all that glitters


from the ancient Aztecs to Versace’s new Spring 2018 collection, gold has transcended fashion and culture to remain relevant across millennia. it’s one of humanity’s most enduring precious metals, but it’s taken science until this week to finally pin down exactly where it comes from

the short answer is that gold and other heavy elements are formed by the explosions created by merging neutron stars – super dense suns that weigh twice as much as ours but are only about 10km across. the long version of how we figured this out is an amazing story of cutting-edge physics, astronomy and some timely international cooperation.

read more in our new post for AnOther

magic mushrooms


the complex and mutually-enriching interaction between soil, plants and fungi is similar to the fertile relationship between mushrooms, mankind and art – a dynamic explored in a new show curated by Francesca Gavin that opens tomorrow night in Paris. as she explains, “this simplest of organism has been at the core of ritual, power and ideas around immortality and strength for thousands of years. contemporary artists are continually drawn towards the mushroom for its references to nature, the psychedelic and the spiritual”

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seeing science


launched in September last year, Seeing Science is a year-long project at the University of Maryland that examines and documents the ways in which science is represented through the visual medium of photography

with online platforms, essays, events and exhibitions, the project looks at the ways in which science is represented as an industry and as an academic subject; the people involved and its myriad interactions with our everyday life. from Eadweard Muybridge’s pioneering studies of animal locomotion to NASA’s rich photography archive through to augmented reality goggles for surgeons, Seeing Science seeks to examine the various forms scientific images take, what they reveal and how they transform the disciplines they serve. Bobby Jewell spoke with the project’s curator and producer, Marvin Hieferman, to find out more

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the cosmic desert


stretching more than 7000 square kilometres across the barren deserts of Western Tunisia, Chott el Djerid is a vast salt lake that extends to the stars. an ‘endorheic’ basin, it floods in winter with rainwater and run-off from the distant Atlas Mountains, with dissolved minerals forming delicate pinks, soft greens, baby blues and other subtly beautiful colours. as spring turns to summer, crystalline structures emerge as the fierce Saharan heat turns the shallow waterways into glittering desert once more…

read more about Chott el Djerid’s cosmic connections in our latest Where On Earth column for AnOther


104-page retrospective book (2006-2016)
first edition of 1000
170mm x 240mm
printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified paper made from 100% post-consumer waste

in 2006 we published our first fanzine and began a journey into science and culture. from the depths of interstellar space to the limitless subatomic horizons of particle physics to the most beautiful places on our planet, we’ve been privileged to spend the past decade exploring the wonders and aesthetics of science from a creative standpoint

full of short stories and facts, ten is more than just a retrospective of our work. it’s a visual record of where science has taken us all in the last decade – told through 100 beautiful images from the worlds of astronomy, chemistry, mineralogy, physics, ecology, biology… and beyond

add to cart (UK)
add to cart (elsewhere)

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profile: Lightning and Kinglyface

Lightning + Kinglyface

Lightning and Kinglyface are Anna Fulmine and Victoria Shahrokh, a team of designers whose work mixes the subtleties of design with scientific principles to create lush, dense and vivid objects, sets and exhibitions. based in Dalston, their work involves collaborations with photographers Thomas Brown and Ryan Hopkinson as well work with clients ranging from Bompas & Parr to Zaha Hadid. our new contributor Bobby Jewell spoke to them to find out more

so what are your backgrounds and why did you decide to work together?
we both met during our time at university in Epsom at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design. we were studying graphic design and were becoming increasingly dissatisfied by the work that we were producing. so in a bid to create larger work that was straddling the worlds of art and design we began to look into theatre and set design. at the core of our partnership was this need to make three dimensional, creatively-inspiring, sculptural work. working as a duo helps in this sense because we are both constantly challenging one another and bringing new references to the pot. also it motivates both of us to have another person to answer to and discuss ideas with

your designs often influenced by science, what is it about these principles or ideas that inspire you?
there is something about the rigidity of science that guides our creative minds; theories that are set in stone that cannot be argued with, or tampered with. we like the continuity of science, the permanence of it for explaining our intriguing planet and perhaps some of our more philosophical and fantastical ideas. scientific ideas have visually been quite poorly represented for some time, which upsets us because the principles of science are so visual and so exciting and the overly intellectual world of science should be opened up to creative minds

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living photographs


Wednesday 6 April 2016

join super/collider at Second Home for a discussion between artist Alice Cazenave, materials maestro Seetal Solanki, microbiologist Dr. Simon Park and artist Melanie King about light sensitive materials in the natural world, techniques for printing on leaves and bacteria which responds to light

Second Home
68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
£5 / book now

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blue flowers


just in time for Valentine’s Day, our pals at Bompas & Parr have only gone and created the world’s first colour changing flowers. hand painted with a thermochromatic ink, the roses, anemones, lilies and orchids shimmer as you (and/or your lover) exhale on them due to fluctuations in temperature. the flowers come in two forms: one is based on a liquid crystal dye process that changes at 27°C from a deep satin black to Champagne bottle green, “exhibiting all the hues regularly seen on the backs of beetles”. the second uses a black thermochromatic dye that transforms at 31°C. the flower is then spritzed a crystal elixir and ignited – revealing the various pigments in the heat of the flame

you can take a closer look at these wonders of botanical chemistry today and all this weekend in a series of hands-on workshops at the Edition Hotel in London

arctic light

29-30 August 2015
SALT Festival, Sandhornøya, Norway

for thousands of years people have followed the movement of animals and the seasonal rhythms in the Arctic landscape. the nomadic SALT is inspired by and moves in that same landscape with care and respect. with Sandhornøya bathed in summer light, super/collider invites local children and their parents to come explore shadows, light, chemistry and image-making amid the stunning surroundings of northern Norway. participants will have the opportunity to learn about how light creates photographs, explore the site and capture their own ‘cyanotype’ prints using the sun and shadows

