segunda-feira, março 31, 2008
sábado, março 29, 2008
"Wow Bug" of the day.
I almost missed this one, since I usually look for the small ones. Oh yes: around 10cm!
This is the biggest insect I ever saw (alive). Oh the tropics!
(See www.flickr.com/photos/22019541@N07/2371196844/ for a better reference on size)
Found on the edge of the forest.
Uploaded by odonatah / don't put badges on comments on 29 Mar 08, 1.26PM GMT
quinta-feira, março 27, 2008
segunda-feira, março 24, 2008
quarta-feira, março 19, 2008
Arthur C. Clarke
2001, Odisseia no Espaço
The man who saw tomorrow: Arthur C Clarke passes away at the age of 90
19 March 2008
One of the greatest minds of our generation passesd away early this morning. Sir Arthur Charles Clarke died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90.
A brief profile of his extraordinary life.
By Sourya Biswas
"The truth, as always, will be far stranger."- Arthur C Clarke.
If any man can be said to have seen tomorrow, it would be Sir Arthur Charles Clarke. One of the greatest scientific minds of our generation, who perhaps did more than anyone else in bringing science from the hallowed pages of scientific journals to everyday reading for ordinary people, died today in Sri Lanka at the ripe old age of 90. He had been living in Sri Lanka for the last 52 years.
Although many would associate him as the author of Stanley Kubrick's landmark film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, his greatest achievement, perhaps, lay in predicting future advances in human civilization. In this regard, he was the first to conceptualise a worldwide communication grid made up of artificial satellites hovering above the earth.
As a result, the geostationary orbit where satellites stay at a constant position over the earth's surface is also called Clarke Orbit or Clarke Belt in his honour. Of course, Clarke might have disagreed with the mention of earth here, as in his opinion, "How inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Ocean."
A brief history of Clarke's life would be incomplete without a mention of his immense contributions in the world of science fiction. Science fiction in Clarke's work had its foundation in the basic tenets of science, even as it soared beyond the limits of human imagination.
His close friendship with another literary luminary, ''the father of robotics'', Isaac Asimov, is well-documented. In fact, they had an unwritten agreement where Asimov was required to insist that Clarke was the best science fiction writer in the world (reserving second best for himself), while Clarke was required to insist that Asimov was the best science writer in the world (reserving second best for himself). These two, along with Robert Heinlen, were considered the ''big three'' among science-fiction writers and contributed immensely to popularize science amongst the non-scientific masses.
The greatest tribute to Clarke was given by none other than Asimov. "Nobody has done more in the way of enlightened prediction," he once wrote. Clarke's other major predictions that came true in his lifetime were space stations, moon landings using a mother ship and a landing pod, cellular phones and the Internet.
Clarke was perhaps as well known for his predictions, as for his contributions to Kubrick's magnus opus 2001: A Space Odyssey. Inspired in part by Clarke's short story The Sentinel, about the discovery of an alien artifact on the moon, both men collaborated on the script to create, in Kubrick's words, '' a theme of mythic grandeur''.
After the movie became a runaway hit for the flower-power generation, Clarke's popularity soared. He particularly relished telling the story of an immigration official who refused to allow him to pass until he explained the ending of the film. His collaborator for the movie was effusive in his praise. "He has the kind of mind of which the world can never have enough, an array of imagination, intelligence, knowledge and a quirkish curiosity, which often uncovers more than the first three qualities" , Kubrick said at the time.
Clarke's celebrity status was further reinforced by his commentary stint along with CBS anchor Walter Cronkite for the Apollo moon missions. He also appeared on British television in the 1980s with two programmes - Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World and Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers. These programmes were syndicated around the world.
Arthur C Clarke had a deep love of the sea in general and scuba-diving in particular. That was the reason why he shifted to Sri Lanka in 1956, and which remained his home till his last days. He had dual citizenship of the UK and Sri Lanka, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2000, although his frail health prevented him from travelling to London to receive the honour.
From 1995, he was largely confined to a wheelchair, suffering from post-polio syndrome, although his mind was a sharp as ever, churning out predictions that would chart man's endeavours in times to come.
Perhaps, the great forecaster may have forecast his own death as well, for in December last year he had recorded a video-message bidding farewell to his friends, fans and well-wishers throughout the globe. He had always said that the truth is stranger than fiction.
