You might write a ton of emails, but how many letters do you sit down to write? The kind that require pen, paper, and often a stamp and envelope. Probably not many. If you hate the task but need an extra-special note, then the company Bond will help you out. It’s an intelligent scribing system that mimics human handwriting. Thanks to automated robots with ink pens, they’re able to write notes and send them to the person of your choice. A pen is attached to a machine that applies weight to the paper as if it’s a human hand.
Bond has a few pricing tiers for their product. If you’re looking for a generic, all-around “handwritten” feel, then you’re not too concerned with it appearing as your actual penmanship. For that, the service is free (with additional costs like the card). But, let’s say you want to send a note that’s to a relative or someone who has an idea of what your scrawls look like. That’s where the cost goes up. Services that are tailored to your penmanship start at $199. Paying $499 will give on an hour of time to work alongside Bond’s experts to refine your handwriting. (Via Laughing Squid and Ubergizmo)
New York-based photographer Josephine Cardin’s poignant images examine the beauty of the human body as well as the complexity of the mind and emotions. Cardin’s series, featuring self-portraits, is titled Between Lock and Key . It explores “the dichotomy of how we have both the ability to mentally imprison ourselves, while simultaneously holding the key to unlocking our freedom,” she writes. Muted, vintage-esque compositions showcase her donning a long, black dress in elegant poses (she’s a trained ballet dancer). Cardin is surrounded by expressive, distressed marks and multiple hands that read as both soothing and troubling.
The marks that surround Cardin’s body are visual representations of the mental blocks that we all face from time to time. Thoughts clouded with anxiety prevent us from moving forward with life and seeing things clearly. Cardin draws scribbled clouds around her head and crosses out her eyes using short, energetic strokes.
While there’s a lot of visual strife in Cardin’s series, there’s hope, too. The same lines that hold her down lift her up. It’s as if she’s overcoming adversity and doubt to rise to her true potential. (Via Asylum Art)
For Australian photographer Sarah Bahbah, food and sex are intimately tied. Her series is called Sex and Takeout, and it’s exactly what it sounds. There’s nudity and canoodling, all with a greasy side of fries. Or pizza. Or, even Chinese takeout. Bahbah runs the gamut of meals while posting it on her Instagram, @raisebywolvesau.
Subjects are seen sharing meals, eating it while laying in bed, or looking post-coital with their food. And sometimes, takeout boxes are pushed to the side as people get down to business. It’s indulgent, visceral, and at times a little silly. But, above all, Sex and Takeout is strangely satisfying for the viewer/voyeur of these private moments. Food and sex conjure the same pleased feelings and pleasurable experiences, so it’s only natural that the two would be enjoyed in the company of one another. (Via Flavorwire and Design You Trust)
Artist Gianluca Traina’s series titled Portrait 360 combines photography and sculpture to create alluring, mysterious objects. Mannequin-esque heads are covered in distorted, mosaic-looking squares that are simultaneously recognizable humans yet pixelated and indiscernible. To craft these works, Traina first shoots photos of anonymous subjects and focuses on their faces. He then uses a warp and weft technique to weave the 2D-images into 3D paper busts.
In the blurred surface photos, you can tell where the skin ends and the hair begins, as well as where features like the eyes and nose are. But, those things don’t always match up with the attributes of a bust. Eyes are on the back of the head and hair covers the nose and mouth. There’s no front or back anymore, and instead there’s a constant play between photographed surface and the sculpted one. (Via Hi Fructose)
Hospitals often appear sterile and uninviting, especially when you’re a kid. The Royal London Children’s Hospital officially opened in March 2012, and over the past two years they’ve worked with the organization Vital Arts to liven up the walls with playful art. Artists and designers were commissioned to paint five different wards of the hospital using bright colors, bold shapes, 3D design. Each creative has their own speciality and style, and the list of particpants includes: textile artist Donna Wilson; wooden toy designers Miller Goodman; product designer Tord Boontje; children’s author, illustrator, and rug designer Chris Haughton; and surface and textile designer Ella Doran.
The hospital becomes infinitely more inviting with these artists’ additions. Some of the highlights include Haughton and Miller Goodman’s handiwork. Haughton is the author of the books Shh! We Have a Plan and Oh, No George!, and he used his delightful characters to adorn the walls. Also, a selection of his framed rugs were hung up and created more warmth and coziness. Miller Goodman constructed wooden designs that physically stand out on the walls. This was inspired by their bag of 74 different-shaped wooden toy pieces, and you see how the whole animals are made up with smaller, fractured parts. (Via designboom)
UK-based street artist INSA is known for combining animated GIFs with graffiti in a brilliant fusion called “GIF-ITI.” The on-going project entails him painting a mural several times over in slightly different interactions. Then, INSA combines each version to form an “animated” painting. The result is a dizzying, spectacular GIF.
The artists’ most recent endeavor is part of “GIF-ITI,” but on a much, much larger scale. Where before he would paint the walls of buildings, INSA got much more ambitious. WIth the help of a team of painters and a satellite in space, he created the world’s largest animated GIF in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The entire laborious process is captured in a short video (featured here). It shows the four-days of painting and repainting, moving the lines ever so slightly to create the illusion of movement later. (Via Booooooom, Photoshop.com blog, and 123 Inspiration)
Photographer Bernhard Lang captures an aerial view of the Opencast Coal Mining Pit in Germany, which is one of the largest man-made holes in the world. At nearly 1,500 feet deep and covering almost 22 square miles, everything is at a giant scale. Massive machinery, the size of a 30-storey office buildings, scoops out coal, sand, and dirt to mine and move it about.
It’s hard to imagine something of these proportions, and through Lang’s sweeping landscape photography, he minimizes its grandiose scale. When looking down rather than upwards, it’s hard to get a sense of just how big these things really are. At times, they look like patterns of ant farms rather than the handiwork of humans. Perhaps it’s part of the point to say that these hulking machines and sprawling cleared paths aren’t as important as we’re lead to believe.
The real visual impact of these photos comes from their abstract qualities: the different colors of dirt that have been piled next to one another; the lines that are made by machines as they drive down the road; and the hills and valleys themselves. Through Lang’s careful framing, he’s captured their unintentional beauty.
Last Tuesday, the militant extremist group ISIS released a video threatening to kill two Japanese hostages, journalists Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa. They requested a $200 million ransom of which Japan refused to pay (Yukawa has said to have been killed). The Japanese public has responded to these threats by using Twitter to mock ISIS with Photoshopped memes. While this isn’t exactly art, elements of design, digital collage, and illustration are being used for political and social reasons. The images, viewable with the hashtag #ISISクソコラグランプリ, translates to ISIS crappy collage grand prix. This popular tag presents exactly what it says – the terrorists, rudimentarily cut/pasted/drawn on, are seen in spaceships or cartoon characters. One image even features Mickey Mouse.
While the hashtag has received criticism from some, many see this parody as a way to react to the threat without bowing to terrorism. Peter Payne, owner of the online shop J-List, sums the hashtag up up by tweeting, “You can kill some of us, but Japan is a peaceful and happy land, with fast Internet. So go to hell.” (Via Dazed and Buzzfeed)