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Art

Tuxedoed Penguins Plunge into A Private Tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

May 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Nelson-Atkins Museum, by Gabe Hopkins

On a recent trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, three penguins from the Kansas City Zoo were keen to ruffle some feathers. As they waddled along their private tour— the museum currently is closed to humans due to COVID-19—Bubbles, Maggie, and Berkley served some polarizing opinions. Executive director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia said the tuxedoed guests “seemed to react much better to Caravaggio than Monet,” whose work they only glance at in a video of their trip.

Despite the cold shoulders that they gave the French painter, zoo officials said the penguins enjoyed interacting with some new faces. “Unfortunately, our penguins can’t speak for themselves, but we think they found the experience at the museum very enriching.”

Zugazagoitia also noted that he spoke Spanish to the three birds, who are native to Chile and Peru, in order to break the ice and make them feel a little bit more comfortable in the space. All three are Humboldt penguins under eight years old, meaning that they’ve got more time to refine their tastes. The South American birds generally live more than 30 years.

The museum’s resident photographer Gabe Hopkins captured much of the sophisticated guest’s visit, which he’s shared on Flickr. (via ArtNet News)

 

 

 



Animation Art

A Carnivalesque Short Film by Fernando Livschitz Imagines a Buoyant Vienna

May 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

Vienna is like…,” a new animated short by Fernando Livschitz (previously), brings a heavy dose of the absurd to the Austrian capital. The director, who’s from Argentina and heads Black Sheep Films, captures an imagined Vienna in which historic buildings float in the air and a massive, multicolored slinky connects public transit cars. Watch the full animation that’s set to a circus-style tune below, and head to Vimeo and Instagram, where Livschitz shares more of his amusing films.

 

 

 



Art

Seamlessly Tour 37 Artists’ Studios From Around the World in a Successive Compilation

May 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

Berlin-based artist Falk Lehmann, who’s better known as AKUT (previously), recently decided to funnel the energy he would have been using during this time for exhibitions and festivals toward a collaborative project intended to connect artists around the world. After feeling cut off from his previously robust social and professional life, AKUT tasked 37 artists living in 30 different cities with creating “Isolated,” a short film that glimpses into each of their studios.

Participants—keep an eye out for Paola Delfín, Andreas Englund, Bezt, and others we’ve mentioned on Colossal—provided four-second clips spanning their workspace and some in-progress pieces before framing a digital screen, which provides the landscape to dive into the next studio in a chain-like series. AKUT said that while the initial shooting technique was simple, lining up and editing the different videos proved more difficult.

The finished short film came out as a proof for the principle of mentalism. Sliding through the contrasting and inspiring studios as lively spaces in constant use by the respective artists felt refreshing and very comforting to me. It symbolizes the connection of all individuals being part of a universal infinite, living mind, in which you don’t necessarily need to check in physically.

To see more of AKUT’s quarantine activities, follow him on Instagram. You also might want to check out this socially distant performance and another global initiative to bring artists together. (via Street Art News)

 

 

 



Animation

A Woman and A Fish Time Travel Through A Heartfelt Short Film Directed by Ben Brand

May 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Does everything you throw in the ocean eventually come back to you?” asks Amsterdam-based director Ben Brand. His new short film, titled “Sea You,” opens with a gray-haired woman sitting at her dining table, except rather than a tear rolling down her cheek, it retreats to her watering eye. This sets in motion a series of events chronicled in reverse: the protagonist is shown riding her bike backward toward the market, while the fish she intended to eat earlier undergoes a packing process in which it’s unwrapped.

Brand said the sincere animation was born out of a story of loss. “When my girlfriend told me the story of her family spreading her deceased grandmother’s ash over the sea (like a lot of people around the world do), I started wondering what actually happens to all that ash,” he writes. As the director reveals in “Sea You,” everything released into the water somehow returns.

Watch the full video below, and follow Brand’s thoughtful animations on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation Food

A Chef Demonstrates the Emotional Steps of How To Make Sushi

May 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

How to Make Sushi” outlines all the necessary tasks to assemble maki: slice your fish, spread the rice, bleed from avocado hand, sweat all over your workspace, spend years agonizing over perfection, and finally, slice your roll into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy?

Made by London-based director and 3D designer Jonathan Lindgren, the humorous animation provides a quirky look at mastering a craft. It’s complete with the basic kitchen skills like cleaning a knife and gathering ingredients, in addition to more emotional labor like ending a romantic relationship and rising early each day.

Lindgren said the instructional project began in 2018 when he created a few frames based on the lives of sushi chefs. After consulting with Luke Brown from The Soundery on a score and actor Yoshi Amao, the director created the short film. “Always being inspired by Japanese animation, this turned into an emulation of many years of reading manga and watching anime. Also seeing how the amazing craftsmanship and graphic design was used in Isle of Dogs definitely influenced me a lot while making this,” he said.

Find more of Lindgren’s amusing animations on Vimeo, and check out his other creative work on Behance and Instagram. You might also want to watch this time-lapse of the making of Isle of Dogs’s sushi scene. (via Uncrate)

 

 

 



Art Dance Music

A Dramatic Performance by Juilliard Students Brings a Socially Distant Approach to Ravel’s Boléro

May 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

Maurice Ravel’s Boléro is a particularly collaborative composition in that it passes the melodic theme through a series of solos. The sequential performances highlight the distinct tones and sounds of each instrument, whether it be a flute, violin, or the anomalous saxophone. In a spectacular new project, dozens of Juilliard students who now are quarantined in their respective homes bring a socially distant approach to the classic orchestral composition. What makes it especially impressive, though, is not just appearances by famous alumni—watch for Yo-Yo Ma, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, and Itzhak Perlman—but because it coordinates the instrumental piece in addition to a range of dramatic and choreographed elements that appear to transcend individual frames.

In a statement about the project, Juilliard said the hundreds of video clips were filmed separately before being edited and overlayed into a single composition. “Bolero Juilliard, assembled by a team of artists all working from remote locations, is part narrative, part collage. Most of all, it is a collective endeavor that captures a snapshot of a specific global moment and the possibilities of creative connection in an uncertain world,” the school said. The assembled video is “a complex online puzzle with many components being conceived, rehearsed, and produced simultaneously.”

If you enjoyed Juilliard’s project, check out this music video filmed entirely on Zoom and these quarantine dispatches. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Animation Photography

An Unnerving New Film by Paul Trillo Imagines Earth Moments Before It’s Sucked into a Black Hole

May 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

A new film by New York-based director Paul Trillo lingers for just a moment on a serene body of water before plunging into a dizzying series of landscape transformations. “Until There Was Nothing” considers how Earth’s natural landscapes and city life would look just moments before being consumed by a black hole. The surreal work shows massive waves suddenly crawling up the left side of the frame, the tops of taxi cabs shooting into the air, and an entire forest of trees ascending in an amorphous mass.

To add an even more unnerving twist, Trillo overlayed the short film with a recording of British writer Alan Watts, who slowly expounds on the “prospect of vanishing.” Despite his film’s disturbing qualities, the director maintains an optimistic outlook. “Someday this will pass and there will be nothing left… That’s not something to fear ‘because we come from nothing’ as Alan Watts puts it… and from nothing comes something new,” he says.

Watch the full film, which Trillo alternatively titled “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Black Hole,” below. Find more of the director’s perspective-bending projects on Vimeo.