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  • deep space

    deep down in the depths of the Earth’s oceans lies a world in many ways more mysterious than outer space. blanketed by darkness and the crushing weight of billions of tons of seawater, this alien abyss is the focus of the Parley Deep Space Program, which we recently profiled for a special insert inside Dazed Magazine…

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    Launched at an exclusive event co-hosted by Dazed, Parley and NASA/JPL, the Parley Deep Space Program’s mission is to boldly go where few have gone before – exploring and protecting the underwater realm and the incredible deepwater wildlife that calls it home through a series of unique collaborations. As founder Cyrill Gutsch explains, “the vision of the project is to engage the ocean, space and creative communities in a collaborative process to boost the environmental movement, strengthen and share knowledge, and invent new technologies and materials to further explore and protect the oceans.”

    It’s a big job. As legendary oceanographer and Parley collaborator Dr. Sylvia Earle points out, we’ve only really explored around 10% of our planet’s oceans. More people have walked on the Moon (twelve) than have visited the deepest point of our planet, Challenger Deep (three) – and our nearest neighbour in space has been mapped in much greater detail. Part of this is down to the way water obscures our view of the depths. In space, with nothing to block our cameras and instruments, we can capture super detailed images and information about the Moon, Mars and other bodies.

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    “When I began diving and exploring the ocean in the 1950s, we did not know about the great mountain ranges that lace the planet like giant backbones,” explains Earle, pictured above. “The highest mountains have their roots deep in the ocean. The deepest part of the planet are not the canyons we know about on the land – they’re in the ocean. The canyons, the valleys, the greatest expanses, the great prairies that are in the sea. Most of the ocean has never been seen or explored by anyone. The depths of the ocean, that’s the next 50 years, the next 100, even the next 1000. The future is going to be shaped by what we do or fail to do right now in terms of exploring, understanding, and taking care of the natural systems that make the planet function.”

    Like space exploration, getting down into the ocean depths is expensive and dangerous, which is where some clever technology devised by Parley’s partners comes into play. Using drones, for instance, the Ocean Alliance is learning more about how to protect one of the oceans’ deepest diving inhabitants: blue whales. Getting samples from these giants to see how they’re doing is usually pretty tricky: scientists have to pursue them in motor boats when they surface then fire darts into their flanks to collect samples. Since whales’ underwater hearing is incredible sensitive, researchers compare this to your doctor “chasing you around the room with a large needle while blowing an air-horn.” Not ideal.

    Far less risky and invasive are drones dubbed SnotBots which fly through the whales’ plumes to collect biological samples in petri dishes. Built at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, the drones make it possible to sample virus and bacteria loads, measure hormones, obtain DNA from the whales and determine what environmental toxins they’ve been exposed to – all without the whales knowing they’re there. Parley is working with both partners to expand the program and allow future missions across a range of cetacean species.

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    Collaboration is key to these projects, and central to Parley’s vision of protecting the world’s oceans. Seeking to redesign our lives around a more sustainable model, Parley unites artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers, journalists, architects, product inventors and scientists to remake the reality we live in and develop alternative business models and ecologically sensible products. It’s all about changing the way we think about and value the oceans.

    Getting more people out onto – and under – the Earth’s massive oceans is a key part of Parley’s mission. After all, how can people be expected to protect something they don’t know or have never experienced firsthand? With this in mind, another Parley Deep Space Program project aims to engage people with the underwater world through art.

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    Initially sited off the coast of California but now touring to other parts of the planet, artist Doug Aiken’s Underwater Pavilions is an ambitious submarine sculpture that invites exploration. Made up of three geometric pavilions that visitors can swim, snorkel and scuba dive through, the installation was set up near Catalina Island to get ocean and non-ocean people alike out on the water. Aiken, an avid surfer who’s spent his life living beside and in the ocean, wanted to create a work that gives visitors a meaningful experience beneath the waves.

    “Part of the structures are dense material which will create an environment for sea life and the other portion of the material is mirrors,” he explains. “So you have these caves that you’re swimming through that reflect the light coming through the surface, the sea life, the ocean floor, and they turn them into this kind of living film. I was fascinated by the idea that we can use artwork to create an ecosystem. That ecosystem becomes a living space that is drawing in sea life and sea creatures, and also is a space for humans to experience and have a perceptual experience.”

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    Making sure the work didn’t impact the marine environment was, of course, key. Aiken worked with Dr. Sylvia Earle and submarine designer Liz Taylor and conducted a survey of the underwater terrain before installing the tethered sculptures, which hover at varying depths to invite different forms of exploration and different experiences based on varying light and marine life interactions.

