• the Handcrafted Particle Accelerator

    what if we could look ourselves up in a parallel universe? what if we could predict our future using DNA? what if we could build a particle accelerator at home? UK-based designer Patrick Stevenson-Keating creates projects which not only solve problems, but ask questions. for Milan Design Week, we teamed up with him to create the world’s first handcrafted glass particle accelerator and set it up inside Milan’s poshest department store…

    building on Stevenson-Keating’s previous projects, the project asks how design can be used as a tool to illustrate and communicate scientific ideas without watering them down. visitors to Hacked at La Rinascente were invited to handle the components, help assemble the accelerator and get a close-up look at physics in action…

    how it works
    the piece consists of a series of organically-shaped hand-blown glass bulbs – each attached to a pump via a tube to create a vacuum. when the button is pushed, a voltage of 45,000V is applied across two electrodes. the huge potential difference forces the electrons to gather at the tip of the brass cathode spike. when the opposite voltage is applied to the coiled anode, it rips the electrons from the spike, accelerating them towards the end of the glass bulb. as the electrons reach the coil, they begin to collide, losing energy and emitting some of this as visible light. some, however, accelerate past the anode coil, and collide with the phosphorus lining the base of the glass vessel. this reaction causes photons of light to be released, resulting in visible specks of light

    making of
    instead of using existing components, the piece was created from scratch starting with hand-blown glass…

    the Handcrafted Particle Accelerator was a site-specific commission by super/collider for Hacked – an experimental programme live activities, events, installations, performances and workshops curated by Beatrice Galilee. a programme of fleeting, yet arresting design events, the series took place during Milan Design Week at La Rinascente, offering visitors interactive, visceral, playful futuristic, scientific, choreographic and informative, but always designed experiences

    concept, design & construction: Patrick Stevenson-Keating
    glass blowing: Orbic Glass
    event photography and film: Alice Masters
    making of photography and film: John Hooper

    guest post: Fred Butler


    Fred Butler is a multicoloured ball of energy who divides her time between accessories design, blogging, music and running. the latter has led her to a place in the London Marathon to raise money for The Music Circle and its protection projects for women in the Democratic Republic Of The Congo. along with her physical training, Fred is creating a visual diary of the colours of the DRC including a section on minerals curated in her typical rainbow style

    all this month, we’ve been celebrating the beauty of crystals, but as Fred reminds us, minerals have a darker side too. in this guest post, she writes about the conflicts caused by our hunger for the Congo’s vast mineral wealth

    you can see more of Fred’s work on her website and support her campaign here

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    briefing: the LHC restart


    in the coming days, the massive underground donut known as the Large Hadron Collider will once again see protons travelling at phenomenal speeds towards each other. following a two year shutdown and massive upgrade, the LHC will be switched back on at almost double its previous power: an incredible 13 trillion electron volts. the cooling of the mammoth machine has already begun – the loop must be chilled to -271.3°C in order for the superconducting magnets to effectively focus the beams of particles on their path around the circular tunnel

    the previous run of collisions at the LHC confirmed the existence of Higgs boson. now, as energies rise, physicists will be able to explore the more unexpected and unpredictable realms of the physical world. one theory scientists are keen to probe is that of supersymmetry, which predicts that a superpartner (or ‘sparticle’) exists for each particle in the Standard Model

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    sample of the week: pyrite cubes


    the mineral pyrite can be found in a variety of crystal forms, but none is as surreal and beautiful as these perfect, naturally-occurring cubes. found outside the town of Navajún in the Rioja region of Spain, the cuboid crystals are prized around the world by collectors for their incredible geometry – with single cubes ranging in size from 1mm to 20cm plus all kinds of combinations, variations and offset angles

    win some!
    to celebrate the unparalleled radness of cubular pyrite, we’re giving away a sample from same deposit. to enter, simply share this post on social media and tag #CrystalsandMineralsMonth

    profile: Carly Waito

    'Vesuvianite' by Carly Waito

    at first glance, Canadian artist Carly Waito’s work appears to consist of beautifully-composed photographs of crystals and minerals. closer inspection, however, reveals that these are meticulous oil paintings – each hyperrealistically capturing the beauty of the specimen while at the same time adding another dimension of artistry in the tiny details that mark these out as lovingly hand painted works. we caught up with Carly to find out more about her incredible work and chat about our mutual love of minerals

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    Gemini IV print

    Gemini IV print

    hand pulled silkscreen print from Astronomika
    gloss red and white ink
    420mm x 594mm
    270gsm stock
    edition of 100

    in June 1965, Gemini IV launched atop a Titan II rocket on a four day mission in low Earth orbit. astronauts James McDivitt and Ed White circled the Earth 66 times in four days, performing the first US spacewalk and travelling over 1.3million nautical miles. the flight also marked the true beginning of American science experiments in space, with astronauts performing tasks including the use of a sextant to investigate celestial navigation for lunar flights in the later Apollo program

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    guest post: Mineralia


    to mark Crystals and Minerals Month here on super/collider, we’re asking some of our favourite blogs, mineralogists, photographers and artists to share their favourites

    this week Emily Walsh of Mineralia shares her top five orange minerals, with further colours to come

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    crystals and minerals month

