“It’s always about captivating the impossible… It’s what lives on the horizon of what we can think, and that’s where I feel this particular work of artists is exciting. It somehow deals with the edge of what is knowable.” —Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) is last week’s guest on Modern Art Notes Podcast, talking a little about his recent exhibition Volcanoes and Shelters at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (on view from now until December 22nd). In July 2012, Eliasson traveled to Iceland three times to photograph fifty-six volcanic craters, documenting the geological age of Earth. The resulting photographs are breathtaking! Just take a look at the images above. Eliasson goes on to explain his interest in philosophy, perception, shared experiences, collaborating with scientists to solve creative problems, and the relationship between the aesthetic and the somatic. I’ve always loved his work and process as well as his creative drive. Click here to listen to an MP3 of Modern Art Notes Podcast: Olafur Eliasson (October 18, 2012).
Credit: All photos by Olafur Eliasson.
Alejandro Guijarro - Momentum (2010-12)
“The artist travelled to the great quantum mechanics institutions of the world and, using a large-format camera, photographed blackboards as he found them. Momentum displayed the photographs in life-size.
Before he walked into a lecture hall Guijarro had no idea what he might find. He began by recording the blackboard with the minimum of interference. No detail of the lecture hall was included, the blackboard frame was removed and we are left with a surface charged with abstract equations. Effectively these are documents. Yet once removed from their institutional beginnings the meaning evolves. The viewer begins to appreciate the equations for their line and form. Color comes into play and the waves created by the blackboard eraser suggest a vast landscape or galactic setting. The formulas appear to illustrate the worlds of Quantum Mechanics. What began as a precise lecture, a description of the physicist’s thought process, is transformed into a canvas open to any number of possibilities.”
1. Cambridge (2011)
2. Stanford (2012)
3. Berkeley I (2012)
4. Berkeley II (2012)
5. Oxford (2011)
Wonderful series! The blackboard is a sea change of chalky equations — secrets to the universe known only by the initiated.
“I think it is really important to express science for the public in an artistic fashion so that they relate to something that they think is beautiful as well as scientific.” —Annie Cavanagh
Coffee, tea, and soft drinks… This is what caffeine looks like up close. On the left is an image of caffeine crystals taken by microscopist David McCarthy, digitally colored by Annie Cavanagh. But the right image comes from an article by Jacques Baschet on microphotography and decorative art that was published in 1931 (in Exploring the Invisible: Art, Science, and the Spiritual by Lynn Gamwell). Crazy, huh?
Read more about the coloring process.
(via Wellcome Image Awards 2012)
“I’m fascinated by the magical aspect of science; which seems to reduce the complexity of the world to a few mathematical formulae.” —Vincent Fournier
In 2008, Vincent Fournier provoked our imagination about the ambiguity between science fiction and reality with Kubrick-esque photographs of various space-program destinations. Fournier then explored the real-life fantasy of people in Europe and Japan living with humanoid robots. His latest work is a collaboration with evolutionary geneticists, dreaming up human-engineered improvements to DNA in plants, insects, and animals — super species that evolved to survive negative effects on the environment from humans. Here we have anteaters that are able endure global warming, sparrows with keen vision, beetles equipped with GPS, mushrooms that grow in dry climates, lizards with mirrored scales for camouflage and collecting heat, and dragonflies that can detect poisonous emissions through monitoring changes in the air.
Take a peek at Past Forward, the 270-page limited-edition book including images from his Engineered Species and Space Project series. There’s also a wonderful 18-minute video profiling the artist here.
(via “Imagining the Future Animal” on TIME LightBox)
Credit: All photos by Vincent Fournier courtesy of TIME.
Sucrose - C12H22O11
Brad Wenner illustrates sugar’s chemical formula using his excellent skills in photography.
I just came across Daylight Magazine’s Cosmos issue with Vincent Fournier on the cover at Barnes & Noble. This is a teaser featuring some of the work included in Issue #9 where you can hear a few artists telling stories about themes and artistic processes. You can buy a print copy for $10 or get a PDF for $5 here. I couldn’t resist adding it my collection of odds-and-ends periodicals about space. (In fact, one of my favorites is Cabinet’s Issue #34 on Testing.)
There’s a cat named Cooper that takes photos with his collar camera. He has a blog too. These are some of my favorites.
Thank you, Katie! This photo made my day.
astronaut charlie duke left this portrait of his family on the moon during his Apollo 16 mission, April 1972. this photograph was taken with his hasselblad camera. (via now voyager)