What a paper airplane has to do with the quiet art of being human.
It’s video week on Brain Pickings, and we’re launching with The Chimney Sweep, a beautiful stop-motion animation in every sense of the word — beautifully written, beautifully art-directed, beautifully shot.
It isn’t flashy. There are no special effects or peppy indie music score. It’s quiet and simple and incredibly, touchingly human.
Put your headphones on to fully experience the subtle yet rich soundscape — it’s part of the film’s quiet magic.
The Chimney Sweep is the final-year work of UK art student Joseph Mann — whose feet are firmly planted in our up-and-coming talent to watch list.
The other side of our silver platter, or what dinnerware and Africa have in common.
Data visualization is of special stature around here and makes frequent cameos — usually in the form of beautifully designed infographics or high-tech jaw-droppers. But designer Nadeem Haidary is creating a form of data viz so unorthodox and unexpected it constitutes its own genre — physical objects modified to visualize statistics about the activities they’re involved in.
The project, titled In-Formed, is part data visualization, part industrial design, part social awareness, exposing little-known facts designed to effect actual behavioral change by inspiring us to be a bit less wasteful.
It consists of three case studies, each embedding contextually relevant information into everyday objects related to the data.
Each prong represents the per-capita countries caloric intake of a different country. Each fork depicts the United States and three other countries ordered alphabetically.
[Statistics] may be striking when you first read them, but without context or placement in the physical world, they are rarely remembered and rarely change people’s behavior. What if this kind of information crawled off the page and seeped into the products that surround us?
The surface area of each of plate is proportionate to the food consumption in the region depicted on the plate.
There’s something incredibly powerful about infusing data with the physical reality it inhabits — an idea arguably pioneered by the incredible Chris Jordan, whom we’ve featured multiple times. It breeds a kind of visceral mindfulness missing from more traditional forms of data visualization — and, hopefully, that’s what makes the leap from awareness to action.
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Paint by notes, threads of voice, or why the future of music is up in the air.
Spanish music outfit Labuat is an innovator of the freshest kind. A collaboration between vocalist Virginia Maestro and composer Risto Mejid, who has also produced music for The Pinker Tones, Labuat explores music across the many planes it inhabits.
Labuat is a project born out of the imagination.
Soy Tu Aire (I’m Your Air) is, simply put, an interactive music video. But it’s oh-so-much more — it’s a way to experience music as it happens, literally letting the voice paint it onto the “air” of the screen with a brush that “listens” to the music and reacts to your manipulation. It’s consuming music by letting music consume you.
“Soy Tu Aire” is a song full of much and little. Of orchestras and threads of voice. Of half-truths and lies, going up and down as we wanted to give you something you could move with the song.
To promote the launch, the team hooked the “brush” to a Wii remote, synched it to a laptop, and took to the city, inviting passers-by to experience the music for themselves.
We love the idea of crafting a space where different forms of creative expression — music, design, animation, interface — can cross-pollinate rather than remaining compartmentalized isolates. It’s a true canvas for creativity, however it may manifest itself.
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