video

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Music

2,292 Plants Fill the Audience in Opening Performance at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu

June 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Gran Teatre del Liceu, shared with permission

This week, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu held its first performance with a live audience post-coronavirus, but it’s unclear whether the attendees were too green to appreciate Puccini’s “Crisantemi.” Seated in the red, velvet seats and among the gold balconies, 2,292 palms, ficus trees, and Swish cheese plants filled the iconic opera house to listen to the string quartet’s rendition.

A collaboration with Madrid-based artist Eugenio Ampudia and the Max Estrella gallery, the concert was meant to reflect on humans’ relationship with nature. “I thought why don’t we go into the Liceu like weeds, take it over and let nature start growing everywhere and turn it into something alive even when there are no people,” Ampudia said in an interview. After the performance, the leafy audience members were donated to healthcare workers who have been battling the virus during the last few months.

 

 

 



Photography

An Aerial Timelapse Captures One Million Begonias as They’re Woven Into an Ephemeral Tapestry

June 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Every other August, dozens of volunteers gather near the Grand Place in Brussels to compose a 19,000-square-foot, floral rug that blankets the central square. The massive installation is woven with one million begonias—a hearty flower that Belgium is the largest producer of worldwide—that last just four days before wilting.

Although the 2020 edition of the “Flower Carpet” event has been postponed, Berlin-based Joerg Daiber, of Spoon Film, captured the 2018 iteration in a short timelapse that shows how the vibrant tapestry is fabricated. Daiber adds a bit of whimsy to his film, though, with a tilt-shift effect, which makes all the volunteers, spectators, and surrounding architecture appear as miniatures. “The film was shot from three buildings around the Grand Place in Brussels, but most of the shots were taken from the 90-meter-high tower of the Brussels Town Hall,” the filmmaker told PetaPixel.

If you’re hoping to satisfy more of your wanderlust, check out Daiber’s similarly tiny dives into Montenegro, Burma, and Mallorca, among dozens of other locales, on YouTube.

 

 

 



Animation

A Transfixing Animation Utilizes the Optical Illusions of Pareidolia to Parallel Two Narratives About Birth

June 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Created by London-based animator and artist Vier Nev, “A Mind Sang” plunges into an entrancing journey of life’s stages. The short film is centered on themes of transformation as it hypnotically shifts perspectives scene-by-scene. “It began with twenty drawings I had created about different cultural representations of birth and identity. I find that in my drawings I often come back to the same characters: queer couples, mothers, and, for some inexplicable reason, cats,” Nev said in a Vimeo interview.

Relying on pareidolia—the tendency to see objects or patterns where they physically don’t exist—each frame simultaneously depicts two different narratives. “I wondered if I could create a film that merged the stories of these characters into the same shapes and shadows,” Nev said. The characters seamlessly change from fully realized figures into amorphous shapes, animals, and single body parts throughout the illusory project.

Although Nev originally planned for the entire film to be black and white, he instead infused bits of crimson and shades of violet. “The two red moments are particularly special to me as they signal moments where blood (sangue) fills the frame,” he said. “First as fire and then as water, blood represents death or birth.”

“A Mind Sang” recently won a Staff Pick Award at the 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Check out stills of the transformative project on Nev’s Instagram, and follow his upcoming animations on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation

A Minimally Animated Paper Box Expresses a Surprising Range of Human Emotions

June 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

Most health experts say you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions, and an amusing new animation by Paris-based designer Benoit Leva proves you can’t box them up either. “I am Square” features a white, paper carton that’s literally bursting with emotions and feelings. Coinciding with a series of prompts, the box retreats when shy, floats in a dreamy state, and turns pink in a moment of empathy. To check out more of Leva’s emotive—and relatable—animations, head to Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

30 Hand-Cranked Machines Comprise Amusing Series of Miniatures by Artist Federico Tobon

June 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

Similar to Lalese Stamps’s personal challenge to create 100 ceramic mug handles, a Los Angeles-based artist has crafted an amusing series of hand-cranked automatons in just 30 days. Federico Tobon, of wolfCat Workshop, used popsicle sticks, metal clips, paper, and scrap material for One Month of Small Machines, a four-week-long project that generated different, moveable figures and animals each day. “The A-HA moment from these projects was when I discovered that using paper gives these machines a very organic feel,” he said. “Some of them would look very stiff and mechanical otherwise.”

Since November 2017 when Tobon created these miniature apparatuses, he’s taken on more month-long challenges, which he often shares on Instagram. Check out the full collection on his site or by watching the video below. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Photography

Dive Into a Never-Ending Sequence of Jumps and Tucks in an Olympic-Games Compilation

June 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

Although devotees of the Olympic games will have to wait until 2021 for the next round of competitions, Donato Sansone channels the same excitement, energy, and displays of strength into an extravagant new mashup. A second iteration of his previous video by the same name, Sansone’s latest motion sequence is comprised of short clips of athletes completing tucks, dives, and pikes. Each bit of footage seamlessly blends into the next, making the competitors appear to be joined in a single, nearly minute-long jump.

For more of Sansone’s Rube Goldberg-esque sequences, head to Tumblr and Vimeo.