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Let's cut things in half

A change in perspective can make even the most mundane things remarkable. Here are 35 mind-blowing photos of things cut in half.
From a handgrenade to toothpaste or a shrapnel shell bomb, the cut-through effect is simple but insightful, gaining a better understanding of how things are made and what this strange world has to offer.

12 February 2015      tag: art

Mappers delight. The distance travelled in hip hop songs with robotically made light paintings.

Multimedia artist Tahir Hemphill is the creator of Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement, a visualization of rapper's travels through their lyrics.

In the first verse of Jay Z’s “All Around the World,” the rapper drops no less than 10 locations. Lyrically speaking, Jay Z travels from London to France to Tokyo and Capri, makes a few stops in California, hits up Switzerland and Bali before heading back home to Brooklyn.
Listen closely, and you’ll notice geo-location name dropping everywhere in hip hop.

Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s light pen drawings, Hemphill visualized the places that rappers name-check with robotically made light paintings. Watch how Kendrick Lamar's lyrics always come back to Compton, and even though Nas doesn't have the most songs in the song database used, he charted the most locations.

20 January 2015      tag: web,art

Free is a lie. Do you want a smart phone that allows you to own your own data?

You love the Internet. You love modern technology. You love to share, learn, grow, connect. But do you love being a product? Do you love your personal information being sold?
Graphic designer Aral Balkan is the founder and lead designer of and author of the He’s currently working on a ambitious project:, a smart phone that allows you to own your own data.
The majority of companies on the web have a simple, and potentially dangerous, business model. These companies give you services for free, and sell your data on to third parties to make their money (think Google, Facebook, Twitter).

This has opened our data up to a lot of potential abuse, including the government dragnet surveillance employed by the NSA and GCHQ (and other governments). For users aware of these problems, we can either choose to share our data, or be excluded from the majority of services (and social interactions) on the web.

Indie Phone aims to create a smart phone that isn’t just for the tech folk that want to take control over their data. They find it important that these tools are available to everybody while creating appealing experiences that combine hardware, software, and the cloud, as well.
While there are some phones built on similar principles already on the market, is saying it is unique in bringing this functionality – hardware, operating system and personal cloud – together with top-flight design and user experience.

If you want to join
check out the website for more info,
or this insightful video on his website 'Free is a lie',
or check his manifesto 'Your tools shouldn’t spy on you'.

17 December 2014      tag: web,ux & ui

This is what your face looks like to Facebook

Artist Sterling Crispin’s “Data Masks” remind us the machines are always watching.

“Facebook actually makes masks out of everyone’s faces,” the artist explains. The social network analyzes every face that appears in photos on its servers and renders them into three-dimensional models. “It’s happening whether you get tagged in the photo or not,” Crispin says.
Reverse-engineered from surveillance face-recognition algorithms and then fed through Facebook’s face-detection software, the Data Masks “confront viewers with the realization that they’re being seen and watched basically all the time,” Crispin says.

As governments build biometric databases like face-recognition systems, it’s more important than ever to know how our identities are captured and processed by the technology we adopt. Crispin’s work is a reminder.
Read more on his website



1 December 2014      tag:

Live ants create sculpture tunnels in new plexiglass art

In this piece of art by artist Brad Troemel, worker ants take center stage as they’re seen creating tunnels through multi-colored gel.
The artwork consists of nine clear plexiglass cartridges that hang from the ceiling. Since these are all clear, viewers can watch the ants scurry around as they perform their daily tasks. They can even see these ants build the "sculpture" tunnels themselves.

The gel provides the ants with all of the necessary nutrients, so it’s up to the ants to complete their daily tasks. This includes biting into the gel, chewing it and packing smaller bits into larger spheres, carrying gel chunks to the surface and storing their refuse into designated piles.


12 November 2014      tag: art

This will show you how big space actually is!

