I have a feeling that silk scarves printed with NASA satellite and Hubble images are a thing that some of you might need, in a “shut up and take my money” way.
Check ‘em out at Slow Factory.
Rachel Sussman’s photographs of the oldest living things in the world – a masterpiece at the intersection of art, science, and philosophy.
With an artist’s gift for “aesthetic force” and a scientist’s rigorous respect for truth, Sussman straddles a multitude of worlds as she travels across space and time to unearth Earth’s greatest stories of resilience, stories of tragedy and triumph, past and future, but above all stories that humble our human lives, which seem like the blink of a cosmic eye against the timescales of these ancient organisms — organisms that have unflinchingly witnessed all of our own tragedies and triumphs, our wars and our revolutions, our holocausts and our renaissances, and have remained anchored to existence more firmly than we can ever hope to be.
Above all, however, the project raises questions that aren’t so much scientific or artistic as profoundly human: What is the meaning of human life if it comes and goes before a patch of moss has reached the end of infancy? How do our petty daily stresses measure up against a struggle for survival stretching back millennia? Who would we be if we relinquished our arrogant conviction that we are Earth’s biological crown jewel?
See more here.
I guarantee you that Rachel Sussman’s ten-year quest to chronicle the oldest living things on Earth will be the best thing you read about today. It will change the way you look at your life, and the life around you. It will change your perspective regarding your time on Earth, that everything, from fleeting mayflies to ancient mosses struggles for existence daily, and no matter how many sunrises we see, we should relish in each of them for their impermanence.
The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.
Is there a science to artistic expression? And who are some people combining science and art creatively?
Hey, this is one of our favorite topics! Here are a few of our favorite artworks that intersect with science and engineering…
- The brain on music: Researchers at UCSF worked with Mickey Hart (former drummer of the Grateful Dead) to create real time images of his brain while he performs.
- A lovely drawing of UCLA’s Anna Fisher, the first mother in space.
- Do-Ho Suh’s Fallen Star: this feat of engineering is located on the top of the Jacobs School at UC San Diego.
- Portrait of a Beekeeper: Photographer Richard Avedon enlisted the help of UC Davis entomologist (and professional bee wrangler) Dr. Norman Gary.
- Astrophysics, art & gaming: UC Santa Cruz’s OpenLab is a space for artists and scientists to develop projects together.
I enjoyed this meditation from Greg on art’s intersection with science. Those are great links above, and I’d also recommend my #sciart tag for more. Discussions like these seem to begin with the assumption that art and science have long been at odds. I’m not sure that’s true, at least not in the long run.
Regardless, I think that the two disciplines cook with very similar crucibles of creation, and dammit I’m just gonna have to make a video about this.
Putting the “pi” in “piano”
Check out this awesome piano melody created from the digits of pi! By transposing the numbers 0-9 onto an A minor scale, the irrational melody is played with the right hand and notes are added with the left. It’s pretty mathemagical.
Also, try singing this along with the melody, either out loud or in your head (it totally works):
"I am listening to a sonnnnng about piiiiiii, maaaaking a melody as the numbers fly byyyyy"
Bonus: Check out Daniel Starr-Tambor’s “Mandala”, a melody created from the orbits of the planets placed onto a musical scale. At 62 viginitillion notes (I didn’t even know that was a number), it’s the longest palindrome ever created.
Complex works of the Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo
Math, meet nature. Nature, meet math. You guys should hang out more.
I will forever be imaging DNA as a helix of butterflies now.
Previously: Check out Nikki Graziano’s mathematical landscapes, one of the most original landscape photo series I’ve ever seen.