Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist who creates large-scale installations that immerse the viewer in a new sense of space. His artwork often features unconventional geometry, mirrors, and natural elements such as light, water, and stone.
The goal of Eliasson’s artwork is to help us question ideas of indivuality and collectivity, urging us to explore the link between thinking and doing. The experience he creates goes beyond entertainment into the realm of responsibility of action. But, if you don’t feel any of these emotions… undoubtedly, his work is beautiful.
What I find particularly fascinating is that Eliasson treats his studio like a science lab. He’s even known to bring in actual scientists to advise him on new and ambitious projects. I find this borderline obsessive artistic exploration to be rather inspiring.
If you’re interested in experiencing his work first-hand, you can find a list of exhibitions here.
The folks at SpaceX are leading us into a new era of space technology dominated by private enterprise. The company already became the first company to send an unmanned spacecraft to the International Space Station back in 2012 (fulfilling a $1.6 billion contract with NASA), and now, they are setting their sights on developing a reusable rocket system which will save the company a significant amount of money.
“If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred. A fully reusable vehicle has never been done before. That really is the fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionize access to space.” –Elon Musk
Above, you can see the video taken by a flying drone of the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rocket taking its first test flight in Texas. The goal was to lift off and hover at a height of 250 meters before returning to the landing pad. They are still developing the rocket, so it’s much easier to do these sorts of small test flights to spot any design flaws before moving on to the bigger tests which will take place in New Mexico.
The test flight was a success by all accounts. Stay tuned for the next design stage.
Nathaniel Rackowe is an installation artist who lives and works in London, UK. Taking a page out of the book of American Minimalism (written by the likes of Donald Judd and Dan Flavin), Rackowe creates beautiful neon installations which live in a world of abstraction.
If you’ve been reading this site for some time, you may know that we are suckers for neon installation art. There’s just something about that ethereal glow that draws us in… like insects. If you stopped to look at these images, maybe you have the same trait in your brain.
“Capitol… lyrically embodies the dark, emotional depths conveyed in the album’s artwork. “Set forth for the island/ She went for the sky,” Alfons sings. “We need all the stairs now/ We’re staring at heights.” He frames this glance into the unfathomable with a bolt of synthpop tinged with magical glitches and blips, a sound reminiscent of a celestial world darkened by black holes and technology. He ends the track by aching “Well, I got,” over and over, until it bleeds into and synchronizes with intense bass booms and robo-bird chirps.”
I’m really digging the facial expressions by the model in the video. Such intensity!
The Cassini spacecraft has just found evidence for an ocean of liquid water inside Saturn’s moon, Enceladus. Of course, this is exciting news because we know that water is an essential agent for all biochemistry on Earth. In other words, the best places to search for alien life in our solar system contain some source of liquid water (i.e. Europa).
The ocean was found using gravitational measurements from the spacecraft. According to Sami Asmar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.: “The way we deduce gravity variations is a concept in physics called the Doppler Effect, the same principle used with a speed-measuring radar gun. As the spacecraft flies by Enceladus, its velocity is perturbed by an amount that depends on variations in the gravity field that we’re trying to measure. We see the change in velocity as a change in radio frequency, received at our ground stations here all the way across the solar system.”
Enceladus is just one of 52 named moons that orbit Saturn.
There may be an ocean of alien life swimming around underneath the surface of Enceladus, but we’ll never know until we can drill into the moon. A similar project is being planned for Europa sometime in the 2030’s.