April 18th, 2008

Youngme / Nowme

This is a great project – I always find it fascinating when photography is used to lay bare the changes made by time. This site allows one to submit a picture of oneself how they are now, posing to match a picture from their youth.

Above is one of the best examples I’ve found – it ingeniously uses video instead of photography – but it’s definitely worth checking out the entire collection!

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April 18th, 2008

Lighting for Film

Here’s a nice little introduction to some of the basic theory of lighting in film, by IndyMogul.

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April 17th, 2008

Artists’ Books


Above: Hibernation from womanrisingbooks.

Until today I didn’t really understand the extent to which this was an actual artistic phenomenon. But wait – what are Artists’ Books? On the one hand it sounds quite straightforward – books made by artists – but on the other hand, they are often not what one would classify as simply a book.

The following is an explanation of Artists’ Books, from the site of an exhibition called Science and the Artist’s Book.

“Artist’s books” don’t look like most volumes found in a library. They are art objects in the form of books. As with painting or sculpture, much of the “story” in these books is visual. An idea may be illustrated in the book’s shape or binding, in the materials used, or in the artist’s choice of images. Words may be used to reinforce a message, but they are not always essential to the book’s meaning.

Book artists often design, typeset, illustrate, print, and bind their own work, or at least supervise all these stages of production. Instead of paper, an artist may use clay, metal, or other materials. Artist’s books, recognizable yet new, can challenge us to explore innovative ways of seeing, learning, and understanding.

For more information on Artists’ Books, check out this informative page and if you’re still lost, check out the wiki page.

Today I started a course in paper making and making artists’ books. There are only three other students in the class – two enthusiastic old ladies and a young fellow named Sven. The teacher is a local artist, G.W. Feuchter, who has a history of making paper and books and sculptures that utilize this paper.

The above video demonstrates how Bermuda artist Kendra Ezekiel makes paper from bark (at the end she also shows the results of other experiments, including banana leaf paper and onion skin paper!).

It’s similar to the process I used today in class (in that we use a sieve to collect the pulp). We however made our pulp from old scrap paper, not bark. It’s quite easy – one just soaks some thick paper (magazine paper is bad because it’s got glue and ink all over it, newspaper is too thin and pressed already) in water for a while, then one blends it in a household blender, and then one adds it to a large vat of pulpy water. Then you’re ready to collect the pulp in the sieve.

Also different to what she did is that we used a press to squeeze all the water out and make the paper flat before leaving it out to dry.

Today I made two sheets of paper. The process is quite fun. For the second sheet I scattered some coins on the paper before I pressed it, and it made a cool embossed effect on the resulting sheet. Next week we’ll be adding other things to the mix to make more interesting effects.

I already have an idea for my own Artist Book: Each page will have a letter embossed in it from a code alphabet I made up (It’s based on a code my friend Eoin and I learnt from a children’s adventure novel – we used to exchange secret messages at school! Haha). Then on the pages will be written an ongoing message that can be deciphered with the alphabet that’s embossed in the book.

The following is an except from an interview with book artist Sarah Bodman. The whole interview, and interviews with other artists can be found here.

To someone who doesn’t know what artists’ books are, which artists, or particular books would you advise them to look at?

Websites are really useful places to find out about artists’ books; Book Works website (www.bookworks.org.uk) has lots of useful information; the wonderful Booklyn Artists’ Alliance (www.booklyn.org), features artists’ books, exhibitions, artists and educational programmes, with free info. downloads on bookmaking. Angie Waller’s www.couchprojects.com is a brilliant website, and David Shrigley’s wonderful books and drawings are at www.davidshrigley.com also Jackie Batey’s website at www.dampflat.com is a great way to see the artist’s thinking process, with working visuals from her books so you can see how they evolved; and Keith Smith’s Books at www.keithsmithbooks.com for manuals on how to make artists’ books. Our own website (www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk) has been designed as a resource for finding out about artists’ books and has lots of information, with free downloads of catalogues, newsletters, books and essays, and a vast gallery archive of images from exhibitions for some idea of the types of artists’ books out there.

Some more links on Artists Books can be found here.

And an amazing coincidence that can’t go unnoticed is that one of my favourite blogs, Neatorama, posted a piece today on a book artist called Nicholas Jones (that’s his work in the picture above). Read more.

