The Swiss-Japanese artist Maiko Gubler belongs to the creative group in Berlin, originally moving to Germany because she was “charmed by the rawness, the undefined space and the inherent history of Berlin in the 90s.” She works in a variety of mediums — illustration, sculpture, 3D modeling, and graphic design — and all of it is well crafted.
The images above are fantastically crisp, driven by blue skies, clean lines, and bright tile. The melting metal reminds me of gallium, which will turn liquid in your hand (at 29.76 °C / 85.57 °F to be exact).
Li Hui is a Chinese Installation artist who works with stainless steel, acrylics and lasers. The skeleton car above was created in 2006 for a show titled “Who’s afraid of red, amber, and green?” - a direct reference to the painting series “Who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue” by American abstract expressionist Barnett Newman.
The installation (named ‘Amber’) features a full size horse skeleton, which has been etched into the acrylic race car to create a truly ethereal scene.
Jérôme Sans (director of the UCCA) writes that “Li Hui’s works explore questions of life and death, existence and transcendence, materiality and spirituality, technology and humanity. But it is his penchant for melding the organic and the inorganic that foreshadows a world in which mortal and machine have become one, making people indistinguishable from their tools.”
Here are the other two pieces from the show, “Reincarnation” and “Cage”:
Light is not a usual medium in artwork, but artists such as James Turrell have shown that it can be mastered.
In Li Hui’s own words… “Light doesn’t seem like a material that can be used in art – if you do not handle it well, the outcome will be awful. Everyone can use light in their work, but light may not always be a good material to help them express what they want to express.”
I’ll look forward to more futuristic works from Li Hui.
The world’s very first See-Through Brain has been developed by a team at Stanford University led by Karl Deisseroth (M.D., Ph.D.). Deisseroth is well-known for his critical role in the development of Optogenetics, a tool used to control individual neurons with light. Optogenetics is normally limited to surface neurons because the light has trouble reaching deeper areas, but the see-through brain may greatly enhance its efficacy.
The new method (termed CLARITY) involves removing the fat that provides structure but also blocks light. The brain is soaked in a chemical that forms a nanoporous hydrogel-hybridized mesh in the brain. This mesh can then support all the tissue so the fat can be washed away, resulting in the incredible see-through brain.
Unfortunately, the new technique can’t be used in living animals, but it still represents a huge advancement for neuroanatomists. No longer will there be much need to cut the brain into tiny slices (an extremely time-consuming process) to observe connectivity.
The announcement comes just a week after President Barack Obama announced a $100 million BRAIN initiative, and this new step forward surely offers a taste of the sort of technological breakthroughs the initiative hopes to achieve.
And all the Leaders in Neuroscience seem to be weighing in on this one:
“I can’t make any official statement, but I can say that this is exactly the type of technology one would hope to develop for the [BRAIN] project” – Dr. Michelle Freund, a program manager with the National Institutes of Mental Health
“If the entire mouse brain is transparent, that makes a very large fraction of neuroscience research much easier” - Dr. R. Clay Reid of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle.
This technique “is a giant step forward from having to slice the mouse brain into 1,000 pieces and looking at them each individually, then trying to reconstruct the relationships of all those slices” – Dr. Cori Bargmann of Rockefeller University, a co-leader of Obama’s brain initiative.
“It’s exactly the technique everyone’s been waiting for”- Dr. Terry Sejnowski of the Salk Institute.
Karl Deisseroth, mastermind of the CLARITY technique
It is certainly an exciting time to be a Neuroscientist.
Lake Baikal, located in the heart of Siberia, is the oldest and deepest freshwater lake in the world. For a short time in March, as the thick ice begins to melt, you can catch a glimpse of these incredible turquoise masses jutting out from the surface. Apparently, a combination of wind, temperature differences, frost and sun in the ice crust causes the ice hummocks to form.
Alexey Trofimov, who is responsible for several of the photos above, said that “The shooting is not easy, as Baikal is known for its unpredictability. It is especially dangerous shooting ice of Lake Baikal.”
The photos kind of remind me of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, maybe it was inspiration..?
If you are brave enough to venture to Lake Baikal and capture some of this majestic ice, head to the plains of southeastern Russia:
However, I would heed Trofimov’s warning. Capturing photographs of melting ice is a dangerous proposition.
And here’s one last photo that I especially appreciate called “The Lake Baikal Nervous System”:
French artist Mathilde Roussel created these living sculptures which have been on display in various museums over the past 2 years. The exhibition is titled “Lives of Grass.” The sculptures, which are made of recycled material and fabric filled with soil and wheat grass seeds, look like refined Chia Pets.
Mathilde wanted to draw attention to the political and cultural centrality of food and famine: ”Observing nature and being aware of what and how we eat makes us more sensitive to food cycles in the world — of abundance, of famine — and allows us to be physically, intellectually and spiritually connected to a global reality.”
It’s interesting to note that these artistic forms have a life of their own. They grow and decay just as we do. ”For dust you are and to dust you will return…”
The Anatomy plates above come from a French book published in 1745 by Gautier D’Agoty titled “Essai D’Anatomie.” The illustrations represent incredibly detailed head & neck anatomy that must certainly have been some of the best images of the time.
Joseph Duverny dissected the human cadavers and D’Agoty used the mezzotint method of engraving and printing to create the plates. The mezzotint technique is known for the luxurious quality of its tones and rich dark areas. They are beautiful, albeit macabre, representations of the human body.
The original copy of ”Essai d’Anatomie” is currently a member of the Rudolph Matas Library at Tulane University. The images were restored, bound, and digitized by William Kitchens William Kitchens on May 6, 2008.