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  • 08.26.10

Plastic Bags Never Looked so Arty, or Hypnotic

Nils Völker breathes new life into the humble plastic bag.

Plastic Bags Never Looked so Arty, or Hypnotic

Remember that scene in American Beauty with the plastic bag blowing around in the wind, and we were supposed to find it fraught and beautiful and leaded with cosmic significance? We never got that. It’s a plastic bag, for chrissake; there’s no way to pretty something you put your sandwich in. At least there wasn’t until Nils Völker came along. You’ve just gotta watch the video to appreciate how creepily lifelike em>One hundred and eight is–like some kind of animation of the inner workings of your lung sacs:

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Völker mounted 108 translucent trash sacks on a wall, each backed by two CPU cooling fans. Then he programmed the fans in Arduino to variously inflate and deflate the bags as if they were lungs or a school of pulsing jellyfish. It’s mesmerizing. And the best part: Völker doesn’t try to garbage it up with false meaning. “There’s no message,? he says. ?I just think it’s very cool.”

[Via Wired UK]

See more of Völker’s work, including a robot that sketches with light, here.

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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