Boing Boing 

Brazil's amazing, underground hot-air balloon subculture


An exquisitely researched and endlessly fascinating long article tells the history of Brazil's centuries-old baloeiro craft, whereby painstakingly handmade paper balloons are lofted trailing ladders of pyrotechnics and long banners, powered by melted-down candle-stubs from churches and graveyards, cheered on by sometimes violent gangs who labor over them for months before releasing them.

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The Raven's Chamber: a mad scientist's apparatus


Art Donovan (previously) created this amazing, mixed-media sculpture as a commission, called The Raven's Chamber, resembling some arcane astronomical instrument from a mad alchemist's lab.

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Rabbitbox: anthropomorphized dioramas on legs, for companionship


Roshan writes, "Rabbitbox is the world's first dedicated companionship dispenser. Its sole purpose is to provide the right combination of physical presence and implied sentience to allow the experience of companionship in its purest, literal form."

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Art from a Seattle-born painter kept in a WWII internment camp

Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name (through December 13, 2014, at Washington State University’s Museum of Art in Pullman), Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff offers a crisp look at the recent work of this Seattle-born painter of Japanese descent, who spent some of his earliest years in a World War II internment camp in Hunt, Idaho. Forced ostracization helped shape Shimomura’s sense of otherness, which has found expression in his work since the 1970s. Not surprisingly, some of the most powerful paintings reproduced in the exhibition catalog – which includes an essay by Anne Collins Goodyear and an interview with the artist – depict imagined images from those years. Because Shimomura was just three when he and his family were sent to Camp Minidoka, though, he relied upon translations of his grandmother’s diaries to create pictures of the surreal circumstances of trying to live a normal American life while imprisoned. My favorite, “Classmates,” captures two girls – one with Euro-American features, the other Japanese – holding ruby-red apples and smiling, seemingly untroubled by the barbed wire strung between them.

Other paintings in the book are comic-book-style self-portraits of the artist as iconic characters like George Washington (famously crossing the Delaware) and Superman (his trademark costume covered by a kimono). While these images may appear to be pop polemics designed to poke a thumb in the eye of some of America’s most patriotic icons, the artist demurs: “Sometimes people mistake my usage of them as painting the enemy,” he’s quoted as saying. “But it really comes out of my visual reverence for them.” For the artist, the paintings are conversation starters, as in “Shimomura Crossing the Delaware,” which is supposed to make viewers ask themselves, ‘What if George Washington had been Japanese American?’ In other words, how might a heroic Japanese figure early in the nation’s history have changed our culture? Well, one might answer, the current president of the United States is African American, and that fact has done little in many precincts to further the dialogue about race. But the lack of easy answers in Shimomura’s work is fine with the artist. “If my work is seen as raising more questions than it answers,” he says, “I’d be pleased….”

Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Molly Crabapple's 15 rules for creative success in the Internet age

To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Molly Crabapple presents her 15 iron laws of creativity. -Cory Doctorow

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Scanning your negatives will bring your memories into the digital age: here's how

Your old film photos need an upgrade. Enjoy Dean Putney's guide on how to get the best quality from your boxes of negatives as painlessly as possible.Read the rest

Hidden faces in optical illusion paintings

Artist Oleg Shuplyak arranges the figures and objects in his paintings to reveal the faces of famous people such as Salvador Dali and Charles Darwin.

Alien: The Archive art and photo book

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See the true origins of the Alien xenomorphs through concept drawings along with plenty of other behind-the-scenes photos, designs, and illustrations in Alien: The Archive, a new hardcover art and photo book.

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Vantage: gorgeous new photography publication

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Over at Medium, my colleague Keith Axline (former Wired photo editor) launched a magnificent photo publication called Vantage, with photo essays ranging from astonishing photo microscopy to a fascinating series on long-exposure photography to an aerial photo collection from Dronestagram.

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Invader does Spock

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"Cheers from Vulcan!" says French street artist Invader of his latest Paris installation. (via @invaderwashere's Instagram)

Drew Friedman portrait of Daniel Clowes

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The great illustrator Drew Friedman drew a portrait of the great cartoonist Daniel Clowes. Amazing! 10 prints are available.

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Kickstarting a book of amazing body-painting


Astounding bodypainter Paul Roustan is running a kickstarter to publish a book of his unbelievable work.

