Photographics · Social/Politics

The Women Warriors of the Free Syrian Army

Emerging from the shadows of their secret command outpost in the war-torn city of Aleppo, these members of an all-female fighting unit posed for portraits. Their testimony speaks of the wrenching violence of the now two-year-long Syrian uprising. Photographed by Sebastiano Tomada. Text via TIME. See More HERE

Film/Video/New Media · Photographics

The Unseen Seen

The Unseen Seen is a series by the Austrian photographer Reiner Riedler. After selecting a mix of well-known cult classics and lesser known films from The Deutsche Kinemathek (home to 13,000 national and international film titles), he backlit and photographed the film rolls by installing film lights behind them.

See more of The Unseen Seen

Trois Couleurs; Bleu by Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1993

Citizen Kane by Orson Welles, 1941

Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) by Josef von Sternberg, 1930

The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola, 1972

Ginger E Fred by Federico Fellini, 1985

The Ghost Of Frankenstein by Erle C. Kenton, 1942

Architectonic · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Photographics · Sonic/Musical

Spaces On Earth Where No One Can Hear You Scream

A few days ago, the European Space Agency issued a series of photographs taken in one of the agency’s anechoic chambers, in the “zone of silence” as the title of the press release says. So what is an anechoic chamber? It is an echo-free room where the walls coated with special materials absorb all reflections of sound or electromagnetic waves and insulate any noise coming from outside, thus it simulates a quiet open-space of infinite dimension, which is quite useful in the aerospace industry. Text and Images via io9. See more HERE



The ‘anechoic chamber’. Can you bear Earth’s quietest place ?

Bio · Photographics · Vital-Edible-Health

Malformed – A Collection of Human Brains from the Texas State Mental Hospital

Two years ago Scientific American magazine sent me to the University of Texas at Austin to borrow a human brain. They needed me to photograph a normal, adult, non-dissected brain that the university had obtained by trading a syphilitic lung with another institution. The specimen was waiting for me, but before I left they asked if I’d like to see their collection.

I walked into a storage closet filled with approximately one-hundred human brains, none of them normal, taken from patients at the Texas State Mental Hospital. The brains sat in large jars of fluid, each labeled with a date of death or autopsy, a brief description in Latin, and a case number. These case numbers corresponded to micro film held by the State Hospital detailing medical histories. But somehow, regardless of how amazing and fascinating this collection was, it had been largely untouched, and unstudied for nearly three decades.

Driving back to my studio with a brain snugly belted into the passenger seat, I quickly became obsessed with the idea of photographing the collection, preserving the already decaying brains, and corresponding the images to their medical histories. I met with my friend Alex Hannaford, a features journalist, to help me find the collection’s history dating back to the 1950s.

Excerpt from a text by Adam Voorhes. Continue HERE

Photographics · Social/Politics · Technology

The Fundamental Units: A Microscopic View of the World Economy

The lowest domination coin from each of the world’s currencies imaged by the Advanced Engineered Materials Group at the National Physical Laboratory, using an Alicona infinite focus 3D optical microscope. These are small low resolution versions from orginals containing over 400 million pixels.

“The economic system, which has raised to such notorious prominence in recent years because of its obvious impact on our lives, is a complex structure whose functioning is increasingly necessary to understand and, as much as possible, to predict or even control. In this sense, and in response to the dominance of macroeconomics in the discourse of the media, the artist chooses a microscopic view of the world economy. The Fundamental Units, a series that begins with the works produced by Horrach Moyà Gallery for this exhibition, is an exploration of the lowest denomination coins from the world’s currencies using an infinite focus 3D optical microscope at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington (UK). The images obtained with the microscope have been combined to form an extremely detailed large scale reproduction of the least valuable coins from Australia, Chile, the Euro, Myanmar and the Kingdom of Swaziland. In these images the humble metal acquires a planetary dimension and is displayed as the atoms that shape the global economy”. – Pau Waelder, Curator

Text and Image via The Fundamental Units

Animalia · Photographics

Animals Benefiting from Climate Change

Mosquito If there’s one creature who’s climate change gain is our loss, it’s mosquitoes. No longer restricted to strictly tropical environments, mosquitoes have spread as warmer temperatures have crept into environments they had never previously been. More mosquitoes means higher potential to spread diseases, including malaria, West Nile virus and dengue fever. This greater risk of disease is not only bad news for humans, but also some animals, including certain bird species, who had previously been unexposed to these pests. In fact, even some of the world’s largest creatures are not immune to the disease transmitted by these tiny insects. Last month, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society revealed that two whales kept in captivity died as a result of diseases carried by mosquitoes.

