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Documentary

A Look Inside the 45,000-Piece Collection of Trashed Treasures Curated by Sanitation Worker Nelson Molina

September 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

If, like me, you live in New York City, you’re confronted on the daily with mounds of trash on the sidewalk. While the appliances, antique furniture, clothing, and houseplants are a passing novelty for pedestrians such as myself, for Nelson Molina, the trash was his daily focus for 34 years. The veteran New York Sanitation worker, who retired in 2015 from his East Harlem route, has collected over 45,000 items of interest, all culled from his professional immersion in what New Yorkers discard.

His curatorial efforts have been widely chronicled over the years, including a 2012 profile in The New York Times, and particularly at inflection points when the collection’s future is uncertain. A new short documentary film by director Nicholas Heller meets up with the contagiously enthusiastic Molina for a look inside his curatorial process and the present state of the collection. There is currently a fundraising effort to create a permanent home for Molina’s ‘Treasures in the Trash,’ which you can contribute to here. If you’re interested in more anthropological trash projects, check out Jenny Odell’s Bureau of Suspended Objects, an archive created out of Odell’s time as an artist in residence at a San Francisco dump.

 

 



Animation

Mesmerizing Practical Illusions and Animations by Rogier van der Zwaag

September 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Multi-disciplinary artist Rogier van der Zwaag creates mesmerizing videos using practical effects. Van der Zwaag’s videos often feature rectangular prisms that shift in mysterious ways, or shafts of light that impact the viewer’s perception. “It’s like sketching; you do not necessarily know exactly how it is going to look in the end,” he shared in an interview with WeTransfer. “I start with a hypothesis; there is an idea, but it never turns out to be that. It will never be exactly what I imagined it to become in the beginning.” In addition to his polished final animations, van der Zwaag shares behind-the-scenes videos that glimpse into the labor-intensive process of creating each finished work. Follow along with the artist on Instagram, and tune into his interview with CNN explaining his creative process.

 

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Art Documentary

Repurposing the World’s Plastic Waste: An Interview With Assemblage Sculptor Thomas Deininger

August 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Every year more than eight million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans. This anxiety, coupled with fears of a dramatic decline in insect populations and a global climate crisis, fuel the assemblage-based works of Thomas Deininger (previously). In a new short film by gnarly bay, clips of Deininger in his studio are supercut with footage showing the many ways that plastic has laid damage to our world’s sea creatures and environment. It is these bits of mindlessly discarded plastic that the Bristol, Rhode Island-based artist uses to create his sculptural optical illusions—which are often of the exact same animals and insects that the plastic threatens. You can see more of Deininger’s three-dimensional works built from found objects on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Soar Above Iceland’s Otherworldly Landscape in an Atmospheric Short Film by Vadim Sherbakov

August 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Russian photographer and videographer Vadim Sherbakov travels the world in search of unforgettable images for both personal and client projects. A recent short film, Islandia, transports the viewer to the island nation and highlights the timeless beauty of Iceland’s natural landscape. Cavernous fjords, rushing waterfalls, and winding rivers cut through the island’s rugged terrain. Sherbakov used a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone to shoot the aerial film, and licensed original music by Luke Atencio and Ryan Taubert. See more of Sherbakov’s globe-trotting films and photos on Vimeo and Instagram. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 



Animation Science

A Digital Animation Explores the Height of Trees From a 3-Inch Bonsai to a 300-Foot Sequoia

August 23, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In this calming video by Red Side, a variety of tree species are compared side-by-side. The animation spans different common and more unique tree types, starting with 3-inch Keshitsubo bonsai tree and moving all the way to a towering Sequoia sempervirens. In addition to the subtly billowing trees, the video also contains some human-made landmarks that help to add context, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a rocket, and the Statue of Liberty. You can see more of Red Side’s animations, like this animal population video or tornado comparison, on Youtube. (via The Morning News)

 

 



Design

A Dyed Wool Cloak Made From Scratch in the Chinese Countryside by Li Ziqi

August 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Li Ziqi (previously) presents pastoral glimpses into daily life on her farm in the countryside of China through her Youtube channel. She records common projects and necessities with precision and care, often focusing on the tasks needed to created a multi-course traditional meal or demonstrating the ways she prepares for the region’s harsh winters. In a video from earlier this year, Li walks her audience through the steps of knitting and dying a floor-length purple cloak with wool sourced from a neighboring farm. The five-minute film follows her journey across the snow-strewn mountains, watches as she inspects and brushes out the gathered wool, and features cameos by a few puppies and a very tiny lamb. You can view more snippets from her life on Facebook and Youtube. (via swissmiss)

 

 



Amazing Photography

Earth’s Rotation Visualized in a Timelapse of the Milky Way Galaxy by Aryeh Nirenberg

August 20, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Although the Earth rotates below the sky, aerial time-lapse videos often have the perspective of a celestial scene rushing above the ground. In this brief video by Aryeh Nirenberg, the Milky Way becomes completely stationary, highlighting specifically the Earth’s rotation. Nirenberg recorded the time-lapse with a Sony a7SII with the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens while using an equatorial tracking mount over a period of three hours. You can see more of his starscapes on Instagram and Youtube. (via Kottke)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Artist Cat Enamel Pins