    Modified by CombineZP

    we’re making March ‘Crystals and Minerals Month’ month here on super/collider – celebrating all things angular and atomically ordered. we’ll be running guest posts, interviews and giveaways on the site, plus on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (take your pick) we’ll be presenting our pics from a visit to Mindat founder Jolyon Ralph’s mega collection

    solar eclipse viewing

    solar eclipse

    Friday 20 March 2015

    join super/collider and friends on the rooftop of Shoreditch House for East London’s best view of the upcoming partial solar eclipse – a rare chance to see the Moon pass in front of the sun to create a crescent. we’ll be watching as the Moon first appears on the sun at 8:25am and reaches maximum coverage at 9:30am before moving off at 10:40am – so stop by to see this rare and ‘second most spectacular’ of cosmic alignments – exceeded only by an awe-inspiring total eclipse! we’ll supply everything you need to safely watch the action, along with some creative ways of viewing the sun

    event runs 8am-11am, maximum ‘awesomeness’ is at 9:30am

    we regret that our guestlist for this event is now closed. if you are a member of Shoreditch House you can just rock up

    particle / wave


    for the first time, scientists have imaged light acting as both a particle and a wave – a behaviour long predicted but never captured in a single snapshot. to do it, researchers at the École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne fired a laser at a tiny metallic nanowire, creating a standing wave of light. they then used a stream of electrons to image the standing wave and ‘hit’ the photons of light – demonstrating the dual nature of light. as team leader Fabrizio Carbone explains, “this experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics – and its paradoxical nature – directly”

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    guest post: Planet Labs

    Sanliurfa Croplands imaged by Planet Labs

    in the first in a new series of guest posts, the lovely people over at Planet Labs share their favourite images of the Earth from above. captured by the project’s constellation of 71 micro-satellites, each image is freely available with a Creative Commons license, as part of the company’s goal of “working around the clock to create a more transparent and accessible planet.” our first image was captured on October 5, 2014 and shows circular patterns created by irrigation in Turkey…

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    Bad Luck, Hot Rocks


    edited by Ryan Thompson and Phil Orr
    144 pages / 7.5 x 10.5 in. / paperback
    140 colour photographs

    the Petrified Forest National Park in Northeast Arizona protects one of the largest deposits of petrified wood in the world. despite stern warnings, visitors remove several tons of it from the park each year, often returning the rocks by mail (sometimes years later), accompanied by a “conscience letter” which often includes stories of misfortune attributed directly to their theft: car troubles, cats with cancer, deaths of family members, etc

    some writers hope that by returning these stolen rocks, good fortune will return to their lives, while others simply apologize or ask forgiveness. Bad Luck, Hot Rocks documents this ongoing phenomenon, combining a series of original photographs of these otherworldly “bad luck rocks” with facsimiles of intimate, oddly entertaining letters from the park’s archives

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    species of the week: Urtica dioica

    Urtica dioica

    just coming into season in the UK, stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are basically free superfood. packing in iron, omega-3, protein, potassium, manganese and calcium, plus vitamins A, C and K, they can be cooked like spinach or made into tea. both methods eliminates the stingy bit, which is caused by fine hairs called trichomes which contain a mix of stingy chemicals

    to harvest, obs wear gloves and go for the youngest, freshest looking leaves. make sure you do this in the coming months, before they flower (as shown above) since after this nettles develop gritty particles which aren’t safe to eat. ensure you pick them from places that for sure haven’t been sprayed with chemicals and as with all wild foods only take what you need and make sure you know what you’re doing. happy hunting!

    designs of the year


    London’s Design Museum have revealed this year’s contenders for their annual Designs of the Year exhibition, opening next month. here are our top science(ish) picks…

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    Every Cloud

    Every Cloud

    A2 hand-pulled silkscreen
    gloss white ink printed on 270gsm paper
    limited edition of 100
    hand-numbered and signed

    Joseph Perry’s ‘Every Cloud’ print celebrates the scientific work of Luke Howard, the amateur meteorologist who brought order to the ever-changing skies. in his book ‘The Modifications of Clouds’ (1803) Howard harnessed the unpredictable beauty of the clouds, classifying them using a Latin naming structure. his work formed the basis of the system used to this day by aviators and meteorologists to read the sky and forecast the often unpredictable weather

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    essay: New Horizons / Neue Welt

    Hubble Deep Field

    in the first of a new series of longer-form articles and essays, Fiona Shipwright considers the anticipated images from NASA’s New Horizons probe in the context of our ever-expanding ‘technological possibilities’ and how such imagery has influenced artists ranging from Gaspard-Félix Tournachon to Wolfgang Tillmans

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    profile: Tim Stoelting

    Tim Stoelting in his studio

    working at the busy intersection of art, design and narrative, artist Tim Stoelting explores concepts and materials by creating art ‘systems’ – rich playgrounds for ideas in which to work. one such project sees the 27-year-old Winsconsonite acting as NASA’s artist-in-residence: a programme long since cancelled by a sceptical US Congress

