Category Archives: The Art of Science

Mammoths are Money

David Orr (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

David Orr (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

Friends of The Finch & Pea David Orr and Jennie Orr would like your help publishing an illustrated ABCs book for children, Mammoth is Mopey*.

David Orr (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

David Orr (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

Mammoth is Mopey brings together a love of language with a love of prehistoric critters. The restrictions imposed by the classic “alphabet book” also provide a rich opportunity for the artist/author to take us on a creative journey. In our house, we collect artistic ABC books, not only as aids to draw our children into developing their language and reading skills, but also for their pure aesthetic beauty.

David Orr (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

David Orr (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

Now, the only thing that stands between my kids and Mammoth is Mopey is you. Fortunately, for you, this isn’t one of those “you are in my way and I’m going to go through you” scenarios. This is a, “you need to remember your PayPal password and make an IndieGoGo pledge” scenario. So, get on it, before this does become a “you are in my way” scenario**.

*Do you see what I did there with the post title? Do ya? Do ya? LOOK AT IT! LOOK! AT! IT!

**More accurately, a “you are in the way of my kids’ artistic and linguistic development” scenario, which is a much worse scenario.

Science, Gaudí, Barcelona

In the basement of the Sagrada Família is a model of a church that Gaudí designed – upside down! The model of the unfinished church at Colonia Güell is made out of strings and little weights. The weights pull the string into the shape of the final building.

Model of Church at Colonia Guell

Gaudí designed the Sagrada Família by similar gravitational principles, although he didn’t build the entire cathedral upside down out of string. The exhibit in the basement shows a bit more of the math and science behind that construction. Continue reading

Art of Science: Anna Garforth’s Big Bang

Anna Garforth, The Big Bang, 2012

Anna Garforth, The Big Bang, 2012

I like art and I like science. Most of the time, I think that getting the science right makes the art stronger. In this case, well, what the hell? Anna Garforth’s The Big Bang is an installation assembled from hundreds of moss tufts collected from stone walls around Hackney, London. According to Garforth, “the installation depicts Mother Earth as a seed shattering explosion.” So what if plants didn’t show up on our planet until billions of years after the Big Bang? Sometimes, it’s the feeling that counts, and Garforth nails the idea of a sudden eruption that brought forth life on earth.

You can see this piece and lots more of her work on her website.

Art of Science: Dance, Opera and Particle Physics Combine on Film

symmovie

Dance, opera, digital art and particle physics unite in an intriguing new film, Symmetry, which was filmed partly inside CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider. The film, directed by Ruben van Leer, tells the story of CERN researcher Lukas (played by dancer and choreographer Lukas Timulak), who “is thrown off balance while working on the theory of everything and the smallest particle. Through Claron’s singing he rediscovers love.”  In the “endless landscape” of Bolivia’s salt flats, Claron (played by soprano Claron McFadden) takes Lukas back “to the moment before the big bang, when time didn’t exist.”

The film will debut at the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam on March 14 as part of the Cinedans film festival and at the NewScientist CERN festival later that same week.

There’s much more information and a teaser for the film at The Creators Project and on the Symmetry website.

Superpurrsition

Diesel Sweeties by Richard Stevens 3 (CC BY-NC 2.5)

Diesel Sweeties by Richard Stevens 3 (CC BY-NC 2.5)

There are comics that are card-carrying “science comics” that teach science (egBoxplot by Maki Naro) and express truths about the experience of being a scientist (egPiled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham). There are those that are super-nerdy all the time, like xkcd by Randall Munroe.

Then there are the comics that occasionally brush up against the scientific world – dropping a punchline that hints at larger concepts, drawing in those who understand and inviting inquiry from those who don’t. This strip from Diesel Sweeties by Richard Stevens 3 is part of that tradition.