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Photography Science

A Minimal Photographic Series Visualizes the Seven Base Quantities of Physics

July 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

Mass. All images © Greg White, shared with permission

In his series Base Quantities, London-based photographer Greg White elucidates the abstract and fundamental concepts of physics. His minimal, graphic images document all seven components (i.e. mass, electric current, temperature, length, luminous intensity, amount of substance, and time) of the arbitrarily defined system used in measuring physical properties. Vividly composed, the visuals include a radiant electric current flowing in a coil, the tonal spectrum of thermodynamic temperature, and a trio of illuminated beams conveying length.

White tells Colossal that the series was born out of a desire to experiment with photographic techniques in a playful, accurate way and is inspired by Berenice Abbot, who dedicated much of her practice to presenting complex scientific principles to the public in a simple and accessible manner.  “Researching within the realms of science it quickly became apparent that everything has rules and quantities and so I chose to visualize the quantities. Rules might be next,” he shares. Each representation is derived entirely in-camera, a process he describes:

I wanted the images to only show something through a technique, so for instance without the motion of an object it would appear completely different or without the strobe again it would be different and not be representational of the concept.  A lot of the techniques involved (the) motion of an object captured over a long exposure. Some additionally have a strobe effect during the long exposure, others use multiple exposures while shifting the lens for instance, or simply incorporating simple props/fx to distort or reveal a notion.

Alongside experimental projects like Base Quantities, White works on a variety of commissions and commercial projects, which you can explore on his site and Instagram. (via Iain Claridge)

 

Electric current

Temperature

Length

Luminous intensity

Amount of substance

Time

 

 



Design History

A Trio of Visual Catalogs Celebrates the Innovative Figures Who Pioneered Modern Information Graphics

May 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

Emma Willard, Temple of Time. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and David Rumsey Map Collection

A new book set honors the lives and legacies of three figures who fundamentally altered the way we communicate and organize data still today. Information Graphic Visionaries is a catalog trio dedicated to educator and entrepreneur Emma Willard, statistician and founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale, and scientist Étienne-Jules Marey, who all brought insight and clarity to the modern world by conveying complex information in visually compelling and convincing manners. Edited by RJ Andrews of Info We Trust with art direction by Lorenzo Fanton, the series unveils these previously overlooked histories through newly discovered graphics and prominent works paired with contextual essays and annotations.

Through a combination of atlases, wall hangings, and textbook woodcut graphics, Emma Willard: Maps of History explores how Willard invented new conceptions of time and ultimately defined chronology in the United States. Florence Nightingale: Mortality & Health Diagrams contains the nurses’ persuasive designs that ultimately sparked vital reforms to the English health care system. And the Étienne-Jules Marey volume is the first English translation of the French scientist’s seminal text on data visualization, The Graphic Method, La Méthode Graphique, which was first published in 1885.

After launching May 11, Information Graphic Visionaries is already nearing its goal on Kickstarter, but you still have time to back the project.

 

Emma Willard, detail of Map of 1620. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and David Rumsey Map Collection

Emma Willard, Perspective Sketch. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and David Rumsey Map Collection

Florence Nightingale, Cholera Diagram by William Farr. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and the Wellcome Collection

Florence Nightingale, The Mortality in the Hospitals. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and the Wellcome Collection

 

 



Photography

An Intimate Series About Aging and Time Compiles Portraits of Photographer Nancy Floyd Every Day Since 1982

March 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

Left: February 8, 1984. Right: January 6, 2013. All images © Nancy Floyd, courtesy of Gost, shared with permission

For four decades, Nancy Floyd has fostered a routine around confronting aging directly. Every day since 1982, the Oregon-based photographer has taken a portrait of herself perched on a chair in her living room, standing on the front porch, or posing wherever she’s spending the day for her series, Weathering Time. A forthcoming volume published by Gost compiles thousands of these images in a visceral rumination on what changes as we age.

Each black-and-white photograph frames a posed Floyd, who continually exudes a calm, laid-back temperament, and chronicles the way time impacts her body, relationships, and environment, honing in on her experience as a woman in the United States. Although the images are profoundly intimate and personal—many show her pets, stints in hospitals, and her parents aging—they simultaneously broach the universal. Floyd devotes an entire section to the “Evolution of the Typewriter,” and the project creates a broad visual timeline of advancements in technologies, fashion trends, and larger cultural shifts.

At the moment, the series is comprised of more than 2,500 photographs, 1,200 of which are laid out in simple grids in the 257-page volume. Floyd used a film camera for the first 36 years of the project, a choice that allowed her to take a blank image when she was unable to photograph herself, and only switched to digital last year.