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    2015 Iceland expedition

    super collider iceland

    10-15 September 2015

    as darkness descends on the lands of the north, join a small group of like-minded creative explorers as we travel across, above and underneath Iceland in search of the Northern Lights and other natural wonders

    amid the stark beauty of Iceland’s surreal landscapes, we’ll spend the dark nights around the new Moon watching for the Aurora Borealis while exploring the country’s geological, volcanic and natural diversity by day. together, we’ll hike to towering glaciers, visit slumbering volcanoes, watch erupting geysers, relax in natural hot springs, walk beside tumbling waterfalls and venture under the surface of Iceland’s constantly shifting topography

    click here to see our Tumblr from previous expeditions

    click here to book a place

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    species of the week: Strix varia

    barred owl

    our species this week stands accused of making trouble in Oregon lately – namely ‘hat stealing’ trouble. although we should point out that conservationists believe it’s just a ‘lone individual’ barred owl involved, four joggers have now been attacked in a park in the state capital, Salem. Strix varia can be particularly aggressive during nesting season, so park officials are hoping it’s just a phase and that the aggro owl will chill out somewhat next month



    we rarely/never cover ‘tech’ here at super/collider, but we’ll make an exception for Lapka’s early design mock-up for Project Ara because it’s so damn beautiful – and has ‘science’ inside. mixing and matching the San Francisco company’s existing medical and environmental monitors in a series of detachable nodes, the concept would transform the modular smartphone into a versatile monitoring tool depending on your needs

    more images

    Laser Quest party pics


    super/collider kicked off 2015 with a massively sold out celebration of lasers at the Ace Hotel, packing in three top laser plasma physicists, psychedelic tea from Bompas & Parr and music from To The Lazer Cave. photographers Amelia Karlsen and John Hooper captured all the action from our most epic-est night yet. take a look or head over to our Facebook to tag your friends, like yourself etc

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    X-ray audio


    what’s more rock & roll than listening to banned music cut onto scavenged X-rays of fractured skulls and bones? pretty much nothing – and that’s exactly what’d have to do if you wanted to rock out in Communist-era Russia

    the state-owned record industry banned most western music, so jazz, rock and other aural contraband was only available from black marketers who would acquire the records, usually from Russian or foreign sailors during clandestine meetings on a dark, damp, docksides. they would then cut the records using a lathe onto a suitable plastic surface. X-ray plates became a popular surface as they were readily available from hospital waste bins and archives

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    Gerhardt® STL56 Warm Air Glassware Dryer

    find the Gerhardt® STL56 Warm Air Glassware Dryer and other awesome science stuff we ♡ over on AnOther Loves

    profile: Alice Dunseath


    artist Alice Dunseath creates incredible stop-motion animations that visualise space, stars and the universe. here, she shares her thoughts on crystals, science and the creative process

    I love crystals – the way they grow and form and suggest life but aren’t technically alive. they are beautiful and unpredictable to work with and they grow well in plaster and colour nicely with inks. it was great to be able to work at Imperial college. I co-directed ‘Where To Go’ with Annlin Chao and we both went and worked in the chemistry labs for some of the shots. it was the summer term so none of the students were around but the lab technician was there to help whenever we needed him. we used a specially adapted microscope which allowed us to attach a digital stills camera to it to shoot high-res timelapse footage of crystals forming

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    the nuclear sublime

    Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 16.29.44

    super/collider’s newest contributor, Melanie King, catches up with art historian and curator John O’Brian, who is currently exhibiting part of his vast personal archive of nuclear photographs at WORK Gallery, London

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    © STFC

    the light from a single pulse of the world’s most powerful laser is intense enough to heat material to millions of degrees in less than a trillionth of a second. extreme electric fields wrapped up in the laser pulse pull matter into its constituent negative and positive charged parts, forming the 4th state of matter: plasma

    behind the beauty of the burning glow of laser plasma lies a wealth of extraordinary and extreme physics. researchers at the STFC‘s Central Laser Facility outside Oxford are studying this exotic state of matter because it can host a tiny, micro-particle accelerator that gives off beams of X-rays and particles that can be used in medical, manufacturing and security imaging

    studying laser plasma may also help us replicate the fusion reactions that power the sun. used here on Earth, this could provide a limitless source of clean, green energy

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    the floating world


    a gripping week in the far reaches of space is coming to a climax with scientists racing against time to unlock the secrets of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. the drama began on Wednesday when the European Space Agency’s Philae lander separated from the Rosetta probe and began a slow, nerve-wracking descent towards the surface of this lonely, rock-strewn world – which is racing towards the sun at 34,000mph. as the comet’s strange, warbling sounds sparked UFO conspiracy theories, the tiny lander hit the surface, bumped and ended up on its side. with time now running out, mission planners are furiously uploading commands to the distant probe, hoping to squeeze as many experiments as possible

    follow Philae’s final hours

    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

    Space Camp: Kielder

    space camp

    Spring 2015

    join us for a weekend exploring the universe from the darkness of Kielder Forest – which boasts some of the darkest skies in Europe and comprises the third largest protected Dark Sky reserve in the entire world. beyond the chance to escape the city and spend the weekend camping with like-minded creative folks, the trip will include:

    • a late night observing session at the stunning Kielder Observatory – where we’ll search for incredible galaxies, clusters and nebulas as well as comets and other denizens of the outer solar system using the Observatory’s powerful telescopes
    • a visit to Cat Cairn: The Kielder Skyspace by James Turrell
    • a hike along a section of Hadrian’s Wall, an ancient Roman fortification dividing the north
    • free time for creative projects, photography, exploring, relaxing etc

    click here to register your interest


    Carl Guyenette

    Saturday 4 October 2014

    as part of this weekend’s Fun Palaces art-meets-science initiative, we’ve teamed up with The Floating Cinema to curate a waterbourne laboratory of interactive happenings centred around the human body. join artists Dario Villaneuva, Carl Guyenette, Sam Bartle and Rachel McGivern as we explore interactive interfaces between science and art, voice and movement, colour and sound. the afternoon-long event will be followed by a screening of director Patricio Guzmán’s critically-acclaimed Nostalgia for the Light – which examines the Atacama Desert through the twin lenses of astronomers probing the depths of space and those searching for relatives who were murdered during the Pinochet regime

    free – more info and booking over at The Floating Cinema


    Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 11.08.14

    to mark the arrival of his landmark new series on humanity’s relationship with water, we caught up with legendary Canadian photographer, filmmaker and artist Edward Burtynsky for AnOther

    lunar leggings

    lunar leggings

    created by Magnetic Zeroes using an image from astrophotographer Thierry Legault, these lunar-tastic leggings show the moon’s cratered surface with the space station passing by

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    the first in a series of commissions for the Ace Hotel, ‘space/station’ posits a future in which humankind will travel to distant galaxies accompanied by the flora of from our home planet. juxtaposing the lush jungles of earth with the star-filled galaxy NGC 4594, some 28million light years distant, the installation is designed to transform the lobby of the London branch into a prototype test habitat for future travellers. a series of aquatic life support tanks, inspired in equal measure by science fiction, real-world space station research programmes and Zen garden water features create a living accompaniment to the imagery

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    these sparse, art-like images show the Kholod scramjet – a Russian-built prototype air vehicle that reached Mach 6.47 back in the late 90s – making it the fastest machine to fly within the earth’s atmosphere. part of a joint programme between the Russian Institute for New Propellants (CIAM) and NASA, the Kholod series was carried aloft aboard a modified surface-to-air missile before launching and switching to supercooled liquid hydrogen. one of the systems (complete with missile, engine and display stands) is up for auction this September if you’re looking for a nice loft centrepiece

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    SALT: a northern odyssey

    Sandviksanden 014

    tucked away amid the twisting, endless shorelines of northern Norway, the island of Sandhornøya will be the starting point for SALT – a year-long exploration of art, architecture, food and sustainability high above the world. we caught up with founding curator Helga-Marie Nordby for AnOther

    wild life

    Barn Owl

    combining the intimacy of life drawing with the awesomeness of being in an enclosed space with wild creatures, Wild Life Drawing is the brainchild of visual artist, educator and animal lover Jennie Webber. the debut session later this month sees owls taking centre stage, so we asked Jennie for her five faves – and here they are

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    Crystal Monolith t-shirt

    Crystal Monolith t-shirt

    short-sleeve t-shirt from fashion designer Tessa Edwards‘ Astral collection, featuring five specimens which symbolise the organic and powerful force of crystals as a representation of natural creation

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    also available in black

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    print by Ryan Thompson from the series Dark Flight
    archival pigment on acid free cotton rag paper
    406mm x 508mm
    edition of 100

    within one of the most well-known collections of meteorites in the world, at the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University, there is an uncatalogued collection of rocks of mistaken identity. once identified by professional and amateur meteorite hunters as meteorites, these specimens were later proven to have terrestrial origins. Meteorwrongs is an original photo print featuring 21 of these false positives. they range in size from just a few inches to more than one foot in diameter and they all have one thing in common – they are not meteorites. the collection stands as a testament to the evolution of the science of meteoritics and to the limits of human knowledge

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    note: this item ships from the USA by USPS First Class mail

    preview: T-R-E-M-O-R-S


    when we heard ace art/chitecture magazine T-R-E-M-O-R-S had done a space issue, we couldn’t wait to see what they’d covered – so we got in touch. editor Maksymilian Fus Mickiewicz kindly shared an advance proof of the mag, which we’ve chosen some visual highlights from, and his thoughts on ‘why space?’ and ‘why now?’

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    Astral chain


    we’re kind of obsessed with crystal-obsessed fashion designer Tessa Edwards and you should be too. this piece is part of her Astral collection, inspired by the cataclysmic force of natural destruction and its power of recreation and metamorphosis

    each piece is handmade to order – please allow 21 days for delivery

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    Skyhenges I–IV

    Skyhenge IV

    inspired by the geographical isolation of the tiny island of Inis Oírr and its sweeping views of the horizon, sea and sky, we’ve built a series of ephemeral astronomical installations for Drop Everything – a contemporary cultural biennale that takes place off the west coast of Ireland

