Sometimes late is better than never, at least in the case of this blog post it is.
Joel Penner, our February Monthly Refresher presenter, has an almost indescribable love for plants and photography. When you hear of his interests, you may think; “Well, that’s nothing out of the ordinary”, but Joel is in fact using an art technique that, to his knowledge, no one else in the world is using. His project is called Momentary Vitality.
Joel creates time-lapsed videos and pictures using household scanners and live flowers, plants and vegetation to produce art. As the plants dries, it begins a beautiful dance of plant rigor mortis across the scanner’s lens. Depending on the type of plant, it may shed its seeds, begin to decompose or grow mould all while being recorded in short intervals for a number of weeks or sometimes months. Joel captures the bittersweet process of a plant’s life and death, then arranges the hundreds, sometimes thousands of photos into musical video compilations, art prints, educational videos and an encyclopedia of plant desiccation on his website.
Since October 2013, Joel has collected 1,540,000 individual images and possesses 23.5 terabytes of data. Below is a hauntingly compelling video Joel produced using a number of different types of plants and flowers animated and arranged to the song This Place Was A Shelter by Icelandic singer, Ólafur Arnalds.