My friend over at Champagne Valentine recently designed this out-there website for Lost Planet studio. Not your typical web 2.0 approach, the result is instead a more abstract, intuitive and interactive experience. Is this the future of the net? Will the days of Twitter icons and blogs be gone, replaced by ethereally floating moon-orbs surrounded by hands? In their own words, the site “is an experimental online video channel and porfolio showcase for the Lost Planet editing studio. The site is an otherworldly portal into the psyche of Lost Planet where visitors can explore a porfolio of work via a bizarre planetary interface. “
At the grave of a fallen soldier stands a pale white horse, regal and majestic, with his mane in tight braids. In Anima, the photographer Charlotte Dumas delves into the quiet moments in the lives of burial horses, known for participating in the funeral ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. The magnificent equine creatures— who by day serve as living manifestations of moral ideals, patriotism, and righteousness— are caught by Dumas’s lens in nighttime moments of introspection and rest.
After the flags are folded, after the firearms have rang out, the horses remain in their small box stalls, resting on humble beds of shavings and hay. Shot under Dumas’s gleaming twilight lighting, the animals are pictured in the final minutes before sleep. In stark contrast with the colorful visions of their burial services, they are bathed in a moody Rembrandt-esque glow that streams in from metal bars, seemingly retreating into an unknowable equine psychology.
Yet within these peaceful moments, Dumas captures an anxious sense of unrest. A horse’s glinting black eye remains open as he twists his neck, revealing waves of muscle under short-clipped fur; a long nose, its hair worn away by a bridle’s noseband, pokes out into the light, emerging from sleepy darkness. The neck and back of the creature is fixed in the frame, isolated from the rest of the body, as he goes to stand upright, his withers stained with manure.
The horses range in age: some wear the grey fur of youth, while others are pure flea-bitten white. Seen here, it is as though the horses cannot escape the atmosphere of the cemetery, confined within their dark stalls forever by some invisible knowledge of death. Take a look.
Jeff Eisenberg’s ultra detailed drawings are a mix between a bunker, a childhood fort, and a conspiracy theory nuts home in the year 2099.
Charles Guthries collection of documentary photos that escape into fun portraiture.
The creative brains at Studio Nos, one of the premiere independent stop motion animation studios in New York City has teamed up with Action Cam by Sony in The Picture Machine, an incredibly delicious collision between technology and on of the oldest forms of Animation.
The zoetrope is perhaps one of the best pre-film animation devices to ever be invented. This simple setup takes a sequence of drawings or photographs of progressive phases in motion and through the use of speed animates them before your eyes. Studio Nos’ contemporary twist on the age old medium consists of a remote controlled car pod rigged with the Sony Action Cam driving on a track inside a zoetrope. As the car speeds up and zips around in circles a series of animation cells come to life.
The result of this imaginative mashup was a collaboration between man and machine to bring to life a non-stop parade of hand illustrated dancing mushrooms. Watch the video yourself and dream up how you can use the Sony Action Cam to create your next video masterpiece.
Seth Casteel has done it again. He has come up with a great sequel to his widely successfully photographic series of dogs underwater with crazy faces and curious poses (previously featured here on Beautiful/Decay). This time around we have an equally cute subject matter – babies. Full of lively little bodies twisting and turning in the bubbling water, Casteel captures the large personalities of the kids in his new book Underwater Babies. We see the full range of human emotion on their little faces – from surprise, to glee, to terror, to mischievousness, to serenity and everything in between. Beautifully lit and dramatically staged, the kids faces will capture your heart immediately.
As a huge fan of dogs, puppies, and all things canine, Casteel wanted to raise awareness of animal abuse with his first series. After his Underwater Dogs photographs went super viral all over the internet, and then went on to sell over half a million copies around the world, he realized the power of images and applied it to another worthy cause. He explains more:
Through advocating water safety for pets, I became aware that water safety for children was also a very serious issue. Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death of children under the age of five in the United States. Infant swimming lessons can help to reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88%. By creating this book, I hope to encourage and inspire parent to consider swim lessons for their children, with the ultimate goal of preventing tragedies. (Source)
You can purchase his Underwater Babies book here through Amazon.
Tomás Saraceno is an Argentine artist who creates pieces that explore alternative, sustainable ways of viewing and interacting with the environment. Previous works include floating iridescent and geometric installations that affect the way we perceive the relationship between the earth and sky. In this project, titled “Becoming Aerosolar,” Saraceno has woven together a patchwork of plastic bags into a massive hot air balloon. Trapping the heat of the sun in a greenhouse-like effect, the plastic canvas lifts majestically into the sky, transforming stigmatized, non-biodegradable waste into a work of liberating beauty.
Exploring the creative crossover between environmentalism, history, art, and human perception, Saraceno notes how the hot air balloon “came about as a means of escape and protection in the late 18th century, during the time of the French Revolution. It is significant that during these times of uncertainty, people looked to the sky to escape the reality on earth” (Source). As an innovation deriving from crisis and a longing for freedom, the plastic bag balloon takes on a contemporary significance: in an age of environmental turmoil, when the planet we inhabit verges on irreparable damage, the sky (and beyond that, outer space) becomes the frontier of hope. However, beyond signifying that upward glance of salvation and survival, “Becoming Aerosolar” optimistically reminds us how repurposing our materials and shifting our perspectives could lead to changing our trajectory on Earth.
I’m heading back to Reykjavik, Iceland at the end of the month for my fourth trip to the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival! While I’m super excited to see Sigur Rós and Of Monsters and Men on their home turf, I’m just as excited to see Útidúr (pronounced: ooh – detour). There are so many amazing bands in Iceland and the Airwaves festival really gives you the opportunity to see most of them in various small venues around Reykjavik. Útidúr has this magical quality about them, kind of like the country itself – I’m talking to you Blue Lagoon. If you like Beirut, you’ll definitely want to check these guys out. You can stream and buy their debut album at Bandcamp and watch the live performance video for their song, Fisherman’s Friend below.