1. Building 88 Ways
Looking to literally turn reality on its head, photographer Víctor Enrich challenged himself to digitally manipulate a Munich building into 88 different forms for a staggering series of photographs. Enrich is known for his knack of warping reality, and has done so with architecture around the world. These ultimate Photoshopper's masterpieces are stunningly lifelike and available in print.
2. Gear System Sculpture
Seeking inventive art forms from 3D printing, New York-based Proxy Design Studio is exploring what it means to be kinetic. The team's mini, spherical sculptures are born out of an elaborate network of interlocking gears that create something operational. Using custom algorithms and high-tech modeling tools, they've generated an object on which users can spin any one of the 64 gears on the surface and watch the entire sphere's skin begin to rotate. The shape is so porous—made simply of this system of gears—that it feels structurally impossible resting in your hands.
3. 2013: In Photos
Reuters news agency sifts through tens of thousands of photos, taken all over the globe, every year. Their annual review of 2013 sees the entire spectrum of the human condition represented the world over. From capturing the human face of tragedy and armed conflict to intimate portrayals of everyday life, the overarching theme of the images is one of connectedness. Spanning across actress Jennifer Lawrence giving the world's press the finger at the Oscars to a child running to safety during the mall shootout in Nairobi that shook the world, the range of emotions, situations and places all culminate in a raw sense of humanity; a reminder that our core similarities far outweigh our surface differences.
4. The Trickiest Tongue Twister Ever
"Sally sold seashells by the seashore," move over. There's a new kid in town, based on research conducted by a team at MIT. They've come up with the phrase "pad kid poured curd pulled cod" as one of the toughest to say quickly, based on creating combinations of alternating words—so hard that some participants simply gave up. The next step of the research process? Measuring articulation by placing tiny transducers on participants' tongues.
5. Rorschach Light Art
In a new light-painting series by photographer Nicolas Rivals, Rorschach's famed ink-blot tests have been inadvertently recreated with marvelous effect. The "Light Rorchach" (typo intentional) images were captured symmetrically through the spinning of burned steel wool beside a reflective water surface. Each long exposure shot makes you wonder which half is the original, and which is the reflection. Both sides are equally magnificent, as are the psychologically compelling photos.
6. Digital Super 8
Once the budding filmmaker's best friend (out of both choice and necessity), Super 8 movie cameras have long since been usurped by their digital brethren, used more commonly as decor than a working camera. The team at Nolab is trying to breath new life into the Super 8 camera with their digital cartridge conversion. Forget trying to track down film cartridges and paying for expensive processing, just pop in the Nolab cartridge and start shooting in 720p HD video. Internal circuitry matches the internal sensor to the camera's frame rate and allows for two film-like shooting modes. There's no word yet on pricing or a release date, but we're already scrambling to find our old Super 8s.
7. The Wonderment of Perez Art Museum Miami
A beautiful, low-lying structure, boasting art inside and out, the Perez Art Museum Miami is not only the art hub of the future, but also the art museum the Floridian city has deserved for a long time, according to Art News. With a strong permanent collection and valuable works on loan, storytelling defines the work. Representing all of the Americas, the Caribbean included—from Duchamp and Warhol to Adrian Esparza—the programming grasps that global is the new local, especially in Miami.
8. NSA vs. The World
While Apple, Google, Microsoft, AOL, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and LinkedIn are often found fighting one another in public battles, this time around, they've combined forces against the NSA's surveillance programs, which were leaked earlier this summer. They've all signed a letter to President Obama and Congress pushing for government reform on surveillance based on five principles. Whether it's a huge PR stunt or a true act of activism, we're comforted by the fact that this issue hasn't disappeared off the radar just yet and that the biggest names in tech are becoming involved, but certain absences bring up more questions: Where's AT&T and Verizon?
9. 400th Anniversary of Versailles's Gardener
André Le Nôtre helmed one of the most spectacular gardening projects known to man; those surrounding the Château of Versailles. To celebrate his life—400 years later—the palace is restoring several fountains and hosting an exhibition through February 2014, drawing attention to his great influence on location and elsewhere. Le Nôtre also developed both the Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries Garden. Needless to say, his work redefined architecture and is still resonant today.
