water

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Animation Art

4D-Printed Aquatic Plants Spring to Life in “Hydrophytes” by Nicole Hone

September 17, 2018

Andrew LaSane

Using modeling software and multi-material 3D printing, industrial designer Nicole Hone created a series of 4D-printed futuristic aquatic plants, or Hydrophytes, that are as full of character as the natural organisms they mimic. In the film of the same name, the hydrophytes are activated by pneumatic inflation in water, and transform into dynamic organisms that you could swear were actually alive.

“I have always been fascinated with nature,” the designer tells Colossal. “It inspires my design ideas and aesthetic. For this project, I became particularly interested in botany and marine life. I was amazed by the way sea creatures and corals moved, and I wanted to reflect similar qualities in my designs.” While working on her Master of Design Innovation thesis at Victoria University of Wellington, Hone learned about plans to redesign the National Aquarium in New Zealand. She thought that it would be interesting to develop a “future-focused exhibition” with moving models as an interactive installation for visitors. She began making test prints and discovered that the models moved best in water, which eventually became the pieces used in Hydrophytes.

Hone explains that software was used to create the shape, surface texture, and internal structures for the Hydrophytes. One benefit of the 3D printing system is that there can be a varying degree of hardness for the parts, but the machine can still handle printing them as a seamless object. During printing the works are encased in a support material, which Hone has to then painstakingly remove (sometimes a 4-hour process) by soaking them in water and using a toothpick. After cleaning, air is passed through the CGOs (computer generated objects) and they are placed in the underwater environments.

“They can respond to external forces such as gravity, water ripples or currents, and interaction with people or other 3D prints in real life,” Hone said. “Their man-made composite materials behave uncannily similar to living organisms.”

She went onto explain that each Hydrophyte has a unique character that is defined by both their style of movement and appearance. The colored lights that illuminate the printed plants were chosen to “complement each personality and amplify the emotive qualities of the film,” and the functions of each plant were inspired by the effects of climate change on marine species. “As the 4D printing experiments developed from abstract shapes into more plant-like models, their appearance and movement helped me think of which function would best suit each character,” she added. It’s fascinating to see the intersection of art and technology produce such a unique collection of objects. To view more of what Hone has created with her research, visit her website. (via Designboom)

 

 



Photography

Jewels in the Night Sea: Luminous Plankton Captured in the Dark Waters off the South Coast of Japan

August 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Larval fish of Dendrochirus, all images copyright Ryo Minemizu

Larval fish of Dendrochirus, all images copyright Ryo Minemizu

Japanese marine life photographer Ryo Minemizu focuses his lens on some of the tiniest and most abundant life forms in our oceans. His series Phenomenons explores the diverse beauty and extravagant colors of plankton, and is shot amongst the dark waters of the Osezaki sea near Mount Fuji and other coasts around Japan, the Philippines and Maldives. To capture the small creatures Minemizu sets his shutter speed to just a fraction of a second, while ensuring that his own movements don’t disturb the surrounding organisms.

“Plankton symbolize how precious life is by their tiny existence,” he explains. “I wanted other people to see them as they are in the sea, so it was my motivation from the beginning to shoot plankton underwater, which is quite a challenge. Most plankton are small, and their movements are hard to predict.”

His solo exhibition Jewels in the Night Sea begins a three-city tour at Canon Gallery in Ginza, Tokyo from August 20-29, 2018. It will then move to Cannon galleries in Nagoya and Osaka from September 6-12 and September 20-26, 2018. You can see more of Minemizu’s underwater photography on Instagram and Twitter. Select prints from his Phenomenons series are available in his online shop. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Unknown a larval Gymnapogon

Unknown a larval Gymnapogon

Batesian mimicry, larval fish of Soleichthys

Batesian mimicry, larval fish of Soleichthys

Larval Tripod fish

Larval Tripod fish

The Paralepididae

The Paralepididae

Hyperiidea on Nausithoe jellyfish

Hyperiidea on Nausithoe jellyfish

Larval Barred soapfish

Larval Barred soapfish

The paddle of zoea larva of Lysmata

The paddle of zoea larva of Lysmata

Megalopa larva of Eplumula phalangium

Megalopa larva of Eplumula phalangium

Larva of Pleurobranchaea

Larva of Pleurobranchaea

 

 



Photography

New Synchronized Photographs of Swimmers by Mária Švarbová

August 14, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

New photographs from Slovakian artist Mária Švarbová (previously) continue her exploration of strangely melancholy poolside scenes. Coolly detached young swimmers in matching outfits are frozen in synchronized positions, a surprising diversion from the usual youthful exuberance of kids in pools. A statement on her website describes Švarbová’s unconventional work: “Maria’s postmodern vision boldly articulates a dialog that compels the viewer to respond to the mystery, loneliness, and isolation of the human experience.” The photographer has published a book of this series, titled Swimming Pool. You can see more of her work, including non-aquatic subjects, on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Brave Snorkelers and Ravenous Jellyfish Steal the Spotlight in This Year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year

July 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Compact Commended: "Elvis" by Stefano Cerbai (Italy)

Compact Commended: “Elvis” © Stefano Cerbai (Italy)/UPY2018

Winners and finalists in the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year contest showcased a wide range of subjects and perspectives—from a split photograph of a pair of crossed swans to a startling portrait of an unlucky fish being devoured by a luminescent jellyfish. The annual competition, held since 1965, is based in the UK and open to photographers worldwide. Judge chairman Peter Rowlands shares with Colossal that a free downloadable yearbook is available, compiling this year’s top photographs.