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel is a project that attempts to accurately portray just how distant the Sun and planets are from each other using a single pixel to represent the Earth’s moon for scale.
Interactive media designer Josh Worth was inspired to work on the project after trying to explain the same concept to his young daughter.

‘I was talking about the planets with my 5-year-old daughter the other day’, Worth says. I kept trying to describe the distance using metaphors like “if the earth was the size of a golf ball, then Mars would be across the soccer field” etc., but I realized I didn’t really know much about these distances, besides the fact that they were really large and hard to understand.'

The planets can be scrolled to horizontally or jumped to via a series of buttons at the top of the page. In addition, Worth also included various tidbits of writing out in the vast nothingness of represented space to give a better feel for exactly how much 'nothingness' there actually is.

9 November 2014      tag: web

What kids around the world eat for breakfast

The New York Times magazine has a food issue featuring great photographs of what kids around the world eat for breakfast. The differences in the menus around are enormous ofcourse.
For a child in southern India for instance, the day might start with a steamed cake made from fermented lentils and rice called 'idli'. “The idea that children should have bland, sweet food is a very industrial presumption,” says Krishnendu Ray, a professor of food studies at New York University who grew up in India. “In many parts of the world, breakfast is tepid, sour, fermented and savory.”

13 October 2014      tag: photo

9 attempts to explain the crazy complexity of the Middle East

The Middle East is complicated. It is hard to understand all the underlying intricacies involved.
Who hates who. Who fights who. Who supports who. The desire to try to explain the Middle East – in a bid to help solve its daunting problems – has grown.

Here is a list of nine of those attempts to illustrate the crazy complexity of the Middle East.

2 October 2014      tag: graphic

Photographer recreates famous portraits with John Malkovich as his model

Renowned photographer Sandro Miller has worked together with legendary Hollywood A-Lister John Malkovich many times, but when Miller wanted to celebrate the photography greats that had inspired and guided him, he had to do something special.
So he, with Malkovich as his dashing unisex model, recreated some of those influential photographers’ most important portraits in a photo series called “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to photographic masters.

24 September 2014      tag: photo

The tiny amount of metal that comes from Earth-destroying mines

In a new series called For What It’s Worth, photographer Dillon Marsh is taking wide-angle shots of mines across South Africa and pairing them with CGI mockups of the minerals that were actually produced from them.
His work effectively raises the question: Was the social and environmental destruction worth the result?

15 September 2014      tag: photo

From advertisements to art. Peeling off the New York subway ads.

Kevin Shea Adams is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.
He has have an obsession with advertisement peelings found in the New York City subway system. He's been photographing these anonymous, collective, chance collages since about 2011.

10 September 2014      tag: graphic,photo

You are not late. The internet is still at the beginning

One of the most popular technology writers, Kevin Kelly of Wired is as optimistic as always about the internet in this article. He writes: “The internet is still at the beginning of its beginning.
The last 30 years has created a marvelous starting point, a solid platform to build truly great things. However the coolest stuff has not been invented yet — although this new greatness will not be more of the same-same that exists today. There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities. You are not late.”
More Kevin Kelly here

26 August 2014      tag: web

A 5-minute animation mapping 2,600 years of western cultural history

Working with his colleagues, Maximilian Schich, an art historian, took Freebase (Google’s “community-curated database of well-known people, places, and things”) and gathered data on 150,000 important artists and cultural figures who lived during the long arc of Western history (6oo BCE to 2012).
They mapped these figures, births (in blue) and deaths (in red), and traced their movements through time and place. The result is a wonderful 5-minute animation showing how the West’s great cultural centers shifted from Rome to Paris (circa 1789), and more recently to New York and Los Angeles.

8 August 2014      tag: graphic,web

Dirty Car Art

Scott Wade is known as the "The Dirty Car Artist". He looks at a dirty car and creates amazing works of art on it. He doesn’t just recreate the paintings of old master’s but he also does his own original work, which is just as impressive.