Jellyfish Acidifying oceans and warmer waters might be encouraging swells in populations of jellyfish around the world. Although the notion that jellyfish are benefiting from climate change has been subject to debate, studies have shown that coastal jellyfish populations are generally on the rise. More jellyfish would be bad news for any species that relied on the oceans for its food supply, including humans. Jellyfish can essentially reorder the food web by eating the same plankton that would otherwise be consumed by fish, restricting the transfer of energy on the food chain since predators tend to avoid them. The increase in jellyfish populations could also lead to an ecological disaster by resulting in an increase in carbon beyond what oceans can cope with, according to a report from The Guardian. When jellyfish die, they break down into biomass with considerably higher levels of carbon than their vertebrate counterparts. Bacteria that thrive on decaying organisms cannot absorb carbon as well and instead breathe it out into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Gray Nurse Shark Worldwide, around one third of oceanic shark species are at risk of extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These animals are primarily at risk as a result of human intervention, particularly the overfishing of sharks for their fins. But there is one species of shark that may stand to benefit from man-made climate change, the Australian gray nurse shark. Like many shark species, gray nurse shark populations have been under pressure. This species could disappear entirely by 2050. However, thanks for warmer waters surrounding Australia, two separate populations of this nurse shark on each side of the continent may reunite for the first time in 100,000 years.

Text and Images via Discovery. Click HERE to see more.

Photographics · Public Space

The Night Some Russian Teens Secretly Climbed The Great Pyramid Of Giza

“A group of Russians went to Egypt and climbed the Great Pyramide. According to their story, they arrived there early while the complex was open, then waited in shadows till the visitor hours are over and the night came down, so later they climbed on the top and made photos. “There are lots of signs on the top of the pyramide on different languages, including Russian, and they say somewhere among them there is a signature of last Russian Tsar who climbed it too sometime long ago”. The security didn’t notice them, they got back down uncaught, keeping in mind that according to Egypt’s laws there is a possible couple of years sentence for such kind of things.”

Text and Images via Russian English, Mister Marat, and Raskalov

Performativity · Photographics

To The Mountains

DANY PESCHL: Here are several pieces from my side project called after the song of norwegian blackmetal band Satyricon – ‘to the mountains’.

Pictures have been shot during spring and summer 2011 at different higher places in the whole of Europe. I met a few odd beings and I was not in only one strange situation there. But on the other hand, that is me. Every picture has its own story but I have decided to leave it untold.

See More HERE

Human-ities · Photographics · Social/Politics

10 years ago in Irak

Images of Iraq from the ten years since the invasion HERE, and HERE.

Design · Photographics · Public Space

Bastard chairs

BASTARD CHAIRS BY Michael Wolf. The bastard chairs of china from the book “Sitting in China” published by Steidl in the fall of 2002, distributed by D.A.P. in the United States.

Photographics · Projects · Social/Politics

Temporary Shelters by Henk Wildschut

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Close to the port of Calais there is an area encompassing a few hundred square metres that is known as ‘The Jungle’. The people occupying this area have travelled many miles to get there, and their journey is still not at an end. Calais is the departure point for the final and most desirable crossing. There are thousands of people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria, all in search of a better life in Britain, the destination of their dreams.

While they await the opportunity to make the great crossing, they build temporary shelters: tent-like structures made of waste material from the immediate surroundings of the camp. In the best cases, the cultural characteristics of the country of origin can barely be distinguished in these.

The way in which the primary requirements of life are manifested in such shelters forms the leitmotif of this documentary photography project, for which I travelled extensively to Calais, the south of Spain, Dunkirk, Malta, Patras and Rome. For me, the image of the shelter – wherever it is in Europe – became the symbol of the misery these refugees experience.

All photos and text by Henk Wildschut. See project HERE

Design · Photographics · Social/Politics

Evolution of the New York Driver’s License


New York State first began issuing paper licenses to chauffeurs in 1910, and the shape, form and style have changed over the past century, adapting to new laws and technologies. The following is a sampling of how the license has evolved. See More HERE

Photographics · Vital-Edible-Health

Pantone Pairings

Via David Schewn

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Photographics · Technology

Dark Flight: Meteorwrongs

Within one of the most well-known collections of meteorites in the world, at the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University, is a collection of rocks of mistaken identity. Once identified by professional and amateur meteorite hunters as meteorites, they were later proven to be of terrestrial origin. ‘Dark Flight: Meteorwrongs’ is a series of photographs of 21 of these false positives. They range in size from just a few inches to more than one foot in diameter and they all have one thing in common–they are not meteorites. The collection stands as a testament to the evolution of the science of meteoritics and to the limits of human knowledge.

