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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sick: Candice Coust's knitted anatomy

Candace Coust is a Calgary-based mixed-media artist whose recent work has involved knitting anatomical works including full bodies, pulled apart at the threads and this stop-motion video of a faciful voyage through our mysterious innards.

Candice describes Sick as 'a fanciful, endoscopic journey through the knitted body that is violently disrupted by the discovery of a malignant malady'.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The human body as a tube map

You're gonna have to click this one to make it big. soz.
The Human Body as  Subway System by Sam Loman

Another old classic that has made its way around the cyberverse* is this map of the inner workings of the human body in the style of a tube map (or subway to my readers from across the pond).

Illustrated by Sam Loman, it depicts the arterial, digestive, musculoskeletal and five other systems with junctions where they intertwine, for example the kidney and the heart.

It's pretty, no doubt and it contains 8 of the 11 human systems. But... It does not include the integumentary system (skin, hair, nails), reproductive or endocrine systems; it includes only the central nervous system and not the peripheral nervous system; and there are junctions where there is no meeting of systems, for example at the humerous and radius. However, I don't think Sam intended the map to be used in a biology exam.

It's a visual metaphor and looks awesome so lets not get picky about the details.

*Sometimes I like to try and think of as many words for internet as possible.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Bombay Bicycle Club's anatomical cover art

I caught a glimpse of a poster whilst rushing for the jubilee line today and fell just a little bit in love with an artist. It was for the new Bombay Bicycle club album, A Different Kind of Fix, and the cover (below) is an artistic impression of the brain, oesophagus and nasal passage.

I came home to research the artisit and found that it is by illustrator Katie Scott. On her blog she also has photos of the album interior (below) which I think is also beautiful and can imagine similar prints adorning the walls of my new flat!

Katie has amassed an eclectic collection of anatomical and nature-themed illustrations, some intended to be more accurate interpretations than others. I particularly like the intricate detail in her work and her subtle use of colour. There are loads of illustrations to look through on her blog or website and you can also show your support for her work or see what she's up to by following her on twitter.

Katie Scott at her Degree Show in Brighton in June

Monday, 29 August 2011

Did the Victorians get the sci-art mix perfect?

Eric Schmidt giving the
annual MacTaggart lecture
The Guardian this week brought us all the action from the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, including a hard-hitting lecture from Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, who delivered a scathing critique of the UK education system at the annual MacTaggart lecture. Eric spoke of it's failure to make the most of the country's record of innovation in computing and engineering (having invented the TV, photography and the computer both in thoery and practice) and highlighted the lack of support for bringing the sciences and arts back together in schools.

While Eric has since recieved criticism for drawing 'naive conclusions', he has also generated support for his back-to-the-abacus way of thinking. Schmidt said:
'Over the past century, the UK has stopped nurturing its polymaths. You need to bring art and science back together. [The Victorian era] was a time when the same people wrote poetry and built bridges - Lewis Carroll didn't just write one of the classic fairytales of all time. He was also a mathematics tutor at Oxford. James Clerk Maxwell was described by Einstein as among the best physicists since Newton – but was also a published poet.'
Lewis Carroll
The Guardian article generated some interesting discussion in the comments section and while they are by no means all positive, it is good to see people talking about what is important in schools and debating whether it is possible or necesary to return to a Victorian-style education system.

The Guardian collated some of the most well-informed comments in a follow-up article if you're interested. It's great to see the Guardian picking up interest in bridging the arts and sciences divide.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Guitar oscillations caught on an iPhone 4

Kyle Jones happened upon this trick when curious to see what filming from inside his guitar looked like. The effect you see is due to the rolling shutter and is not representative of the way strings really oscillate. It's fascinating and definitely a try-it-home trick.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Mesmerising pendulum

Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and (seemingly) random motion - from NatSciDemos on youtube

A pendulum is made up of a weight suspended on a rod, string or wire. When the weight or bob is moved and let go, the pendulum will swing back and forth in a regular periodic motion. The affect of gravity on the bob results in a very predictable periodic motion. The length of the string/rod determines the frequency of its swing - Pendulums have been used in clocks for hundreds of years, because the motion is so regular.

