When photographer Klaus Pichler was moving out of his old apartment in Vienna, he noticed something peculiar about the dust on the floor. In the living room, dust bunnies were red while the mitesin his bedroom were light blue. This led to something of an epiphany for Pichler, and he realized that dust isn’t always gray like we so often see – there are varieties. Inspired by that experience, the photographer started a years-long series that chronicles the accumulation of different dust particles. Aptly titled Dust, it recently culminated into a book of the same name.
Pinchler’s dust gathering was similar to collecting specimens to study. He retrieved them with tweezers, placed each in their own Petri dish, numbered, and inventoried them. Photographing the dust proved trickier, and it required Pinchler renting an expensive 120mm macro lense and capturing them all within 24 hours. They were left unaltered and their tiny, exquisite beauty shines in these up-close images.
From police stations to subway stations and pet stores, each gathering of dust has its own idiosyncrasies. The pet shop, for instance, has tiny, brightly-colored feathers and wood chips for the animals. There’s less hair in it than the police station, which has threads, metal, and leaves swirling around in a matted ball.
A jewelry collection by Icelandic designer Ágústa Sveinsdóttir explores the transience of all earthly pursuits by incorporating one unusual material, dust. Her metallic wearables allow their owners to experience the transformation and disintegration as the jewelry changes and decays over time.
“In this world everything existing is linked to the process of birth, decay and disappearance. That is the way of life, the way of nature. Inspired by the tradition of the symbolic Vanitas paintings, the Dust collection is a reminder of the transience of all earthly pursuits and how it can be a motive for design.”
Designer wanted to break the traditions of material use and employ materials that have been considered worthless. She chose dust as the ultimate result of disintegration: “It’s everywhere and ever-present <…> It is everything and yet metaphorically the embodiment of nothingness.” Sveinsdóttir questions the material worth by juxtaposing jewelry, a sign of beauty and wealth, and dust, an inconvenient mundane matter that people always try to get rid off.
The dust was collected from abandoned Icelandic farms. Designer pursued to find dust at its purest form, thus derelict places where time has stopped, man has left and nature has taken over were perfect. Using a biodegradable adhesive, dust particles were transformed into a jewel coating and used to cover the metallic bangles and rings. With time, the dust fades away unveiling the manmade skeleton of the object. (via designboom)