Every movie villain worth his salt schemes to control the weather; now that experience is available to New York City museum-goers. The Museum Of Modern Art’s Rain Room, open from May 12 to July 28, is a “large-scale environment” which will allow visitors to “experience how it might feel to control the rain.” The work, by design group Random International, consists of a structure that pours down water like rain, except when its sensors detect the presence of a human body.
MoMA says that the piece “also invites visitors to explore what role science, technology, and human ingenuity can play in stabilizing our environment.” Well maybe – although I doubt that creating blatantly fake environments which allow humans to “control nature” does much to advance our thinking about our real relationship with, say, weather and climate. Let’s just call it an undoubtedly cool piece of techno-art that will be a magnet for New Yorkers and tourists alike this summer.
Inside the Cell, 2013
As I prepare for a big three-artist show in January, I’ve been trying some new materials and techniques, including ink and water on different surfaces. I was so enthusiastic about some of the results that I was tweeting pictures as I painted, and Glendon Mellow (aka @Flyingtrilobite) asked me to write a post for Scientific American’s Sci-Art blog, Symbiartic. Buy one here.
The eastern part of the US is bracing for hundreds of millions of visitors this spring – the Brood II cicadas, which emerge from underground only every 17 years. The “coming frenzy of sex and death,” as the Washington Post put it, is the largest since Brood X emerged in the summer of 2004. That year, many artists from the area used the cicadas’ discarded carapaces, which lay on the ground in thousands all over the region, in their artwork. So I went to look for cicada-based art, and found a few interesting things. Continue reading
Giroofasaurus Vexed is a cool new etsy shop filled with ceramic jewelry featuring scientific motifs. Always wanted a pink bacteriophage to wear around your neck? Voilà. If viruses aren’t your thing, you can choose from paramecia, DNA, test tubes and many others. For those we prefer their science a little less microscopic, there are insects, spiders, birds and even dinosaurs.
The creator of Giroofasaurus Vexed knows her scientific stuff – she’s a Toronto-based lab rat with years of experience at the bench. She won’t tell you her real name, but you can follow her on twitter, where she drops hints about the life she shares with 2 gray cats and a husband – all three of whom are more notable for their looks than their brains.
Photo by Joseph Boccio
Ten of the world’s leading particle physics facilities invited hundreds of photographers, amateur and professional, for a behind-the-scenes look in September 2012. The InterActions Physics Photowalk, an annual event, allowed photographers to visit top labs, including Brookhaven National Lab in New York, Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, Chilbolton Observatory in the U.K., and TRIUMF in Canada. An international panel selected this shot by Joseph Paul Boccio of the KLOE detector at Italy’s Frascati National Laboratory as the top prizewinner. Continue reading