Art in India

In 1937 A. Sher-Gil painted Dressing the Bride.

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Recently, society in India has been changing rapidly, change reflected in the scientific influence on its art.

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– V. Sundaram 2005-8. Master Plan

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– A.Dodiya 2017. Air is a Mill of Hooks.

 

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– R. Komu 2017. Holy Shiva (from Gandhi to Ambedkan).

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– V. Sundaram, 1988. Shifting the Elements II.

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– G. Gill 2015. Acts of Appearance.

[Courtesey of Frieze’s India Art Fair in New Dehi, February 2018.]

Self-Organised Art

Fernan Federici’s microscopic images of plants, bacteria, and crystals are a fine example of finding art in unexpected places.

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-fluorescent proteins from a bacterial smear

Federici has recently completed his work at Cambridge where he studied self-organization, the process by which things organize themselves spontaneously and without direction like a flock of birds flying together:

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– urea crystals in polarised light

The website wired.com says that ‘More specifically, he was using microscopes and a process called fluorescence microscopy to see if he could identify these kinds of patterns on a cellular level. In fluorescence microscopy, scientists shine a particular kind of light at whatever they’re trying to illuminate and then that substance identifies itself by shining a different color or light back. Sometimes researchers will also attach proteins that they know emit a particular kind of light to substances as a kind of identifier. In the non-microscopic world, it’s like using a black light on a stoner poster.’

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– more urea crystals

‘A recent post at wired.com says that ‘Federici grew up with photography as a hobby, so looking through the microscope at all the different colors and patterns he realized that the process was highly visual. He hadn’t seen many images like what he was seeing published for the general public, so he asked for permission from his adviser Jim Haseloff to post the photos on his Flickr site. Today that site is filled with pages and pages of microscopic images, some of which are from his work, while others are just for fun.’

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– urea crystals

 

 

Lenticular Clouds

Weather Watchers from Argyll and Bute in Scotland captured some stunning photos of lenticular clouds, otherwise known as UFO clouds.

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These clouds are rare and also unusual, because they appear stationary even when it’s windy. They get their name from the Latin word lenticularis, meaning “lens-shaped” and are often mistaken for UFOs. They are formed near mountains when the air is both stable and humid. As air is blown over the mountain, it produces a standing-wave pattern and these clouds form in the crest of the waves.

 

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Here are your artistic results of the easterly wind that blew over parts of Scotland.

Irish Sun

The 17th-century Beaulieu House in Co Louth is one of the first country houses built in Ireland without fortification. Now it’s the site of Ireland’s first solar farm. The estate’s first owner was the Plunkett family and in 1666 Sir Henry Tichborne was granted a patent by Charles II.

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The present house was designed by Dutch artist Willem van der Hagen, who settled in Ireland in the 1720s.

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K. O’Sullivan reports in The Irish Times that the present owner is installing 20,000 solar panels, a five-megawatt, fixed-array solar farm spread across 23 acres that can generate enough electricity to power 1,500 homes a year.

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Photovoltaic cells are becoming more efficient in such applications.

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Mass or Weight?

Mass, by J. Baggott, was published in June 2017 by Oxford University Press.

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The Ancient Greeks visualised geometric atoms and now we have quantum physics.

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This book tells the history, from atomist Leucippus, through Newton to Einstein.

But the fundamental structure of physical reality remains difficult to follow. The book shows how this stuff of the universe is proving more elusive and uncertain than we ever imagined, whether we will ever reconcile the inner structures of the weight and mass of atoms.

 

8 Minutes

Alexander Whitley is the choreographer of 8 Minutes on the main stage of Sadler’s Wells, London during the summer.

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It is done in collaboration with solar scientists from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the title refers to the length of time it takes for the sun’s light to reach the Earth.

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Whitley has incorporated quotes about astrophysics into the soundtrack, and has managed to create something that feels concrete and ungraspable at the same time, much like the universe.

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London’s Evening Standard praises the way 8 Minutes merges dance, visuals and music as equal partners. Daniel Wohl’s score pulsates with solar energy while Tal Rosner’s hypnotic digital projections feature lava-like waves, inky black views from space and a sizzling red sun.

By Jupiter

Some early findings from NASA’s Juno mission are published today in Science magazine (papers by SJ Bolton et al and JEP Connerney et al). They present some of the pictures from the orbiter that arrived at Jupiter last July. The familiar stripes appear to be hot bands seen through layers of cloud:

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The top and bottom of Jupiter are pockmarked with a chaotic mélange of swirls that are immense storms hundreds of miles across.

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The planet’s interior core appears bigger than expected, and swirling electric currents are generating surprisingly strong magnetic fields.

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Auroral lights shining in Jupiter’s polar regions seem to operate in a reverse way to those on Earth. There appears not to be an entirely solid or gaseous core to the planet. One clue to what is at the core is a belt of ammonia that may be rising around the planet’s equator.

What they report is nothing like Jupiter Ascending, the 2015 film, written, produced and directed, by The Wachowskis.

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By Jupiter was a Rogers and Hart musical production in New York during 1942. Such human creativity is not a patch on what NASA is finding.