Like many people, Greg Krehel loves cacti and succulents. But, living in Jacksonville, FL was not conducive to keeping these plants happy and healthy. The desert-loving flora would drown in the sogginess of Jacksonville. That was until he randomly selected a cactus from a local garden store. Instead of dying, it thrived, and produced beautiful, large blooms in a mixture of colors. It turns out that Krehel selected a echinopsis, which is a genus of cactus from South America that loves humidity. And, better yet, there were hundreds of other varieties out there. Krehel photographs them with an iPhone 5 or a Cannon 6d camera and post them to his Instagram, under the username @echinopsisfreak.
Once his first cactus thrived, Krehel bought more. Many more..“My single echinopsis acquired by accident was soon joined by 5… 25… 50… and now I’m at 100 other echinopsis species and hybrids, ” he told the Instagram blog.
Krehel is passionate about imaging the echinopsis, which blooms in a day and peak for only an hour or two. “Their brief existence pushes you to photograph the heck out of them,” he says. This led him to using time-lapse photography to capture their beauty in short, mesmerizing videos. The echinopsis’ gently-opening blooms are easy to watch in hypnotic fashion. You’ll probably find yourself click the “play” button over and over again.
Videographer Rob Whitworth together with city-branding pioneer JT Singh create a stunning flow-motion panorama of the mysterious capital of People’s Democratic Republic Of Korea, commonly known as North Korea. “Enter Pyongyang” is their another collaboration combining the stunning effects of time-lapse photography, HD and digital animation, acceleration and slow motion.
According to the creators, North Korea, which is mostly imagined as a country “immune to change”, is rapidly developing. Besides the uplift in tourism, the whole infrastructure is rising with new railways being planned and special economic zones launched. Whitworth and Singh accurately capture this shift in their video filmed with the help of Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based travel agency who provided the team with exclusive access to the city.
“As is standard for all foreign visitors to the country, we were not allowed to shoot any construction sites, undeveloped locations or military personnel. Other than that we were given relatively free reign.”
North Korean society is highly enclosed and lifting the curtain, especially for a video, is a truly unprecedented behavior. However, “Enter Pyongyang” captures the controversial reality of this multimillion capital: from its high-end golden statues and modern glass skyscrapers, to the humble and earnest citizens. The fast-paced video conveys what is essentially Pyongyang’s biggest wealth – the dynamism and energy driving it to the new heights. (via The Awesomer)
In his latest project OMOTE, Japanese producer Nobumichi Asai combines explicit real-time face tracking and projection mapping to create unbelievable transformations of a human face. While projecting computer generated imagery (CGI) onto buildings, room walls or cars isn’t new, using a live model as a dynamic canvas demonstrates an advances use of technology.
To accomplish such realistic and mesmerizing effect, Asai gathered a team of digital designers, CGI experts, and make-up artists. Together they created a set of digital “masks”, or, as Slash Gear referred to it, “electronic equivalent of makeup”. As shown in the video, model’s face should be scanned and mapped so the graphics can be projected and manipulated in real-time, even when the face moves around.
Despite that lots of technical details about OMOTE are left unsaid, Internet users have already started speculating on the possible use of such technology. Most suggestions include testing of products such as make-up, clothing, or even tattoos. Some state that advanced versions could be employed for medical purposes, like projecting X-Rays or creating “instant previews” of plastic surgery. Not to mention the game industry. (via Gizmodo)
Dutch designer Jolan van der Wiel creates unusual ceramic sculptures using the conflicting properties of metallic clay and magnets. His latest project “Magnetism Meets Architecture” features a number of fantastic gravity-defying architectural models and explores the possibility of using magnetism in architecture.
The process of making such sculptures starts by mixing clay with water to create a slip, a mixture with the consistency of cream. Then he adds metallic powder like iron with the ratio typically being 90% clay, 10% metal. The whole blend is then transferred to a nozzle similar to the one confectioners use for cake icing. Carefully building layer after layer, van der Wiel allows surrounding magnets to pull them into various shapes resembling a drip sand castle (passing a magnetic field through the material provides an opposing force to gravity, thus the clay is pulled upwards and suspends in its place).
Van der Wiel is fascinated with the idea of using magnetism in architecture.
“I’m drawn to the idea that the force would make the final design of the building – architects would only have to think about the rough shape and a natural force would do the rest. This would create a totally different architectural field.”
According to the artist, he got the inspiration from Catalan architect Gaudi who used gravity to calculate the final shape of his famous building La Sagrada Familia: “I thought, what if he had the power to turn off the gravitation field for a while? Then he could have made the building straight up.” (via Wired)
adidas collaborated with a renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic to create a short film for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Video takes inspiration from Abramovic’s 1978 performance Work Relation and explores the notion of teamwork and parallels between sport and performance.