The Department of Natural History: A project by Ryan Thompson.

Art/Aesthetics · Human-ities · Photographics

Omega Suites: The Architecture of Capital Punishment by Lucinda Devlin

During the early nineties, Lucinda Devlin systematically took photographs of gas chambers, injection rooms, electric chairs and death cells in rural towns and cities in the United States. She entitled the series “Omega Suites” — alluding to the final letter of the Greek alphabet as a metaphor for the end. Seemingly an examination of the death penalty, her austere, haunting images are actually metaphors that question the culture in America, where 70 percent of citizens support the death penalty. More than 3000 Americans have been sentenced to death and are in final holding cells, where they wait an average of 10 years before being executed.
In Lucinda Devlin’s photographs, the death cell represents aspects of American society and its accompanying mentality. One image shows an electric chair in the bright yellow color of American school buses which prison officers named “Yellow Mama”. Wooden paneling and carpets lend an almost cozy atmosphere to the setting. Another electric chair placed in the center of a room represents the character of a throne amid emptiness and clinical sterility. Elsewhere, the somber cross-like stretcher used for lethal injections suggests that executions are religious rituals, replete with a celebratory audience (seated on chairs opposite).
Icy and compelling, the photographs present a clearly defined and hermetically sealed concept of the world which is characterized by taking extreme measures against the ominous — instead of attempting integration. They do so in a precise, exquisite and seductive way while intellectually repelling us.

Text via HERE. Images via HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Lethal Injection Chamber, Nevada State Prison, Carson City, Nevada

Lethal Injection Chamber from Witness Room, Cummins Unit, Grady, Arkansas

Lethal Injection Chamber, Texas State Prison, Huntsville, Texas

Final Holding Cell, Indiana State Prison, Michigan City, Indiana

Animalia · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Photographics

The Shark Whisperer

If “Jaws” were based on facts, this article would have been written post mortem. Shark diver Jim Abernethy and the Tiger sharks of the Bahamas beg to differ – we joined them for some underwater adventure. Let there be no misunderstanding: Sharks are potentially dangerous. Slipping into the water with them demands years of experience and expertise. Luckily, Jim Abernethy has both a plenty. In the diving business since 1981, Jim has hosted the likes of IMAX, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Animal Planet, and the Discovery Channel on his boat the Shear Water. Moreover, Jim is no mere adrenalin junkie looking for a quick thrill but a man on a mission. His Stop Eating Shark Fin Soup shirt really says it all. The mission is to conserve them and change our perception of sharks in order to ensure their survival for our common future. His intimate interaction with sharks and his correlating suspension of physical laws usually applicable to divers makes comparisons with Aquaman unavoidable. Based in West Palm Beach, Jim’s true domain are the waters of the Bahamas, with their populace of Caribbean Reef sharks, Lemon, Bull and foremost Tiger sharks.

Excerpt from an article at MB. Continue HERE

Paint/Illust./Mix-Media · Photographics

Coloring the Past

18 years old Mads Madsen retouches historical photos (sepia and b&w.) Until now he has chosen mostly well known male figures in politics, literature, humanities, and entertainment.
Looking forward to find an expanded palette soon, both in gender and color. See More HERE

Animalia · Eco/Adaptable · Photographics · Projects

Balsa de los Sapos by Peter Lipton

“According to UNESCO, Ecuador has the world’s highest level of biodiversity based on it’s geographical size. In the Amazonian rainforest of this small South American country, more species of trees grow within one hectare (2,5 acres) than in the entire North American continent. Ecuador also boasts 460 species of amphibians, almost 9 percent of the world’s total.”

“One third of Ecuador’s amphibian species are endangered. This prompted the creation of a research and conservation program at the Catholic University of Quito in 2005. The program, named ‘Balsa de los sapos’, spanish for ‘Life raft of the frogs’, aims to collect, reproduce, and return endangered amphibians to their natural habitat.” — Peter Lipton

Performativity · Photographics

Congolese Wrestling

Colin Delfosse was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) documenting conditions in copper mines when, returning to Kinshasa one evening, he saw a masked man perched atop a car, leading a procession of drummers and several dozen men and children.