    Skyhenges I-IV consists of a number of temporary observing structures dotted around the island, with visitors encouraged to seek them out at specific times during the three-day event, which runs 23-25 May 2014. each piece varies in form, function and construction, but all are sited to highlight a celestial body or event at a specific time

    inspired in equal part by the ancient astronomers who built monolithic observatories and modern artists like James Turrell and Charles Ross, the pieces seek to create a connection between people and sky – one that must be experienced firsthand. free and accessible to all, Skyhenges I-IV is purposefully simple and temporary in nature. created entirely from scavenged and found materials from the island, each will be disassembled and its components returned, recycled or reused after they have served their own, sky-specific purpose

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    guest post: Edgar Martins


    in this exclusive post, photographer Edgar Martins selects his favourite images from, and writes about the inspiration behind, his vast photographic documentary project, which captures the craft, materials and facilities behind the European Space Agency

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    Q&A: Cosima Gretton

    Cosima Gretton

    in this Q&A from the new issue of House, we catch up with AXNS Collective founder (and occasional super/collider contributor) Cosima Gretton ahead of their upcoming event on neuroaesthetics…

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    M Dash Book Fair

    Stour Space Book Fair

    Saturday 3 May 2014

    along with esteemed names like Mack and Book Works, we’ll be bringing some  printed matter down to the M Dash Book Fair at Stour Space this weekend. beyond books from our shop, we’ll also be representing our pals Luminous Books and Loophole Supplements, so pop along if you’re out East

    Stour Space
    7 Roach Road, London, E3 2PA

    weekend art/science round-up


    lots of science-related art opening in the UK this weekend, so let’s dive right in…

    following on from The Arts Catalyst’s successful Republic of the Moon exhibition in London, a new group show curated by Alessandro Vincentelli brings together artists from Pakistan, Croatia and the UK to explore the enduring presence of the moon and the rich iconography of space on the popular imagination of artists. They Used to Call it the Moon at the Baltic Centre’s Newcastle space, Baltic39, features lunar- and space-related film, photography, sculpture and collage alongside a programme of events where scientists, environmentalists, astronomers, artists and writers will share their knowledge and experiences in relation to the future possibilities of the moon. their fieldtrip to the Kielder Observatory on June 14 looks especially tempting

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    volcano collaboration with Some Wow


    combining craft and geology, William Edmonds of Some Wow has created a series of handcrafted ceramic sculptures, each modelled on a real-world volcano. from Mount Pelée in Martinique to Mexico’s mighty Popacatepetl, each one-off sculpture is based on the shape, size and features of the real thing, and comes with a Risographed minibook containing vital stats, science facts and local folklore about the volcano

    first edition currently available exclusively at YCN

    Sol and Luna


    hardcover book by Viviane Sassen
    225 x 305 mm
    32 Pages
    2nd edition of 1000

    photographer Viviane Sassen’s cosmically-titled book comprises a series of images with androgyny and beauty as the key principle. warning: does not contain any science

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    The Space Project

    The Space Project

    Tuesday 15 April 2014

    in 1977, the twin Voyager probes set off for deep space. bearing their famous Golden Records, the two spacecraft not only carried the sounds of earth into the void, but also transmitted the sounds* of space back. now, with the Voyagers leaving our solar system, these otherworldly transmissions have been interwoven into original songs by 14 artists, including Spiritualized, Beach House, Mutual Benefit and Youth Lagoon. in collaboration with Fat Possum and Lefse Records, super/collider presents a voyage through interstellar sound to celebrate the release of The Space Project boxset

    Ace Hotel London Shoreditch
    100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ
    see event pics on Facebook

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    a potent mix of science, mythology, sex and nature, artist Camille Henrot’s 13-minute video piece Grosse Fatigue combines eye-popping imagery with an epic spoken soundtrack mixing scientific history, religious Creation narratives and oral folklore drawn from the Dogon, Inuit and Navajo peoples to tell the storyof the creation of the universe. much of the footage was shot as part of Henrot’s Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, which gave her special access to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. to coincide with her new show at Chisenhale Gallery, Tate Modern will be screening a series of recent work (including Grosse Fatigue) followed by a discussion between the artist and Dan Fox, co-editor of frieze





    it’s a bit battered, but at €80,000 this second-hand Hasselblad 500 EL is a bargain, considering where it’s been and who’s used it. camera number 1038 was one of 15 used on the lunar surface, and the only one to have made it back home – the others having been left behind to save weight

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    deep time


    artist Flora Parrott’s current show at Tintype explores the tactile, sensory experience of entering southern Brazil’s PETAR caves – one of the largest limestone cave concentrations in the world. to complement the mixed-media exhibition, geologist Andrew Hurst will give his response to the work and discuss the parallels between the absolute darkness found in caves and the concept of ‘deep time’ – the realisation that earth’s history stretches back billions of years

    talk takes place 20 March 2014 at 7pm, exhibition runs until 19 April 2014



    lots of gossip flying around the science world today, with talk of a ‘major discovery’ coming out of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics later today. The Guardian kickstarted speculation that researchers working on the BICEP2 telescope in Antarctica have detected evidence of gravitational waves – the final untested prediction of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. if true, it would be a ‘major, major, major’ discovery according to UCL cosmologist Hiranya Peiris, and probably win a Nobel Prize

    update: the discovery has now been confirmed, but the news conference livestream is completely overloaded. follow the action on Twitter with #BICEP2

    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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    Observation 123

    “the astronomy or the art?” we wondered when trying to decide how to cover artist Sophy Rickett’s current show at Camilla Grimaldi – which draws in part on photographic negatives created in the 80s by Dr Roderick Willstrop, a retired astronomer/physicist affiliated with the Institute of Astronomy. his unique innovation was the development of a working three mirror telescope, which allowed for a wider field-of-view than had been previously possible. Rickett’s work, using unseen test shots from the telescope back when everything was still done on film – and the output from her conversations with Willstrop – is equally compelling, but we opted to ask the astronomer more about the original images and how they were captured. his highly detailed but fascinating explanation of the optics breakthrough follows, while two upcoming events at the gallery will further explore this meeting of minds

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    moon cushion

    screenprinted cushion by Loren Filis
    limited edition of 10

    printed on a lunar-like grey cotton linen, this 30cm diameter cushion was lovingly created from a vintage astronomical image of the moon by artist Loren Filis

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    we’ve just returned from scouting out locations for our upcoming fieldtrip to Tenerife. expect volcanoes, stars, whales, lava tubes, galaxies, dolphins, planets, sea turtles, BBQs, birdlife, botany and more – details coming real soon

    moons above

    to celebrate the launch of the Open University’s awesome-looking free online course about the many moons in our solar system, we asked course leader David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences at The Open University, to name his top five solar system moons

    read more

    Growing The Future


    January/February 2014

    as a new year dawns, super/collider will be exploring crystal cities and biological fashion in a series of workshops at Selfridges as part of their upcoming Festival of Imagination – giving you the chance to get hands-on with two forward-thinking approaches to fashion and architecture

    read more

    project: Tesseract by Jace Harrison Crowley


    with NASA’s Curiosity photographing the earth from Mars and the agency’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers celebrating a decade of exploration on the red planet, what better time to speak with visual thinker Jace Harrison Crowley about his Tesseract series, a four-dimensional examination of the separation between us and Mars

    read more

    worlds apart


    NASA’s Curiosity rover has captured an image of our planet emerging in the evening sky of Mars. look closely (click on picture to enlarge or here for the super high-res tiff) and you can even seen the moon. the photograph was taken 80 minutes after Martian sunset using the rover’s Mastcam, when the earth and moon were about 99 million miles away

    out of ice


    taking our long-running Sustainable Culture series for AnOther into icy new territory, Abby‘s latest column looks at the work of artist Elizabeth Ogilvie (pictured) whose new Out Of Ice installation is a meditation on “structures born long before our time, that we must ensure last long after we are gone”

    read more


    crater burgess

    print by James Burgess
    297 x 420mm
    1 colour risograph
    edition of 35

    a tropical/cosmic collage by James Burgess


    A Brief History of Drinking in Space


    Sunday 2 February 2014

    to date, there has been relatively little consumption of alcohol in space and on the moon, but that could be set to change. with space tourism taking off, new lunar missions on the horizon and manned expeditions aiming further into space – with all its stresses – could a new era of zero gravity libations be next?

    join Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr and David Lane of The Gourmand for a speculative look and the past, present and future of alcohol in space. from Buzz Aldrin’s legendary Holy Communion on the moon to sherry experiments aboard Skylab and ceremonial ‘vodka’ consumption aboard the ISS, we’ll discuss the secret history of a slightly tipsy space age and ask what role our favourite poison will play in the future colonisation of the moon

    read more

    profile: Nina Tandon


    launching tonight, the latest issue of Protein®’s superlative journal features a special section on the future of health. ranging from emerging food, wellness and health entrepreneurs to technological breakthroughs set to disrupt medicine, it’s a stylish look at the innovations and innovators transforming how we care for our bodies and minds

    in this exclusive preview, Protein®’s Shepherd Laughlin asks “Are we on the brink of a medical revolution?” and discovers that tissue engineer Nina Tandon’s approach to artificial organ building could change the world

    read more



    featuring work from artists including Leonid Tishkov, Katie Paterson and WE COLONISED THE MOON, the The Arts Catalyst‘s Republic of the Moon exhibition combines personal encounters, DIY space plans, imaginary expeditions and new myths for the next space age

    bringing a pop cultural take to the proceedings, super/collider has created 
POP ROCK MOON SHOP® – a pop-up store inside the exhibition selling all manner of discerning lunar ephemera. ranging from 3D relief maps and rare art books to cosmic fashion, discerning homeware and actual pieces of the moon, it’s the ultimate lunar shopping destination here on planet earth

    read more

    higher states


    we’ve all seen a zillion of those drugs and booze under the microscope things and they’re always a bit ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, wow, how edgy’ but Sarah Schoenfeld‘s recent images of drugs on film negatives take things to a whole new level. dropping class As, Bs and Cs onto exposed film to induce chemical reactions, the Berlin-based photographer creates surreal art pieces that reflect the altered states of mind created by (top to bottom) LSD, speed, MDMA, ketamine, heroin, ecstacy

    read more

    nightfall (I)