Maybe he has now gone in search of that eternal truth of life beyond death. Godspeed, Clarke.
quinta-feira, março 13, 2008
Exposição de Conceição Silveira
Inaugura a 13 de Março às 18 Horas
Até 14 Abril
"A ciência é a inteligência do mundo; a arte, o seu coração"
Enquanto prepara o óxido de ferro, o grés moído, os acrílicos, o carvão em pó, as areias ou outros materiais que vai aplicar nas suas telas, Conceição Silveira fá-lo com toda a delicadeza, minúcia e precisão de quem está a preparar uma poção mágica.
Durante a aplicação nas telas as formas vão surgindo com a intervenção de gestos leves e precisos, como quem estuda devagar o resultado a que pretende chegar.
As areias tomam texturas mas constituem as manchas da sua própria cor, as tintas utilizadas são simbólicas e contextuais.
No Bairro Alto e no isolamento do ateliê, com janelas abertas para o terraço, Conceição deixa entrar a luz que a encaminha para as formas que cria no encontro de todos os materiais naturais.
Com o fascínio pela intervenção abstracta que resulta de uma fiel linha de pensamento inspirada na criação e evolução do nosso planeta.
Avenida de Ceuta, Ceuta-Sul, Lote 7 - loja 1
(das 15 as 19 horas, de terça a sábado)
sexta-feira, março 07, 2008
#76a, Catacanthus incarnatus
quinta-feira, março 06, 2008
William Cordova, The House that Frank Lloyd Wright built 4 Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, 2006 (installation view, Arndt & Partner, Berlin, 2006).
Born 1971 in Lima, Peru; lives in Houston, Texas, Miami, Florida, and New York, New York
William Cordova’s work is tied to an urban ecology of obsolescence, disparity, and displacement. Busted cars, trashed tires, discarded shoes, machetes, speakers, and books yellowed with age provide the material support and iconographic program for his drawings, collages, and installations. For the artist, these material choices reference the reality of lived experience, as opposed to the spectacle of culture, mass-produced for constant consumption. The fluency with which Cordova traverses media and remixes cultural signifiers confirms his visual multilinguism, as barbed as it is lived-in.
The range of Cordova’s sources is strikingly evident in the titles of works like Medgar Evers (2005), daniel boone, pat boone & mary boone (y los Olmec’s?) (2006), and Arrow of god (4-chinua achebe) (2006). His rapaciousness shows as well in his frequent use of color symbols, as in the red and black in O. T. atsinadnas (2007), at once referring to the colors of the Sandinista flag, a politically charged image for some viewers, and existing purely as formal composition. As an extension of his individual artistic practice, Cordova has collaborated with fellow artist/writer Leslie Hewitt through their BASE collective on projects such as I Wish It Were True (for more information about this project, please see Hewitt’s artist entry in this catalogue). Another project, From the Root (2006–), utilizes existing billboards to activate dialogue within their respective communities by listing names of activists in an anti-chronological and -hierarchical fashion.
Cordova has been preoccupied with issues of transformation and interpretation since his youth, owing partly to his own transitions between countries, economies, and languages. Having recently moved from Lima to Miami, the six-year-old found comfort in the sight of what he thought were familiar Peruvian cajón drums scattered on the streets, but which were in fact discarded speaker boxes. The hulking Badussy (or Machu Picchu after dark) (2004–05) dominates the gallery with some two hundred old speakers stacked to suggest a pre-Columbian monolith. Similarly addressing the fragility of history through an ephemeral environment, The House that Frank Lloyd Wright built 4 Fred Hampton and Mark Clark (2006), shown at Arndt & Partner Berlin in 2006, is a dizzying room-scale labyrinth of wooden beams based on the footprint of the house where Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were killed by Chicago police in a predawn raid in 1969. Much of Cordova’s work induces similarly uncanny interpretive spirals, abetted not by arbitrary Surrealist juxtapositions but the all-too-common strangeness of our own detritus and the too-often repressed histories they conceal. SUZANNE HUDSON
William Cordova, The House that Frank Lloyd Wright built 4 Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, 2006 (installation view, Arndt & Partner, Berlin, 2006). Wood, books and suspended drawing, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist; courtesy Arndt & Partner Berlin
© 2008 Whitney Museum of American Art
Robert Fenz, Stills from Crossings, 2006-07.
Born 1969 in Ann Arbor, Michigan; lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts
While Robert Fenz’s 16-millimeter films document place and time, they also serve as emotive simulacra reminding the viewer of cinema’s historical subjectivity. Editing together footage of daily life from countries in political upheaval, he illustrates human characteristics that transcend borders in semihypnotic odes to the lands he portrays. Fenz’s self-proclaimed “moving pictures”—silent or presented with recorded natural sound—offer glimpses into cultural diversity while experimenting with in-camera editing and a variety of formal cinematic techniques. Inspired by Structuralist filmmakers such as Michael Snow and James Benning, Fenz sometimes builds his films along predetermined guidelines. His methods, however, are improvised and lyrical, closer to the work of Chantal Akerman, with whom he has recently worked. “My need to think or feel something through film,” he notes, “is not reactionary against video, but a concern for film’s disappearance as a material.”
