Author: Grace Ebert

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www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Delightful Characters Spring to Life in Hand-Cranked Wooden Automata by Kazuaki Harada
12 may. 2021 - Japanese woodworker Kazuaki Harada (previously) has spent the last few years designing these playful automata that activate with a simple hand-crank. Watch miners work in tandem, a figure cackle with unparalleled enthusiasm, and the devil aggressively play the fiddle, and make sure to turn your volume up, too—Harada often pairs an audio component with the mechanical movements for an additional dose of whimsy. For more of his quirky designs, which include many of the character-based works shown here in addition to more elaborate, abstract pieces, check out his Instagram and YouTube.
 · art · automata

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Thousands of Discs Are Suspended in Immense Cloud-Like Formations in Jacob Hashimoto’s Installations
10 may. 2021 - Artist Jacob Hashimoto (previously) hangs thousands of individual orbs in undulating, cloud-like masses that transform atriums and open spaces into monumental landscapes. His site-specific installations layer organic elements—some of the components are printed with waves, galactic dust particles, and other motifs suggestive of nature—in formations “that climb, wavelike, above the viewer, dwarfing them in almost a cathedral of humble little objects,” he says.
 · art · nature

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Fantastic Macro Photos Reveal the Microscopic World of Mushrooms and Slime Molds
10 may. 2021 - Alison Pollack’s preferred subjects are the tiny, inconspicuous organisms that are difficult to spot without a trained eye and microscope. The California-based photographer documents the minuscule fungi that spring from leaves and bits of bark with an extreme macro lens, exposing the rarely visible iridescent speckles, pockmarks, and feathered tissues that cover their fruiting bodies. “My goal is to reveal to people tiny mushrooms and slime molds that they might otherwise never see, or may never even have heard of,” she tells Colossal. “And also to reveal the beautiful intricate detail in these organisms.”
 · fungi · mushrooms · photography · science

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
A Mirrored Ceiling and Gleaming Tile Floor Turn This Chinese Bookstore into an Immersive M.C. Escher-Style Illusion
4 may. 2021 - X+Living is known for its deceptively designed Zhongshuge bookstores that mimic M.C. Escher woodcuts and trippy infinite spaces. The latest iteration is this dreamy location in Chengdu featuring bold archways, a reflective tile floor that makes the display tables appear like floating boats, and a mirror embedded in the ceiling to create a seemingly endless loop of stairways and shelving. Completed in 2020, Dujiangyan Zhongshuge has a cafe on the first floor, along with a children’s area occupied by a bamboo forest and pandas climbing the bookcases. In the rest of the two-story space, the uppermost shelves lining the winding walkways are covered in a decorative print, adding to the illusion of countless volumes and ensuring all 80,000 available titles are within a customer’s reach.
 · architecture · book-porn · chengdu · china · design · mc-escher

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Underwater Photos Taken During Blackwater Dives Frame the Atlantic Ocean’s Stunning Diversity
29 apr. 2021 - After sunset, self-taught photographer Steven Kovacs plunges into the open ocean around Palm Beach to shoot the minuscule, unassuming creatures floating in the depths. He’s spent the last eight years on blackwater dives about 730 feet off the eastern coast of Florida in a process that “entails drifting near the surface at night from 0 to 100 feet over very deep water.” Often framing species rarely seen by humans, Kovac shoots the larval fish against the dark backdrop in a way that highlights the most striking aspects of their bodies, including wispy, translucent fins, iridescent features, and bulbous eyes.
 · diving · jellyfish · octopuses · photography

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
A Remarkable Split-Screen Montage for Nike Juxtaposes Athletes in Synchronized Movement
22 apr. 2021 - “When things aren’t fair, we’ll come together for change.” That’s the message behind an impeccably edited video montage by Wieden + Kennedy. Created for Nike’s You Can’t Stop Us campaign, the split-screen compilation flows through 72 clips of individual athletes and teams from 24 different sports who run, flip, and dive across the screen, shifting from the court and the beach to the mat and the street in seamless movement.
 · art · black-struggle · neoliberalism · nike

