A Momentary Flow

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Freaky 3-D Scanning Turns Human Skin Into Art
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The most startling thing about the music video for British band Duologue’s song Memex isn’t the ghostly way the slow-panning camera turns human skin into a landscape. It’s not how the model, actor Beryl Nesbitt, manages not to blink. And it’s not how at 3:30 in, with just a change in the lighting, the tone of the video abruptly gets dark and sinister. Rather, the most startling thing about the Memex video is that none of those hyper-realistic shots are photos. It’s a virtual 3-D scan of a human body, in this case, British actor Beryl Nesbitt. The knowledge that it’s virtual reality makes watching the video a little like seeing a Chuck Close for the first time: Your eyes initially registered a black-and-white photograph of monolithic scale, and it takes a few beats before you can believe that it’s a painting. London-based creative studio Marshmallow Laser Feast—great name!—made the video for the band (and their friends) Duologue as an deep dive experiment into filmmaking for virtual reality. Hollywood has been using various kinds of 3-D scanning technology for years—films like Avatar, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, relied on it. But for the Memex video, the creators used 94 cameras, whereas some Hollywood studios have been reported to use seven, to capture Nesbitt’s glowing skin in the most microscopic detail possible. (via Freaky 3-D Scanning Turns Human Skin Into Art | WIRED)

Source Wired

Artistic beauty, Gombrich believed, relies on a tension between symmetry and asymmetry: ‘a struggle between two opponents of equal power, the formless chaos, on which we impose our ideas, and the all-too-formed monotony, which we brighten up by new accents’. Even Francis Bacon (the 17th-century proto-scientist, not the 20th-century artist) understood this much: ‘There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.’

Beauty is truth? There’s a false equation – Philip Ball – Aeon

The beauty of mathematics – in pictures

The book 50 Visions of Mathematics is a collection of 50 short essays by 50 maths writers and a foreword by Dara O Briain. Launched on Wednesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, it also contains 50 images supplied in response to an open call from the worldwide maths community. Here are my favourites (via The beauty of mathematics – in pictures | Alex Bellos | Science | theguardian.com)