Tag Archives: innovation

Hamburg’s Trashcam Project

21 Apr

Hamburg´s garbagemen create portraits of their city in the Trashcam Project – with their garbage containers. Standard 1.100 litre containers are transformed to giant pinhole cameras. With these cameras the binmen take pictures of their favourite places to show the beauty and the changes of the city they keep clean every day.

The Trashcam Project was developed by Christoph Blaschke, Mirko Derpmann, Scholz & Friends Berlin and the Hamburg sanitation department. Special thanks to Hamburg based photographer Matthias Hewing (www.matthiashewing.de/) for his professional advice and the challenging lab work with the giant negatives.

See images from the project here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thetrashcamproject/

Water Calligraphy Street Art

19 Feb

Reposted from Hyperallergic

LOS ANGELES/BEIJING — The sanlunche (三轮车), or tricycle, is ubiquitous in Beijing. A cart dragged along by either a human-powered or electric-powered bicycle, it zips around alleyways and highways alike, carting whatever it is the rider placed in back.

The words spit out by the water calligraphy device look like they were created by a dot matrix printer.

The words spit out by the water calligraphy device look like they were created by a dot matrix printer.

So why not place a calligraphy machine? I saw this in Beijing many months ago but recently discovered photographer and videographer Jonah Kessel’s excellentshort film on Canadian media artist Nicholas Hannah’s Water Calligraphy Device (水书法器), a tricycle-toted machine that spits out writing programmed in the computer installed on the handlebars. While the device could create any kind of shape, Chinese writing is ideal for a machine on a moving vehicle, as it has traditionally been written vertically.

“When they start seeing the machine they’re like what is that, you know?” Hanna says in the video of curious passersby. “It doesn’t have the same grace and beauty [as brush calligraphy] because it’s mechanized and automated.”

But I remember coming across some of his characters one night. They weren’t obvious at first — they looked like stray cooking oil or some other liquid — but as I walked over them, I started to make out the words, plotted onto the ground like a dot matrix printer. The writing had a strange beauty of its own, a quirky update of the old practice of writing calligraphy on the ground.

Here’s a clip Hanna uploaded of a prototype, dragged along in a handpulled cart in Beijing’s Beihai Park: