Greek philosopher Anaximenes is thought to have made the first report of marine bioluminescence. This was back in circa 500 C.E., when he saw an inexplicable glow as his oar cut through the water at night. Modern scientific explanations describe the phenomenon as a type of chemiluminescence born when light-releasing luciferin generated by organisms interreacts with oxygen. In most, if not all, cases this reaction is accelerated by the presence of a luciferase enzyme.
Marine creatures, insects, algae, bacteria and fungi all produce the magical glow that is bioluminescence; and different species do so for different reasons – including disguise, communication, for lighting and as lure. Bacteria and fungi usually shine constantly during phases of bioluminescence, while algae and marine animals give off intermittent light. One of the most widely observed forms of the phenomenon is caused by dinoflagellates, a type of phytoplankton.
Influential U.K. artist INSA has been using “retro internet technology” to breathe animated life into his graffiti writing since 2010. The art form, which he has dubbed GIF-ITI, involves painstakingly photographing multiple hand-painted layers of each piece of art and overlaying the shots to create fun, often cartoon-like moving pictures.
These animated GIFs – or “slices of infinite un-reality” – were intended to be viewable solely online, playing with the traditional dynamics between art in the physical world and art on the web. Now, though, thanks to INSA’s new GIF-ITI Viewer app, fans on the street can use their iPhones and iPads to instantly transform seemingly static-looking INSA GIF-ITI creations into animated augmented reality loops. INSA calls it “cutting-edge art for the Tumblr generation.”
Fabian Oefner answered these questions with this cool project.
Here’s a cool video:
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