The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

I love paper so much I should marry it
 / 

We’ve featured examples of papercraft here before, but Webdesigner Depot just posted “100 Extraordinary Examples of Paper Art” that blew my mind. Here are a few choice examples, with commentary.

First are two by Peter Callesen, who gets the most exposure on the WD page. Not all of his pieces make use of negative space in this way, but I liked these the best:

Peter Callesen

Peter Callesen

The second is more hopeful:

http://www.petercallesen.com/

http://www.petercallesen.com/

This is by Simon Schubert, who somehow generates an MC Escher effect even though there are no actual visual paradoxes in his images. The brain just goes there anyways.

Simon Schubert

Simon Schubert

Bryan Dettmer calls these “Book Autopsies.” The grandfather of these kind of dada-cut-up-meets-book-art is Tom Phillips’s A Humument, but Dettmer’s got his own sculptural, Joseph Cornell-ish style:

Bryan Dettmer, Book Autopsies

Bryan Dettmer, Book Autopsies

I wonder what tools Bovey Lee uses to make these — an exacto-knife? A scalpel? A laser? The word I keep returning to is filigree:

http://www.boveylee.com/

http://www.boveylee.com/

Ingrid Siliakus threads the needle here — her sculptures suggest futurism, but also cartoons and pop-up books. I like her pieces above all for their exploration of depth — you need just the right kind of photographic angle and lighting to gain a sense of their dimensionality:

http://ingrid-siliakus.exto.org/

http://ingrid-siliakus.exto.org/

Which offers some lessons on both papercraft and (perhaps) the future of paper. First: paper art isn’t just the crafting of these objects; it’s their staging, framing, lighting, and above all their photography. Black-and-white art, in particular (which I gravitate towards) is particularly sensitive to the effects of light, shadow, and differences from one angle to the next.

Last, virtually all of these pieces take advantage of the fact that a sheet of paper is a three-dimensional object posing as a two-dimensional one. It flits and flutters between these two possibilities of shape and surface, flatness and thickness, which is precisely what gives it all of its charm and utility. In a world that (setting aside the UI fantasies of Iron Man, Bones, and Avatar and the experiments of Microsoft) is going to be stuck with two-dimensional digital interfaces for a long time, this most underutilized aspect of paper takes on a new significance.

I hope kids, especially, take notice of these possibilities. A rebellious message is an airplane; a love note is a rhyming game…

via Janneke Adema (@openreflections)

2 comments

It just registered that WD’s post is “100 extraordinary examples.” One HUNDRED. That’s so silly! I don’t like this new trend towards mega-lists. Basically it becomes like “here is a list of 100 things.”

Which, of course, is why the Carmody Curation Layer is invaluable!

Have you guys seen Between the Folds? You should. I’m thinking of buying it–maybe I’ll have a bay area movie night.

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