    “To care about anything, you have to know about it,” says Earle. “Exploration is about knowing. Why don’t we care about the ocean? Why do people take the ocean for granted? Why do people think the ocean is too big to fail? Because they don’t really understand what’s happening. From the surface, today, it looks pretty much the way it did 50, 100 even 1000 years ago. But for those of us who’ve had the opportunity to look beneath the surface;and to analyse the data, we realise that the ocean is in trouble.”

    As Gutsch concludes, “The greatest age of exploration is still ahead of us — or below us and beneath the surface. We want people to get their heads underwater.”

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    read more about Parley in the insert that comes with the latest issue of Dazed

    credit

    All images c/o Dazed/Parley

    PopUp Astronomy Club: Woodberry Wetlands

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    Wednesday 2 May 2018

    join super/collider’s PopUp Astronomy Club for a special event as part of the ‘Wild London Lates’ series. taking place at the Coal House at Woodberry Wetlands, experts will share their knowledge about various wildlife and natural world topics, and the importance of protecting these fragile green spaces in London

    the night sky on May 2 will be dominated by two solar system giants. Venus, which has been shining brightly in the evening sky for a couple of months now, and Jupiter – which comes to opposition (its closest position to Earth) on May 9. this will provide a fantastic opportunity to see Jupiter’s cloud belts as well as the four main ‘Galilean’ moons: Io, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede.

    join us for an unforgettable night of star gazing with astronomer Paul Hill in an oasis of natural darkness within the city

    7-9pm
    The Coal House at Woodberry Wetlands West Entrance
    via New River Path
    Accessed via Lordship Road, Coal House, N16 5HQ
    tickets here

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    staring into space

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    Saturday 12 May 2018

    join super/collider for an evening of astronomy and 
    astrophysics at Second Home’s newly opened top floor and roof terrace just off Brick Lane

    Dr. Victoria Grinberg is an astrophysicist at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands. in this talk, she’ll discuss the groundbreaking approaches that are allowing her and colleagues to observe some of the most mysterious objects in our universe: neutron stars and black holes. as the remnants of dead stars and the engines at the centres of entire galaxies, these objects are key to our understanding of the universe. but on cosmic scale they’re tiny and also absorb light, which makes them impossible to see through an optical telescope. so how can astrophysicists observe something that is, on the first glance, invisible?

    following Victoria’s talk, astronomer Paul Hill will open up a world of celestial objects from Second Home’s roof terrace. through three different telescopes, you’ll get a guided tour of the heavens, explaining our mythical and historical understandings of the different constellations. join us for a unique event mixing cutting-edge astrophysics with hands-on astronomy

    7-10pm
    Second Home
    68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
    free for Second Home members
    £16.76 (including booking fee)  – tickets here

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    transmissions

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    to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Sónar is broadcasting two signals towards GJ273b, a potentially habitable exoplanet located 12.4 light years from Earth in the constellation of Canis Minor. working with the Catalonia Institute of Space Studies and METI International (Messaging Extra-terrestrial Intelligence), the project involves 33 artists linked to the festival, including Laurent Garnier, The Black Madonna, Kode 9 and Daito Manabe

    the first transmission was sent in October from the parabolic steerable antenna pictured, located at the EISCAT facility in Ramfjordmoen, near Tromsø, Norway. the second will be beamed out into deep space this April, and your music could be part of it – just submit an original composition in any genre or musical style before 1 March 2018. three pieces chosen by the judging panel will be included in the broadcast and you’ll also win a pair of VIP passes to attend Sónar in Barcelona in June, which follows the festival’s second event in Hong Kong this March

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    pop culture pulsar

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    fifty years ago today, astronomers working at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cambridge discovered an unusual signal coming from deep space: a steady, rhythmic pulse unlike anything seen before. the radio signal, which repeated every 1.33 seconds, seemly oddly unnatural and was soon nicknamed LGM-1 for “Little Green Men” by its discoverers, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish, who briefly considered but then ruled out the possibility it had originated from some far-off extraterrestrial civilisation

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    luminous colour

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    Tuesday 20 February 2018

    join us for an evening with Liz West – a visual artist who creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light

    working across a variety of mediums, West’s work explores how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological and physical responses that tap into our deeply entrenched relationships to colour. her practice involves playfully refracting light through space, using translucent, transparent and reflective materials, which direct the flow of natural and artificial light provoking a heightened sensory awareness in the viewer

