Ice

USM Modular Furniture presents an exhibition by Swiss photographer Daniel Schwartz. The black and white photographs can be viewed from May 4-26, 2017 in the USM, New York Soho Showroom. ds.jpg.1280x680_q90_crop.jpgThe images feature glaciers in Switzerland, Pakistan, Peru and Uganda.

expo-showroom-paris_4.jpg.384x384_q90_box-0,0,600,600_crop_detail.jpg

Glaciers form a dynamic system. Due to man-made climate change, they are rapidly losing surface area and mass with far-reaching consequences. Glaciers serve as reservoirs of water as well as serving as an archive of climate history.

schwartz-eau15-19.jpg.384x384_q90_box-0,0,600,600_crop_detail.jpg

Daniel Schwartz presents the glacier as a place of remembrance – confronting loss by exposing the past – and as a stage that reveals the future as it recedes.

Long Exposures

Jason Shulman photographs entire movies with ultra-long exposures, creating impressionist photographic images:

Alice in Wonderland 1951 –

3543.jpg

Dr Strangelove 1964 –

2362.jpg

 

Le Voyage dans la Lune 1902 –

3543-1.jpg

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 –

3543-2.jpg

The Wizard of Oz 1939 –3543-3.jpg

Mandibles

Last week, Nature (vol. 544, page 417) reported on a fossilised creature with huge pincers resembling can-openers, a hinged two-piece shell and more than 50 pairs of legs.  C. Aria and J-B. Caron call this Tokummia katalepsis and argue that its evolution led to insects, crustaceans, millipedes and centipedes. They are among the few fossils that show early links between these familiar groups.

The creature lived about 507 million years ago during the Cambrian period, It was about 10cm long and would have been found walking on the seafloor.

The creature was about 10cm long and would have been found walking on the seafloor.
 Photograph: Jean-Bernard Caron. Copyright: Royal Ontario Museum

Prey would have been caught by the animal using its two large pincers. It would then have been passed to the animal’s many legs under the body which have spine-like features at their base which may have crushed the prey. This could then have been brought back to the mandibles and be cut into small pieces to help digestion.

1800.jpg

Photograph: Lars Fields. Copyright: Royal Ontario Museum

This is an artist’s reconstruction of Tokummia katalepsis showing a pair of large pincers to capture prey, with much of the multisegmented body protected by a broad carapace. The small mandibles and subdivided, spine-like bases of the legs were critical characters for resolving the evolutionary significance of Tokummia.

Book of Miracles

The recently discovered Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs reveals a 16th Century society gripped by anxieties that we can relate to today, The illustrated manuscript is now available, edited by T. Borchert and J.P. Waterman.

Danger! White Light

Between the River Crouch and the River Thames in Essex a footpath leaves the land at a place called Wakering Stairs and heads due east, straight out to sea.

p04p1fl9.jpgSeveral hundred metres offshore it curls northeast and runs in this direction for around 5kms, still offshore, before cutting back to make landfall at Fisherman’s Head, the uppermost tip of a large, low-lying and little-known marshy island called Foulness.

p04p1g0t.jpgThis is the Broomway, allegedly “the deadliest” path in Britain,

p04p1dr7.jpgand certainly the unearthliest path. It gets covered by the tide twice a day and usually these rise and fall more quickly than most human explorers. The Broomway is thought to have killed more than 100 people over the centuries; it seems likely that there were other victims whose fates went unrecorded. Sixty-six of its dead are buried in the little Foulness churchyard; the other bodies were not recovered.

p04p1cj8.jpgEdwardian newspapers, alert to the path’s reputation, rechristened it “The Doomway”.

p04p1cy8.jpg

The Broomway is known as the most perilous path in Britain – and is a favourite walk of writer Robert Macfarlane, who describes it in his book The Old Ways.

p04p1cft.jpg

The path leads towards a white light.

More than Meets the Eye

Milton’s Paradise Lost is 350 years old this month.

p050j7ty.jpg

William Blake, a most brilliant interpreter of Milton, wrote of how “the Eye of Imagination” saw beyond the narrow confines of “single vision”, creating works that outlasted “mortal vegetated Eyes”.

In more than 10,000 lines of blank verse, the poem tells the story of the war for heaven and of man’s expulsion from Eden. a meditation on challenging and longing.

Milton is shown dictating Paradise Lost

The almost blind Milton dictates Paradise Lost to his daughters in an engraving after a painting by M. Munkacsy (Credit: Alamy)

In Paradise Lost, Milton conjures the spirits of blind prophets. He invokes Homer, author of the first great epics in Western literature, and Tiresias, the oracle of Thebes who sees in his mind’s eye what the physical eye cannot. As the philosopher Descartes wrote during Milton’s lifetime, “it is the soul which sees, and not the eye”.

Now, there are many ways to see through blindness. One is by scanning tunnelling microscopy which can give images on an atomic scale.

th-36.jpeg  ScanningTunnelingMicroscope_schematic.png

Fake Demons

Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, Venice, 9 April – 3 December. The show is from the same artist who put a tiger shark in a glass tank of formaldehyde.

Detail from Demon with Bowl
Demon with Bowl D Hirst  (Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst)
Hirst now claims a role of archaeological impresario. In 2008 the wreck of a treasure ship called the Apistos (Unbelievable) was found on the seabed off east Africa. According to the myth, it sank about 2,000 years ago. This is its cargo and Hirst has assembled an underwater grotto in his mind where artefacts and monsters live.

Sphinx by Damien Hirst.

Sphinx by Damien Hirst (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)

Calendar Stone by Damien Hirst.

Calendar Stone by Damien Hirst (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)
Detail from Hydra and Kali by Damien Hirst.
Detail from Hydra and Kali by Damien Hirst (Andrea Merola/AP)
Skull of a Cyclops and Skull of a Cyclops Examined by a Diver.
Skull of a Cyclops and Skull of a Cyclops (Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.)

Aspect of Katie Ishtar ¥o-landi.

Aspect of Katie Ishtar ¥o-landi (Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd)