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Basketball Hoops Designed To Look Like Trees By a/LTA

Drawing inspiration from our oxygen-producing friends the trees, French architecture firm a/LTA created this basketball hoop. You can say a lot about the piece (which I guess is kinda functional) that may or may not be on point (“beautifying our public space so that our communities can grow and be healthy“), but mostly it’s just really cool. (via)

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Detroit Rot City!

When I think of Detroit I think of decaying buildings and poverty but this insightful documentary by Palladium Boots (Hosted by Johnny Knoxville) has given me new hope and enthusiasm about Detroit. Follow Knoxville on this 4 part documentary through the city and meet the people who are working to bring creativity and excitement to this once great city. Watch part 2-4 after the jump.

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Graphic Designers Embark on Strange 40 Day Dating Project

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40 Days of Dating – All Videos from 40 Days of Dating on Vimeo.

It’s difficult to tell if it is performance art, a design project, or just a weird way to date.  However you classify it, graphic designers Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman have flung themselves into the project straightforwardly titled 40 Days of Dating.  Exasperated with the New York City dating scene, the designers turned to each other.  Each deals with the opposite problem – Jessica jumps in too quickly, Timothy’s reluctant to take the plunge.  The two good friends decided to date each other for forty days – the amount of time often thought required to quit a bad habit.  However, the dating project entails a bit more.  First, there are six rules:

  1. We will see each other every day for forty days.
  2. We will go on at least three dates a week.
  3. We will see a couples therapist once a week.
  4. We will go on one weekend trip together.
  5. We will fill out the daily questionnaire and document everything.
  6. We will not see, date, hookup, or have sex with anyone else.

The daily dating adventures of the couple were then uploaded to their in fashionable design style.  Would love and dating be redeemed or their relationship irreparably ruined?  40 Days of Dating was set to find out.

Jason Hackenwerth

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Wow! Jason Hackenwerth brings a whole new meaning to the term balloon animal. His creations are more akin to balloon creatures resembling, perhaps, lifeforms of the deep sea or lifeforms viewed under a microscope. Conceived from the artist’s imagination, beautifully sketched, and sometimes consisting of more that a hundred individual balloons, these sculptures take life within the large spaces of museums, galleries, the street, and, if you’re lucky, right before your eyes as a performance piece. I’m particularly fond of the wearable art… how’s that for a party outfit!?

Artist Zaps 15,000 Volts Of Electricity Into film To Create Beautiful Abstractions

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Brooklyn electronic media artist Phillip Stearns is exhibiting a new series of some pretty wild photography, and all produced without the use of a camera. Applying different household materials (bleach, vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, salt, rubbing alcohol) before and after exposure to electrical currents, Stearns was able to produce some electrifying images. Applying 15,000 volts of alternating current directly to the surface of instant film, the electricity arced, ignited, and sparked, leaving beautiful patterns in the emulsion.

Stearns has been exploring his understanding of what a digital or photographic image is, through many different approaches. He sees images, sound and video not only as signals, or a way or producing something, but as raw materials to use and to exploit. In the Evident Material exhibition, he puts this theory into practice and explores the relationship between the human eye and the camera.

The sentiment that the camera is an extension of the eye is taken to an extreme. When looking through the Fujifilm FP-100c instant color film datasheets, the similarities between the layering of materials in the film and the layering of cells in the retinal is striking. Perhaps it is because the development of such film technologies parallels an evolving understanding of how the eye sees. (Source)

The similarities don’t end there. Stearns commented that the sparks he was experimenting with on the film stock, function in a similar way as the electric impulses in our eyes when processing images.

I find it curious and exhilarating that the impressions left behind after developing these extreme exposures so perfectly resemble networks of blood vessels in the retina. (Source)

Evident Material exhibition opened on November 15 at Transfer Gallery in New York and will continue until December 13. (Via The Creators Project)

Mark Holthusen’s Portraits Of A Cockfighting Team Posing With Their Roosters

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Photographer Mark Holthusen shows an unexpected side to cockfighting in his aptly-titled series Pelea De Gallos (Cockfight).Instead of capturing the brutal matches, he went a more tame route. Holthusen rented a photo studio called Hollywood Fotos and invited the Partido Tres Hermanos cockfighting team in Zaragosa, Mexico to have their portraits taken.

Holthusen’s pictures focus on seven different team members that pose with their beloved rooster. Some cradle the bird in their arms with others grip it with both hands. Either way, the majestic-looking creature sits as calmly as the men do.

In a blog post about Pelea De Gallos, Holthusen shares his experience. The team is made up of people who are a dentist, teacher, businessman, and student. “In the end they were nothing but smiles, excited to have their pictures taken.

However docile these images appear, they are tainted with the knowledge that these birds are forced into a cruel blood sport where death is an outcome. Roosters are specifically bred, fed, trained, and given steroids to make them into killing machines for our entertainment. It’s illegal in the United States but still popular and prevalent in many other countries.

If you enjoy Holthusen’s photos, check out his Second in Show series that we recently featured. It highlights the eerie similarities between show dogs and their owners.

Phillip Low’s Plastic Prismatic Sculpture

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Catching and throwing light from all the right angles, the peculiar, prismatic acrylic pieces from sculptor Phillip Low look like something from outer space. Tip-toeing on the line between art and design, these objects make excellent use of the medium—giving a sense of weight, depth and cellophane-like luminosity to the dense material. The expertly carved shapes combine crystal-like angles and precise areas of coloration to create a series of constantly-shifting reflections that use simple daylight to dazzling effect.