Here's a pretty awesome UV version from brusspup on youtube (who has some other cool videos)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Another beautiful nebula from NASA

Another post from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day that made me sit for a second and absorb the universe's awesomeness in all it's dutsy, ripped-from-a-sci-fi-movie glory.

Sometimes called the Iris Nebula, due to its porpensity to evoke floral imagery, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have "blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus".

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Let's hug!

One of my fave images from I Love Doodle byt he uber-talented Lim Heng Swee

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I wear my heart on my sleeve

Just a little doodle on a rainy Wednesday

Thursday, 14 July 2011

You are the rose of my heart

Tattoo and fine artist, Michele Gonzalez, created this beautiful print of a recent watercolor painting on an old music sheet, entitled Rose of My Heart.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Hold the world in the palm of your hand

I have spent the last half hour in awe at the wares for sale on the website of Bathsheba Grossman who produces 3D laser sculptures in glass paperweights. The weights are inspired by astronomy, maths and science in general. The detail is amazing and they look pretty awesome too.

The Star Map Crystal  - A map of our nearby stars covering 5 parsecs (1 parsec=3.086 x 1016km) in all directions, with sol at the center. The map comes with a key describing each star and symbol. 
Earth's Magnetic Field (looking perpendicular to the equator)
Earth's Magnetic Field (from the top)

The Geodynamo: Earth's magnetic field has existed for billions of years, yet the planet is not a permanent magnet: the field would vanish in just 100,000 years if it weren't being regenerated from thermal convection of liquid iron in the earth's core.

In 1995 Gary Glatzmaier (UCSC) and Paul Roberts (UCLA) created the first self-consistent time-dependent simulation of this process in 3D. Their model works: it predicts the poles and the dynamic interior, as well as the occasional global polarity flip.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey
This Sloan Digital Sky Survey was performed by a 2.5m telescope, located in New Mexico, from 2000 to 2008, covering a solid slice of the the northern-hemisphere sky plus three delicate tranches of the southern.  

Our viewpoint is at the center, where the northern- and southern-hemisphere data come together. The features revealed at this scale are composed mainly of the brightest objects; the survey contains more than 930,000 galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars.

And to finish, our own home, sweet, home:

Our Milky Way

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Anatomical audio book covers for Penguin

Today I stumbled upon these beautiful anatomical audio book covers for the Penguin Children's Classics range. They are the work of the advertising agency Y&R in Malaysia.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Visions of the heart

I love photomicrography and spend a lot of time on the Nikon Small World website perusing snapshots of the scientist's trade. Today's photographs, however, come from the projects funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). BHF asked the researchers of it's 1200 projects to submit the best images that they have produced in the course of their work for their Reflections of Research competition. Here's what they came up with -

Winner: Feeding the heart
Professor Nicolas Smith, Kings College London and University of Oxford
This virtual model shows the blood flow through vessels serving the heart. During the heartbeat, different amounts of pressure are put on the different blood vessels that feed the heart – shown here in different colours.
Runner up: What colour is your heart?
Dr Vanessa Ferreira, Dr Stefan Piechnik, Dr Theodoros Karamitsos and Professor Stefan Neubauer, University of Oxford
This collage of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the heart is inspired by a new imaging technique called T1-mapping. T1-mapping uses colour to give more information about heart disease than standard black and white MRI scans.
Shortlisted: A fatty plaque
Professor David Greaves (University of Oxford) and Professor Ed Fisher (NYU & Eastman Visiting Professor in Oxford)
This image is a cross-section of a "fatty plaque" from a mouse artery. Fatty plaques are a mixture of "bad" LDL-cholesterol, immune cells and other material, which can build up in arteries and eventually rupture, releasing a blood clot which can cause a heart attack or stroke. This image was created using a technique called immunoflourescence microscopy.
Dr Patrizia Camelliti, Imperial College London
This image shows human heart cells growing on a bioengineered "scaffold". Cells have been stained with fluorescent molecules to identify the nuclei in blue, and the cell body, in pink. The research behind this image involves working out the roles that different cells play in heart structure and function, and particularly the relationship between cells and their surrounding environment.
Dr Elisabeth Ehler, Kings College London
Beating heart cells – called cardiomyocytes – sit within a "scaffold" that keeps the heart in shape. Problems with this scaffold are a hallmark of some types of heart disease. This image shows a green cardiomyocyte in a Petri dish. It appears to be making contact with another type of cell, called a fibroblast, shown in red. Fibroblasts help produce the scaffold that holds the heart in shape. Understanding how these different types of cell interact will aid our understanding of how heart disease develops.

