1. Lightning Strikes in the Grand Canyon
The majesty of the Grand Canyon is one of the greatest natural wonders in the US—and the world. Even the most pedestrian photographers can capture beautiful images of the two-billion-year-old geological work in progress. But when professional Rolf Maeder recently went to shoot sunset photos, a lightning storm rolled in, providing him with even more spectacular scenery. Maeder used a long exposure (25 seconds) to photograph lightning bolts—sometimes two at once—touching the floor of the canyon and illuminating the ominous storm clouds overhead. The Grand Canyon is often shot in immaculate bluebird conditions, so Maeder's photos reveal the texture and color in the famed canyon in a decidedly different light. At once accessible and awe-inspiring, the photos illustrate nature's immensely vast powers.
2. Nick Zinner's 501 Photographs
To continue the pattern of musicians who exude talent in visual art, Nick Zinner—guitarist for the beloved band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs—has a photo exhibition this weekend at Brooklyn's Photoville—a pop-up that uses freight containers as exhibition space. "501 Photographs" is a collection of images taken while Zinner was on tour with the band, but this isn't a mere hobby: Zinner studied photography at Bard College as well as in Paris. He also suffers from a mild binocular disorder, meaning he sees the world "mostly flat, like a photograph."
3. Sustainable Food, Fake Food
A new wave of tech entrepreneurs are taking a novel approach to protein. Between factory farming and the impact of meat production on our climate, more companies are venturing into fake food. LA's Beyond Meat and San Francisco's Hampton Creek Foods—both already with a distribution network across the US—have been developing plant-based protein substitutes that look, taste and feel like real meat and eggs. With in-vitro meat and 3D-printed meat not far down the line, this first new innovation in plant protein will be a necessary step in convincing the larger population of the merits in gastronomic sustainability.
4. The World's 10 Greatest Typefaces
Everyone has a go-to font (read: Helvetica), but not everyone has given that choice the amount of thought or attention it likely deserves. Every typeface makes a different statement, and only a fraction of those are created with the mindfulness to endure. Pentagram's Dominic Lippa shares his choice of the 10 most enduring fonts and explains how each has changed the history of typeface. He claims that some fonts hold the power to represent the fashion industry or everything American, while others like Akzidenz-Grotesk—"the best typeface ever designed"—are the very basis of font design. Check out the rest of his picks in the Guardian, and consider what your own font of choice is really saying.
5. Grace Jones Confirms a Memoir
Singer, songwriter, actress, icon: Grace Jones once claimed she would never write a memoir. This utterance appeared in her 1981 song "Art Groupie," which appeared among David Bowie and Iggy Pop covers on her highest charting album, Nightclubbing. Over 30 years later, Jones has confirmed the opposite, remarking that if she didn't, "someone else would." Having just signed a deal with Simon & Schuster's Gallery Books imprint, her currently untitled memoir is slated for an autumn 2014 release. Inspiring a generation of artists and musicians, she is certainly sure to have a lot to share. We're glad she went back on her word.
6. Memphis in London
London store Darkroom brought back the crazy colors and clashing patterns of Memphis design in "So Sottsass," a collection created for the annual London Design Festival. A nod to the current fascination with this influential movement, the chromatic collection of shapes on shapes features everything from home objects and pillows to lights, blankets and wrapping paper. Darkroom owner Rhonda Drakeford explains to Sight Unseen, that she and the collection's designers are after maximalist modernism. The store's window installation, designed by StudioPepe, is an exhibit all on its own.
7. 3D Street Art
Beginning with their 1991 album Blue Lines, English duo Massive Attack were one of the first acts to bring trip-hop—a then-underground movement wafting out of Bristol—to the world's ears. Little do people know that co-founder Robert Del Naja used to carry a can of spray-paint before a mic and, under the tag 3D, the then-graffiti artist even inspired Banksy. This fall, Vinyl Factory is releasing "3D and the Art of Massive Attack" to revisit Naja's roots. The 350 diehard fans that can afford the £350 price will receive a box-set that includes the book complete with a unique cover, an exclusive art print signed by 3D, a 12-inch record with an unreleased track—and even the cardboard box will be transformed into artwork. The less obsessed set can still get the standard hardback edition for £50 on 28 October 2013.
8. The Design of iOS 7
Visually, Apple's newly released iOS 7 appears vastly different from what we were used to. But as the New Yorker notes, most of the phone and its services will work no differently than before. Sure, everything will look flatter, and perhaps even brighter with the matte paint job, but this is ultimately just ornamentation. With most people already aware of how to use a smartphone, Apple and other companies are no longer pushing boundaries. For a true iOS refresh, the new iPhone 5S and its Touch ID fingerprint sensor might be the only route.
9. Grounded and Happy in Stockholm
Leave it to the Swedes to take a defunct jumbo jet and turn it into a design-forward boutique hostel. Located near Stockholm Arlanda Airport, the owners of Jumbo Stay have gutted the inside of the airliner and installed dorms, suites and even a special cockpit quarters with a half-circle view of the airport (and most of the non-working controls intact). In addition to bedrooms, the perpetually grounded plane houses a café and bar. Luckily, the food at Jumbo Stay is a vast improvement on the cuisine found on its airborne brethren, with fresh Swedish-influenced fare and plenty of coffee. Future plans for the plane hostel include a glassed-in terrace on the plane's wings. Who needs to leave the airport?
10. The Future of Light
Light is arguably one of the most crucial elements to life, there's no doubting that. This dependency, however, is really only noticed in light's absence. To counter this, a new wave of light technologies—by artists, designers and manufacturers—is bringing back light's power and literally changing the way we see things. PSFK has highlighted 12 ways that light is changing, and will continue to change, the way we live; considering technology, sustainability and community—and the ways that they dictate relationships, expression and communication.
11. NYC Skateboarding: In Photos
With the increased popularity and mainstream marketing of skateboarding, some of the sport's gritty roots have been replaced by more commercial interests. Still, core groups of skaters around the world continue to hit the streets; facing overzealous security guards, no trespassing signs and injury. The street skating scene in New York is one of the most vibrant in the world and photographer Allen Ying is capturing it in a way that is both artistic and genuine. For skaters and non-skaters alike, the compelling photos reveal some of the city's most storied buildings and landscapes in a new light and with new subject matter. Some standouts include an ollie over subway tracks and rooftop grinds in Times Square.
12. Silence and Symphony
Swiss-born Dominique Lévy—a powerhouse in the contemporary art market—rose to head of international private sales at Christie's, later co-founded the extremely successful L&M Arts (with a billionaire client list) and now has opened her own Dominique Lévy Gallery on New York's Upper East Side. To celebrate the gallery's opening and the debut show, "Audible Presence: Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Cy Twombly," Lévy organized the first New York public performance of Klein's "Monotone-Silence Symphony" which took place across the street from her gallery, inside Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church this past Wednesday. 70 musicians and singers performed the 40-minute-long avant-garde piece, divided into 20 minutes of playing a seamless D chord, followed by 20 minutes of silence. It parallels John Cage's arguably most famous work, 4'33", during which a pianist does not play the piano and instead the audience becomes the "performer" by making ambient sounds. Both works develop an emotionally tense space for the audience as they become more aware of the "non-silence," as people cough, move and cars pass by.
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