Monday, October 17, 2011

Little Miss Sunshine

Whale Fall: Poetic Paper-Cutout Animation about the Afterlife of a Whale, Inspired by Radiolab | Brain Pickings

17 OCTOBER, 2011

Whale Fall: Poetic Paper-Cutout Animation about the Afterlife of a Whale, Inspired by Radiolab

by

75 years of existential generosity, or what the ocean floor can teach us about existence, ego and impermanence.

If you aren’t listening to WNYC’s fantastic Radiolab, you’re missing out on some of the finest science journalism and curiosity-curation of our time. (The folks at the MacArthur Foundation seem to concur, having just awarded Radiolab producer Jad Abumrad () the wildly prestigious “genius” grant.) In an homage to a fascinating recent Radiolab episode about loops, which features an almost-aside about how when a whale dies, its body can sustain an entire microcosm of an ecosystem for up to seven years in a poetic death-life loop, director-animator duo Sharon Shattuk and Flora Lichtman, better known as Sweet Fern Productions, collaborated with Radiolab’s own Lynn Levy on Whale Fall — an equally poetic and absolutely stunning paper-cutout stop-motion animation about the afterlife of a whale.

More than a mere feat of visual storytelling or a nod to nature’s meticulously orchestrated interdependences, the film is also a lyrical reflection on impermanence and our existence as nodes in something larger, richer, and more complex than our individual lives and egos.

Join me in supporting Radiolab’s wonderful work, which continues to inspire and illuminate with equal parts passion and rigor.

via MetaFilter

Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s an example. Like? Sign up.

Birds on a tree

Who Knows?

Change

The Wisdom of Pooh

Universal Truth

Halloween

Puppy!

Psychadelic

I write