You can see all the photos at the BHF website and also the Best Video Awards.

All photographs copyright of British Heart Foundation. Descriptions of photos from British Heart Foundation.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Ali G on science

Ali G on Science. Remixed by the talented guys at Symphony of Science.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Monday, 16 May 2011

Stunning time-lapse skyscapes

Music: Matti Paalanen , Angel's Tear (Aeon 2) 

The above video was shot solely from the Teide National Park on Tenerife in the Canary Islands over the course of a year.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Colours of the brainbow

by Jean Livet, Harvard University
Brainbow-ing involves neurons of the brain being mapped with flourescent proteins, allowing them to glow with specific colours under a light source. By controlling the proteins involved it is possible to give each neuron a different colour.

In 2000 Jeff Lichtman and Joshua Sanes began playing around with the neurons of mice, and after crossing different genetic lines, created mice with three different shades of cells, blue, green and yellow. By 2007 the Brainbow technique was developed.
Tamily Weissman, "Brainbow” transgenic mouse hippocampus (40X)

The Havard Gazette describes the process in full detail if you're interested.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Spiral nebula

Messier 101
Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing and additional imaging - Robert Gendler

There's no denying it - galaxies are beautiful. M101, also know as the Pinwheel Galaxy, is a particularly sexy set of spiral arms and is 170,000 light-years across (twice the size of our own humble milky way).

The red marbling comes from hydrogen gas and occurs in areas where new stars are formed. The white and blue lights are stars and dust and, behind them, background light and galaxies.

M101 is in the constellation Ursa Major, know to me as a child as the Big Dipper or the Plough which can be seen through most of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Mostly though, it's pretty.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Rat seminipherous tubule

This photo, taken by Alan C. Opsahl of Connecticut is a 40x magnified picture of a rat seminiferous tubule. Who knew rats harboured such beauty?!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

So then the whale said to the octopus...

I'm going away to Brighton for a few days and won't get a chance to post so thought I'd just leave you with a little treat to keep you going

(click it to enlarge)


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Evolution vs. Creationism

Okay, so the title is more of a hook than a descriptor. This post will be about evolution, and creationism, but mostly about the much loved Mr Charles Darwin and artworks inspired by his theories and life's work. I'd like to open with my song-of-the-moment 'Charlie Darwin' by the Low Anthem whose beautiful melodies can soundtrack this post.

If you like the song I suggest you don't read on to find a deeper meaning in it, it's prettier if you don't. However, for those interested, Prystowsky, a band member, said of the song:
'What does love mean if survival of the fittest is actually the way that everything came to be?[...] It’s such a cutting theory to think that maybe our feelings of love and connection to our fellow man are somehow in our own interest, that they’re selfish . . . . That has a significant impact on the art that you make and the way you live your life.'
Moving on. The publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species alongside new discoveries in geology and paleontology forced victorians to realise that the world was far older than the bible ever suggested. This nurtured a fascination with pre-human worlds in a time when most believed in The Creation; and gave birth to an new artistic vision that attempted to deal with the religious consequences of the geological discoveries.

Robert Farrena, An Earlier Dorseta (circa. 1850)
'Evolution' at Burning Man, Nevada
Darwin has inspired such varied artworks as sculptures, like the depiction of the evolution of homosapiens (right), to stencil art (below).
'EVOL-ution', stencil art by KrieBeL

What prompted me to write this post was an oil on canvas called 'Darwin took steps' by Glendon Mellow. I saw it first at the Science Online conference 2010 and something about it really resonated with me. I particularly like his incorporation of Darwin's famous Tree of Life sketch (left) but mostly I just think he's a talented artist and love this piece.

'Darwin took steps', Glendon Mellow
Another artwork in a similar vein is that of Kilrizzy who edited this image together:

'Darwin, "I Think..."',Kilrizzy
I'd like to leave you with a piece of art that a young friend of mine drew for me that is a conglomeration of the ideas expressed in the other artworks I've featured. She expresses her angst at the geological propaganda steering her from her faith yet proclaims her belief in the path she's chosen. I pray you take this in the vein it is in intended.