Weathering Time is available for pre-order on Bookshop, and you can find more shots from the expansive collection on Floyd’s Instagram.

 

October 2, 1987

April 12, 2000, Floyd with Cavallino Rampante Berlinetta Fang Smith

Left: 1982. Right: 2016

July 2, 1999, Floyd and Robin

 

 



Art Photography

Hundreds of Photos of the New York Sky Are Pinned to a Massive, Spherical Sculpture by Sarah Sze

June 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

” Shorter than the Day” (2020), powder-coated aluminum and steel, 48 x 30 x 30 feet. All images © Sarah Sze by Nicholas Knight

Artist Sarah Sze explores the myriad conceptions of time and space through a tremendous new spherical sculpture. Titled “Shorter than the Day” —a reference to Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I could not stop for Death,” which considers the comfort found in life’s finality—Sze’s piece weighs five tons and was unveiled Thursday at LaGuardia Airport. It is suspended above an atrium in Terminal B.

The New York-based artist captures the magnitude of the upper atmosphere as it changes from bright blue morning to a vibrant sunset to the rich hues of the night through nearly 1,000 photographs of the sky. Each printed image is fastened to the aluminum and steel with alligator clips and is revealed as viewers move around the massive work, just like the earth circles the sun to mark a day. The piece was fabricated in collaboration with Amuneal.

Along with three other projects from artists Jeppe Hein, Laura Owens, Sabine Hornig, “Shorter than the Day” was commissioned by LaGuardia Gateway Partners and Public Art Fund. To find out more about Sze, whose work involves countless individual objects positioned in precise arrangements, watch her TED Talk and visit her site. (via ArtNet)

 

 

 



Art

Suspended Hourglasses Visualize the Complexity of Time in 'Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow'

April 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Lane Shordee, Caitlind r.c. Brown, and Wayne Garrett, shared with permission

One-hundred five hourglasses dangle from the entranceway ceiling at cSPACE King Edward in Calgary. Every day at both noon and midnight, the sand-filled vessels flip in tandem and reset. They’re part of a 2018 project called “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,” a site-specific installation created by artists Lane Shordee, Caitlind r.c. Brown, and Wayne Garrett (previously), that visualizes the intricacies of how we experience collective moments, individual memories, and history.

Each hourglass has a unique correlation to time–half document how hours slip by like a clock, while others reflect more personal relationships to the passing seconds in a series of notes submitted by the public. “Ranging from ‘the time it takes to call mom’ to ‘the time it takes to realize it was just a dream and you are no longer lying next to me,’ you can read the brass tags attached to various hourglasses to understand the increment of time being measured in sand,” the artists tell Colossal.

Every vessel, though, represents a year of the King Edward building, from its construction in 1912 to its transformation to the cSPACE area in 2017. “‘Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’ uses the hourglass as a symbol of non-linear time–both mortal and immortal–drawing a relationship between the sandstone school’s past, transitional present, and the uncertain future yet to come,” they said. Visualizing the otherwise abstract concept, the suspended project invites people to consider how all moments are interwoven.

For the project, the creative trio ground the sandstone bricks from the original building. They then sifted and measured the substance into the hand-blown glasses that measure zero seconds to four hours. Motors, sensors, microcomputers, and an internal clock using GPS ensures that each vessel flips on time even if there’s a power outage.

To keep up with Shordee, Brown, and cSPACE King Edward, head to Instagram. You also might like Brown and Garrett’s interactive lightbulb sculpture and Carbon Copy, their installation that flipped a car on its front bumper

 

 



Art

168,000 Numbers Suspended From the Ceiling in Color-Coded Installation by Emmanuelle Moureaux

March 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Emmanuelle Moureaux

In an effort to merge the past, present, and future in a single work, Tokyo-based French architect and designer Emmanuelle Moureaux (previously) hung 168,000 paper numbers in rainbow-like rows to create her latest piece, “Slices of Time.” The suspended project contains 100 hues, in addition to white, that are formed into a vibrant cylinder meant to serve as a visual representation of Earth. “She uses colours as three-dimensional elements, like layers, in order to create spaces, not as a finishing touch applied on surfaces. Handling colours as a medium to compose space, her wish is to give emotion through colours with her creations, which range from art, design to architecture,” a statement about the work said.

Part of her 100 Colors series, the piece is on view at NOW Gallery in London through April 19, although the space currently is closed due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus. To keep up with Moureaux’s next numerical project, follow her on Instagram. (via design boom)