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
A Circle of Light Beams Undulates in an Interactive Kinetic Installation by Scale Collective
7 apr. 2021 - An undulating kinetic artwork by Scale Collective blends organic movement and architectural forms in a mesmerizing installation. Created for the Constellations Festival in Metz, France, “Flux” is comprised of 48 beams of light that stretch 1.5-meters-long and are spaced 40 centimeters apart. Each is connected to a single mechanism that’s motorized and controlled by viewers through an interface, allowing for a synchronized performance of twisting and coiling patterns. “The formal multiplication of these lines coupled with micro variations of phases, time delays, speeds, and amplitudes allows us to sculpt an object 20 meters long, alive and evolving with a cyclical back and forth movement,” the French collective says. See more of the group’s dynamic projects on its site, Vimeo, and Instagram. (via Core 77)
 · art

www.thisiscolossal.com > Fernando Livschitz and Grace Ebert
An Uncanny Animated Short by Fernando Livschitz Twists Mundane Scenes into Bizarre Alternatives
6 apr. 2021 - Argentinian director Fernando Livschitz (previously), who helms Black Sheep Films, is back with a surreal short film that envisions everyday activities and scenes with a slightly unsettling spin. Infused with Livschitz’s distinct penchant for humor and absurdity, “Anywhere Can Happen” is set to a rendition of “What a Wonderful World” by Reuben and the Dark and AG and descends into an uncanny universe of galactic rollercoasters, dimension-traveling trains, and oversized hands keen on manipulating the landscape. Watch the animated short above, and find more of Livschitz’s cleverly bizarre projects on Vimeo and Instagram.
 · animation · art · video

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Chasing Ghosts: A Short Documentary Debunks a Long-Held Theory About What Pollinates the Ghost Orchid
5 apr. 2021 - What insect has the ability to extend down into the nearly foot-long nectar tube of the ghost orchid? For generations, that question has interested researchers who’ve speculated that the giant sphinx moth, which has a proboscis that often exceeds 10 inches, was one of few species with a tubular tongue that could reach the sticky pollen nestled inside the endangered flower.
 · flowers · moths · orchids · science · video

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Staggering Photos Capture a Frozen Apartment Complex in Vorkuta, a Dwindling Russian City That’s the Coldest in Europe
15 mar. 2021 - Photographer Arseniy Kotov is dedicated to documenting the changes in Russian life and architecture since the fall of the USSR, a commitment that brought him to the coldest European city last February. Located about 110 miles from the Arctic Ocean, Vorkuta is a small mining town that once held one of the largest and most grueling forced labor camps during Stalin’s reign. Often plagued by temperatures as low as -45 degrees Celcius, the city now has one of the fastest dwindling populations in all of Russia.
 · architecture · photography · russia

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Right Up Our Alley: Striking Drone Footage Flies Through Minneapolis’s Bryant Lake Bowl
10 mar. 2021 - After splitting from the nighttime cityscape, a drone descends into Bryant Lake Bowl in a fast-paced clip that rolls through the classic Minneapolis venue. The camera-strapped device trails a ball as it barrels down the lane and then winds past the gutters and into the bar and theater, picking up competitive banter and diving in the otherwise-unseen abyss that is the ball pit. Taken by Jay Christensen of Rally Studios, the footage is evidence of both how far technology has advanced in recent years and the adept piloting skills required to capture such a striking ode to the beloved alley and the game itself.
 · drones · photography

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
A Dazzling Series of Photos Captures the Soft Glow of Firefly Mating Season in Japan
2 mar. 2021 - An enchanting series by Russian photographer Daniel Kordan (previously) frames a sea of flickering fireflies as they populate a dense bamboo forest. Captured in pockets and trails of light, the insects radiate across the thick vegetation on Japan’s Kyushu Island, which Kordan visited back in 2019 during their mating season.
 · fireflies · japan · photography

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Tokyo’s Kadokawa Culture Museum Houses an Arresting Kengo Kuma-Designed Bookshelf Theater
19 feb. 2021 - Although it boasts more than 50,000 books, the massive library at the heart of the Kadokawa Culture Museum (previously) isn’t just for bibliophiles or curious readers hoping to stumble upon a new title. Designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma (previously), the towering venue is more accurately billed as a cultural gathering space than a traditional book collection, which Ryosuke Kosuge, who works as RK, recently documented a new series of photographs.
 · architecture · book-porn · libraries · tokyo

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
OneClock: A Modern Take on the Analog Alarm Never Plays the Same Melody Twice
16 feb. 2021 - Say goodbye to the days of being jarred awake by the alarm blaring from your iPhone. The creative team over at OneClock designed a streamlined device with the intention of rousing people in a more peaceful manner, one with soothing melodies that are in stark contrast to the startling sounds many of us hear every morning.
 · alarms · clocks · design · music · sleep

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Art and Activism Collide Throughout Montréal in Playful Street Interventions by Roadsworth
9 feb. 2021 - Crosswalks become perches and bike lanes morph into a monkey’s ropes in Roadsworth’s lively street interventions. For decades, the Montréal-based artist (previously) has been altering sidewalks, alleyways, and other public spots with largely nature-based projects that are informed by social issues and environmental crises. Whether a trippy koi pond or a simple yellow spider, the additions transform otherwise drab streets into unexpected commentary.
 · activism · art · street-art