April 15th, 2008

Take Me Back to the Wainy Days

One rainy, miserable day a few months ago I was at home, sick, and I stumbled upon an episode from the web series “Wainy Days” by David Wain. I felt better for laughing so much. I then proceeded to watch all episodes back to back, like a laughter junkie.

The web series follows a fictionalized version of Wain through his everyday life as he tries to form relationships with numerous women and discusses his problems with his friends at the sweatshop where he works.

At present there are two entire series online. Above is the last episode of the second series. You can watch all episodes on MyDamnChannel.

And now for something completely different...

A promising new web series, completely different to Wainy Days, is Take Me Back.

I saw the first two episodes today, and it looks like it could be a fun series. The site (where you can watch all currently released episodes) is pretty nice too.

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April 15th, 2008

Ecologist Bernhard Steinerhoff on Climate Change

Wow, serious business! SlurpeeClock brought this to my attention.

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April 15th, 2008

camera/photography droolage

* FULL FRAME S35MM NEW MYSTERIUM X SENSOR
* 1-100 FPS
* UP TO 100 MB/SEC. REDCODE RAW AND RGB RECORDING TO REDFLASH
* FULL SIZE DUAL LINK HD-SDI, 2-XLR AUDIO INPUTS AND HDMI
* WI-FI CONTROL
* FIREWIRE 800 and USB2
* 6 POUND FULLY MACHINED ALUMINUM BODY WITH HYBRID STAINLESS PL MOUNT
* COMPATIBLE WITH MOST RED ONE ACCESSORIES
* FULLY UPGRADABLE SENSOR, BODY, BOARDS AND MOUNT.

These RED cameras (above are two pictures of the “EPIC”) are as magnificent to the eye as they are far from being in my budget. One can drool at least.

And now for something completely different...

But who needs a bunch of old tosh like that when you can make your own beautiful cameras out of recycled objects? Objects like “infant human hearts, skulls and other interesting odds and ends”.

The camera shown below is the “Deer” camera:

Designed to study the core ritual of the hunt and man’s arrogant separation from Nature.

4”x5” camera made from Steel (3/4” plate found in the desert near Mexico), Brass (parts from an 1800’s gold scale and bullet shells), Bronze, Copper (Bullets), Aluminum, Antler and Ivory (carved hand from a 18th century Christ figure).


The front of the “Deer” camera.

Wayne Martin Belger creates these cameras with a specific idea or theme in mind, and uses them to explore these themes with his photography.


The back of the “Deer” camera.

Each camera is of course a work of art in its own right, but the pictures he takes with them are also very cool and worth a gander.


A picture taken with the “Deer” camera

And now for something completely different...

Through notcot I’ve also discovered a great commerical photographer in Michael Muller. You’ve probably seen his work before in film or music advertisements.

Not only are his pictures great, but I love the flash-based image viewer on his site. It’s attractive, fun and highly functional at the same time.

All three sites found via notcot.

April 15th, 2008

Duck!

Here’s a short clip (avi) capturing the International Space Station, as seen from the ground, gliding over Tübingen (where I currently reside in Southern Germany).

The International Space Station (ISS) glides above the northern horizon of Tübingen in southern Germany. It is brilliantly visible due to brightly reflected sunlight. The path is dashed since the photo consists of 70 added exposures with little breaks in between. Also have a look at the short videos above! The ISS vanishes above the northeastern horizon when it enters earths shadow (right hand side). The astronauts onboard might had a nice sunset at this time, however, they can enjoy this every 1.5 hours! One orbit only takes this time.

From AllTheSky.com

April 15th, 2008

cross dimensional art

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Well that’s how I would describe this project by Zach Johnson. He’s taken his characters from their 2d worlds and integrated them with real environments, to beautiful effect. Here are many more examples, plus some of his other work.

Via NotCot

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April 15th, 2008

X-Ray Photography

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Nick Veasy uses x-ray technology to unveil the hidden beauty and complexity of common objects and creatures.

Found via Neatorama.

April 13th, 2008

the mystery of time examined in slow motion


The above scene from Donnie Darko is one of my favourite instances of slow-motion in film.

I just read this beautifully written article by Ron Rosenbaum, which focuses on the aesthetic enchantment of slow-motion in films, as well as some more philosophical and theoretical views on time itself.

Below are some of my favourite parts of the article, but I recommend reading the entire article. It’s consistently fascinating.

