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November 12, 2009

'Dust Storm' — by John Gerrard

The caption for the video above: "Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas) 2007 is based on a single archival photograph of a storm from the 1930s American Dust Bowl... a major contributor to what became the Great Depression. No moving images of the event are known to exist. The production of this work involved the virtual reconstruction — based on hundreds of the artist's own photographs and films — of a ten-mile square section of Texan landscape close to the town of Dalhart, a landscape dotted with windmills, farms and fences. This documentation was subsequently enhanced by publicly accessible satellite and topographical data. Once activated, a virtual storm unfolds in a sculptural and constantly random manner within the reconstructed landscape."

The work is currently on display, projected on a large scale at the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., part of its latest "Directions" show.

Blake Gopnik, reviewing it in the November 5, 2009 Washington Post, wrote, "Gerrard uses video-game software to craft stunningly convincing virtual worlds...."

"'Dust Storm' is projected huge on the rear wall of a gallery, and shows the pancake-flat plains of northern Texas. A camera circles the middle of a field, and as it performs its eight-minute, 360-degree pan of the horizon, a dust storm comes into view. First it's just a tiny glimpse of cloud at the edge of the projection screen, and then the moving camera shows it to us as a sky-blackening tempest, which then disappears as our view circles back to showing blank horizon."

"The piece is based on Gerrard's own photos of a real spot in rural Texas. The technicians in his studio in Austria fed those high-resolution stills into customized Realtime 3D software, then married them with data gleaned from Google Earth and other geographic sources. The goal was to make a virtual-reality re-creation of a moment on Sunday, April 14, 1935, when the Dust Bowl was just about at its worst. 'Darkest dark I ever experienced,' wrote one observer caught in the Black Sunday storm."

"Then that single moment gets drawn out. Gerrard's ever-circling camera records the storm's presence hour after hour, day after day, month after month, season after season for an entire year. The light on the landscape changes as it should — the animation is programmed to re-create the light in Texas at the very moment Washingtonians are viewing the piece, down to the position of the Texan stars at night — but the one thing that never changes is that looming storm. Gerrard's catalogue explains that it was caused by the devastation of the land by mechanized, oil-powered agriculture. The artist describes that stripping of an entire landscape's soil as an 'ecocide,' and says the Texas plains have yet to recover from it."

November 12, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fish Pen


Left to right: Salmon, Iwashi (sardine), Rainbow Trout, Nemo, and Tai.


November 12, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lasers in Scotland — "We're no longer a million miles from the 'Star Trek' holodeck"


Long story (by Michael Kimmelman in the November 5, 2009 New York Times) short: Experts from the Glasgow School of Art are on the bleeding edge of 3-D digital laser scanning technology, using it to create representations of now-decaying structures and buildings as they originally appeared.

Slide show here.


Above and below, Rosslyn Chapel in digital representations based on 3-D laser scanning.




the actual building, which has been covered by a canopy for many years in an attempt to dry it out.

Wrote Kimmelman, "A virtual past... never dies."

November 12, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Teabag Mug


Designed by Re Jin, originally from Brazil and now based in New York City.

Interesting back story about how the mug came to be here.

4"H x 3.5"Ø.




[via Likecool]

November 12, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'I'll get back to you' — by Tim Rickard


The creator of "Brewster Rockit: Space Guy" strikes again.

November 12, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's First Box Handle Cutter


Actually, pretty cool.

From the website:


Box Buddy™ Handle Cutter

The only box handle cutter in the world.

Box Buddy safely cuts heavy-duty handles into any single wall cardboard box to make lifting and carrying easier than ever.

Simple to use and you'll get sturdy carry handles every time.

No more slipping or dropped boxes.

Retractable cutting blade.




November 12, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

CalSky — 'The most complete astronomical observation and information online-calculator on the planet'


It's the go-to site for professionals and amateurs alike for all things extraterrestrial.

If it's going to be happening, this is where to find out exactly when and where in the sky to look.

The caption for the photo above: "Libration of the moon. At different times, different surface features near the limb are moved toward the center."

From the website:


• Zoom into weather satellite images, as if the satellite were above your site.

• Have a look at the star chart of your observing site.

• Find and see the maximum phase of any solar eclipse from 1900–2100 from any place on Earth using our interactive eclipse maps.

• You can get your personal daily celestial calendar, selected from thousands of events. Then imports events into Outlook, your PDA or other personal planner software, to be notified before an event takes place.


Free, the way we like it.

November 12, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Floating Arrow Bookends


Designed by Shahar Peleg.


"A metal holder is hidden in the last book cover. The magnetic arrow is drawn to the metal holder, thus creating a floating illusion."


Apply within.

[via 1 Design Per Day and m,appeal]

November 12, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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