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Explore Vermeer’s ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ in Incredible Detail with an Interactive 10-Billion Pixel Panorama
21 jan. 2021 - Last year, researchers released records from nearly two years of analysis of Johannes Vermeer’s most-recognized artwork, “Girl With a Pearl Earring.” While their findings didn’t include the subject’s highly sought-after identity, they did reveal that the gray backdrop is actually a dark green curtain and that the figure has eyelashes only visible with magnification. Thanks to Emilien Leonhardt and Vincent Sabatier, of Hirox Europe, we all can study the intricacies of Vermeer’s elusive work and peer directly into the paint cracks with an interactive 10-billion pixel panorama.
 · art · johannes-vermeer

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Rael San Fratello’s Pink Teeter-Totters at the U.S.-Mexico Border Win Beazley Design of the Year
19 jan. 2021 - The three neon pink seesaws that slotted through the U.S.-Mexico border were just named the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year. Conceived by Oakland-based artists Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello (previously), the playful, subversive project was installed in July 2019 between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez and physically connected the two communities despite the 20-foot barrier. The prestigious, annual award comes from London’s Design Museum.
 · art · design · immigration · mexico · united-states

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
This Elaborately Armored Samurai Was Folded From A Single Sheet of Paper
16 jan. 2021 - Juho Könkkölä spent upwards of 50 hours scoring and folding just one sheet of Wenzhou rice paper to create this painstakingly detailed samurai complete with plated armor, traditional helmet, and sword. Beginning with a 95 x 95-centimeter page, the 23-year-old Finnish artist used a combination of wet and dry origami techniques to shape the 28-centimeter-tall warrior of his own design. “There are several hundreds of steps to fold it from the square and there are probably thousands of individual folds,” he said in a statement, noting that crafting the geometric patterns for the armor was the most difficult. “The asymmetry in the design allowed me to include (a) sword on only one arm while being able to make the character look symmetric.”
 · origami · samurai

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
60,000 Bees Recreate the Nefertiti Bust and Other Classic Sculptures in Wax with Artist Tomáš Libertíny
15 jan. 2021 - Tomáš Libertíny prefers to collaborate when recreating iconic busts and sculptures, although his chosen partners don’t join him in the studio. The Slovakia-born artist tasks tens of thousands of bees with forming the porous outer layers of classic artworks like the “Nefertiti Bust,” Michelangelo’s “Brutus,” and a large jug based on the “Nolan amphora” at The Met.
 · art · bees · sculpture · wax

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Bronze Figures Explore Movement in Sculptures by Coderch & Malavia
5 jan. 2021 - At the center of Coderch & Malavia’s artistic practice is the beauty of the human figure and its various expressions. The Valencia-based duo works collaboratively to cast bronze sculptures that explore the nuances of the body through dance-like movements and distinct gestures. Natural details like golden branches and feathered wings embellish many of the heavily patinaed works, Coderch & Malavia share, to evoke themes from classic literature, theater, photography, cinema, and ballet. “The human being is three-dimensional,” they say. “Probably that is the main reason why we are attracted to sculpture. It is the closest artistic representation of ourselves.”
 · art · dance · sculpture

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Through Billowing Pastels, Minimal Photos Express the Profound Connections of Family
29 dec. 2020 - “Family is intrinsic to my creativity,” says Ismail Zaidy about his photographic practice that’s grounded in color, emotion, and various aspects of Moroccan culture. In many of his conceptual images, Zaidy’s brother and sister serve as models positioned among swathes of pastel fabrics or balancing between taught ropes. Shot against the sandy backdrops of windswept deserts, each photograph amplifies movement and an interplay between light and shadow.
 · morocco · photography

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
A Forgotten Pinhole Camera Made from a Beer Can Captures the Longest Exposure Photograph Ever
16 dec. 2020 - Eight years one month. That’s how long a beer can pinhole camera spent capturing this solargraph at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory. Featuring 2,953 light trails of the sun’s movement, the image is thought to be the longest exposure photograph in existence, surpassing Michael Wesely’s record of four years eight months.
 · photography

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Dive Into the Incredibly Satisfying Art of Japanese Wood Joinery
14 dec. 2020 - Since the 12th Century, Japanese artisans have been employing a construction technique that uses just one simple material: wood. Rather than utilize glue, nails, and other fasteners, the traditional art of Japanese wood joinery notches slabs of timber so that the grooves lock together and form a sturdy structure. Yamanashi-based carpenter Dylan Iwakuni demonstrates this process in the endlessly satisfying video above, which depicts multiple styles of the angular joints and how they’re slotted together with the tap of a mallet.
 · craft · japan · wood-working

