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.
There is something enchanting to be found in chalkboards, an intellectual canvas where remnants of hypnotic scribbles and fantastical ideas are scattered. They epitomize that moment where knowledge and imagination meet to foster new ideas. Academic brainstorming sessions in fields such as quantum mechanics often result in a flurry of mysterious equations, symbols, and geometric shapes, and Alejandro Guijarro set out to capture them.
Alejandro is an artist based in London and Madrid who works primarily in photography. Over a three year period, he traveled the world visiting institutions known for their prowess in quantum mechanics: CERN in Switzerland, Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.
From the artist:
“I’ve visited top universities all over the world for this project: Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, Berkeley, Cern in Switzerland, Brussels, Vienna and institutions in China and Spain. It was a challenge to find places that still had blackboards rather than whiteboards or interactive screens. Many of the boards were in professors’ own rooms where they do their research. Some of them were intrigued, wondering why I wanted to photograph work they didn’t consider important. They didn’t see what they had done as art.”
Quantum mechanics (you can read about here, good luck!) is a branch of physics dealing with the strange, quantum realm of atomic and subatomic matter. You would have to work hard to find a more confusing (and compelling) topic to capture in photographic form. All of this mystery builds the intrigue found in Alejandro’s photographs. The aesthetic is certainly a nice interaction of line, color, and form, but the real magic lies in knowing these symbols represent the very fabric of our reality. It’s fascinating stuff!
If you’ve enjoyed these, you can find more from Alejandro Guijarro at his site.
The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. worked on a project last year to catalog various components of space gear using an X-Ray machine, and the results are pretty fascinating. It can be quite challenging to visualize all of the design and ingenuity that exists inside a contemporary space suit, but we’ve seen in the past how X-Ray technology can provide a fresh perspective on everyday objects.
“We were trying to find ways to image the suits to find out what’s going on,” Lewis explains. “But short of taking them apart we really couldn’t tell what was going on inside.” Of course, deconstructing an intricately made suit puts major stress on the material, so they looked to X-ray technology to do the task.
Unfortunately for us, the full exhibit ended last December, but these digital images will live on in the Internet.