This is an ancient Tibetan sculpture. Carved from an even older meteorite. Discovered by a Nazi archaeological expedition. And no, it doesn’t play a key role in an Indiana Jones movie.
According to a new paper in Meteoritics & Planetary Science (gloriously titled “Buddha from space”), the elements that compose a 23-pound Tibetan statue (even more gloriously nicknamed “Iron Man”) match the composition of known fragments from the iron Chinga meteorite. This space object hit Earth between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago, near the Chinga stream on what is today the border of Russia and Mongolia. Although meteorites have been formed into weapons, jewelry, and art before, the Iron Man statue is the only known human figure to be crafted from a meteorite, which makes it truly priceless. The researchers suggest that an 11th-century Tibetan artist chiseled the sculpture as a representation of the Buddhist god Vaiśravaṇa.
Who would think a printer would inspire such beautiful art?
A collaboration between the ad company Dentsu London, Canon printers, and photographer/biochemist Linden Gledhill created these “sound sculptures” which use high speed cameras to catch tiny droplets of paint as they splatter under the force of sound waves. The resulting videos were used in an ad that celebrates Canon printers’ color quality, but honestly, who cares what they’re selling when the images are so pretty.
Gledhill gets extreme detail in his shots through his use of an ultra-high speed camera, which takes up to 5,000 frames per second, and a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 100mm Macro IS USM lens to get intense, up-close detail. He previously used the paint splatter sculpture technique in his “Water Figures” series, he said on Dentsu’s Flickr page:
I, like many people, find Water Figures almost compulsive viewing. They appeal to people in many ways because they represent a fusion of science, technology, natural chaos and art. Every image is unique and can be appreciated in all of these ways. For the scientist, who is interested in fluid dynamic or chaos theory, they capture the behavior of fluids in motion.
Hit the jump for more info and a video about the creative process.