Visually Recreating Powers Of Ten's Exploration Of Universes Tiny And Massive
It’s time to break out your black turtleneck sweaters and start talking in that calm, informed Carl Sagan voice—this project will probably make you start questioning the infinite nature of the universe.
If you’re like me and enjoy the occasional nihilistic reality check, you might be familiar with the famous 1977 Charles and Ray Eames film Powers of Ten, a short that takes us on a journey of magnitudes and scale. Every ten seconds, the film either zooms outward or magnifies inward at a power of ten, taking us from the outermost bounds of the universe to a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule, shaking our perception of our relative place in the macro and microcosmos. Ah, science.
The Powers Project celebrates this landmark film by bringing together 40 artists to recreate the film in segments using modern methods, bringing the concept of Powers of Ten into a new realm of realism. Each power of ten is recreated by means of original segments that use a variety of digital and film techniques. The result is a collaborative collection of graphic and artistic recreations that translate the original film’s vision of the physical universe.
London-based digital artist Markos Kay is one of these 40. A freelance creative director, motion graphics designer, and lecturer with a special interest in data visualization, Kay’s segment of the project focuses on zooming in. Above, we see 10 to the power of minus five. We travel through a capillary into another world of red and white blood cells, finally pinpointing a lymphocyte whose membrane we penetrate to reach its minuscule, porous nucleus.
What other separate worlds do we have surrounding us?
Image courtesy of “The Powers of Ten: Lymphocyte”.