Fenz traveled to Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and around the United States to capture footage of the poverty and political strife that precede and encourage revolution for his five-part series Meditations on Revolution, each segment offering a new set of experimental platforms. For the 2002 Whitney Biennial, Fenz screened Part III: Soledad (2001), a black-and-white silent film alternating footage of masked insurgents in Chiapas with urban scenes and sequences of two men making tortillas in Mexico City. In Part V: Foreign City (2003), a blackand- white film with sound about immigrant New York, Fenz pushes the grain quality to “accelerate the randomness of the film,” distinguishing it from video as a medium able to, as he describes, “vibrate.” The artist’s overarching formal concern in Meditations centers on black-and-white film’s capacity to trigger memory by referring to previously recorded events as well as the history of cinema.
In Crossings (2006–07), made for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Fenz switches to color film to convey more sensate information about the United States–Mexico border wall. Ten minutes of film features Crossings played twice—first silently, next with ambient sound—allowing the viewer to imagine a soundtrack before the imposed audio begins. Presented as quick, single-frame snapshots are a pair of frames shot looking to the left and right from each side of the wall followed by upward and downward views on both sides, creating a strobelike effect that recalls the psychedelic experiments of James Whitney or Harry Smith. The length of each shot is of primary importance to Fenz, for whom each frame is a captured moment in time. These moments build, highlighting the surprising formal beauty of the wall while evoking the frenetic, fearful energy one might feel if trapped by it. By visually simulating what the wall symbolizes, Fenz depicts terror and awe as impossibly intertwined. TRINIE DALTON
Robert Fenz, Stills from Crossings, 2006-07. 16mm film, color, sound and silent; 10 min. Collection of the artist.
Born 1971 in Geneva, Switzerland; lives in New York, New York
I have a sense of history being contained by objects,” Carol Bove recently told Swiss curator Beatrix Ruf, an observation that might well serve as a motto for her nuanced combinatory practice. The particular history with which her work usually has been concerned—namely, that charged, quasi-chronological, sociopolitical moment known as the sixties—is obliquely but convincingly instantiated in her pieces, both the modest shelf-based and the increasingly roomsized displays of carefully chosen found and made objects. Bove’s “settings” draw on the style, and substance, of certain time-specific materials to resuscitate their referential possibilities, to pull them out of historical stasis and return them to active symbolic duty, where new adjacencies might reactivate latent meanings. Whether plucked from the archives of culture or couture, from the spheres of entertainment or the academy, the raw materials of Bove’s evocative assemblages pulse with the affinities and contradictions of their age, fine-tuned within the artist’s categorical systems.
Bove’s earliest pieces were typically Minimalist wooden shelves or tables on which she placed simple arrangements of books and images culled from pop culture sources. The array deployed in At Home in the Universe (2001) is representative, capturing the ambitions and ambivalences of the era’s revolutionary movements (social, political, and sexual) with a pair of shelves holding Soul on Ice, Walden, and books by Aldous Huxley and Buckminster Fuller; The Writings of Robert Smithson and Our Bodies Ourselves; and a nostalgically modest spread from a nudist book. Bove’s recent work has grown physically—outboard installation elements now accompany larger presentational environments that incorporate their own constellations of shelves, tables, and plinths—and broadened its focus to evoke even more ambiguous conditions of history and memory. Bove’s 2006 installation at Georg Kargl BOX gallery in Vienna, for example, included a low table set like a diorama-sized sociological sculpture garden of small plexiglass and concrete cubes, peacock feathers, compositionally symmetrical photographs from a fashion magazine, and a lunar atlas; wall drawings made with thread and nails; and a shimmering beaded curtain. The precise allusions of such expanded arrays are perhaps more elusive than in Bove’s previous projects, but the “ambience cues,” a phrase Bove has used to describe the delicate mechanics of her environments, are as evocative as ever. JEFFREY KASTNER
Carol Bove, The Night Sky over New York, October 21, 2007, 9 p.m., 2007. Bronze rods, wire, and expanded metal, 146 x 192 x 96 in. (370.8 x 487.7 x 243.8 cm). Collection of the artist