    7-9pm
    Second Home
    68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
    free for Second Home members
    £3 for non-members – tickets here

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    all that glitters

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    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

    space age

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    following on from two successful gallery exhibitions, the Vintage NASA Photographs project has just released a new set of photographs for sale, including this one of the Gemini-7 spacecraft as seen from Gemini-6. other highlights of the collection include orbital tests high above the Earth, various Apollo astronauts on the Moon and even some shots from the Voyager probes taken in the 70s and 80s

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    deep space

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    deep down in the depths of the Earth’s oceans lies a world in many ways more mysterious than outer space. blanketed by darkness and the crushing weight of billions of tons of seawater, this alien abyss is the focus of the Parley Deep Space Program, which we recently profiled for a special insert inside Dazed Magazine…

    read more

    Cassini: a spectacular end

    Wednesday 22 November 2017

    after two decades in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has completed its remarkable mission to Saturn. orbiting the planet and its many moons, the probe captured incredible images and made a number of new discoveries before being deliberately plunged into the gas giant to keep its moons pristine and uncontaminated. although the spacecraft is gone, researchers will be studying the rich trove of data from the mission and its grand finale for years to come

    join us hear Professor Michele Dougherty, the Principal Investigator for the magnetometer instruments for Cassini, discuss what new discoveries came from the probe’s long journey and ‘end of mission’ science

    7-9pm
    Second Home
    68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
    free for Second Home members
    £3 for non-members – please RSVP here

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    magic mushrooms

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    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

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    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 PLANT

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    a beautiful magazine exploring all things botanical, THE PLANT is ‘a curious observer of ordinary plants and other greenery’ put together by and featuring creative people who love plants

    Issue 9’s cover and monograph is dedicated to the humble yet irresistible geranium, with illustrations by Mélanie Dautreppe-Liermann, Ken Kagami, Jean Jullien, Mrzyk & Moriceau, Tim Lahan and Okamura Yuta. elsewhere in the issue, Brazilian artist Roberto Burle Marx talks gardens, designer Antoni Arola details his passion for seeds and seed pods, photographer Mark Borthwick explores the flora of Jamaica and super/collider provides text to accompany Kuba Ryniewicz’s incredible photos of the Danakil Depression – an arid, alien landscape in the Afar region of northern Ethiopia

    Issue 9 / £12
    SOLD OUT

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    deep impact

    Meteor Crater by Joe King

    in the first in a series of articles, we explore some of the places we’ll be visiting on our upcoming Total Solar Eclipse Expedition this August. first up is Meteor Crater, a massive hole in the ground in Arizona that helped scientists establish techniques for identifying meteor strikes…

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    ✺ solar eclipse expedition

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    14-22 August 2017

    join a small group of creative explorers as we travel across the spectacular deserts, forests and mountains of Western America to witness one of nature’s most incredible sights: a total solar eclipse

    click here to be the first to hear about upcoming fieldtrips and expeditions

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    a planet of oceans

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    from the depths of the Marianas Trench to the remote beaches of the Chagos Archipelago, we’ve rounded up five incredible places from around the planet in honour of World Oceans Day

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    L’Indifférence Des Etoiles

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    88 pages / 26 × 19 cm / hardback
    41 photographs / full colour offset
    first edition of 500

    L’Indifférence Des Etoiles (The Indifference of the Stars) is French photographer Julien Mauve’s first book. filled with juxtaposed images of deep space and our world, it is about the quest for meaning and the difficulty to live with the knowledge that we exist. somehow, the stars become a shelter for the mind and help us bear the briefness of human life

    £25
    add to cart (UK)
    add to cart (elsewhere)

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    the cosmic desert

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    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

    art and sci-fi in the Atacama

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    in one of the highest, driest and most remote landscapes on the planet, astronomers have constructed a series of megalithic devices to peer deep into space. these complex, futuristic artefacts and the strange landscape that surrounds them are what drew French artist Caroline Corbasson to the Atacama, where she’s currently shooting a new short film. you can read more about the project in our latest article for Amuse and check out this series of exclusive location scouting photos…

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    ten

    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

    £10
    add to cart (UK)
    add to cart (elsewhere)

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    the in sound from way out

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    researchers at Queen Mary University in London are inviting filmmakers and creatives to experiment with sounds from space, as part of a new competition launched today. to find out more about these cosmic noises, we caught up with project lead Dr Martin Archer…

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