Eye Candy

Websites to sate the optic nerve

| August 25, 2005

For everyone tired of looking only at lines of tiny words on a glowing screen, Utne offers refreshment: a tall, cool list of websites chockablock with pictures, photos, videos, and other visual stimuli. Sit back and bask in the shades of the color wheel.

Color Code
Kill an hour exploring a mottled checkerboard that maps more than 33,000 nouns. Each word has a color determined by taking the average color of the first 50 images found by a search engine. Who knew 'mingling' was light brown?

The Aesthetiscope
Another project exploring the links between color and language. The program translates songs, poems, stories, etc., into grids of colorful blocks. Don't miss the video that visualizes the aesthetic beat of John Lennon's 'Imagine.' (Thanks, information aesthetics.)

Site patrons can stroll through a metaphysical museum that exhibits masters ranging from Bernini to Rothko. Best of all, it's a mess'a cultcha' for free.

Media Mirror
This video installation arranges more than 200 cable channels to create a tiled likeness of anyone standing in front of it. You are what you watch.

A rallying point for illustrators and cartoonists, this blog serves as the Internet's refrigerator door, exhibiting superb drawers.

www.woostercollective.com and www.visualresistance.org
These spunky blogs cover the street art world like two complementary murals on the side of an abandoned building. Be sure to check out Visual Resistance's stunning photos of graffiti gracing the wall that divides Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Here's another blog to throw on the visually pleasing fire. This one's a trove of what's new and quirky in design, gadgetry, science, art, and moneymaking. Some recent gems include vegetable jewelry, public bathroom galleries, human cannonball art, sundials painted on urban landscapes, and cruel crochet.

Art of Science Competition
Using microscopes, lasers, and other lab equipment, 'Art of Science' competitors craft master-nerd works with titles like 'Reactive Ion Mardi Gras' and 'Individually Marked Ants.' (Thanks, rodcorp.)

Unfortunate Children's Books
For chuckles, visit this photo gallery of kids' books with calamitous titles. A sampling: The First Book of Salt, Cornzapoppin'!, and Kinderlust. (Thanks, boingboing.)

An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life
Politicians, workers, and snarling dogs seen through the lens of Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros. Over 5,000 of his photographs capturing four decades of political and artistic movements are available. (Thanks, Future Feeder.)

The Periodic Table of Poetry
Lines of text arranged in a way that's easy on the eyes -- a periodic table of elements that pairs building blocks of life with poems. Some lesser-known elements like rutherfordium and seaborgium are yet to be mused upon, so there's still a chance to carve a niche in the chemical poetry world.

A detour on the road to a case of debilitating carpal tunnel syndrome.

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