Rebecca Louise Anne Frost, 11

Monday, 14 February 2011

If Alby says it, it must be true

'After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well'
- Albert Einstein

I came across this quote during some lazy google-ing on the Theory of Relativity and thought I'd share it with you.

Indeed, and as any avid readers (hi Mum) will know, I have long held the notion that the creativity and innovation required of scientists to reach new levels of understanding is that very same required of artists to dominate in their field. This snippet articulates what it is I have so inarticulately and unintelligibly tried to portray through a year's worth of posts on Michelangelo, the Vitruvian man, microwaving CDs, Gunther Von Hagens' Bodyworlds, string theory, Facebook, the brain, tattoos, spirographs and numerous other half-formed meanderings. Einstein's observation takes all the fragments of science, art and sci-art I have come across on the web, wraps them in a parcel, puts a tidy ribbon around them and leaves a note that says: 'friends?'

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Miroslav Holub

Miroslav Holub, 1923-1998
Without a doubt my favourite scientist-poet, Miroslav Holub, was an immunologist by vocation and poet in his spare time. He considered his poetry very much a pastime but I personally find his work exceptional. I thought I would share my favourite poem with you.


To think I might have been dead,
he said to himself, ashamed, as if this were
a curse of the heart, raising a bundle of bones
to a man’s height. As if it were suddenly
forbidden to touch even words that had dropped to the ground.
Besides, he was afraid of finding
his body in a metal press.Embarrassing
down to the capillaries.

the tram stood jammed above him
like an icebreaker’s prow and all that was left of the car
was a grotesque pretzel with a chunk bitten off
by the dentures of a demented angel.
Something dark was dripping on the rails,
and a strikingly pale wind was leafing
through a book still warm.

People were forming a circle and with deaf-mute
sympathy awaited the play’s catharsis,
like maggots emerging from
under the wings of a beheaded chicken.
From afar came the approaching wail of sirens,
congealing in the jinxed air-conditioning of that day
and that minute. Dewdrops were falling
on the back of the neck like remnants of
atmospheric dignity. Embarrassing down to the capillaries.

No, thank you, he said, I’ll wait;
for a silent film had started to run
without subtitles, without colour and without answers.

     And what about the magnetic monopoles
escaping seconds after the Big Bang,
protons violating the irreversibility of the flow of time?

     What about the giant molecular clouds
under the galaxy’s shoulders, conceiving
the embryos of stars?

     What about the loneliness of the first genes
accumulating amino acids in shallow primeval pools
at the expense of entropic usurers?

     What about the desiccated starfish
like proto-eagles’ talons dug into the bed
of a vanishing sea?

     What about the mortal migrations of birds
observing the sun’s inclination
and the roar of sex hormones?

     What about the caged half-crazed
orang-utan who vomits because
he has nothing else to do?

     What about the mice which for a thousand years
have learned to sing and the frogs balancing
on one leg like the thigh
of a beauty queen from Mesopotamia?

     What about poetry, an enterprise
so disorderly it twists the rulers
and increases the squint of school inspectors?

     And what about the little girl
in the leukemia ward who, on the toilet,
tried to show what kind of moustache the kind doctor has,
but as her skinny sticks of hands let go of
the edge of the bowl, she falls in and so
tried again and again?

     And what about the weak-kneed intellectual,
the professor who understood the approximate universe
but forgot the traffic rules?

No, thank you, he said to some uniform,
I don’t need anything. My papers are in my pocket
but I can’t reach there. And he tried
to smile a little at this embarrassment of complicated creation.
It’s all my fault, he said,
thank you.
                 And then he died.

By Miroslav Holub

Another of my favourites is Interferon but it's a weighty tome and this isn't the place to showcase it, however, if you like this little taster of his work I am in no doubt you would enjoy his translations, a particular favourite of mine is the book Poems Before and After: Collected English Translations, it is insanely brilliant.

While we're at it, and if you do nothing else after reading this, may I please recommend you check out Brief Thoughts on Cracks and if you don't like his work after that then I give up my case, please continue you with your day.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Tim Minchin: a question of science

Here's a little light relief to kick those Monday blues.