Motion itself seems more miraculous than mundane in slow motion. In slo-mo we don’t take motion for granted; it becomes sensual, dreamlike art. After you’ve watched a lot of slo-mo, conventional life seems “jerky” in every sense of the word.

Slow motion can cause one to rethink time itself: Consider the possibility that the speed at which time seems to proceed is really arbitrary. There’s no reason we couldn’t live in an alternate universe in which time moves faster or slower. (Though how would we know the difference? Insert Woody Allen-type joke about how “everything would be the same except you couldn’t get same-day dry cleaning”.)

With slo-mo, the passage of time is suddenly something one can experience more pronouncedly, something one can observe from the outside rather than from within it. Watching slo-mo allows you to compare time as we know it with different rates of being—the way one rarely can when one is part of time, in synch with its inexorable speed, and unable to step back from it. It’s the difference between floating down a river and watching it from its banks.

And relating to the nature of time itself:

Zeno’s refutation of continuous motion itself is more explicitly reflected in his “flying arrow” paradox. As Mazur puts it: “The flying arrow paradox concludes that motion is impossible. Zeno pictures an arrow in flight and considers it frozen at a single point in time … [arguing] that if it is stationary at that instant then it is stationary at any—and every—instant. Therefore it doesn’t move at all.”

So Borges took Zeno’s paradox and ran with it, so to speak. (See, for instance, his essay “The Perpetual Race of the Tortoise and Achilles” in Selected Non-Fictions.) He claimed that if there were no such thing as continuous motion, there was also no such thing as continuous time, which is purportedly a continuous succession of moments.

What, then, was Borges’ vision of time? He held that the universe was a series of discontinuous moments—almost like a series of separated frames on a strip of film. Each frame an infinitesimal moment of discontinuous time, existing entirely independent of the ones before and after it. As did the people within each frame. Not slo-mo. No-mo.

How did Borges account for memory, then? In an essay in Other Inquisitions, “The Creation and P.H. Gosse,” Borges played with the notion that the universe might have been created just moments—or even a single moment—ago, and that we were created with memories of an illusory past we never lived implanted within us.

OK, it’s a little tenuous, but hard to disprove.

Morris’ words on this: “All of existence is a continuity problem.” By this logic, you are a different person entirely from the entity who started reading this essay. You don’t have to regret anything in your past. You have no real past. You are someone new. But, then, so am I.

Nice to meet us.

Read the entire article. Found via kottke.

April 13th, 2008

Time Travel gives me a Hadron

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Check out these mindboggling images of the Hadron collider (the name of which was recently misspelled in the NY Times as The Large Hardon Collider – haha!).

Read the text too, it’s fascinating!

April 11th, 2008

Procrastination is… watching a beautiful animation

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Click here to watch the animation.

“It’s doing eight things at once and not getting one done”

By an Irish bloke called Johnny Kelley. Found via growabrain.

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April 10th, 2008

feeling inadequate


Via Neatorama

what a big horn he has

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April 7th, 2008

Frans Lanting’s history of the living earth

Frans Lanting is a highly acclaimed photographer from the Netherlands who spent most of his life in the USA. Here’s the website for this video. Found via growabrain.

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April 6th, 2008

Fight Fire With Fire

mail.gif

More specifically, here are two sites that help to fight spam with spam:

The first combats snail mail spammers, who send you mail you didn’t ask for, by using their own prepaid envelopes to mail the companies heavy items (e.g., a brick). Whatever the postage costs, the spammers have to pick up the tab since they paid for it in advance, with the intention that we return their standard sized envelopes – not parcels.

The second combats internet spammers by flooding their mailing lists with invalid email addresses, straining their resources and wasting their time. Check out the link for more info.

Both very clever. Links found via growabrain.

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April 6th, 2008

bonfire

I painted this picture to try and recapture a particular bonfire night of my childhood.

bonfire.jpg

April 5th, 2008

Stop motion photography film ‘Eclectic’

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Above: Ross Ching’s Camera set up. Frozen!

This film captures nature’s majesty quite profoundly, I think. Nice photography. Interesting technique.

I advise you watch it as big as your computer will allow. There’s also a ‘making of‘ documentary.

Found once again via Neatorama.com

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April 5th, 2008

Comments fixed again.

I said they were fixed before but actually it was still pretty messed up. Now I believe it works. You just need to be registered before you can post.






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