Last night I had the pleasure of watching one of the most incredible documentaries I’ve ever seen. It was simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking. If there is only one movie you see before the end of the year make sure it’s Chasing Ice. After you watch it find out how you can host a screening of the film locally and spread this story.
“In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.
Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.
As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.”
See more of Jame’s breathtaking photographs of glaciers after the jump.
Danling Xiao is a Sydney-based artist who has started Mundane Matters, a project aimed at coupling fun food sculptures and photography with daily insights and philosophies. The bulk of the project can be seen on Instagram, which is updated daily. The objects she creates range from cute to bizarre—such as a zucchini squid and a grinning, beady-eyed apple—but they all exemplify ingenious ways to recreate and re-represent ordinary objects.
“Is mundanity really mundane?” Danling’s artist statement asks. “Perhaps it is our ignorance?” She argues that by seeing something in a different light, and by allowing ourselves to become curious, we can find joy and creativity in all things. Fruits, vegetables, and the objects they’ve been molded into take on new levels of significance. We become aware of design, and how beauty and utility often arrive together. As Danling suggests, “If we look closer, if we slow down our pace and be more mindful about our inner self and surroundings, we can actually discover a wonderland inside every mundanity.”
Each of Mundane Matters’ posts on Instagram is accompanied by a short write-up, usually updating the viewer on events in Danling’s life. These range from descriptions of dreams, daily practices of overcoming fear, and more general wisdom, such as the importance of nurturing our relationships. Danling’s goal is to spread “humor, creativity, positivity, and stories” through her work, and given Mundane Matters’ beautiful photos and growing social media following, there is no doubt that her art and ideas are connecting with people everywhere.
Vellas & Laga are a dangerous duo of animation and art direction that make motion work for many clients. There work is has a friendly appeal, with crisp, clean, and colorful details abounding. They seem to have a flair for understanding what works commercially for a client, while applying their own sensitivities to make it pop.
French Design firm Mr. & Mr. reinterpreted da Vinci’s Last Supper into a clever series of table runners and place mats. The hand gestures are in the exact postion and in the same ratio as the original. Next time you have friends over for dinner where will you sit? Watch out for Judas!
Rob Matthews is an east coast designer (I’ve noticed a lot of good work coming from Minneapolis!) with a penchant for the ironic. His “Wikipedia” project takes articles from Wiki’s Wikipedia’s featured articles. Other projects include: T-shirts and posters that wrap around your head to make you become his friend ‘Trevor Burks’ (who he misses), and turning drawings into photographs which is kind of like the opposite of what people are used to when they’re first practicing art.
Edit: Friend & video artist Party Food (Joe) has sent me a map to show me where MPLS is, thank you. If you are like me, geographically challenged, please refer to this image.
Bones automatically insinuate death, and often are the only physical remnant that insinuates life once existed. Shen Shaomin‘s bone works are equal parts terrifying and fascinating, man-made memorials to human intervention on the planet. Creatures that never have been or should be are pieced together from human and animal skeletons. The bones are carved and relief-carved with text taken from several sources, including the Bible, the Koran, and various sources. Inscribed in English, Arabic, and Chinese, the texts serve as warnings to the two largest industrial nations in the world of the damage being caused to the planet.
Related to the Chinese practice of bonsai, or long-term manipulation of a living tree to one’s will based on aesthetic and stylistic choices, Shaomin has also used bonsai in past works as a metaphor for human intervention upon nature.
In an interview with the University of Sydney’s ARTSPACE CHINA, Shaomin explains the terror he hopes to evoke in his skeletal works, “China’s current situation is very much like my bonsais. At first glance you will find it beautiful, but once you look more carefully you’ll see there are terrifying things behind that beauty. China has over a billion people, but over 800 million of those people are peasants. A peasant’s standard of life in China is still pretty basic. They say that if every one of those 800 Chinese peasants showered every day it would take more than all the water on the planet. That’s a scary thought.” (via myampgoesto11)