    timelapse of Venus descending in London’s hazy atmosphere this evening

    Jorge De la Garza

    Jorge De la Garza

    Mexican-born artist Jorge De la Garza’s work is an amalgamation of ethereal terrains, geology, minerals and monotonous domestic interiors. occult practice and mythological are threaded through his work, resulting in a concoction of reality and fantasy; an absurdist universe, simultaneously existing in fictional galaxies and banal, wallpapered rooms. many of his works create juxtapositions between the cold truth of geological stones and minerals and the encroachment of a mythical universe, as they bleed into each other

    read more



    hand-pulled silkscreen by Joseph Perry
    594 x 420 mm
    1-colour metallic silver ink, printed on 240gsm stock
    limited edition of 100
    hand-numbered and signed

    a circular interpretation of the classic Periodic Table of the Elements by Joseph Perry. designed to be read from the centre outwards in a clockwise rotation, it preserves the full features and function of Mendeleev’s original beauty


    read more

    Astral chain bracelet

    Crystal bracelet

    crystals provide both inspiration and material for fashion designer Tessa Edwards – this bracelet is part of her incredible Astral collection from A\W 2012. driven by the cataclysmic force of natural destruction and its power of recreation and metamorphosis, each creation blurs the lines between natural and synthetic formations

    each piece is handmade to order – please allow 21 days for delivery

    add to cart (UK)
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    read more

    sample of the week: ice cores


    extracted from hundreds or even thousands of metres of accumulated ice and snow, ice cores are a key tool for mapping the earth’s changing climate. the trapped air bubbles, much like the rings of a tree, can be studied to determine the historical atmospheric composition of the planet. the sample above was collected by Dutch scientists from the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research in Antarctica to assist with their continued research into concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide over the past 800,000 years


    just in time for Christmas, a new nova has appeared in the southern skies. Nova Centauri 2013 has already reached magnitude 5.5 for observers in the Southern Hemisphere (ie, not us) and may continue to brighten. if you’re down under, look for it west of Alpha and Beta Centauri

    via Sky & Telescope

    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

    read more

    The Starry Messenger

    Bedwyr Williams

    print by Bedwyr Williams
    Gold block foiling on Windsor Berkley tissue lined rayon book cloth
    420 x 297 mm
    Edition of 50

    produced with Åbäke and published to celebrate Williams’ exhibition at the 2013 Venice Biennale, which explored the relationships between stargazing and the individual, the cosmos, and the role of the amateur in a professional world


    read more


    print by John Hooper
    25x20inch C-type Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper
    edition of 12

    as part of our ongoing ISLAND/UNIVERSE project, super/collider invited photographer John Hooper and filmmaker Mike Moloney to visit the island of La Palma to capture the unique and otherwordly setting of the European Northern Observatory. amid the clouds and silence at the top of the island, they captured windswept landscapes, misty forests, sun-bleached tarmac and world-class telescopes – an island at the edge of the universe

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    is consciousness an illusion? or a mere epiphenomenon; a byproduct of brain activity? is it even generated by the brain, or is it part of some wider context ‘beyond the individual?’

    whatever the answers, conscious awareness is incredibly empowering. the very ability to experience our own experiences creates a further stimulus, the stimulus of the self in the world for us to respond to. which is exactly what a team of panelists will do tomorrow evening, at a discussion tomorrow night organised by the Society for The Preservation of Wild Culture

    read more



    eight postcards by Alexander Tucker
    148 x 105mm

    a series of eight tripped out postcards created for Strange Attractor Press by artist and musician Alexander Tucker, in an edition of 500 copies

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    species of the week: Greta oto


    displaying a rare example of terrestrial translucency, the tissue between the veins of this stunning butterfly is almost clear, leading to its common English alias of ‘glasswing’ or the charming ‘epijiotos’ (little mirrors) in Spanish. native to the neotropical zones of South America and Southern Florida, the males are assumed to be toxic due to their diet of alkaloid-high nectar from flowers such as Asteraceae



    this week the Andromeda Project launch Round 2 of their crowdsourced search for star clusters in our closest neighbouring galaxy, Andromeda (M31). last year saw an incredible 10,000 participants compile over one million classifications in just three weeks. with new data released into the project they’re looking for more citizen scientists to help build the most complete map of any spiral galaxy anywhere

    it’s hoped that the data you collect could determine rare stages of stellar evolution, the structure and evolution of star formation and the way in which the Andromeda Galaxy has changed and evolved over billions of years – and all you need to get involved is an internet connection, a computer and a few minutes of your time read more



    a surreal sight in space, this cloud of luminous debris was captured by astronaut Mike Hopkins as the space station crossed over Iran heading towards Mongolia. according to Universe Today, it was likely the trail of a Topol/SS-25 missile launched from Kazakhstan



    until 16 October, the ever-awesome World Land Trust is focusing its efforts on protecting a key rainforest corridor along the Kinabatangan River in Malaysian Borneo. with each donation matched by wealthy backers, it’s a rare chance to link up fragmented forest habitats used by orang-utans, pigmy elephants and other endangered wildlife. super/collider will be making a contribution and we urge you to consider helping too

    update: as of 5pm on the 16th over £636,054 has been raised, but the donations are still being counted. though the appeal is now over, it’s never too late to donate and help support the trust’s preservation work

