Build Your Own Kinetic Engines With These Mechanical Kits by Morris Models
April 3, 2020

For those inclined to tinker, Morris Models offers DIY kits that save an unused blender or noisy washing machine from relentless disassembly. Part historical prototype and part kinetic sculpture, Morris Models’s six laser-cut engines range in complexity and difficulty. For example, the Single Cylinder is a 50-piece, two-hour build that’s comparable to a lawnmower motor, while the WWI Rotary Engine includes 500 parts, can take up to 30 hours to complete, and is inspired by the French Clerget aircraft series that was popular in the early 1900s. More Continue reading

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People are Recreating Famous Artworks Using Whatever They Have at Home During Quarantine
April 2, 2020

By sporting a bonnet fashioned out of toilet paper and clutching a celery-stalk cigarette, people are finding ways to engage with their favorite artworks from a distance. This week, the Getty challenged folks to imitate classic pieces with whatever they can find around their homes and since has gotten thousands of hilarious (and well-done) responses.
The Los Angeles museum’s call was inspired by the account Between Art & Quarantine, which has been asking people to choose three aspects of their favorite works to recreate using anything they’ve got at home, hence the pets, kids, and vegetables in the mix. More Continue reading

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Lounging Seals, a Ravenous Pelican, and a Startled Owl Top Impressive Entries in Nature Photography Contest
April 1, 2020

Replete with stunning shots of Tuscan farmland and close-ups with spiders that reveal their prickly legs, the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year competition garnered an impressive array of images from creatives in 117 countries. Out of the 7,000 entries, Florian Ledoux won the top prize in the annual contest with his aerial photograph capturing nearly two-dozen seals resting on an ice mass floating in Antarctic waters. Categories range from wildlife and landscape to macro, providing an expansive look at nature’s most impressive qualities and characters—Caitlin Henderson exposes a Lichen Huntsman spider that’s attempting to disguise itself on teal-speckled tree bark, while Paul Holman serendipitously captures a fluffy owl in the midst of a surprise.  More Continue reading

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Take an Eerie Walk Through the Empty Streets of Amsterdam, San Francisco, and New York City


With one-third of the world’s population currently under some level of quarantine, the streets of major cities like Amsterdam, New York City, and San Francisco are an unusual and unsettling sight. Film director and cinematographer Jean Counet, who shot “Meanwhile in Amsterdam,” shows the capital city almost entirely deserted. Public transit is empty and a four-minute walk reveals less than a dozen passersby.
Counet tells Colossal that “Meanwhile in Amsterdam” came together like any other film, except that “this time there was no director, and no plan,” he says. More Continue reading

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A Collage of Overlapping Videos Creates a Wild Rube Goldberg-esque Motion Sequence
March 30, 2020

Beginning with a man blowing his lips, an impressive compilation by Donato Sansone merges short clips of car crashes, fiery explosions, and punches thrown during a boxing match into a believable series of consequences. Ranging from nature to sports to destructive events, each seconds-long bit appears to lead right into the next in “Concatenation“—seemingly, a rocket launches straight into a pool ball that then causes a diver to jump into the water. More Continue reading

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A Horse Struggles to Exist in a Ridiculous New Animation by AJ Jeffries
March 29, 2020

Norwich-based 3D illustrator and animator AJ Jeffries released a new animation that feels particularly relevant to modern life. Simply described as a story about “a horse, struggling to exist,” the short film chronicles the evolution of a pink animal as it morphs from a blob into a fully realized mare. Its body bends and contorts—at one point, its neck even shoots up to the sky, killing a purple bird—before it gets some encouragement from nearby plants and happily dances away. More Continue reading

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Get a Meteorite-Speckled Slab of the Moon’s Surface Made with NASA Data
March 28, 2020

Most of us will never get to touch the moon’s outer crust, but a new project by DeskSpace lets people pretend they’ve got a little portion of the crater-covered satellite sitting on their desks or hung up on their walls. Designed using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Lunar Surface is a square piece of portland concrete that’s natural bubbles form ridges and dips that mimic the divets caused by meteorites.
The astronomical project commemorates humans’ first steps on the moon. More Continue reading

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Idyllic Landscape Paintings by Artist Tomás Sánchez Render Nature’s Meditative Qualities
March 27, 2020

For nearly three decades, Cuban painter Tomás Sánchez has been painting serene landscapes of clam waters and verdant forests full of towering palms and dense shrubs. Now part of a lengthy series, his realistic works focus on nature’s immensity as they contrast massive waterfalls and miles of endless treetops with a nondescript figure, who often can be found seated or standing amongst the lush scenery.
In a statement, Sánchez explained how his practice of meditation informs his work. More Continue reading

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Concentric Circles of Tufted Wool and Natural Fibers Shape Giant Wall Hangings by Artist Tammy Kanat
March 26, 2020

Beginning with asymmetrical ovals and amorphous shapes, Australian textile artist Tammy Kanat (previously) loops, twists, and weaves her sizable wall hangings. Using a steel frame, Kanat hangs up the copper forms that provide the structure for her abstract tapestries. She then combines natural materials like wool, linen, and silk to create small tufts and organic rows of varying hues that add a range of densities and textures to each piece. More Continue reading

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In a New Stop-Motion Film, Swoon Explores Trauma, Memory, and the Body
March 25, 2020

Caledonia Curry, aka Swoon, is known for her street art utilizing paper that’s pasted onto building walls, but the Brooklyn-based artist has made a recent pivot that transfers her mythical style to stop-motion animations. Part of her solo exhibition Cicada, Curry’s short film “Sofia and Storm” is centered on a human-arachnid hybrid. After emerging from a dense mass, the gold-faced feminine figure opens up her chest cavity to reveal dark, hanging matter that eventually is absorbed. More Continue reading

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Using Tracing Paper and Rice Water, Designer Pao Hui Kao Creates a Sturdy Furniture Collection

When Eindhoven-based designer Pao Hui Kao realized she was allergic to some of the pigments and coatings used in household furnishings, she decided to construct her own minimalist collection. The result is a line of tables, seats, shelves, and a light fixture made almost entirely of tracing-paper tubes soaked in rice water.
To ensure the sturdiness of her mostly-white designs, Hui Kao varies the size of her paper rolls. As they dry, the rice water binds each wrinkled piece together. More Continue reading

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Human Figures Removed from Classic Paintings by Artist José Manuel Ballester

Despite being a couple of years old, José Manuel Ballester’s artworks feel eerily familiar in the time of COVID-19. The Spanish artist recreates classic paintings like Goya’s “The Third of May 1808,” Vermeer’s “The Allegory of Painting,” and Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” except he leaves out one central aspect: humans. Some of Ballester’s digital versions retain remnants of the former subjects, showing blood-covered ground marking the spot of a gruesome battle or even a faint outline of the sitter in an unfinished portrait. More Continue reading

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