3D weaving produces strong, flexible solids


Oluwaseyi Sosanya, a Nigerian American student at London's Royal College of Art, produced an amazing technique for 3D weaving, computer-controlled weavers to produce stable, three dimensional topologies.

Read the rest

Death metal band to play in soundproof, airtight box

Unfathomable ruination

Unfathomable Ruiniation will perform outside of London's Gherkin skyscraper inside a soundproofed airtight metal box, until the oxygen runs out; It's art. (The Independent, thanks Smitty!)

Photoshopped ideas of "beauty" around the world

Honig

For Ester Honig's Before & After, she used freelance platforms like Fiverr to contract 40 people from 25 countries to make her "beautiful" with Photoshop. (Above right, the work of someone in the Philippines.) Honig's hope was that the resulting images would provide insight into the contractor's "personal and cultural constructs of beauty."

"They are intriguing and insightful in their own right; each one is a reflection of both the personal and cultural concepts of beauty that pertain to their creator.

Photoshop allows us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty, but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more elusive."

Before & After (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)

Gallery: The dark, sexy Polaroids of H.R. Giger

H.R. Giger, Headband, 1981. Metal. Designed for Backfired, 1981


H.R. Giger, Headband, 1981. Metal. Designed for Backfired, 1981. Yes, that's Blondie's Debby Harry.

From Antennae Books, "Polaroids: H.R. Giger." A collection of personal snapshots by the late Swiss artist and Academy Award-winning film designer best known for Alien.

Read the rest

Man stuck in giant stone vagina

Untitled

Firefighters had to rescue a young man from a giant vagina (sculpture) outside a microbiology building at Germany's Tübingen University. Fernando de la Jara's sculpture is titled "Chacán-Pi" referring to a Quechuan word that means a "place where the action of water has tunneled through a large rock or a mountain, also designates the act of lovemaking," according to the artist. The sculpture was not damaged. From NY Mag:

Basically, de la Jara intended for people to check out the sculpture up close. "The principal part of the work isn't outside."

So the American bro might not have been totally off-base, a small consolation for the sheer scale of his embarrassment. "It's participatory art," de la Jara said. "It should be entered." It's just that, since the sculpture was installed in 2001, no one's actually gotten stuck. "I believe [he got caught] because he had a lack of coordination" de la Jara said. "Or maybe it was a lack of sensibility."

David Hockney's illustrations of Grimm's Fair Tales

Davidhockney grimm5

1907533249 01 SL285 SCLZZZZZZZSix Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm with illustrations by David Hockney was first published in 1969 and recently reissued as a lovely slim hardback. More images below and at Juxtapoz.

Davidhockney grimm3

Davidhockney grimm1

Davidhockney grimm8

Dainty feminine portraits (with assorted weapons)


Danny Galieote's series of vivid paintings of feminine figures with fists and weapons clenched behind their backs is extremely satisfying. Something about the savage strength and defensive might lurking beneath the pinafores and bows. He's currently exhibiting a one-man show of recent works (including these) at the Arcadia Contemporary in NYC.

Zelda-themed stop-motion chalk-drawing animation

Chalk artist Chris Carlson sends us this astounding stop-motion animation of his 3D chalk drawings of Link from Legend of Zelda, popping out of two-space and having a mischievous adventure in our world. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of labor that went into drawing the frames of this animation -- bravo! (Thanks, Chris!)

Movies teach us morals


Carl Plantinga's talk, "Spectator Judge: Affect and Ethics in Narrative Film and Television," delivered to the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image, argues that movies powerfully instill moral values in the people who watch them, by cueing us to "judge, believe, and feel emotions in various ways." This is the thesis of the novel I'm working on, so I read the summary of the talk with great interest:

Read the rest

How accounting forced transparency on the aristocracy and changed the world


In the 16th century, celebrated Dutch painters did a brisk trade in heroic portraits of accountants and their ledgers. That's because accounting transformed the lowlands, literally bringing accountability to the aristocracy by forcing them to keep track of, and report on, their wealth. As Jacob Soll (author of The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations) writes in the Boston Globe, from the 14th century invention of double-entry bookkeeping until the 19th century -- when accounting became a separate profession instead of something that every educated person was expected to practice -- accountancy upended the social order, elevating financial transparency to a primary virtue.

Read the rest

The stupendous hand-painted signs of Carter's travelling Steam Fair


The Better Letters tumblr has posted a massive gallery of the hand-lettered signs from Carter's Steam Fair, a touring vintage fair that stopped last weekend in Clissold Park in Stoke-Newington, London. Carter's is a family business, and it's a magnificent affair, even down to the gleaming, streamlined family trailers parked around the perimeter. Joby Carter, the fair's signpainter, is the son of the founder, John Carter, and he is part of a five-generation tradition of handpainted signs. My wife and I took our daughter and a friend to the fair yesterday and were amazed, thrilled and delighted by every single detail, from Voltini's Electrocution sideshow to the penny arcade where we gambled recklessly with enormous, Georgian pennies to the many rides and funhouses (and don't forget the steampunk QR code!). As my daughter's six-year-old friend said while we left, "This was the best day of my life!"

I took some pictures, but Better Letters had the run of the place at a pre-opening tour and is in any event a much better photographer than I'll ever be, so look at those pics, too.

Read the rest

Huge crop circle in Italy

10501696 469151869886016 477202107573895607 n

This magnificent crop circle appeared last night in Poirino, Italy.

Read the rest

Collaborating with your kids: the story of "A Dark and Dismal Flower"

JC Herz and her five year old daughter, Eve, created A Dark and Dismal Flower, a beautifully-animated picture book. In this essay, Herz offers her advice on how to collaborate with your own kids.

Read the rest

Entangled: hearts' tentacles entwined


Kate MacDowell's Entangled is a beautiful, tentacly porcelain sculpture depicting two hearts whose questing tentacles have entwined. (via JWZ)

Read the rest