Brilliant & Ominous

When you genuinely smile and then recoil a moment later, you are responding to what this artist wants you to see and then understand. The animation is brilliant and its short message on how ocean litter/marine plastic is harming marine life is ominous. The  Artist Statement that accompanies it is not required reading, but it is there for the taking:

Two years ago, an experience on a small island inTaiwan changed my life. It was the closest I’d lived to the sea, being only a ten minute drive away. Everyone can enjoy the beach with its white sand and turquoise ocean. At the time, I went snorkeling almost every week. Seeing such alluring tropical fish and coral reefs still lingers in my mind. However, I also cannot forget the scenes of tons of human waste lying around the shore as if it was a part of nature. Continue reading

Biodiversity Public Service Announcement

We’ve written a great deal about the sobering truth of human created climate change lately; highlighting the difficult science of the increasingly limited options on how to avert worst case scenarios.

There’s something calming about this piece of animation by Sebastian Ramn that addressed climate change as nature’s  SOS, reaching out to creative communities and NGOs who may be in search of ways to get involved in any way possible.

More information at natureneeds.help

 

New Egg Art

In the past I’ve shared some of my egg-based artwork, known in Ukrainian as pysanky, that’s for sale at the Xandari Resort gift shop in Costa Rica, including a sped-up video of the process. But my painstaking handiwork, with wax and dye, can now be replicated to some extent by a machine called the Eggbot, which is an open-source robotic machine that can draw on eggs or other spheroids. Most often it uses pens but it can also even work with an electric-heated “kitska” or wax stylus similar to the flame-heated ones that I use.

The video above displays the various works of an Eggbot used by Jiri Zemanek at Continue reading

Leap Day Leaping

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We assume our calendars and clocks are based on fixed constructs, but don’t always take the time to consider the science behind them.The facts and rhymes we memorize in school – 365 days in a year; “30 days hath September, April, June and November, etc.” are thrown off balance by the fact that the actual number of days required for the earth to complete its orbit around the sun are not whole numbers.

It officially takes around 365¼ days (precisely 365.242) to complete the orbit. In 45BC Julius Caesar’s official astronomer Sosigenes balanced the calendar with the addition of a day every 4 years.

So what happens with those of us born on said day? Continue reading

If You Happen To Be In New York City

PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN WINTERS

PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN WINTERS

We have said since early on, and plenty of times since, that in these posts we cannot claim to be either committed vegetarians nor committed meat eaters. Rather, we believe–yawn at your own risk–in moderation. This upcoming show sounds like a worthy outing for a novel take on the topic:

Ab Ex meets Zap Comics in the wild imagination of Trenton Doyle Hancock (seen above in his Houston studio). In his boisterous mythologies, villainous vegans do battle with good-guy, meat-eating mutants, and Torpedo Boy—a superhero that Hancock, now forty, first drew in the fourth grade—swoops in to save the day. Continue reading

Recycling as a Universal Construct

Although not technically an environmental manifesto, this superbly crafted short film ushers us into a 2-dimensional world built on the depth and power of atomic theory: recycling as a form of immortality.

Congratulations to the director and team for their selection at the Sundance Film Festival, among other achievements.

Click here to view the film via the newyorker website and here for the official featurette.

The Universe is a Circle; Except When It Isn’t

Collaboration is dear to our hearts, whether it be interpersonal, international or intercollegiate, not to mention intercorporate to coin a phrase.  I couldn’t help but recall our posts on Elif Bilgin and Sush Krishnamoorthy when I came upon this video and read the bio of Shixie (Xiangjun Shi), the creative force behind it. Kudos to Brown University and RISD for having such an impactful program!

When I left home for college in the US, I was fortunate to be selected for the very first class of a new Dual Degree program, presented by Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design. WIthout predecessors, and in trusting embrace of Brown’s open curriculum, I was pretty much able to design my own education. Continue reading

Swept Away

The “Three C’s” on our banner are more than words. They solidify into reality and action when people with similar views and interests reach out to us after reading them. This is what happened recently when Jennifer Harrington, a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer introduced herself to us. Her collaboration with illustrator Michael Arnott on an eBook and animated short film versions of the The Spirit Bear and other stories is aimed at educating children about conservation while entertaining them at the same time.

Although sounding like a character out of Native American legend, the ghost or spirit bear actually

come from a small community of bears called Kermodes, which are a subspecies of black bears. Kermode bears may be black or white, but they all carry the recessive gene for white fur. 10% of Kermodes will fully express the recessive gene, and will be born with white or cream-coloured fur. Continue reading

Sculpture And Animation In The Interest Of Nature

Art or craft, we are inclined to sculptures and animation for reasons we cannot quite explain–sometimes just for fun, sometimes for contemplation, sometimes both simultaneously. What it means is best left to those experiencing it.  We categorize it as friendly to the themes we care about on this site, so hope to see more of his art. From the Asia Society’s website we learn that

U-Ram Choe is a Korean artist born in 1970 in Seoul. He is best known for his meticulously designed kinetic sculptures made of acrylic and stainless steel, each animated by robotics developed and programmed by the artist. Continue reading

A Learning Laboratory (Stop Motion Video!)

Yesterday, Jonathon, Siobhan, Milo, and I moved into one of the new Raxa Collective properties under development. As the four of us huddled silently under our covers, the backwaters of Kerala’s nighttime accompanied Jonathon’s ghost stories…

Instead of spooky tales, though, today I want to share with you another story Jonathon narrates, Raxa Collective presents “A Learning Laboratory.” It’s a short video, Jonathon (narrator), Sunnie (illustrator), Siobhan (director), and I (producer) put together with the help of all the staff and summer interns to highlight some of the best anecdotes of how Raxa Collective’s Cardamom County ecolodge has acted as a “learning laboratory” for its staff, international trainees, and summer interns.

Enjoy!

From Halloween To Día De Los Muertos

On the fringes of our intent at this site, where culture is sometimes king, sometimes queen, and sometimes jester: a pause to refresh our memory of what many of us consider a not-so serious cultural artifact.  The traditions associated with October 31 in the USA represent a rich co-mingling of sacred, sacrilegious and purely commercial interests; in Mexico and elsewhere those of November 1 or so represent mostly sacred, family-focused interests.  But both share, at least in recent times, an orientation toward humor and its ability to soothe fears.  In that specific path of tradition, the following seems just right for the transition from October 31 to November 1: