Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chance and Order

Kenneth Martin, Chance and Order Drawing (1981). Pencil:

Kenneth Martin, Chance and Order Drawing

The aleatory process that generated it:

· An 8-by-8 square grid was numbered from the top in horizontal rows from left to right.

· The numbers from 1 to 64 were written on small cards, which were shuffled. Thirty-two pairs of numbers were picked at random (without replacement, so that no number was drawn twice) to determine how each of the 64 intersections in the grid would be connected to one (and only one) other intersection. The 32 pairs were set down in 4 columns of 8.

· A single line was drawn for each pair in the top row: 27 → 60, 9 → 16, 63 → 41, and 36 → 53.

· Pairs in all the other rows were interpreted likewise, except that sets of parallel lines were drawn. Pairs in row 2 were taken as instructions to draw pairs of parallel lines, pairs in row 3, instructions to draw triplets, and so on.

· Take 3 → 42, leftmost in the second row. The first of the two parallel lines connected intersections 3 and 42. The second line connecting 3 and 42 lay to the right of the first (assuming the line was oriented toward intersection 42). We do not know how Martin determined whether the expansion was to be to the right or to the left: Twelve of the 28 multiple connectors expand to the right, and the remainder expand to the left.

· This drawing reflects the order in which the lines were drawn: a set of parallel lines is always interrupted by preexisting sets of lines. For instance, the pair of lines 3 → 42 was drawn before the pairs 43 → 33 and 37 → 25; therefore, the latter seem to be occluded by the former where they happen to intersect. Thus, if each set of lines intersected its immediate precursor (which is not the case: We cannot tell by looking at the drawing the ordinal position of pair 31 → 45 in row 2), the drawing would have 32 distinct layers in depth.

Kenneth Martin, Chance And Order III

Towards the end of his life Kenneth Martin embarked on a series of paintings and works on paper which he called the Chance and Order Series. In the simplest versions, a grid was set up on paper and its points of intersection numbered. Corresponding numbers were drawn 'out of a hat' ie. by chance. Each pair of numbers then became a line on the grid. Although the underlying structure remained the same the resulting correspondences produced a seemingly endless succession of combinations. With these works there was therefore a double invitation to explore the paintings and drawings as statements about an inventive process, and to contemplate the products that were generated by that process. The combination of randomness and definite rules left the artist free to invent in an exact sense. You can only develop order but not chance, you can only use the chance again.

Via Fine Art

Kenneth Martin, Chance and Order VI
Kenneth Martin, Chance and Order V

"LeWitt influenced me because he is one of the people who brought me onto chance. And it was chance that helped me to go further with painting ... I can start from the very beginning with number, the number gives a rhythm and points in space. In that respect I am using number like the composers did, like Bach ... As von Graevenitz said to me: you cannot develop chance, you can only use chance again. This use of chance is the big thing for me and then this use of order."

Kenneth Martin, Chance and Order II

Monday, April 25, 2011

Circuitry (via Google Maps)

Circuitry (via Google Maps) by superfamous

Somewhere in Southern California. Found on Google maps here, via superfamous

Mariner 4

Cclose range images of Mars by Mariner 4

Creator – Mariner 4
Medium – Digital transmission
SourceNational Air and Space Museum, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to obtain and transmit close range images of Mars. After its launch on November 28, 1964 and a journey of hundreds of millions of kilometers, Mariner 4 passed within 9844 kilometers of Mars on July 14, 1965. Beginning at a range of 16,900 km, the probe acquired a surface image composed of 200 lines, consisting of 200 pixels each (average resolution was about 3 km/pixel) every 48 seconds until, at a range of 11,900 km, 22 television pictures of the Martian surface had been stored on the spacecraft's 4-track tape recorder (the last 3 of these pictures were beyond the terminator). It took 4 days to transmit the image information to Earth and the spacecraft returned useful data until October 1965, when the distance from Earth and its antenna orientation temporarily halted the signal acquisition. Data acquisition resumed in late 1967 and continued until December 20, 1967.

Via the (awesome) Smithsonian Photography Initiative

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Love this ongoing series, Aircolors, by Lisa Gidley - abstract photograms made in a traditional color darkroom:

Aircolors, abstract photograms by Lisa Gidley

"No computers, cameras, film, or inks are used in their creation: just photosensitive paper, a pitch-black darkroom, varied exposures from a color enlarger head, and a bunch of domestic objects (cardboard boxes, plastic lids, records, fruit, toys, coasters, more). Each is a unique handmade object."

