lay like “stranded whales” on Iceland’s south coast. “Powerful waves wash around them and drag them further ashore, after they drifted aimlessly in the sheltered lagoon for months,” he explains. “The colors tell stories about age and density, and they speak of the history of the volcanoes that let black ash rain down and darkened the skies.”

Waider offers prints of his personal photographs on his website. You can view more images from his northern expeditions on Instagram, Twitter, and Behance.

 

 



Photography

Frozen Landscapes Tell a Winter’s Tale in New Photographs by Kilian Schönberger

March 1, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

German photographer Kilian Schönberger (previously) is known for capturing otherworldly images of his natural surroundings. His latest series, Winter’s Tale, was shot in the mountain ranges of Germany and central Europe and showcases the desaturated, hushed landscapes of snow-covered forests. Schönberger describes the mystical quality of his Winter’s Tale series: “Winter was the time when tales and legends were told at home, the whole family sitting around the tiled stove. The mystic figures are just waiting in front of the doorstep, snow and frost seem to make trees alive.”

The photographer shares with Colossal that challenging conditions are part of the game when shooting outdoors during the winter. Schönberger treks in with snowshoes or cross country skis, and sometimes waits two hours or more in frigid temperatures for the right shot, while battling shortened battery life and fickle sunlight that is needed to illuminate a scene without melting delicate frost. In addition to his Behance portfolio, you can see more of Schönberger’s work on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Snow Covered Vending Machines Illuminate a Frozen Hokkaido

October 6, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

There are over five and a half million vending machines across Japan which sell a variety of merchandise from soda and cigarettes, to fresh eggs and flowers. These machines are not only scattered within the large city centers of the country, but also are common sights in smaller, more rural towns. The beverage dispensers are functional all night, serving as main a light source in remote areas without prevalent night life or street lamps.

Many vending machines populate the country’s prefecture of Hokkaido, a northern island that experiences harsh winters. Photographer Eiji Ohashi noticed how the light from these vending machines would illuminate surrounding snow, precipitation that had either piled on top of the machine or buried it completely. These glowing subjects became a source of intrigue for Ohashi who has created a series based on the machines titled Time to Shine.

“As dusk approaches, roadside vending machines light up in cities and in the outskirts,” says Ohashi in a statement. “These scenes of vending machines, ordinarily standing on the roadside, are particular to Japan. The vending machines downtown or in the wilderness, placed to stand in solitude, are an image of loneliness. They work tirelessly, whether it is day or night. But once their sales drop, they are taken away. If they do not glow and shine, they will stop existing. There might be something human about them.”

Ohashi compiled several of the images from his series into a photobook titled Roadside Lights. You can see other images from a snow-covered Hokkaido on his website. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Photography

Thousands of Birds Photographed Atop Snow-Laden Trees in Downtown Portland, Oregon

January 17, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Photo © Walker Berg courtesy Portland Police

One evening last week, C.S.I. Walker Berg of the Portland Oregon Police Bureau looked out a window on the 12th floor of the Justice Center to discover an incredible sight: trees freshly covered in thick white snow were covered in yet another layer of thousands of black crows. Berg grabbed a Nikon D700 and snapped this amazing shot of the trees eerily lit from below by street lamps before the birds disappeared. The police department shared the image dubbed “Crows on Snow” on Facebook and Twitter where it quickly went viral.

 

 

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