Intrigued, the Belgian photographer began asking around and learned that what he had witnessed was the afternoon build-up to one of the city’s most popular sports: wrestling. In a country that, from 1998 to 2003, was the center of one of the bloodiest conflicts since World War II—8.4 million people killed from eight countries—one wouldn’t expect to find crowds clamoring to watch men pretend to beat each other up, Hulk Hogan-style. But influenced by broadcasts of American wrestling in the 1970s, the Congolese adapted the sport, bringing their own spin—parades, voo-doo and body paint. The sport is so firmly entrenched that even the president’s body guard is a popular wrestler, known as “Etats-Unis,” and one of Kinshasa’s district mayors even sponsored a match to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence from Belgium.

In the DRC, there are two branches of the sport. The first is the more recognizable WWE SmackDown-brand, villain vs. villain match, where wrestlers craft costumes out of spandex, wear masks and choreograph a physical tussle. The second, called fetish wrestling, involves opponents, wearing antelope horns or fake machetes through their skull, dancing, casting spells and using witchcraft to combat each other.

“The classic wrestlers consider themselves more important,” says Delfosse, of the group who have day jobs as taxi drivers or bouncers. “They train hard, lifting weights every day. The fetish wrestlers have more of a rock’n’ roll lifestyle—they sit around, drinking beer and smoking weed.” Continue HERE

Text via Lightbox
Images via Out of Focus

Photographics · Sculpt/Install

“Lovers I (for AB)” by Juan Ortiz Apuy.

“Lovers I (for AB)” by Juan Ortiz Apuy.

Photographics · Public Space

Moonlight Towers

In 1895, the City of Austin acquired a novel street-lighting system from Detroit consisting of thirty-one 165-foot tower lights. Their cool glow and looming height earned them the popular moniker “Moonlight Towers.” In the 1930s, however, the towers were all but obsolete due to the advent of newer, brighter street lamps that were closer to the ground. Over the years for a variety of reasons including public safety and urban growth, more than half of the original towers have been removed. This series preserves the remaining towers at their most visible moment just after they turn on at dusk.

In 1995, the then seventeen Moonlight Towers were added to the National Register of Historic Places and were celebrated with a $1.3 million restoration effort. However, only fifteen towers still stand today; two of the seventeen officially recognized towers have been removed due to new construction downtown. It is unclear if they will be reinstalled.

Moonlight Towers by Andy Mattern.

Performativity · Photographics

The Scotch Tape Series

The Scotch Tape Series by Wes Naman. See more HERE

Bio · Design · Digital Media · Photographics · Science · Technology

Winners of the Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging Competition

Specimen: East-coast US fern, Polypodium virginianum, showing a cluster of spore-filled sporangia and specialized protective hairs called paraphyses.

Specimen: Delphinium seed. The image was acquired from multiple Z-stacked images.

Specimen: Butterfly “Prola Beauty” (Panacea prola) wing scales, 200X.

Specimen: Red algae Scagelia, showing reproductive tetraspores and golden diatoms.

The Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition® recognizes outstanding images of life science specimens captured through light microscopes, using any magnification, any illumination technique and any brand of equipment. Each person entering can submit up to five movies, images, or image sequences (such as time lapse series). Entries must include information on the importance or “story” behind the images. Winners are notified in late October and are announced publicly in November or December. Selected winning images also become part of a traveling exhibit tour of museums and academic institutions.

“Microscope images forge an extraordinary bond between science and art,” said Hidenao Tsuchiya, President, Olympus Corporation of the Americas. “We founded this competition to focus on the fascinating stories coming out of today’s life science research laboratories. The thousands of images that people have shared with the competition over the years reflect some of the most exciting work going on in research today – work that can help shed light on the living universe and ultimately save lives. We look at BioScapes and these beautiful images as sources of education and inspiration to us and the world.”

All text and Images via The Olympus BioScapes


Specimen: Colonial rotifers showing eyespots and corona, magnification 200x – 500x.

Performativity · Photographics

Time-lapse Nudes

Shinichi Maruyama: “I tried to capture the beauty of both the human body’s figure and its motion. The figure in the image, which is formed into something similar to a sculpture, is created by combining 10,000 individual photographs of a dancer. 
By putting together uninterrupted individual moments, the resulting image as a whole will appear to be something different from what actually exists.
With regard to these two viewpoints, a connection can be made to a human being’s perception of presence in life.”

Art/Aesthetics · Events · Photographics · Shows · Vital-Edible-Health

Death: A Self-portrait

Wellcome’s winter exhibition showcases some 300 works from a unique collection devoted to the iconography of death and our complex and contradictory attitudes towards it. Assembled by Richard Harris, a former antique print dealer based in Chicago, the collection is spectacularly diverse, including art works, historical artefacts, scientific specimens and ephemera from across the world. Rare prints by Rembrandt, Dürer and Goya will be displayed alongside anatomical drawings, war art and antique metamorphic postcards; human remains will be juxtaposed with Renaissance vanitas paintings and twentieth century installations celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead. From a group of ancient Incan skulls, to a spectacular chandelier made of 3000 plaster-cast bones by British artist Jodie Carey, this singular collection, by turns disturbing, macabre and moving, opens a window upon our enduring desire to make peace with death.

