Artist creates geometric designs by walking in the snow. A lot!

While walking amidst white mountaintops and cozy ski lodges, Simon Beck creates enormous works of snow art that look like giant wintry crop circles. Believe it or not, the immense snow patterns are made entirely by foot – Beck creates them while he walks across the terrain in briquette snow shoes. The ephemeral art installations last only until the mountain winds blow them away across the valleys.

I’ve done this kind of art – on a much smaller scale, less disciplined, but just as much fun.

Click the link to see more.

Resident of Poland’s narrowest building moves in

View during construction

A building just 36 inches wide at its narrowest point was opened in Warsaw on Saturday as an artistic installation that will be a home from home for Israeli writer Edgar Keret.

Keret, who told news channel TVN24 he would live there when he visits Warsaw twice a year, said he conceived the project as a kind of memorial to his parents’ family who died in the World War Two Holocaust.

Wedged into the narrow gap between two existing central Warsaw blocks of flats on the edge of the former Warsaw Ghetto, the several-level structure was designed by Polish architect Jakub Szczesny and is never more than 60 inches wide.

It contains all necessary amenities such as a micro-kitchen, mini-bathroom, sleeping cubicle and tiny work area, all accessible via ladders,” Szczesny explained.

Um, OK. I know the neighborhood. He’ll fit right in.

NASA’s Perpetual Ocean turns ocean currents into animated art

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is an unlikely entrant in the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival. Its “Perpetual World” animation may have failed to appeal to the judging committee of the 2011 edition of the competition, but it sure succeeded in catching our eye. The jaw-dropping animation visualizes the flow of surface ocean currents around the world. The raw data regarding the currents from June 2005 through to December 2007 has been turned into a work of art reminiscent of van Gogh…

The results are presented at a resolution high enough to enable studying ocean eddies and other narrow current systems, which are overlooked by lower-resolution models. These systems play a major role in transporting heat and carbon, and are therefore indispensable to understanding the ocean’s influence on climate.

While ECCO2 provides data on the ocean flows at all depths, only surface flows have been visualized. If the short edition of the animation…is not enough, you may want to look at the longer version available on NASA’s website.

The sum of thousands of satellite photographs. Beautifully edited, a view of our beautiful planet free to flow in natural rhythms. Research as beauty.

Pic of the Day

A Douglas DC-3 is one of a number of old warplanes to have been given a makeover by graffiti artists as part of the Boneyard project at the Pima Air and Space Museum

As a rule, I think graffiti sucks and the vandals involved should be put to useful tasks. Like this one.

Paintings worth millions discovered in a Polish outbuilding

A collection of 300 paintings worth millions of euros have been discovered in a Polish outhouse belonging to a 92-year-old former bricklayer, with police baffled as to how they got there.

The paintings were found mixed up with junk and rubbish in a dirty two-storey concrete building in the bricklayer’s garden near the north-western city of Szczecin.

Police said the mysterious collection included works of art from the Renaissance and German baroque periods, with the oldest painting dating back to 1532. They also discovered a lithograph by the Polish artist Jozef Czajkowski, which disappeared from a museum in Katowice during the war…

The collection, having suffered from its 66 years in the outhouse, has now been moved to a museum in Szczecin. “Many of the pictures are in a terrible condition and we’re trying to identify them and find out where they came from,” said Przmyslaw Kimon, spokesman for Szczecin police. “Some of them are Italian so we’re in contact with the Italian authorities, and we are also working with Interpol.”

But police admitted to being perplexed as to how the bricklayer, now charged with handling stolen art, came to possess the paintings. Their investigation has also been hindered by the fact that two strokes have left the man known only as Antoni M. [owing to reporting restrictions] unable to communicate.

Most theories revolve around the possibility that the bricklayer had somehow managed to get hold of a collection of looted art, abandoned in the chaotic last weeks of the Second World War as Germans put life before property in their efforts to escape the advancing Red Army…

Possessing an interest in art he decided to keep the paintings rather than turn them into the authorities.
He also decided to keep them out of public sight. Stashing them in hiding places in his outhouse, he made the building off-limits to even his closest family.

The news of the discovery was welcomed by Leszek Jodlinski, director of the Silesia Museum in Katowice, one of the museums stripped bare by the Nazis during the war, and the former home of the Czajkowski lithograph.

Amazing that they stayed hidden this long. Not that the atmosphere in an unheated outbuilding is conducive to longterm preservation of art and artifacts. Amazing that they survived the Nazi retreat. Pretty much every city in Poland was destroyed under Hitler’s command. Only Kraków was spared by a sympathetic German officer who refused to follow orders.

BTW – ever wish to see a great film about Resistance fighters stopping a Nazi art hoard from being carried off to Germany, rent The Train [1964], starring Burt Lancaster.

Picasso work loaned to West Bank goes on display

Ramallah, West Bank A Palestinian art academy on Monday put on display a $7 million Pablo Picasso masterpiece, the first of its kind in the West Bank.

Picasso’s 1943 “Buste de Femme” is on loan from the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Holland…

The art director of the Palestinian academy, Khalid Horani, said… the painting’s journey was “a story full of details and difficulties.”…

“Nothing is normal over here,” Horani said. “We planned to have an art work here, but found ourselves going through all the political complications.”

Horani said the painting was flown from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv and was then escorted to Ramallah by an Israeli security company before going on display. He said the uprisings in the Arab world also postponed the artwork’s delivery.

The painting is the most valuable and prestigious Western artwork ever shown in the West Bank. It is the centerpiece of the “Picasso In Palestine” exhibit in Ramallah aimed at introducing Western art to the Palestinians.

So what did I see when I studied on this? An opportunity for Scott Adams, of course:

Mining town rejects nude dancing as a boost to the economy

Voters in the town of Lead, South Dakota, have rejected a proposal that would have allowed nude dancing at bars in its historic downtown, a move supporters had said would give an economic boost to the struggling mining town.

The proposed easing of the state’s adult entertainment law was defeated by a vote of 535-303, Lead City Commissioner Casey Borsch said in a phone interview. He characterized turnout for the referendum as “considerably higher” than normal.

State law in South Dakota already permits nude dancing in bars — provided it does not take place within a quarter-mile of any residence, business or community gathering place.

But city commissioners in Lead, a town of about 3,000 near Deadwood in the Black Hills, voted in January to adopt a more lenient standard, eliminating the quarter-mile rule for their city by means of a special ordinance.

The commission acted after the owners of the Wild Thing Saloon on Main Street, located a few blocks from the town’s opera house and public library, brought in nude dancers for two days in December to see how popular it would be.

The event reportedly drew hundreds of extra visitors into Lead, best known as the site of the Homestake gold mine.

Opponents of the easing, which the commission passed 3-2, gathered enough signatures to put the ordinance to a public vote. On Tuesday, they prevailed.

Not the first time we’ve commented on laws – up or down – dealing with the topic. Since residents of the town seem to have spoken in democratic fashion, I presume there will be no attempt to legislate or litigate around that referendum, eh?