I have to start by saying that while I understand dancing takes strength, grace and skill (attributes I’ve never been accused of having) for me watching dance performances has always been a little perplexing and inaccessible. I think I’ve seen the Nutcracker a half-dozen times and I still have no idea what’s going on for a majority of the ballet. Maybe I’m missing that part of my brain that figures out body language. But these dances are different, because these are folks dancing about science. And these are just a few of the results from the most recent Dance for Your Ph.D. contest, an annual competition where graduate students try to explain the basic idea behind their research using choreography instead of PowerPoint.
The most recent winner is a dance about creating aluminum as a strong as steel. Others are about cell signaling during cancer or what happens to the knee implants inside the body for years. That’s the one below. And what’s clear is that it is not easy to use dance to explain research, but the research isn’t easy to understand in the first place.
About two and a half years ago Danica (remember her?!) posted about photographer Caleb Charland, and how he creates fantastic images without the use of digital trickery. What I didn’t realize at the time is how much of Caleb’s work is interested in demonstrating scientific principles; in fact, he has two series series called Demonstrations where he… well… demonstrates electrical/chemical properties of everyday objects and captures it on film. Another part of his work seems interested in carrying out experiments in film, itself. Whether he’s slapping it, setting it on fire, or letting bacteria eat away at the different layers of fim, this is work where the photograph isn’t just the evidence of the experiment, but the experiment itself.
Continue reading this post…
I stumbled across Carlo Vega’s work on Vimeo the other night and was properly impressed. The New York based artist seems to work predominately as a painter but when he mixes his personal work with his commercial work as a motion-graphics artist things get really interesting.
Originally from Lima in Peru, Vega grew up during a time of political turmoil and domestic terrorism. For the artist this time played an important role in his cognitive foundations. During his early years he learned about geometry and the perfection of logic from his mathematician grandfather, and from his Catholic surroundings he absorbed the importance of iconography and spiritual mystery.
Watching his video “Gray Keys” with this knowledge makes everything fit into place. It’s a beautiful little video which finds beauty and mystery through geometry and iconography. The music is of course by the wonderful Chilly Gonzales. Check out more of Carlo’s work here.
This short film/instructional video by Russian art collective FaceHeads is a simple, clever exercise in spontaneous art-making. Narrated by an anthropomorphized chunk of cardboard, Instant Face Maker details how to create a myriad of accidental characters by marking a page full of erratic lines and superimposing a set of eyes on top.
I love the way this short embraces the intuitive and accidental side of creativity. By reducing the parameters, the participants have to use their imaginations to assign meaning to the random shapes on the page. It’s surprisingly easy to do once the only context is a pair of eyes and its immediate surroundings. The human brain loves to find order in chaos. You can find more work by FaceHeads here.
Emmelie Golabiewski is an illustrator based in Stockholm. I found her work via various internet wormholes and was completely charmed by her “Children Pharmacy” project, an illustrated packaging series featuring everything from a toothbrush and toothpaste stored in an open mouth to tissue dispensed out of a nose. Her work is whimsical, wonderful, and eye-catching… literally.
Aside from a mouth and nose, the series features a pink finger I can only assume is for band-aids and small packages adorned with eyeballs and eyelashes that could possibly hold eye drops. Though I’m assuming they’re all designed for children, these could work for adults, too, as any sucker for packaging can attest. Check out more from Golabiewski, including her watercolor paintings and beautifully detailed pencil drawings, here.