June 03, 2012
Piano Sculpture — The Art of Piano Transformation
From Piano Street:
Broken strings and missing keys have made an appearance on the art scene as part of the "Piano As Art" exhibition. A collaboration of two artists, Penny Putnam and Shauna Holiman, the exhibition features art created from bits and pieces of pianos that were too old for use or were in total disrepair. Wall art, freestanding sculptures, and many other pieces make up the collection.
Putnam and Holiman first worked together as members of the Greenwich Art Society. After visiting the Faust Harrison factory with friend and co-owner Sara Faust, Holiman knew the pianos stored there would be the perfect collaborative project for Putnam and her. Every Monday, Putnam and Holiman would meet together and create pieces of art from the dismantled pianos. Though skeptical at first, Faust now believes there is a special energy that comes from viewing the exhibition in a room full of pianos.
Holiman stated, "It transforms the way that people see a familiar object. It represents a time in history when everyone had a piano in their home."
Both artists see their work with rare materials as giving the ivories a new life. "Their first life was as elephant tusks; their second life was as pianos; and now they live again as art."
Tilted Soup Plate
What took so long?
Created by John Nouanesing.
[via American Digest]
Travel across the Roman Empire in real time — Google Maps for the ancient world
From Ars Technica:
In a clever bit of technological legerdemain, Stanford University has combined historical research, mapping, and Web technology to bring ancient Roman Empire travel to the Internet. A cross-disciplinary team has created and launched ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. With it, a user can determine how long it will take to travel from any point in the Roman Empire to any other, as well as calculate the cost of transporting goods and people.
This heretofore unnatural union of geographers, technologists, and historians of the ancient world is becoming more and more common under the descriptor of "digital humanities." ORBIS looks to be one of the most effective examples of its promise.
Built by historian and classicist Walter Scheidel and Stanford Libraries' digital humanities specialist Elijah Meeks, with the assistance of geographer and Web developer Karl Grossner and GIS analyst Noemi Alvarez, the interactive online atlas is based on a host of data. This includes historical tide information and weather; size, grade, and surface of roads; main cities and ports; land, sea, and river routes; vehicle speed (including ships, ox carts, horse, and walking); and the cost of transport.
The time period the system centers on is about 200 CE, when Roman power was at its highest and the empire's extent was greatest. The atlas is built from 751 sites, most of which are cities and towns, and covers about four million square miles. Two hundred sixty-eight of the sites are ports. The road network mapped on ORBIS includes 52,587 miles of road, including desert tracks and 17,567 miles of rivers and canals.
Ox cart and boat takes a lot longer than flying. ORBIS's cartogram... allows the user to select one main city — Rome, Constantinople, London, or Antioch — and a season, then choose either the fastest routes or the cheapest ones. The map changes dynamically according to those choices, and rearranges the spatial relationships to reflect them.
Suddenly London zooms away from Rome, actually moving off the map — it's nearly impossible to get there during the winter due to Atlantic storms. With another set of choices, Corinth meets Antioch in the center of the map — it's a cheap destination during the summer.
Microphone MP3 Speaker
From the website:
Have you ever used your phone as a pretend microphone while singing to your fave Justin Bieber song?
Well, now you can pop this speaker into your phone's headphone jack and it will amplify your tunes AND make you look more legit while singing into it.
Note: does not function as a microphone — only as a speaker.
Sharing a bed: Theory v practice
[via GraphJam and Joe Peach]
The magazines of "Blade Runner"
From Lauren Davis's May 26 io9 story:
"Ridley Scott's incredible attention to detail in 'Blade Runner' stretched all the way to the newsstands sitting in the background."
"He asked concept artist Tom Southwell to create these magazine covers for his dystopian Los Angeles."
"These covers actually appear in the film,
sitting on a newsstand during one of the movie's street scenes."
Cara Wood Egg Cup
From the website:
The soft tone of wood adds warmth to your breakfast table.