Wide Angle Commended: "Blacktip Rendezvous" by Renee Capozzola (USA)

Wide Angle Commended: “Blacktip Rendezvous” © Renee Capozzola (USA)/UPY2018

Behavior Runner Up: "In Hinding" by Scott Gutsy Tuason (Philippines)

Behavior Runner Up: “In Hinding” © Scott Gutsy Tuason (Philippines)/UPY2018

Black and White Highly Commended: "Morning Flight" by Filippo Borghi (Italy)

Black and White Highly Commended: “Morning Flight” © Filippo Borghi (Italy)/UPY2018

Wide Angle Third Place: "Evening Snorkel" by Brook Peterson (USA)

Wide Angle Third Place: “Evening Snorkel” © Brook Peterson (USA)/UPY2018

British Waters Macro Commended: "Nudibranch across the kelp" by Trevor Rees (UK)

British Waters Macro Commended: “Nudibranch across the kelp” © Trevor Rees (UK)/UPY2018

Macro Runner Up: "Friend or Food?!" by Songda Cai (China)

Macro Runner Up: “Friend or Food?!” © Songda Cai (China)/UPY2018

Portrait Winner: "A sand tiger shark surrounded by tiny bait fish" by Tanya Houppermans (USA)

Portrait Winner: “A sand tiger shark surrounded by tiny bait fish” © Tanya Houppermans (USA)/UPY2018

Black and White Winner: "Crocodile reflections" by Borut Furlan (Slovenia)

Black and White Winner: “Crocodile reflections”  © Borut Furlan (Slovenia)/UPY2018

Macro Highly Commended: "Pretty lady" by TianHong Wang (China)

Macro Highly Commended: “Pretty lady”  © TianHong Wang (China)/UPY2018

Wide Angle Winner: "Humpback whale spy hopping" by Greg Lecoeur (France)

Wide Angle Winner: “Humpback whale spy hopping”  © Greg Lecoeur (France)/UPY2018

British Underwater Photographer of the Year: "Love Birds" by Grant Thomas (UK)

British Underwater Photographer of the Year: “Love Birds” by  © Grant Thomas (UK)/UPY2018

 

 



Art Design

Defunct Old Cars Given New Life as Pools and Pizza Ovens by Benedetto Bufalino

June 18, 2018

Andrew LaSane

French artist Benedetto Bufalino (previously) brings functional fun to existing objects that were built with practicality as a primary objective. Since transforming a cement mixer truck into a disco on wheels back in 2016, Bufalino has continued to create unique urban interventions out of cars, phone booths, and other vehicles and objects from daily life.

While some of his creations are meant to be observed as structures (like his modified aquariums), others are built to be used. Bufalino has transformed a gutted sedan into a working wood-burning pizza oven, outfitted a camper van with a family-sized pool, and modified stretch limousines to serve as outdoor seating or ping pong tables.

Rather than restricting his labor-intensive sculptures to rarefied gallery settings, the artist often installs his work in public spaces to be encountered by the unsuspecting general public. To see more of his projects, including behind-the-scenes looks at the builds, follow Bufalino on Instagram (via designboom).

 

 



Art Design

An Olafur Eliasson-Designed Building Only Accessible by Footbridge in a Danish Fjord

June 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Fjordenhus is a recently completed structure built on the Vejle Fjord in Denmark only accessible by footbridge. It is the first structure fully designed by the studio of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (previously), and was inspired by the harbor’s architecture. The 970,000-brick building is built several yards into the water from the shore, with the surrounding body of water acting as its moat.

The complexly curved form contains four intersecting cylinders which are carved to present a pattern of concave and convex walls, and is dotted with several arched windows and openings to the sea. “The outer walls, which are normally seen as a membrane between inside and outside, are spaces in Fjordenhus,” explains the studio. “You are offered the opportunity to be both inside and outside.”

The structure will hold the offices for investment company KIRK KAPITAL, yet will contain a ground floor open to the public with site-specific art installations designed by Eliasson. Fjordenhus took nearly a decade of planning to implement and build, and is considered both an architectural structure and a work of art. You can learn about more projects designed by Eliasson’s studio on their website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Food Photography

New Distorted Photographs by Suzanne Saroff Capture Skewed Perspectives of Food and Plants

June 1, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Suzanne Saroff (previously) continues her Perspective series, using water and glass to warp the appearance of vibrantly colored dragon fruits, lobsters, cabbages and other flora and fauna. You can see more of her striking images including the still life series titled Shadows, on her website and Instagram.