Galactic Booze: Interstellar Landscapes Drawn in Scotch


[ By Steph in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

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Whisky enthusiast and hobbyist photographer Ernie Button was about to wash a glass when he noticed that the scotch residue at the bottom had dried into a series of chalky, delicate lines. This chance discovery eight years ago led to a series of experiments that have used booze as an art medium, with different brands and varieties of scotch producing different effects calling to mind imagery of outer space.

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“It’s a little like snowflakes in that every time the Scotch dries, the glass yields different patterns and results,” says Button. “I have used different color lights to add ‘life’ to the bottom of the glass, creating the illusion of landscape, terrestrial or extraterrestrial.”

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“Some of the images reference the celestial, as if the image was taken of space; something that the Hubble tellscope may have taken or an image taken from space looking down on Earth.”

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Any aged scotch will make the rings, Button reports, but what seems to effect the patterns most is where the spirits are produced. Scotches with smoky flavors made on the islands of Islay and Skye in western Scotland were inconsistent, while those from the valley around the River Sprey in northeastern Scotland produced more predictable results.

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The series, entitled ‘Vanishing Spirits: The Dried Remains of Single Malt Scotch’ includes dozens of images combining science with art. If you’re interested in learning more about the physics behind this unusual art form, check out this feature at The New York Times.

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Intangible Data in Physical Form: 12 Scientific Sculptures


[ By Steph in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

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Mathematical theorems, the physics of an object moving through space, and intangible scientific data are visualized three-dimensionally and made into works of art in these 12 sculptures and installations.

Kinetic Sculptures Based on Mechanical Waves

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“Inspired in equal parts by math and nature,” Reuben Margolin’s kinetic sculptures use pulleys and motors to recreate the complex movements seen in nature. These mechanical installations capture the crawl of a caterpillar, the movement of waves and other physical phenomena in a way that’s entirely unexpected and beautiful to take in.

‘Cosmos’ Sphere Made of Scientific Data

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If you were to happen upon this sphere while walking in the forest, you couldn’t be blamed for wondering whether you’d discovered an alien spaceship of some sort. But the reality of ‘Cosmos’ is just as interesting: it’s scientific data in three-dimensional form, a record of a year’s worth of carbon dioxide patterns and measurements from the trees of Alice Holt forest in Surrey, England. The grooves on the exterior of the sculpture contain the data, which was collected from a nearby tower.

Interactive Sound Tapestries

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A series of capacitive sensors were applied to suspended fabric using conductive paint for ‘Contours,’ an interactive tapestry installation by creative laboratory Bare Conductive and designers Fabio Antinori and Alicja Pytlewska. As people pass nearby, the sensors gather data about their movements and translate it into ambient sounds, making reference to the relationship between science and the body.

Cell-Inspired Sculpture Made of 1200 Mirrors

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An egg-like sculpture made of 1,200 mirrors hovered in a tree in the city center of Nantes, France, visually representing the creators’ research into cells. French studio Collectif Timée based the sculpture on the Voronoi Diagram in which a mathematical formula creates cells from halfway lines around random space points. As the cells converge, a kaleidoscopic effect is produced.

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This Robot Disguised as a Penguin is the Cutest Thing You’ll See All Day


This Robot Disguised as a Penguin is the Cutest Thing You'll See All Day

A group of scientists have been trying to study penguins without disturbing them, and they may have found the cutest way possible of doing it: rovers disguised as baby penguins. These penguin-bots are able to get close to the penguins without raising the alarm or stressing out the penguins, which will allow scientists to collect data about them in their most natural state.

Tagged: penguins , cute , robots , science , squee