Sort of creepy but interesting exploration of the overlap of science, art, and private vs. public:
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s “Stranger Visions” project started with a question: What could she learn about a person by collecting one of their stray hairs? In an age of ever-cheaper DNA sequencing, the answer turned out to be “a lot.” Dewey-Hagborg’s portraits of strangers, made with DNA samples found in public places, called attention to the feasibility of DNA snooping. Now with her latest project, “Invisible,” she wants to put the tools to protect genetic privacy in consumers’ hands. But is total genetic privacy really possible?
A good way of explaining pollution to people is to visualize it:
:vtol:, aka Dmitry Morozov, has previously turned tattoos into experimental instruments and highlighted the beauty of barcodes. Now, with Digioxide, the Russian artist is turning pollution recognition into tangible artwork. The portable device is equipped with sensors that measure air pollution gases and dust particles. It’s connected to a computer via bluetooth and turns information about the concentration of dust and harmful gases such as CO, CO2, HCHO, CH4 and C3H8 into generative graphics, forming an abstract image.
Digioxide has a mobile printer that allows the pollution data to be turned into physical prints of the digitized images—pixilated, colored graphics that offer a “snapshot” of the surrounding air. :vtol: explains that the tool allows users to “freely move around a city, seek out ecologically problematic places, and turn their data into digital artworks.”
Public art is not always as engaging as this one, or as driven by physics and learning.
Public artworks also don’t often include life-sized balloons— but that hasn’t stopped UK artists Alison Ballard and Mike Blow from creating them. POD is an interactive sound installation that allows viewers to experience the physical life of sound waves through the skins of two, six-foot-tall inflatable spheres. The surfaces of POD pulsate in rhythm with a sound file that plays from deep within the sphMassive Sound Pillows Were Meant To Be Huggedere. Audience members are invited to drape their faces and bodies over these surface, free to enjoy POD’s gentle massage.
The simple premise and no-fuss approach to technology makes the prospect of future collaborations a no-brainer for Alison Ballard AB and Mike Blow MB. With the help and support of Edmund Harcourt, organizer of the one-night-only experimental sound festival Wycombe Listening and head of Hogarth marketing agency, have already begun to implement exciting new directions for POD, including collaborations with spoken word poets, and spatially-organized musical compositions that use the sculptures as instruments.
Beautiful and insightful x-ray pictures of nature.
Our human eyes may be limited by visible light, but the work of physicist and artist Arie van ‘t Riet gives us a glimpse into the invisible universe around us. In exploration of nature’s hidden anatomy, Riet uses x-ray imagery on naturalistic compositions, or bioramas, created from flora and fauna. The challenging photography process requires Riet to experiment with different levels of x-ray energies to achieve the right amount of contrast in each image.
Science is beautiful and has a child-like element, it’s time books started reflecting that more.
Ebook publisher TinyBop is creating what they call the Explorer’s Library–an encyclopedia set for the iPad generation–in which scientific illustrations become breathing, touchable worlds for you to explore. The company has just received $5 million in series A funding to build out this idea.Their first app explored the human body.
Their second takes us into interactive dioramas of the world’s biomes–2-D environments that were illustrated by Marie Caudry in Ligne claire clear line, a style defined by its simplistic, ink-traced characters devoid of additional texture. You may recognize Clear Line from The Adventures of Tintin or, more recently, The Simpsons. But the app is as defined by its interactivity as its aesthetic. Its scenes appear as mostly still, save for an occasional rustle of leaves or visit from an animal walking into the frame. Like nature itself, the environments are tranquil but alive.
Not much to add, really, just archiving this for my own purposes:
It’s not impossible to feel like you’re surveying Natural History when browsing the works of Alistair McClymont. See, for example, a wind-tunnel like machine that’s designed to hold a single drop of water sustained in mid-air: