Data + Design Project

Swarms of Manufactured Objects Invade Nature

Thursday 09.13.2012 , Posted by
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Eerie sculptures hang in the forest, like swarms of discarded objects come to life. Their bright synthetic colors contrast with their dark, mostly natural backgrounds, lending them an etherial specter which is at once cheerful and unnerving. Artist Thomas Jackson creates the beautiful works for his ongoing series Emergent Behavior using everyday household items; from plastic plates and cups, to Post-It Notes and even cheese puffs.

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His works are inspired by the “self-organizing, ‘emergent’ systems in nature such as termite mounds, swarming locusts, schooling fish and flocking birds.” Explaining some of his images eerie nature, he works at tapping into the fear and fascination that these natural phenomena evoke – all the while riding the line between real and imaginary, natural and manufactured. His images push the limits of imagination so hard, they frequently seem too good to be true, tricking our modern sceptic into thinking they have to be Photoshopped – but they’re all physically real.

See more of Thomas Jackson’s art, including his popular series Robot Coda on his personal website.com.

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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