10. True Friendship(pr)
One of the best parts of seeing friends and family after they've returned home from business trips or vacations is learning what they brought back for you. Now, there's an app for that. If you've been dying to stock up on cult French pharmacy products, some yummy Biscoff Cookies, or cartons of cigarettes at duty-free prices, you can use the new Friendshippr service to "crowdship" items through friends who are traveling. While we're wondering how the legality of this app might fly with custom officials, the Friendshippr team has already got angel investors from Google, Airbnb and Uber on board.
11. That TIME of the Year
TIME Magazine's annual Person of the Year title goes to Pope Francis, who beat out a diverse group of finalists that included Miley Cyrus, President Obama, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Edward Snowden. TIME explains the rationale behind choosing Pope Francis, a man who rose to one of the most influential positions in the world after former Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly resigned earlier this year, citing His Holiness' dedication to the poor and open attitude towards everyone, regardless of sexuality, religion and more. He's become a popular global figure due to his humility (he admitted to being a nightclub bouncer in college) and approachability, and changing the tide for a scandal-ridden religion.
12. Road Bike Party 2
For all their technical design elements, road bikes are always meant to have two wheels on the ground traveling forward. In his second edit of the same name, world renowned mountain biker Martyn Ashton graces us with a jaw-dropping cut featuring his own two-wheeled skills as well as bicycling brethren Chris Akrigg and Danny MacAskill (known for his astonishing Red Bull clips). All of the tricks—which include reverse nose wheelies, backflips and a full-on roller coaster style loop just to name a few—were performed on a Colnago C59 Disc, one of the most advanced road bikes in the world. Fit more for the peloton at the Tour de France than Scottish waterparks and dirt trails, the tricks in Ashton's video are worth a look on their own let alone being landed on an elite road bike.
13. Candied Architecture
Amidst all the reputable masterpieces at Art Basel hid something more charmingly lighthearted. Food artist Caitlin Levin and photographer Henry Hargreaves teamed up with Dylan's Candy Bar for a whimsical collection of architectural artworks rendered in candy. Taffy, licorice and gum-balls form a series of the world's best-loved museums, including a pastry rendition of Wright's Guggenheim and the sugar-glazed pyramids from I.M. Pei's work at the Louvre. The gloomy photographic colors and angles balance out the structures' candied nature for a sophisticated take on the gingerbread house.
14. Henrik Vibskov + Dale of Norway
Since its genesis in 1879, clothing brand Dale of Norway has created the highest quality knitwear in the small village of Dale. Responsible for crafting heritage-style sportswear for the Norwegian Olympic teams for years, the local brand has risen to prominence. For AW13, they collaborated with Danish fashion Designer Henrik Vibskov to produce a collection with a strong focus on Nordic materials, handicraft and tradition. The collaboration resulted in a stunning trio of patterns, available in several different clothing styles. This beautifully captured video by Alastair Philip Wiper makes clear that no machines can replace the human touch.
15. Elvis at 21
Before becoming a global, iconic superstar, Elvis was just another wide-eyed kid from the South—well, not quite. These rarely seen early photos of The King on tour, at home and in the studio on the eve of superstardom reveal his charisma and ability to captivate people (especially girls). The photos of Elvis at his home in Memphis in just socks and a pair of jeans show a vulnerable view of the King that is startlingly humanizing. The images—by Alfred Wertheimer—are on display at Australia's National Portrait Gallery in Canberra through March 2014.
16. Warp Records Take the Tate Britain
On 9 December, Warp records and artist Jeremy Deller hosted a rave inside one of London's most historic museums, the Tate Britain. From various acts and installations—including those by designers Hellicar & Lewis and producer Hudson Mohawke—scattered around the premises, the eagerly anticipated event drew hordes and a lot of fun. People were even allowed to rock out in the Pre-Raphaelite room.
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