An Intimate Short Film Highlights 2020’s Crises through Exquisitely Surreal Scenes
September 22, 2020


Set to subdued music, Nicolas Lichtle’s short film titled “à la fin…” is an unusually ethereal depiction of the crises climaxing in 2020. The delicate animation flows through a series of lightly-hued scenes that explore reactions to COVID-19, the wildfires raging across the planet, and the endless distractions of technology. “It’s a moment of introspection, very intimate, staged through a succession of small moments imbued with poetry, absurdity, and sometimes surrealism…” Lichtle writes. More Continue reading

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Join Pratt SCPS For a Series of Online Floral Design Workshops
September 14, 2020

This fall, study floral design online with world-famous master florists working in diverse styles in the Floral Art for Interiors certificate program at Pratt Institute’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). Every week, you can join a different floral design workshop and create beautiful designs with locally sourced flowers delivered right to your home.
Instructors include Ariella Chezar and Bella Meyer. Chezar, the author of Seasonal Flower Arranging: Fill Your Home With Blooms, Branches, and Foraged Materials All Year Round, will lead a workshop using flowers sourced from her farm in the Berkshires, highlighting her “nature-first” style. More Continue reading

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“Healing” by Artist Evan M. Cohen
August 4, 2020

Another lovely comic from New York-based artist and illustrator Evan M. Cohen (previously featured here).   I can see the forest In the distance, I can hear my name From above, I am alive, I am magnetic, The Earth pulls at my love. She wakes me With her electric skies, She shows me How to … Continued Continue reading

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Dinnerware, Eggs, and Wine Shatter and Seamlessly Repair in Dramatic Digital Animation by Optical Arts
July 1, 2020


A new CGI animation by Optical Arts depicts what would be a dinner-party nightmare: ceramic plates and bowls shatter, red wine cascades from long-stemmed glasses, and sharp knives dive to the floor. Despite its explosive scenes, “Tocatta” subsequently shows the same dinnerware, drinks, and plates of boiled eggs seamlessly repair and float upward as whole objects.
A multivalent consideration of physical contact, the word “tocatta” both originates from an Italian form of “to touch” and refers to a musical composition designed to showcase the performer’s refined techniques. More Continue reading

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An Open Pipeline Echoes This Inventive Saxophonist’s Notes in Perfectly Tuned Accompaniment
June 30, 2020


Saxophonist Armin Küpper has mastered the effects of live looping without the necessary equipment to record and replay tracks. Instead, the musician heads to a nearby site storing a lengthy pipeline and positions his bell near the opening. As he plays, the delayed notes echo back in perfect pitch, creating an polyphony as he blares out the next line. Check out more of Küpper’s tunes below, and head to YouTube to keep up with his inventive performances.  More Continue reading

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Hand-Tufted Patches of Color Form Lush Fiber Portraits by Artist Simone Saunders
June 18, 2020

Alberta-based artist Simone Saunders hand-tufts bold, colorful portraits with themes of identity and Black history woven throughout. Crafting vibrant patches of fibers that form eyes, lips, and garments, Saunders casts her earnest subjects against austere backgrounds, which sometimes are marked with “Black Lives Matter.”
The textured artworks serve as a site for conversation, prompting questions about race relations and societal injustices. “Textiles engage upon a search for belonging: studying the Black female body, personal identities, and a connection to Black history,” the artist tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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Globes and Astronaut Helmets Form Heads of Figurative Sculptures by Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE
June 4, 2020

Through life-sized sculptures, artist Yinka Shonibare CBE considers the grasp of colonialism and its lasting effects on modern conceptions of identity. Each faceless figure is in the midst of an action, presented shooting a mass of cherry blossoms from a rifle, lumbering forward with a hefty mesh sack, or balancing a towering stack of cakes. Evocatively posed, the figures are topped with globes and astronaut helmets, which simultaneously gestures toward movement in the form of travel and exploration while obscuring individual identities. More Continue reading

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Thao & the Get Down Stay Down Films a Synchronized Music Video on a Zoom Call
April 18, 2020

Zoom has been having its moment as many companies’ platform of choice for virtual meetings and conference calls, but Thao & the Get Down Stay Down recently found a more creative and amusing use for the digital communication tool. With its tour paused and everyone stuck at home, the Oakland-based band decided to shoot a music video for its new single, “Phenom,” that begins with Thao Nguyen, who leads the indie group, starting a Zoom call. More Continue reading

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Beatbox Like a World Champion with This 13-Step Tutorial by Butterscotch
April 12, 2020


Sure, you can spend your time during quarantine reading a dozen books or scrubbing your cabinets, but what about learning to beatbox from a world champion? Vocal percussionist Butterscotch recently released a 13-step tutorial that guides novices through various beatboxing techniques, from the basic baseline and snare—or what she calls Boots and Cats—all the way to singing and live looping. And for those who have a hard time keeping a beat, the musician even outlines a breathing technique that makes it easier to stay steady. More Continue reading

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