3 August 2014      tag:

Maps that explain the World Cup

The game is on. The World Cup is probably the most watched sporting event on the planet. Here are 22 maps and infographics that explain the history, geography, and politics of the World Cup and the sport as a whole.

4 July 2014      tag: graphic

Unspeak, an interactive documentary investigating the manipulative power of language

Words are weapons. Unspeak is an interesting interactive documentary investigating the manipulative power of language. Unspeak satirically reveals the unspoken messages and obscured meanings behind familiar media terms. Think of framed words like 'Clean coal', 'Pro-life', 'War on terror' and 'Tax relief'

It is presented by production studio Submarine in 6 different video's/series. In form it echoes the style of the outstanding and illuster BBC documentary maker Adam Curtis.
Check this walkthrough/introduction to the Unspeak series.

It is based on British journalist Steven Poole´s intriguing book of the same name. Unspeak is blending filmmaking, data, technology, and design. The story of Unspeak unfolds across a series of short films, data visualizations, and a participatory dictionary in an interface designed for the web and tablet.

According to Submarine: 'Unspeak aims to kickstart the conversation, educate and empower audiences, and make the prevalence of Unspeak framing visible to the public. People will not be taken in for a moment by the power of deceptive language if we actually stop to think about it. Once you tune in to the wealth of daily Unspeak talk, you'll start seeing and hearing it everywhere. And then, perhaps, we can fight back.'

31 May 2014      tag: web

40 powerful social issue ads that’ll make you stop and think

These 40 advertisements are excellent examples of effective advertising strategies for social issue campaigns that let their voices be heard.

A well-made advertisement is designed to grab your attention and to remain in your memory long after you’ve left it behind, and that is exactly what many of these social causes need. Getting people to think and worry about various social and environmental issues (or even simply getting them to be aware of them) is important for raising public support and affecting meaningful change.

31 May 2014      tag: graphic

Why every book about Africa has the same cover

Last week, Africa Is a Country, a blog that documents and skewers Western misconceptions of Africa, ran a interesting story about book design. It posted a collage of 36 covers of books that were either set in Africa or written by African writers. The texts of the books were as diverse as the geography they covered: Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique. They were written in wildly divergent styles, by writers that included several Nobel Prize winners. Yet all of books' covers featured an acacia tree, an orange sunset over the veld, or both.

The covers of most novels about Africa seem to have been designed by someone whose principal idea of the continent comes from The Lion King. They all get the acacia tree sunset treatment.

What makes the persistence of these tired and inaccurate images even worse is that we're living in an era of brilliant book design. So why is it so hard for publishers of African authors to rise beyond cliche? Read more in this Atlantic article.

14 May 2014      tag: graphic

The legendary manual that dictates every detail of the NYC subway

Amidst the stinky, human chaos of NYC's train system, we take the clarity of the signage for granted. But every minute detail of those signs was carefully laid out in 1970 by two young designers who created a rulebook for how to guide billions of people through the subway for decades to come.

It was called the Graphics Standards Manual, and it was produced for the MTA by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, two then-unknown designers who worked at Unimark International at the time.
A recent New Yorker article about the golden age of corporate identities discussed their manual as one perfect example of the era; concise, utterly practical, and incredibly prescient.

> Read on in this great Gizmodo article

> View the whole guidebook online at The standards Manual.

7 May 2014      tag: graphic

The amazing original Star Wars concept art

Ralph McQuarrie (1929-2012) was an American conceptual designer and illustrator. In 1975, George Lucas commissioned McQuarrie to illustrate scenes from the script for Star Wars.
“Ralph was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy.”

McQuarrie designed many of the film’s characters, including Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO. He also drew concepts for many of the film’s sets.
It is amazing to see how a lot his sketches resemble the final movie. Though some of McQuarrie’s concepts are different from the finished film, other illustrations are very close to scenes that ended up in the finished film.

30 April 2014      tag: graphic

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