Same as the original piece, the reenactment features a group of 11 people (a reference to the number of soccer/football players on the field) transporting stones from one side of the court to the other. They are all arranged into three contrasting models: a couple, two individuals and a human chain. By doing so, Abramovic explores the contrast of cooperation and efficiency.
Work Relation was a perfect piece for adidas to pay tribute to its partnership with the 2014 FIFA World Cup. According to Abramovic who appears in the video herself, she sees a broad affinity between sport and performance.
“One similarity that I wanted to highlight in this video is the importance of group collaboration. <…> I believe that it is important to learn from other disciplines in order to bring new life to whatever it is that you do.”
The black and white video was shot by SHOWstudio in the manner of early motion cinematic experiments. All participants are dressed in their personal clothes, however they all wear a white lab coat from Marina Abramovic Institute and adidas’ Samba sneakers. As the performance author explained, the apparel was meant to create a sense of collective experimentation and mute external distractions.
The Slap, a totally fresh video by filmmaker Max Landis, is a clever response to the famous First Kiss video that went viral three months ago and has been making all of us go awwww up until now. Landis’ video features 40 randomly paired people in a fairly uncomfortable situation – the goal for them was to slap each other in the face. Even if it’s the first time they had met.
According to the author, none of the participants were pressured to do so and all of them were “hit as hard as THEY asked to be hit”. The beauty of this project lies in the contrast between a somewhat violent action of hitting other person and the intimate feeling the participants develop towards each other.
Though Landis really was aiming to mock the famous First Kiss video (which is obvious from the black and white color palette and similar upbeat music), he did go beyond just that. His explanation video called Point Of Impact explains the reasons for him to make “The Slap” in the first place.
“What is violence? It’s really just a label, isn’t it, if you let your mind go to a dark place. I decided to define violence as “non-consensual physical interference;” <…> What is trust? Do you trust someone not to hurt you? Are you even thinking about it? Do you care if they hurt you if you trust them? <…> The theory was: A slap, robbed of its violating context, is more intimate than a kiss. My theory, as it turned out, was right.”
Btw, did you notice the cherry on top? At 1:48, there’s Haley Joel Osment (yup, the kid from The Sixth Sense) being slapped straight into his lush beard.
The prevalence of any technology forever alters the way we previously understood the world before it. Photography changed painting, audio recording changed our relationship to music, and the internet changed print media such as books and magazines. What is most often lost is the human touch, a closer connection from the source to the viewer or listener. Such is the story of courtroom sketch artist Gary Myrick, the focus of a documentary produced by Ramtid Nikzad of the New York Times as part of the Op-Doc series. A compelling figure who narrates the history of the tradition, Myrick Myrick explains the difference and importance of his craft, “Illustration is story-telling. The difference between the camera in the courtroom and an artist might be the difference between just a cold, dry, factual transcript as opposed to a novel.”
Beginning with Myrick explaining his work, the documentary covers the history of the medium, the advent and fall of courtroom photography, and the eventual decline of the courtroom sketch artist. “The artist at one time was the media,” says Myrick, relaying the history of artist documentarians, from war reporting through history to multi-tasking newspaper reporters who considered their drawings as important as their words. “When you funnel the story through a human being, its got a different quality than simply doing a mechanical recording of it,” says Myrick. “A lot of things going on about me are channeled through my heart, and my soul and my brain and my fingers…I like to convey just how it feels in that moment.”
Despite his immense talent, Myrick and so many other sketch artists are no longer able to work exclusively in the dying industry. Myrick poignantly notes, speaking more indicatively of so many industries that are being lost to the ease of technology, “I’m trying to draw to communicate to those that aren’t there, what it was like to be there. And maybe some of that has been getting lost.” (via juxtapoz and newyorktimes)
World-renowned art superstar Takashi Murakami (and his production company Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.) has always dabbled in fine art mediums with a large splash of commercial elements, but his latest venture is taking on the largest popular medium of them all. Jellyfish Eyes is the artist’s first foray into live-action, full-length films, and from the looks of the incredible trailer, it will have all of the elements of Murakami’s “superflat” mix of high and low culture.
“Jellyfish Eyes tells the story of Masashi, a young boy who moves to a sleepy town in the Japanese countryside with his mother in the wake of a natural disaster. After returning home from his new elementary school one day, Masashi discovers a flying jellyfish-like creature whom he befriends and names Kurage-bo. Masashi soon discovers that all his classmates have similarly magical pets, known as F.R.I.E.N.D.s, which are controlled by electronic devices that the children use to battle one another. Despite their playful appearances, however, these F.R.I.E.N.D.s turn out to be part of a sinister plot that will threaten the entire town.”