Small Object of Desire #93 – Powers of Ten

Most people recognise the names of husband and wife design duo Charles and Ray Eames because of their classic furniture designs. Pieces such as this have become very familiar to us as design classics:

eames-lounge-chair-640x357-1But the Eames also had a huge impact on modern architecture, industrial and graphic design, manufacturing and, even turned their minds to devising puzzles, toys, puzzles, exhibitions and magazine covers. But it’s their filmmaking talents I’m interested in today.

This classic film from 1977 uses the simple formula of a magnitude of ten to show usĀ  two extreme perspectives. Zooming out intergalatically and then magnifying into the deep molecular levels of human body, it contextualises our place in relation to the rest of the universe.

Nearly 50 years later, it hasn’t lost its power to express complex ideas very simply. The Eames weren’t filmmakers per se but this documentary is a testament to one of the basic tenets of their design philosophy which held that innovation had to be the last resort.

Charles and Ray Eames – 1977 Power of Ten from Keith Kennon on Vimeo.


Small Object of Desire #92 – Birds

In the project Ornitographies, the photographer “Xavi Bou focuses on birds, his great passion, in order to capture in a single time frame, the shapes they generate when flying, making visible the invisible.”

These photographs attract and repel me simultaneously. I’m attracted because I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. It’s intriguing to see bird flight depicted in this way. The images are beautiful too. But I’m repelled because I find the photographs creepy as well. The flight paths are sinuous like a serpent’s movements and a feathery serpent at that. They look like monsters. Or aliens swarming. I get the heebie-jeebies when I’m confronted by animals gathered en masse so the idea of a swarm makes my skin crawl. I seriously considered not posting about them, that’s how uncomfortable they made me but in the end, the strange beauty of the images won out over the morbid thoughts.

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Small Object of Desire #91 – Flesh

As a writer, one of my major preoccupations and sources of inspiration is the body. It is the interface through which we experience and interact with the world and each other. It’s an object of locomotion, articulation, industry, fuel and beauty. It’s a very effective computing, plumbing and replicating system. It has hinges, a pump and electricity. And that’s just the physical. It is also, of course, the centre of emotion, spirituality and metaphysicality. It is the link between the dead, the living and the unborn.

I think about all of that and more when I watch this video of body parts morphing into each other by Dutch artist Diederik Klomberg. It’s fascinating, creepy, cool and amazing all at the same time.

Flesh from Diederik Klomberg on Vimeo.