Aircolors, abstract photograms by Lisa Gidley
Aircolors, abstract photograms by Lisa Gidley
Aircolors, abstract photograms by Lisa Gidley

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fractured Futures

Spomenik Kosmaj by Jan Kempenaers

Kosmaj Partisan Memorial - from Belgian photographer Jan Kempenaers book "Spomenik: The End of History"

Willem Jan Neutelings, quoted from this book: "The Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers undertook a laborious trek through the Balkans in order to photograph a series of these mysterious objects. He captures the Spomeniks in the misty mountain landscape at sundown. Looking at the photographs one must admit to a certain embarrassment. We see the powerful beauty of the monumental sculptures and we catch ourselves forgetting the victims in whose name they were built. This is in no way a reproach to the photographer, but rather attests to the strength of the images. After all, Kempenaers did not set out as a documentary photographer, but first and foremost as an artist seeking to create a new image. An image so powerful that it engulfs the viewer. He allows the viewer to enjoy the melancholy beauty of the Spomeniks, but in so doing, forces us to take a position on a social issue."

Situated at the top of Kosmaj, a mountain south of Belgrade, the monument is dedicated to the soldiers of the "Kosmaj Partisan detachment" from World War II.

Some more images of Kosmaj Monument by ~daca-rajkich:

Kosmaj Monument by daca-rajkich
Kosmaj Detail by daca-rajkich

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Europa taken by Voyager 2

Creator – Voyager 2
Medium – Satellite transmission
SourceNational Air and Space Museum, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

This image of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, was taken by Voyager 2 from a distance of approximately 750,000 miles. The photograph's color reconstruction was enhanced slightly to bring out the details of the complicated, mottled region on the moon's west limb, which contains some of the linear, fracturelike features discovered by the spacecraft. The regions in the north and south polar areas, which here appear bluish, are in fact white. Voyager 2 was one of a pair of spacecraft launched to explore the planets of the outer solar system and the interplanetary environment. The major objective of the Voyager missions was to provide more information about the planets' atmospheres, satellites, size, shape, magnetic field structure, particles, and plasma.

Via the (awesome) Smithsonian Photography Initiative

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Four Basic Kinds of Straight Lines

Four basic kinds of straight lines by Sol Lewitt

Sol Lewitt
Four basic kinds of straight lines
1969 photo-lithography

Fonts that are Hard to Read

"New research finds that people retain significantly more material — whether science, history or language — when they study it in a font that is not only unfamiliar but also hard to read."

Font Size May Not Aid Learning, but Its Style Can Researchers Find
Come On, I Thought I Knew That! By BENEDICT CAREY. Published: April 18, 2011 - NYTimes.com

Read the full article here »

Sausage Type by Martin Nicolausson

Sausage Type by Martin Nicolausson, a swedish illustrator/graphic designer based in London

Why You Shouldn't Double Space

Recently came across a post on Swiss Cheese and Bullets - Two reasons why you shouldn't double space - and since this also one of my pet hates I feel it's necessary to reiterate the wisdom of Robert Bringhurst, from the Elements of Typographic Style:

In the 19th century, which was a dark and inflationary age in typography and type design, many compositors were encouraged to stuff extra space between sentences. Generations of 20th century typists were then taught to do the same, by hitting the spacebar twice after every period [full stop]. Your typing as well as your typesetting will benefit from unlearning this quaint Victorian habit. As a general rule, no more than a single space is required after a period, colon or any other mark of punctuation.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Battle of Los Angeles

The Battle of Los Angeles

From Wikipedia:

The Battle of Los Angeles, also known as The Great Los Angeles Air Raid, is the name given by contemporary sources to the rumored enemy attack and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late February 24 to early February 25, 1942 over Los Angeles, California. The incident occurred less than three months after the United States entered World War II as a result of the Japanese Imperial Navy's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one day after the Bombardment of Ellwood on February 23.

Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan, but speaking at a press conference shortly afterward, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox called the incident a "false alarm." Newspapers of the time published a number of sensational reports and speculations of a cover-up. A small number of modern-day UFOlogists have suggested the targets were extraterrestrial spacecraft.[4] When documenting the incident in 1983, the U.S. Office of Air Force History attributed the event to a case of "war nerves" likely triggered by a lost weather balloon and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining batteries.

Airminded: New light on the Battle of Los Angeles

The Mountain

Another freakin' stunning timelapse vid from filmmaker Terje Sorgjerd:

"The goal was to capture the beautiful Milky Way galaxy along with one of the most amazing mountains I know El Teide. I have to say this was one of the most exhausting trips I have done. There was a lot of hiking at high altitudes and probably less than 10 hours of sleep in total for the whole week. Having been here 10-11 times before I had a long list of must-see locations I wanted to capture for this movie, but I am still not 100% used to carrying around so much gear required for time-lapse movies.

