Currently on display in the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater is an exhibition of behind-the-scenes movie photography that charts the history of motion pictures and lifts the studio curtain to reveal the collaborative work that breathes life into the silver screen. From silent cinema to the advent of sound, early independent productions to the rise and fall of the studio system, black-and-white to color, widescreen, 3-D, computer generated imagery and beyond, it’s all here.

The talented still photographers who created these images were not limited just to taking glamour shots of star favorites, recreating key scenes from a movie for publicity or recording movie sets and locations for production use. Their art can also been seen through their documentation of the changing landscape of the industry itself: from the early days of the first film production companies, such as Biograph, Edison and others, to the modern, digital-dominated era.

Additionally, these photographs shed light on many of the “below-the-line” jobs that are essential to the production process but are often overlooked by the general public: editors, lighting technicians, boom mic operators, camera crew, makeup artists, visual effects supervisors, stunt people and others. More often than not, these vital artisans and craftspeople are just outside the camera’s reach, but they are captured here for us, on the set. The photographs on display are all courtesy of the collections of the Margaret Herrick Library.

Seen above are The Silence of the Lambs, Selma, Sense and Sensibility, High Noon, Cabaret, Talk to Me, Casablanca, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Rushmore, and The Breakfast Club.


Amazing Digital Art

Born in Poland in 1972, digital artist Adam Martinakis currently lives and works in in Cannock, United Kingdom. His computer-generated artworks employ aspects of photorealism and surrealism to explore the human condition which he says results in a “mixture of post-fantasy futurism and abstract symbolism”.


Bursting Bubbles

Two UC Berkeley researchers have now described mathematically the successive stages in the complex evolution and disappearance of foamy bubbles (the images above are based off of a computer-generated video that uses their equations).

What purpose does this serve (besides making for some very mesmerizing GIFS…)?  The work has applications in industrial processes for making metal and plastic foams (like those used to cushion bicycle helmets) and in modeling growing cell clusters, which rely on these types of equations.

The problem with describing foams mathematically has been that the evolution of a bubble cluster a few inches across depends on what’s happening in the extremely thin walls of each bubble, which are thinner than a human hair.

Read the full story


Matter by Quayola

Quayola on his project:

Matter is a time-based digital sculpture; a celebration of matter itself, the substance of all physical things. It describes a continuous dynamic articulation of a solid, pure block of matter, from the simplest primitive forms to the highest details of geometric complexities, and vice versa… from the unpredictable grace of geological processes to the perfection, beauty and precision of man made crafts. The subject of this piece is Rodin’s sculpture Le Penseur (The Thinker), a masterpiece born as the avant-garde that has since become a universal classical icon, and now considered the bridge from classical to modern sculpture.

See the dynamic piece in this video:

Matter - (excerpt) from Quayola on Vimeo.


Some of the many configurations of Infinite Sunset by Joseph Gray

About the project:

Created after visiting Kauai and staring West into the Pacific quite a bit during sundown […] It intentionally uses simple graphical elements to visually describe a sunset seascape ever changing in its sameness. The piece is meant to be viewed with various devices/contexts and is therefore a “responsive” composition. Aesthetically the piece pursues the reductionist purity of certain mid-century modernist perspectives but using the contemporary, generative, medium of code.


Bone furniture by Joris Laarman

About the project:

Ever since industrialization took over mainstream design we have wanted to make objects inspired by nature: from art nouveau and jugendstil to streamline and the organic design of the sixties. But our digital age makes it possible to not just use nature as a stylistic reference, but to actually use the underlaying principles to generate shapes like an evolutionary process…

Trees have the ability to add material where strength it is needed, and bones have the ability to take away material where it is not needed. With this knowledge the International Development Centre Adam Opel GmbH, a part of General Motors Engineering Europe created a dynamic digital tool to copy these ways of constructing used for optimizing car parts. In a way it quite precisely copies the way evolution constructs. We didn’t use it to create the next worlds most perfect chair, but as a high tech sculpting tool to create elegant shapes with a sort of legitimacy. After a first try-out and calculation of a paper Bone Chair, the aluminium Bonechair was the first made in a series of 7. The process can be applied to any scale until architectural sizes in any material strength. The Bone furniture project started in 2004 with a the research of Claus Mattheck and Lothar Hartzheim, published on Dutch science site Noorderlicht.