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Descend Into the Endlessly Repetitive Loop of ‘Jigsaw Jigsaw’
9 dec. 2020 - If 2020 were packaged in a box, it would be Darren Cullen’s “Jigsaw Jigsaw.” Just like our repetitive days and seemingly endless fascination with simple pastimes, the 1,000-piece game relies on the Droste effect and features a recursive image that spirals into the same black-and-white puzzle over and over. Pick up the “Jigsaw Jigsaw” in Cullen’s shop, and follow his satirical projects on Instagram and Twitter. You also might enjoy Micah Lexier’s pair of mirror puzzles that look exactly the same despite being comprised of 16 and 9 pieces.
 · art · puzzles

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Smell Like A Million Books With Powell’s Books New Fragrance ‘Eau de Bookstore’
13 nov. 2020 - Waft this new scent for hints of wood, violet, and… musty paperback? Powell’s Books, the beloved independent shop in Portland, recently announced a limited-edition perfume that smells just like its seemingly endless rows of new and used titles. “This scent contains the lives of countless heroes and heroines. Apply to the pulse points when seeking sensory succor or a brush with immortality,” Powell’s says about the forthcoming release.
 · book-porn · perfume

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
An Anamorphic Mural Transforms a Montreal Street into Undulating Sand Dunes
3 nov. 2020 - Along the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, sandy drifts swell and surge in a massive mural by the Canadian architecture firm NÓS. Aptly named “Moving Dunes,” the anamorphic artwork is comprised of neutral-toned lines that undulate along the walkway, creating a deceptive path mimicking deserts and beaches. Chrome spheres sporadically appear along the street in order to reflect the surrounding architecture and rippling patterns on the ground.
 · art · canada · murals

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Check Out Copenhill, the Snow-Free Ski Hill and Climbing Wall Atop a Copenhagen Power Plant
2 nov. 2020 - A year since its opening, the snow-free ski hill and entertainment hub that sits above a waste-to-energy power plant in Copenhagen is fully open to outdoor enthusiasts. New aerial photographs from Hufton+Crow capture the rooftop complex Copenhill (previously) through a blanket of fog, revealing the now lush landscaping that lines hiking trails and visitors as they peer out over the surrounding water. The multi-use site, which is located at the Amager Resource Centre, even has the world’s tallest climbing wall, an 80-meter-high rock structure that scales the entirety of the building.
 · architecture · art · denmark · skiing

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Shelters of People Experiencing Houselessness Are Photographed within Affluent Residences to Demonstrate Inequality
24 sep. 2020 - Whether opulent or minimalist in style, the houses that Jana Sophia Nolle photographs are displays of wealth. Plush rugs cover hardwood, hardback editions line built-in bookshelves, and tall windows reach from floor to ceiling. Even the stark rooms with few sculptures and seats signify a choice, rather than a necessity, and demonstrate the ability to furnish a room with just significant objects.
 · art · homeless · inequality · united-states

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
The Attention Economy: An Animation Visualizes the Endless Onslaught of Digital Distractions
21 sep. 2020 - If you’ve scrolled through Twitter while reading Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing or Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism, you understand the wide-reaching grip technology has on our attention. A new project by London-based animator Olga Makarchuk visualizes the daily abundance of digital distractions, from texts to social media pings to neverending email. Through quirky illustrations that are constantly in motion, “The Attention Economy” captures the modern desire to scroll endlessly and grab a device when there’s a moment of downtime. It’s based on research from James Williams, a former Google employee, who’s critical of the ways companies capitalize on distraction and have turned attention into a commodity.
 · art · attention · right-to-be-left-alone

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Hyperrealistic Portraits by Artist Arinze Stanley Reflect the Emotions of Black Experiences
19 sep. 2020 - Arinze Stanley describes his hyperrealistic drawings as “a simple language of my feelings.” In a statement about his new series titled Paranormal Portraits, the Nigerian artist (previously) says he uses his art as a form of political activism and as a way to amplify the voices of those who are unheard. Stanley notes that the relationships he fosters with his subjects are complicated and more often a reflection of himself.
 · art · black-struggle

www.thisiscolossal.com > Grace Ebert
Powerful and Emotive, Artist Patrick Onyekwere’s Hyperrealistic Portraits Are Rendered Meticulously in Ballpoint Pen
16 jul. 2020 - Patrick Onyekwere imbues his photorealistic portraits with layers of emotion. Before sketching with blue, ballpoint pen, the Nigerian artist invites his subjects into a conversation about their lives, contemporary culture, and nature to establish the mood or story he’s hoping to convey. Their responses produce a collaborative endeavor that organically merges their perspectives and histories, which the artist translates to his artworks.
 · art · hyperrealism