Tim Minchin, with his exceptional turn of phrase, observation and impeccable spoken word, spins out a lyrical masterpiece on the subject of science, knowledge and faith. Tim's observations of social interaction are intriguing and it is quite a talent to, in the same nine minutes, make a person laugh to the point of unplanned-urination; and then to honestly think about their readily accepted digestion of common knowledge, the sciences, medicine and religion in whatever ratios they inhabit their life up to this point.

This is a mish-mash of rhyme, anecdote, philosophy, science, knowledge and dinner table etiquette, mixing together social cliche, the immortal words of Puck and touching on every scientists favourite subject - homeopathy!

Tim Minchin's spoken word masterpiece - Storm:

Sunday, 23 January 2011

London-based artists explore the brain through science

This week I spent a good three hours wondering around the the exhibition Brainstorm: Investigating the brain through art and science at the GV Art Gallery in London. Brainstorm puts seven contemporary artists in the spotlight to consider the human brain.

The exhibition showcases the work of Susan Aldworth, Annie Cattrell, Andrew Carnie, Katharine Dowson, Rachel Gadsden, David Marron and Helen Pynor, who have each responded to the the subject in different ways and using varying techniques, from sculpture, painting and etching to photography and scientific materials. The result is a collection of beautiful and thought provoking works of art, not to mention a look at the brain from every angle possible, including sliced up on a table top.

The inspiration for Brainstorm was an invitation for GV Art to observe a brain cut up at the Joint MS Society and Parkinsons UK Tissue Bank at Imperial College London. GV Art say that some of the works featured were created in direct response to this experience.

Below is a picture of the brain slices that were put on display. GV Art is the only private gallery in the country to hold a Human Tissue Authority Licence for Public Display and Storage.

Sections of brain and spinal cord at the Tissue Bank, Imperial College
My favourite work was that of Helen Pynor, whose work involves taking C-type photographs of human organs floating in salt water. Helen explains - 'Text is scribed through an ocean of sea-salt green water, threads drift downwards in a slow-motion descent, then tangle or fuse with recognisable or unrecognisable organs and spaces of the body'.

Poisonous Sores
C-type photograph on Duratran, face-mounted on glass
Installation photograph: Danny Kildare
Helen says 'The hidden insides of our bodies , our organs, are somehow shameful.  They inspire fear and disgust but at the same time, fascination: life-givers, pink, creamy, crimson, fleshy and shining with possibility, beautiful, repulsive and intriguing.'

If the way helen describes her work inspires you, in the way it does me, I would recommend reading her full description of this collection. Below is my favourite photograph from the exhibition, and one that has been adopted by many newspapers and reviewers as the poster for the exhibition.

Headache, Helen Pynor
C-type photograph on Duratran, face-mounted on glass
Installation photograph: Danny Kildare
The brain is inherently fascinating and something I think this GV Art exhibition has done exceptionally well is to open up and demystify the brain as well as forcing it's visitors to look at the brain in new and thought-provoking ways (sliced up on a table being my favourite way). I couldn't possibly write about each of the artists or works of art, as much as I would love to, so I will leave you with a few more photos and the knowledge that I will later focus in on a couple of the other artists I was introduced to at Brainstorm.

My Soul Glass, Katharine Dowson
laser etching of the artist’s brain
Lt: 'Inside' (gilded bronze), rt: 'From Within' (silvered bronze cast interior of the skull) by Annie CatrellPhotorgraph: Richard Valencia/GV Art

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Lehrer-inspired science album

For a while now I have been meaning to blog about a band whose last album was dedicated to songs about different areas of science. I know, I know, it sounds pretty terrible, but They Might Be Giants really hit the nail on the head if you ask me. (By the end of this post, I challenge you to stop the lyrics 'The sun is a mass of incandescent gas' from pin-balling around your head).