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Open call for digital art funding proposals from Thespace

Paula writes, "TheSpace is the largest fund currently dedicated to commissioning and exhibiting digital art. This latest funding call is dedicated to work that considers or responds to the affordances of mobile networked devices - whether that is a phone, wearable, tablet or..."

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"Cat in a Cardboard Box" by Hine

catinboxHine Mizushima is an illustrator, slow crafter, and puppet stop-motion video artist. We've shown her work on Boing Boing many times. I love her Flickr feed, where she shows her latest creations, like "Cat in a Cardboard Box."

WATCH: Japanese doll maker at work

Many thanks to Andreas for sharing this lovely video of a doll maker in Japan.

Painting with fire

Artist Steve Pazuk uses a flame to "paint" shadows on paper and then manipulates the soot with various tools to produce marvelous dreamlike imagery.

This in-the-moment creative practice coupled with the fluidity of the soot, creates a torrent of images, shadows and light. Fuelled by the quest of a perfect shape that has yet to materialize, he concentrate in a meditative act and surrender to capture the immediacy of the moment on canvas.
(via Devour)

Packing tape art of Mark Khaisman

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Mark Khaisman creates remarkable images using common packing tape and light boards. Since his early portraits with basic white and brown tapes found in any office, he has expanded to other colors and themes, below.

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Worst. Album. Covers. Ever.

The fine folks at CoverBrowser have curated 150 specimens of the world's worst album covers of all time, covering every genre. Share your recommendations here. Below are a few examples.

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Payday loans for kids


Pocket Money Loans is the latest from prankster/artist Darren Cullen (previously), offering 5000% APR loans to children so that they can "get out of debt with a loan" and "spend each day like it's your last."

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NYC art show: Addams, Garcia, McGrath, Peck

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Four of my favorite artists on the darker side of pop surrealism -- Jessicka Addams, Camille Rose Garcia, Elizabeth McGrath, and Marion Peck -- are in a group show right now at New York City's Sloan Fine Art gallery.

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The story of Venice's "gentleman thief" and an amazing art heist

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At Epic, a captivating and beautifully-designed longform true story about Venice's "Gentlemen Thief" Vincenzo Pipino: "Magicians, Mafiosos, a Missing Painting, and the Heist of a Lifetime, by Joshua Davis and David Wolman.

Selfie from 1909

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Of course, artists have been taking selfies for centuries, but Zinaida Serebriakova was one of the best.

Chocolate replicas of Jessica Joslin’s animal bone sculpture

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Jessica Joslin collaborated with Annabel de Vetten-Peterson of Conjurer's Kitchen to make a delicious Belgian chocolate replica of her sculpture, “Morrigan.”

Handmade from white chocolate, this exquisite piece of edible art comes beautifully packaged in a black box with a small print of the original sculpture. Available in the USA for $35 and in Europe for £22.50.

It will also be available for $25 at Firecat Projects, during the exhibition of The Immortal Zoo at 2124 North Damen Ave. Chicago. Oct. 24-Nov 22.

Morrigan-packaging

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Fabian Oefner's ferrofluidic cover for Guster's new album

Watch artist Fabian Oefner manipulating ferrofluid (magnetized liquid) and watercolors into a stunning psychedelic pattern that appears on the cover of alt.pop trio Guster's forthcoming album Evermotion.

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Beautiful junkbot rayguns


By Roger Wood/Klockwerks

"Hive" (middle class colony collapse)


Jud Turner writes, "'Hive (middle class colony collapse)' is the latest in my series of sculptures depicting hallucinatory factory scenes, and ponders the loss of bees and an ever-shrinking middle class, both likely results of modern industrial methods and monopoly capitalism."

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Spooky lips


Just one of the many outstanding creations of Eva Senín Pernas, a talented make-up artist. (via Seanan McGuire)

The Immortal Zoo: animal bone sculptures from Jessica Joslin

Jessica Joslin uses animal bones and found objects to create delicate, expressive sculptures.

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Typewriter-parts cat


New from Jeremy Meyer, who makes brilliant assemblage sculptures out of typewriter parts: Cat XXI, a classic Hallowe'en cat rendered skeletal and wistful through the medium of obsolete mechanical components.

Documentary about an artist's relationship with extraterrestrials

Brad Abrahams is making a documentary about a 70-year-old man named David Huggins who has had a lifetime of close encounters with extraterrestrials (including losing his virginity to one) and shares his experiences through oil paintings. Above, the trailer for "Love And Saucers: The Far Out World Of David Huggins"