In a mix of artistry, geometry, and technology, San Francisco-based Earthscape artist Andres Amador creates massive sketches in the beach sand – sometimes geometric, and sometimes more abstract and serendipitous – using rakes and ropes. The designs are temporary; where the waves don’t wash away his work, walking beach visitors and the wind will naturally muddy and dissolve the precise lines.

Amador has become keenly aware of how impermanent his work is, and has embraced nature’s tidal rhythm, starting one hour before low tide and continuing to work until an hour afterward. In this KQED Arts video, he explains: 

People are really… they’re enthralled that i would do something that is destined to wash away. That really strikes a chord with people because really, truly, it’s the story of our lives. Our lives are impermanent, and the tide is unstoppable.

And though this art form is tied directly to nature, Amador makes great use of modern technology. The designs can be both checked and appreciated-in-full from high above the beach using a remote controlled helicopter.

To see more from high above, visit AndresAmadorArts.com or view more photos here.

In the archives, two other incredible beach art videos: One Plastic Beach and Theo Jansen’s wind-fueled Strandbeests.

From KQED.

Revisiting Juan Fontanive's mechanical, looping flipbooks: Vivarium. From the artist’s bio: 

Juan Fontanive makes films without using light. Often recycling the mechanical parts of found clocks and pushbikes as the portable containers of his ‘animations’. His interest lies in the beauty of sequential and repetitive movement… Pages fall in neat layers in the manner of a paper fountain, somewhere between film and sculpture - there is no ‘screen’ as such.

We’ve enjoyed Fontanive’s kinetic sculptures before… remember these?

Also in the archives: videos with more birds, more butterflies, more kinetic sculptures, and more flip books, one of our favorite DIY activities. Make your own!

via Colossal.

Maple trees + good timing + basic chemistry = maple syrup. But Science Friday takes us behind the scenes of maple syrup research to show that there’s much more to it than that. While the tradition has been to tap fully grown wild trees – commercially with lots of plastic tubing – recent experiments at University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center have found that harvesting from the cut tops of juvenile trees might yield 5 to 6 times per acre, surprisingly without harming the young trees.

Lots of questions about this one: What are the other differences between the farm vs forest model of growing trees? Does this new process affect the local birds or creatures underground? What do these young trees look like in 20 years? What questions do you have?

File under: food, trees, and how things are made.

From Science Friday.