Death: A Self-portrait
15 November 2012 – 24 February 2013

Image above: Marcos Raya, Untitled (family portrait: group), 2005

Bio · Digital Media · Photographics · Science · Technology

Semblance of Fact: How brain scans are presented and consumed as photographs

LIKE PHOTOGRAPHS, brain scans are both factual records and cultural artifacts; they document real biological events and yet are interpreted within a social context. Unlike photographs, however, brain scans are not indexical, which is to say they are not direct mechanical imprints of a world beyond the image. But to most nonexperts, the products of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) appear as photographs. And, like photographs, they are often seen only for their reportorial and evidentiary qualities. Calling them “scans” suggests they present a direct empirical view of activity in the brain. In fact, the fMRI machine is just a tool: It records blood-oxygen levels in the brain as subjects respond to specific stimuli, then algorithmically manipulates the experimental data to produce an overall image, which scientists must then interpret. And since fMRI science is a relatively young field, scientists don’t agree on the best practices of interpretation, much less what the data mean.

“Semblance of Fact” is part of “Common Minds,” a series of essays and conversations on the contemporary infatuation with the brain coedited by Dawn Chan. “Semblance of Fact” was produced by Triple Canopy as part of its Research Work project area, which is supported in part by the Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Excerpt from an essay by Jan Estep. Read it HERE

Digital Media · Photographics · Vital-Edible-Health

Intestinal Bacteria

05-intestinal-bacteria-670

ViA

Paint/Illust./Mix-Media · Photographics

Braided II

Braided II by Joseph Parra.

Art/Aesthetics · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Human-ities · Photographics · Technology

OVERVIEW: On earth-gazing, awe and the aesthetic experience

On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.

The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

“When we look down at the Earth from space we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet – it looks like a living, breathing organism. But it also, at the same time, looks extremely fragile.”

– Ron Garan (quote from the film)

‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.

All text via overviewthemovie.com/

CAST
• EDGAR MITCHELL – Apollo 14 astronaut and founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences
• RON GARAN – ISS astronaut and founder of humanitarian organization Fragile Oasis
• NICOLE STOTT – Shuttle and ISS astronaut and member of Fragile Oasis
• JEFF HOFFMAN – Shuttle astronaut and senior lecturer at MIT
• SHANE KIMBROUGH – Shuttle/ISS astronaut and Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army
• FRANK WHITE – space theorist and author of the book ‘The Overview Effect’
• DAVID LOY- philosopher and author
• DAVID BEAVER – philosopher and co-founder of The Overview Institute

Art/Aesthetics · Photographics · Theory

Shoot! Existential Photography

Jean-François Lecourt, Shot into the camera, 1987, C-type print, 180 x 125 cm.

Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre Photo-shot, fairground at Porte d’Orléans, Paris 1929.

In the period following World War I, a curious attraction appeared at fairgrounds: the photographic shooting gallery. If the punter’s bullet hit the centre of the target, this triggered a camera. Instead of winning a balloon or toy, the participant would win a snapshot of him or herself in the act of shooting.

Shoot! Existential Photography traces the history of this fascinating side-show – from its popular use at fairgrounds to how it fascinated many artists and intellectuals in its heyday, including Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Man Ray and Lee Miller. The artist Erik Kessels celebrates one shooter in particular – Ria van Dijk, who took portraits of herself in this way every year from 1936 – sixty of these images feature here.

Investigating numerous analogies between taking photographs and shooting, the exhibition includes works by many contemporary artists including Sylvia Ballhause, Agnès Geoffray, Jean-François Lecourt, Christian Marclay, Steven Pippin, Émilie Pitoiset, Niki de Saint Phalle, Rudolf Steiner and Patrick Zachmann.

To artist Rudolf Steiner the camera also serves as a target. In his series Pictures of me, shooting myself into a picture, the bullet hole serves as the aperture for a pinhole camera, creating an image upon impact. The video-sound installation Crossfire by Christian Marclay is a sampling from Hollywood films that edits together those moments in which the actors on the screen begin to take aim at the movie theater audience. For eight minutes and twenty-seven seconds, the montage transports the viewer into a visual and acoustic crossfire from all sides.

Images and Text via The Photographers Gallery