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call for entries: International Images For Science

blaschka jellyfish

calling all photographers: the Royal Photographic Society is looking for entries for a new exhibition exploring all branches of science – from medicine and forensic science to zoology, engineering and astronomy. the society will select 100 images to form a touring exhibition launching at the British Science Festival in Bradford, September 2015 – representing the variety of ways photography is applied to science. find more information and apply here

sample of the week: dinitrogen tetroxide

ESA image

this week’s chemical sample hit the headlines today for all the wrong reasons following the massive explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket bound for the International Space Station. first rising, then exploding, falling and exploding again, the giant craft carried the toxic compound amongst others, leading NASA officials to warn the public about approaching the area. used since the early days of rocketry, dinitrogen tetroxide is a powerful oxidizer which reacts on contact with hydrazine in what’s called a hypergolic reaction – making it ideal for launching rockets, but highly hazardous when things go wrong

cyanotype workshop

cyanotype print

Thursday 6 November 2014
& Wednesday 12 November 2014

a beautiful use of ammonium iron(III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide, cyanotype printing creates subtle blue photos and diagrams – leading to its use for creating blueprints and by the world’s first female photographer as a way to record botanical specimens

in the first in a series of workshops we’re doing with Ditto Press, we’ll show you how cyanotype chemistry works to create an insoluble prussian blue pigment, and explore how the technique has been used by artists and scientists alike. for inspiration, there will be a special viewing of the Thomas Mailaender exhibition at Ditto’s gallery, followed by a hands-on sessions where you’ll learn how to sensitise paper and experiment with different coating techniques to make your own cyanotype prints

for more info and to book, head on over to the Ditto website


James Bridle

assembled by artist Gustav Metzger and curators Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, this year’s Serpentine Marathon will see dozens of leading artists, writers, scientists, musicians and intellectual types pondering the theme of extinction over the course of eighteen furious hours. science-y highlights for us science-y types range from talks by folks like UCL’s Professor Georgina Mace – who asks “Are We in the Midst of a Mass Extinction?” – and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees expanding on his book Our Final Century? to more art/science stuff like sonic de-extinction specialist Marguerite Humeau’s recreation of Cleopatra’s voice and artist Trevor Paglen – whose incredible work The Last Pictures is currently in geostationary orbit aboard an EchoStar communications satellite. throw in appearances by Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, sound recording legend Chris Watson and eco-conscious model Lily Cole and it becomes a no-brainer: if you go to one nerd rave this year, make it this one

sample of the week: Ringwoodite


an ultra-rare mineral discovered inside a diamond suggests there could be vast amounts of water hundreds of miles below the earth’s surface. the sheer volume trapped deep down in the mantle is mind-boggling – possibly as much as all the world’s oceans combined. the accidental discovery was made by researchers at the University of Alberta, who found a tiny sample of water-rich ringwoodite inside a diamond mined in Brazil, which was blasted up from the depths by a diatreme eruption. created only under extreme pressure, it’s the first time the olivine mineral has been found naturally on earth – it’s previously only been seen in meteorites or created artificially in labs

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profile: Jessica Herrington


in the first in a new series of short profiles of people working along the border of science and creativity, we meet crystal cave-maker Jessica Herrington

Plaster, wire, fibreglass, enamel, glitter
Private Collection

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nature reserves

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 13.56.37

“Nature is a language, can’t you read?”
The Smiths, ‘Ask’, 1986

categorising, labelling, and the violence of human imposition of meaning on the natural world are some of the themes tackled in a conceptually rich exhibition curated by Tom Jeffreys at GV Art. in striving to discover the world around us, the significance of how we give meaning and identity to the knowledge gained is often overlooked. Nature Reserves examines the archive and catalogue, and their implications as human endeavours, through the works of 12 contemporary artists complemented by archival materials from museums and universities

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sample of the week: Malachite


used to make green paint in ancient times, Malachite is a rich green copper carbonate hydroxide mineral with the formula Cu2CO3(OH)2. usually found deep underground, where hydrothermal fluids and water reservoirs can create Malachite stalagmites. this particular sample is from Zaire



from exquisite gemstones and the rings of Saturn to stripey tights and eye-popping prints, Patternity‘s first festival of pattern explores the enduring magnetism of stripes in all their forms. the jam-packed events programme includes workshops ranging from t-shirt printing to neuroscience, all investigating an aspect of this particular pattern

we’ve made a short film about stripes in space which will be screening on Sunday 14 April as part of science day

Material Matters


housing everything from delicate fulgurite structures created by lightning strikes to an ultra-dense ball of silicon nitride which can dent concrete, the Institute of Making is home to some of the world’s most wondrous substances. tomorrow, after years in an increasingly-crowded university basement, the collection and its curators are moving to a bigger, brighter more public space where you’ll be able to handle samples, experiment with new materials and create stuff in a state-of-the-art workshop read more


located 254 metres above sea level with gas intakes at 116m and 232m above the streets of San Francisco, the Sutro Tower acts as a climate sentinel, stretching up into the atmosphere to measure CO2 levels. the first US sampling site to be located in an urban centre, it’s equipped with automated flask sampling systems that provide daily measurements of a suite of greenhouse gases, carbon isotopes, halocarbons and other compounds. together with other stations, it has witnessed a steady rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, with recent figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration making for grim reading. there’s a good summary of the new data on The Guardian and a great apocalyptic climate disaster round-up on Motherboard