The album, titled 'Here comes the science' includes such songs as 'Speed and Velocity', 'Solid liquid gas' and  'Why does the sun shine?' and they music isn't half bad either. What finally pushed me to post this was a reminder in a Science-Online 2011 chatroom today about Tom Lehrer's famous 'The elements' song, a groundbreaker in packaging science up for the masses (simply putting the name of every element of the periodic table to a relatively catchy tune). Here's 'The Elements' if you're unfamilair with it -

That's the reason for deciding to finally blog about them. Now for the reason I'd always been holding back; it's difficult to get music, in any easily accessible format, into a blog post so here are a few ways for you to listen:

Now, whilst the science isn't always accurate and the music is, on the odd occasion, a little irritating; their effort to educate is commendable and the lyrics are nothing short of genius. The fact that they follow up the song 'Why does the sun shine?' with 'Why does the sun really shine?' reflects the familiar feeling of learning one thing and being satisfied, only to find later that you had only scratched the surface. That the deeper and deeper you study, the more detail there is to find. No one will ever know everything about science, and that is an idea that I, personally, am comfortable with.

That fact accepted - I will, however, endeavour to fill my future children's neuro-plastic little brains with such catchy nuggets of information as these. Can't hurt to start them young.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Visualising statistics: internet censorship

Last month's Facebook: mapping earth post provoked some discussion about why the north of Asia was AWOL and why Facebook, which seems to offer something for everyone, hasn't managed to penetrate into the huge hunk of landmass that dominates one half of the world map (read the previous post for a refresh).

The empty spaces occupying rural Africa, the Amazon and central Australia are easily explained away by geographical location, as too are those countries with a lower GDP. However, the Asian countries with captive audiences and technology coming out of their ears have kept Facebook at arm's-length through censorship.  The uber-talented guys at Information Is Beautiful have come up with a very pretty and easy-to-digest analysis of such censorship. Below are the Facebook map from Paul Butler and the censorship map from David McCandless.  Draw your own conclusions.

Anyway, here's the link to the full visualisation. One particularly information-rich diagram is the good old fashioned venn diagram showing the various overlapping reasons for internet censorship in the different regions. It's pretty cool. Have a browse, learn something new, drink a beer (just because).

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Artificial Body Clock

Imagine an object that could tell a woman the exact moment she is ready to have a child. An object that recieves information from her doctor, therapist and bank manager and alerts her when she is physicallly, mentally and economically ready to start a family.

Revital Cohen, a Royal College of Art graduate, is a designer whose future-oriented work examines the relationships and possibilities between medical machines, animals, and humans, exploring the juxtaposition of the natural with the artificial.

Whilst much of her work is far-fetched and more a comment on our reliability on, and the possibilities posed by, technology; some don't seem to stray too far from the line we are already treading. The Artficial Biological Clock is one such object. Cohen says

'The promises posed by new reproductive technologies such as IVF, test tube babies and egg freezing, are blurring perceptions of the reproductive cycle amongst women, and consequently, the age of conception is constantly being challenged. The female body clock relies on moonlight to regulate the menstrual cycle. The use of artificial light and contraceptive hormones, along with the growing pressure to develop a career, are distorting the body’s reproductive signals. The artificial biological clock compensates for this increasingly lost instinct. This object acts as constant reminder of the temporary and fragile nature of fertility. Given to a woman by her parents or partner, it reacts to information from her doctor, therapist and bank manager via an online service. When she is physically, mentally and financially ready to conceive the object awakes, seeking her attention.'

NB.(Next post will be less what-is-my-purpose-in-life? Promise)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Molecular wallpaper

I am too spring a chicken to remember the original Time-Life Science books but having made a trip to the British Library to check them out for myself I now consider myself up-to-scratch. The Time-Life series was a series of hardbound books published in the 60s on 26 areas of natural science intended for the lay-reader and would fit in fairly comfortably on today's popular science shelves in Waterstones (and also on my own library shelves. When I have a library. When I'm big).
Dan Funderburgh's recent series of sci-art wallpapers were inspired by these iconic Time-life books, a collection he calls a "repudiation of the fabricated schism between art and decoration". Amen Funderburgh, we too repudiate that schism.

The retro palette from the series compliments the printed sci-art designs and images, making for a beautiful collection of wallpapers, any of which I would happily hang in my own living room.
Though they are all pretty, I am particularly fond of the design in the next picture, reminscent of a sketchbook doodle penned in a particularly dull biomolecular science class.
"The work is a recognition of the art of knowledge and of the poetry of things we do not and can not know". Funderburgh
The collection is showing at Vallery in Barcelona and since it's a bit of a trek for us Londoners, you can see the photos from the opening of the exhibit on the Vallery website.

All images courtesy of Dan Funderburgh. See more on Flickr.