1. How Artists Depicted Obama’s Presidency
Friday 20 January marks President Obama’s last day in office, and while plenty of presidents before (and after) him are captured by artists in different ways, his presidency was incredibly significant. The first black president has—for plenty of reasons—been an appealing muse for artists of all styles and mediums. From Shepard Fairey’s unmistakable “Hope” poster to Lisa Jack’s delightful photos and Chuck Close’s portraits, President Obama has made a mark in the art world as a dignified and charming subject. See more at Artsy.
2. Kodak Brings Back EKTACHROME Film
Photographers around the world rejoice: Eastman Kodak Company is bringing back one of its most iconic films, the classic EKTACHROME Film. Discontinued in 2012, the film is best known for its “extremely fine grain, clean colors, great tones and contrasts” and the company is looking at new ways to manufacture it. Steven Overman of Kodak says, “We are seeing a broad resurgence of excitement about capturing images on film. Kodak is committed to continuing to manufacture film as an irreplaceable medium for image creators to capture their artistic vision. We are proud to help bring back this classic.” Read more on their website.
3. Lucas Zimmermann’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Traffic Lights
When it comes to infrastructure, traffic lights aren’t exactly the most exciting, but they are (of course) essential to our modern lives. German photographer Lucas Zimmermann has made the everyday traffic light something entirely extraordinary in his lovely, surreal series. Shooting on misty nights, Zimmermann crafted otherworldly images. See more on designboom.
4. Reactions to the iPhone Release 10 Years Ago
Somehow the 10th anniversary of the iPhone has crept up on us. There’s perhaps no better way to celebrate its tech longevity thus far than by looking back at some of the initial reviews that greeted its debut. From complaints that there was no “real” buttons, memory card slot or stylus to a belief that Nokia would attack with something far superior, many critics thought that there was “a low demand for converged, all-in-one devices,” as claimed by The Guardian. Timeline.com has selected some of the best negative reviews and it’s truly entertaining with hindsight.
5. Lowercase’s NYC-made Sunglasses
After founding the Lowercase sunglasses brand in 2014, Gerard Masci and Brian Vallario dedicated time to procuring the machinery and design knowledge necessary to construct acetate frames in their hometown of NYC. While the hinges are German and the lenses are Carl Zeiss glass, the brand turns acetate sourced from Japan and Italy into the first sunglasses made in NYC in decades. Over 30 steps—many quite physically demanding—go into creating their classy, minimal eyewear. You can read more over at The Hand & Eye, who visited Lowercase’s production facility in the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
6. Artist Maxime Causeret Visualizes the Emergence of Life for Max Cooper’s “Order from Chaos”
From cell collisions to jellyfish adrift in the ocean, French artist Maxine Causeret’s visual treatment for London-based artist Max Cooper’s “Order from Chaos” track mesmerizes with color and form. Shifting shapes, merging and dispersing, occupy the screen as Cooper’s complex, thoughtful music guides the movement—rhythm dictating propulsion. It’s hard to take your eyes away, especially as the music entrenches listeners in a similar primordial state.
7. The Very Charming Ms Senior America Beauty Pageant
Photographer Brian Finke’s series focused on the fabulous contestants of the Ms Senior America beauty pageant doesn’t only celebrate the older women, it also challenges traditional (read: boring) notions of beauty and aging. With staged and candid photographs, the subjects (aged 60 to 90 years old) are captured in various moments—from all the glitz and glam to the quiet, vulnerable moments. Each image, however, is approached with a tenderness that renders the viewer charmed. See more and read an interview with Finke at It’s Nice That.
8. Humans Really Are Made of Stars
It’s long been believed by scientists, but a new study of some 150,000 stars has proven that humans really are made of stars—in fact, “humans and their galaxy have about 97% of the same kind of atoms.” What this essentially means is that the six most important chemical elements that make up most life on Earth (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur) have—for the first time—been found in a huge number of stars too. So if you’re ever having a bad day, remind yourself that you’re made of star stuff. Go in-depth at Space.com to find out more.