video

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Craft Design

Dive Into the Process Behind Crafting a Kinetic Humpback Whale That Swims with a Hand-Crank

April 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

Floating atop swirls of whimsically cut wooden waves, a miniature humpback springs to life with the help of a simple hand-crank. The kinetic whale is part of a growing marine menagerie designed by Sylvain Gautier, who whittles and assembles the mechanical sculptures from his workshop near Toulouse. This particular creature is carved from basswood, with a walnut frame and acacia base, and is named “Wooden Migaloo,” “after the albino humpback whale often seen on the coasts of Australia,” he writes. Get a glimpse at Gautier’s process in the short making-of video above, and head to YouTube for more of his aquatic automata. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Photography

A Decade of Haboobs Cloud Landscapes in Thick Walls of Dust in a New Timelapse by Mike Olbinski

April 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

When strong winds gush out of a collapsing thunderstorm as it rips across a dry landscape, they sometimes generate a thick wall of dust known as a haboob. Photographer and storm chaser Mike Olbinski (previously) has been documenting these monumental weather events for the past decade and recently compiled dozens of clips into a dramatic timelapse showing just how quickly these phenomena form and subsequently obscure visibility. Taken between 2011 and 2021, the included footage represents a small fraction of Olbinski’s adventures, which you can see more of on YouTube and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography Science

A Timelapse of Dazzling Star Trails Swirl Around a Psychedelic Nightscape at Joshua Tree

April 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

Set to a gentle, upbeat track by Moby Gratis, “Moonlight Mojave” spins through the desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park under the glow of a night sky. The timelapse compiles 20-second exposures into a deceptive display of light and movement, with the moon and stars illuminating the arid expanses as if it were daytime. Peeking through the eponymous, shrub-like trees, photographer Gavin Heffernan (previously) captures radiant star trails that streak across the bright blue sky, emphasizing the earth’s usually imperceptible rotation.

The entrancing video is part of the multi-faceted Skyglow project, a collaborative effort between Heffernan, director Harun Mehmedinovic (previously)—he’s behind the documentary Ice on Fire—and the International Dark-Sky Association. Exploring the effects of light pollution on the already fragile planet, Skyglow is comprised of multiple video works like “Moonlight Mojave,” a book and print collection, and a forthcoming feature-length film. You can explore more from the project’s creators on its site.

 

 

 



Animation

The Endearing ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’ Returns with a Feature-Length Mockumentary

April 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

An adorable little shell with one googly eye, pink shoes, and a charming sense of humor is back in the limelight this summer. Announced this week, a feature-length mockumentary from A24 will follow the iconic “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” whose debut stop-motion short directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp was a viral sensation a decade ago when it garnered myriad awards, prompted two sequels, and spurred an illustrated book.

Once again voiced by actress Jenny Slate, the quirky character is found living with his grandmother Connie and pet lint Alan. Their life involves watching hours of 60 Minutes, gardening a tiny window box, occupying tiny treehouses designed by Jedediah Corwyn Voltz (previously), and now, searching for their long-lost family following a mysterious tragedy. Watch the heartwarming trailer above, and find “Marcel the Shell with the Shoes On” in theaters on June 24. (via Uncrate)

 

 

 



Art

Responsive Sculptures by Daniel Rozin Echo Human Movement Through Undulating Objects

March 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

A solo exhibition at bitforms gallery highlights the fleeting nature of interaction in a series of responsive sculptures by artist Daniel Rozin (previously). Titled Shades, the show is comprised of multiple imitative works that reflect viewers’ movements through an embedded camera. “Take Out-Chopsticks Mirror,” for example, attaches the wooden utensils to a motorized base, and as someone passes in front of the piece, the components lift upward at a wider angle. In addition to the echoed motion, the undulating works rely on light and shadow to create intriguing, abstract renditions of human gesture.

Also included in the exhibition are two inverse sculptures, “CMY Shadows Mirror” and “RGB Peg Mirror.” Both works reproduce full-color reflections, although the former uses the subtractive color model and the latter additive. Whether animated by human presence or a pre-programmed algorithm, the resulting forms become dynamic displays of kaleidoscopic color.

If you’re in New York City, you can see Shades at bitforms gallery through April 23, and see more of Rozin’s works on his site and Instagram.

 

“RGB Peg Mirror” (2019), anodized aluminum knobs, motors, 3D camera, control electronics, computer, custom software, 72 inches in diameter and 4 inches in depth

“Take Out-Chopsticks Mirror” (2021), chopsticks, motors, wood, custom software, computer, camera, 66 x 34 x 17 inches

Detail of “Take Out-Chopsticks Mirror” (2021), chopsticks, motors, wood, custom software, computer, camera, 66 x 34 x 17 inches

 

 



Science

Underwater Footage Captures a Graceful Whale Shark Swimming Through the Gulf of Thailand

March 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

Underwater footage from a dive off the coast of KoTao opens on the spotted body of a whale shark. Documented by a small team from Aquatic Images on two excursions, the giant, slow-moving creature is shown gliding gracefully through the Gulf of Thailand with what appears to be dozens of remora, or suckerfish, tagging along for the ride—these smaller swimmers tend to clean bacteria and parasites from their host in exchange for food and easy travel.

Whale sharks are currently the largest living fish species, and similar to flamingos, they’re filter-feeders, although they utilize a cross-flow method that involves water passing by the filter toward the back of the throat rather than through it. Their distinctive spots are also unique to each specimen, meaning that like human fingerprints, no two patterns are the same.

This is the second time in recent years that Aquatic Images has encountered the “gentle giant,” and you can find more of its undersea footage on YouTube. (via The Kids Should See This)