A large sandstorm hit the Sahara Desert on the 9th April (bit.ly/​g3tsDW) and at approx 3am in the night the sandstorm hit me, making it nearly impossible to see the sky with my own eyes.

Interestingly enough my camera was set for a 5 hour sequence of the milky way during this time and I was sure my whole scene was ruined. To my surprise, my camera had managed to capture the sandstorm which was backlit by Grand Canary Island making it look like golden clouds. The Milky Way was shining through the clouds, making the stars sparkle in an interesting way. So if you ever wondered how the Milky Way would look through a Sahara sandstorm, look at 00:32.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Erik Nitsche

I'm a big fan of Erik Nitsche (so it's about time I posted something on here!) and especially his work for General Dynamics, which he's best known for...

Erik Nitsche - General Dynamics Posters

Between 1955 and 1960 Nitsche built a total corporate identity including countless advertisements, posters, brochures and annual reports.

Erik Nitsche
Erik Nitsche - General Dynamics Annual Report Covers

His work has a distinctly modernist aesthetic and although he never had the opportunity to attend the Bauhaus Laszlo Moholy-Nagy has been quoted as saying, “Who is this guy that is doing the Bauhaus in New York?

Erik Nitsche

Erik Nitsche - Suite/Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano
Erik Nitsche - Mozart Serenade No. 7

1999 Typotheque article – Erik Nitsche: The Reluctant Modernist by Steven Heller
iconofgraphics.com – Erik Nitsche

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Circles Colour Structure

Whilst roaming the interweb I came across these gorgeous colour studies and experiments by Bridget Riley, notes and workings for a variety of her artworks:

Bridget Riley, Encircling Discs
Bridget Riley, Encircling Discs with Black on Grey
Bridget Riley, Fine Line Open Discs
Bridget Riley, Encircling Discs with Grey in Grey to Black Sequence

Bridget Riley, Circles Colour Structure at Galerie Max Hetzler

Via Ceative Journal

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Primary Mirror Segments

What a great image...

NASA's Next Generation Space Telescope Marks Key Milestone - NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham

NASA's Next Generation Space Telescope Marks Key Milestone

NASA image release April 14, 2011

NASA engineer Ernie Wright looks on as the first six flight ready James Webb Space Telescope's primary mirror segments are prepped to begin final cryogenic testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Credit: NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham

To read more go to: www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/jwst/11-111.html

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


Amazing algorithmic images from Dextro.org:


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Voronoi collage by Sebastian Alvarez:

Voronoi by Sebastian Alvarez

Red Field

Red Field by Curtis Mann

Red Field by Curtis Mann / Chemically altered chromogenic development print

Mann paints on portions of enlarged color photographs with a clear varnish and then bleaches away unprotected portions of the image.

"Paying attention to the photograph as an object exposes it as something impermanent, fallible and extremely malleable," explains Mann. "Coming from a mechanical engineering background, I have always been curious about the chemicals and inks used to produce photographs. The flat, conventional, image holds potential.".

Curtis Mann : Kavi Gupta Gallery

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Spectacular and surreal volcanic clouds by Italian photographer Guido Mocafico (known best for his photographic still lifes):

Fumées by Guido Mocafico
Fumées by Guido Mocafico
Fumées by Guido Mocafico
Fumées by Guido Mocafico


Monday, April 11, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Le Flâneur

Über-cool timelapse video of Paris - composed completely of photographs - by Luke Shepard, a student at The American University of Paris:

Location: Paris, France
Camera: Nikon D90
Music: 'Intro' by The XX (thexx.info)

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Scanning images of crumpled aluminum foil, artist Pae White made this awesome (woven) stage curtain for the Oslo Opera House.

MetaFoil by Pae White

Metafoil takes advantage of the captive gaze of the audience, introducing a foil, a false reflection, an illusion of depth, a novel typography that disrupts expectation and challenges perception,” says White.

MetaFoil by Pae White

Via The Best Part

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Abandoned Bunkers

Amazing series of photographs from Jonathan Andrews of abandoned WW2 bunkers from across The Netherlands, France and Belgium:

WW2 Bunkers by Jonathan Andrews
WW2 Bunkers by Jonathan Andrews
WW2 Bunkers by Jonathan Andrews
WW2 Bunkers by Jonathan Andrews
WW2 Bunkers by Jonathan Andrews
WW2 Bunkers by Jonathan Andrews

Via SpaceInvading
Blog Widget by LinkWithin