Posted in design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays, Optics

Pablo Picasso hidden portrait found beneath famous painting ‘The Blue Room’ – News – Art – The Independent

More and more of these “hidden paintings” are being discovered via infrared and other photonic technologies.

A hidden portrait has been unearthed beneath Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece “The Blue Room.”

Art experts using infrared technology on the painting revealed a man wearing a jacket, bow tie and rings and resting his bearded face on his hand.Scientists have confirmed that the artwork was created just before “The Blue Room” during the Spanish painter’s early 1900s ‘blue period’, in which he focused on monochromatic paintings in blue shades.

more via Pablo Picasso hidden portrait found beneath famous painting ‘The Blue Room’ – News – Art – The Independent.

Posted in design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays, engineering, museum, Solar and Alternative Energy

A Metallic Solar Powered Cloud Museum for Xiamen China | Inhabitat

China has been producing some cool architecture the last couple of years, from the Beijing stadiums to this:

“Floating” above the city of Xiamen, China like a cloud, this lofty museum takes art and culture to new heights. The brainchild of MAD Architects, the structure’s organic, molten metal shape is mirrored, reflecting the beauty of the surrounding environment right onto its walls. The museum will make good use of the city’s sunny climate by placing solar panels on its roof, and because it rests upon 5 relatively slender “legs,” residents of the city still have space to enjoy the natural landscape of the park-like site.

more photos via A Metallic Solar Powered Cloud Museum for Xiamen China | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Posted in communication and networking, electronic imaging and displays, museum

Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web | Video on

Imagine being able to see artwork in the greatest museums around the world without leaving your chair. Driven by his passion for art, Amit Sood tells the story of how he developed Art Project to let people do just that.

via Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web | Video on

Amit Sood is a Group Marketing Manager for Google; he’s worked with the Android team in Mountain View and has led marketing efforts for Google’s GEO products. His passion for art led him to initiate a “20 percent time” project to bring museums onto the web — which turned into the ambitious new Art Project. He writes:

It started when a small group of us who were passionate about art got together to think about how we might use our technology to help museums make their art more accessible — not just to regular museum-goers or those fortunate to have great galleries on their doorsteps, but to a whole new set of people who might otherwise never get to see the real thing up close.

We’re also lucky here to have access to technology like Picasa and App Engine and to have colleagues who love a challenge — like building brand-new technology to enable Street View to go indoors!

Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, museum

Celebrating Green: As Color, As Concept, As Cause : NPR

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...
Happy Earth Day, you green marble! Image via Wikipedia

Spring is here (finally), with Easter Sunday this weekend, Earth Day on Friday, and the dandelions shooting up all over. What a great time to celebrate “Green.” But not just as a color; an art exhibit in D.C. explores green as a concept, from cause to color to commentary.

Spring is far enough along in parts of the country that it seems appropriate to talk about the color of the season: green. It’s a color that has come to take on many meanings — envy, ecology, money and more. A new exhibition at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., celebrates green’s symbolism. The show is called Green: The Color and the Cause.

In New Jersey, artist Nancy Cohen explored ecological green in the state’s waterways. She traveled along the Mullica River, on foot and by boat, and “spent some time meeting with marine biologists and environmentalists,” Cohen says. “The water is a brownish color because cedar trees leach into the water, and even though the water’s clean, it has a kind of tea color. As the river progresses and moves toward the ocean, it becomes bluer and bluer.”

more via Celebrating Green: As Color, As Concept, As Cause : NPR.

Posted in communication and networking, electronic imaging and displays, Illumination, Optics

Kinect, infrared filtered camera make amazing art

From CNET:

Who knew that [Kinect] projects such beautiful light?

Until San Francisco Bay Area artist Audrey Penven and some friends started taking pictures of themselves playing Kinect games, no one. But when Penven looked at the images, she realized she was on to something special.

In normal light, you can’t even see the light put out by the Kinect, Microsoft’s new motion control system for the Xbox 360. But with the help of a roommate’s camera, which is modified to shoot infrared, Penven discovered scenes at once ghostly and straight from the cover of a Neal Stephenson novel.

The images that resulted from Penven’s photographic experiment show a cacophony of bright dots that encompass and enfold the people in them. They evince movement and wonder and hint at art. Yet the first time around, the light was little more than Kinect trying to gauge the movements of Penven and her roommates while they played a little Dance Central.

Read more about how she put it all together.

Posted in communication and networking, engineering, museum

Computer history museum goes online

Comparing the Omnibot with his contemporary, t...
Image via Wikipedia

It only seems fitting that a museum devoted entirely to the computer get an online exhibit space:

The online version of the Computer History Museum‘s impressive real-life exhibit on the birth and evolution of computing went live on the Web a few days ago, and besides being a nifty way to indulge in nostalgia, it has a shot at igniting an inventive spark in students and even the grown-ups who surround them.

That’s what good museums do, isn’t it? Entertain and inspire. Challenge and enlighten. It’s true of museums in storied old buildings. And it’s true of museums sitting in the cloud waiting for the world to come through its digital doors.

“We just put online more than 4,500 pages of content covering the width and breath of computer history,” Bob Sanguedolce, the Mountain View museum’s vice president of technology, said at the site’s official launch.

“This is especially important when a search-driven world has conditioned us to expect a vast amount of accessible information to be right at our fingertips,” museum CEO John Hollar said at the kickoff event.

But wait, you eagle-eye readers may ask, where’s the art part? As the curators point out, building an online museum takes LOTS of attention to style, art, design, and how to get users in the virtual doors.

There is a certain joy that a museum without walls brings to its curators. Space is not an issue. But the fact that everything and the kitchen sink (or in this case the Honeywell Kitchen Computer) will fit on the website means the organization of the site needs to be all that more disciplined. And a Web-based museum comes with its own challenges.

“In a physical existence there is one door,” Sanguedolce said after the news conference. “But in an online exhibit there are a thousand doors, and you’re never really sure where somebody is going to come in in an online exhibit.”

Go visit the online exhibit:

Posted in astronomy, communication and networking, electronic imaging and displays, museum

Learn about the cosmos while playing on your phone

American Museum of Natural History: Cosmic Discoveries App

This is a great example of combining technology, science education, and art into one engaging toy.

This App is actually very cool. It’s the American Museum of Natural History: Cosmic Discoveries. The App puts things into one of those mosiac images in which several tiny pictures create one huge image. You can zoom in by double-tapping or pinching, and read up on a ton of information.

Cosmic Discoveries was produced by the Museum’s Digital Media Department and curated by Dr. Michael Shara, a leading scientist and Curator in the Department of Astrophysics. It was developed in celebration of this exciting tradition of innovation and is the latest offering of the Museum’s expanding digital platform which enables public access to the Museum’s extensive resources in science, education, and exhibition—whether they are visiting on site or online. By anticipating the new ways that people access, learn, and share information today, the digital platform integrates the experience of visiting the Museum with a variety of mobile offerings that extend the Museum’s impact beyond its walls and put the wonder and excitement of discovery into the palm of one’s hand.

The design is great because it is artistically engaging, making the user want to explore and vicariously learn. It doesn’t feel like learning to the user, it just feels like a cool toy that they get cool factoids from.

It’s also free, so have a look at it here. Credit to for the discovery.