    read more


    gareth pugh007

    fashion designer Gareth Pugh’s SS14 collection arrived this week in a temporarily hot, tepid and chlorinated atmosphere created for the occasion inside Paris’ Palais de Tokyo – conditions reminiscent of what we’d find deep beneath Venus’ dense cloud cover. to mark the occasion, Dazed & Confused asked us for a scientific take on the proceedings

    click here to read the piece

    AnOther Magazine: Eileen Collins

    Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 12.25.05

    earlier this year, we had the privilege of speaking to Eileen Collins – the first female space shuttle pilot – for AnOther

    read more



    with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releasing the first part of its fifth assessment report today, much of the focus and debate will be on the so-called pause in global temperature rise over the last decade – a worrying trend which has given ammunition to climate change skeptics even as CO2 levels continue to rise, potentially storing up rapid change for the future


    working and living primarily amid the solitude of Scotland’s western islands, artist Julie Brook incorporates land and landscapes into her work – which she describes as both a response to and a reflection of the environment’s effect on her. for her ‘Sand Drawing’s series, she spent four weeks in the volcanic region of Al Haruj in Libya read more

    Icelandic expedition


    we’re currently out-of-office exploring Iceland’s natural, geological and astronomical wonders – but you can follow all the action over at http://supercollidericeland.tumblr.com

    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

    read more

    summer solstice party


    Thursday 20 June 2013

    as the summer nights stretch out into the small hours, we’ll be teaming up with the mighty solutionvsproblem to host a nite of solstice-fueled disco, space and balearic psych with a bit of neo sci-rave paganism thrown in for good measure

    Ridley Road Market Bar | 49 Ridley Rd | London | E8 2NP



    from the outer rings of Sun Ra’s native Saturn to the depths of Drexciya’s undersea cities, the realms of afrofuturism provide a fertile space for forward-thinking imaginations. The Arts Catalyst’s next Kosmica night, guest curated by Jareh Das, explores the theme with guest artist Kapwani Kiwanga. beyond an amazing looking film/project about repatriating the aforementioned interplanetary jazz god to his home planet, Kiwanga will present AFROGALACTICA, a short history of the future mapping the progress of her imagined United States of Africa Space Agency


    Star Towers: Elysium Planitia

    Star Towers: Elysium Planitia

    our new series of collage works feature monolithic structures set amid distant landscapes, connecting various locations around the known universe – in this case Gusev Crater on the edge of Mars’ vast Elysium Planitia with the centre of the Milky Way galaxy via three gateways, each imparting a different arrival velocity



    of all the incredible stuff out there in space, globular clusters are surely among the most mind-blowing when you pause and consider what could be going on deep inside their luminous cores. these vast blobs of light are made of millions of stars, some of which could be the cradle of civilisations, distant in time and space. to make sense of the sheer numbers and possibilities, Dr. Frank Drake devised a famous equation while working as a radio astronomer read more



    there are tons of photos of earth taken from space, but few as good as Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s recent series from the International Space Station, where he’s been living since November last year. while up there, he’s been posting photos on Twitter, answering questions from space and recording folky songs that aren’t entirely terrible. this photo from yesterday shows spring around Lake Balaton in Hungary

    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



    with the passing this week of visionary architect Paolo Soleri, I’ve been thinking about the time I spent at Arcosanti – his experimental desert settlement – last November while writing a piece for AnOther. one morning, up early to take photos with the rising sun hitting the concrete, I wandered through the empty city; home to 60 or so people but deserted at that hour, except for a bobcat which padded noiselessly past. inside the silent, sun flooded rooms and offices, Soleri’s visions of soaring arcologies hung on the walls and filled endless, carefully preserved scrolls. in one room, an architectural model of one of his hyperstructures caught the sunlight, its monumental scale lit up over the miniature landscape

    read more



    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

    tropical ice


    snow and ice may not be features  you associate with Africa, but high in the Rwenzori Mountains, year-round subzero temperatures keep the top of the continent permanently capped in white. as the highest source of the Nile, the upper reaches of the range are home to about twenty glaciers – a precious treasure located less than a degree north of the equator. earlier this year, in a piece originally published in Bspirit! Magazine, we caught up with photographer Klaus Thymann who set out to photograph the continent’s secret icecaps as part of Project Pressure

    read more



    stretching 3.7 million square kilometres across the Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Central African Republic, the Congo Basin is home to a vast rainforest covering over one and half million square kilometres. it extends from the ice-capped peaks of the Rwenzori range (also known as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’) down into lush lowlands, following the Congo River and its tributaries flowing down towards the Gulf of Guinea. home to thousands of unique animal and plant species, as well as indigenous forest-dwelling people, the region generates its own weather systems and sequesters massive quantities of CO2

    now, like many of the world’s tropical forest areas, the Congo Basin is under threat from a new enemy: palm oil. in addition to logging, poaching and other pressures, the forests now face a rapid expansion of palm oil plantations to help fuel demand for this increasingly lucrative product, which is used in products like cakes, biscuits and chocolate Easter eggs. you can help by avoiding low-scoring products on the Rainforest Foundation’s list of chocolate brands and supporting work like WWF’s long running Congo Basin campaign

    species of the week: Xanthoria parietina


    an uncommonly beautiful example of common orange lichen aka Xanthoria parietina, maritime sunburst lichen or shore lichen. it thrives in sunny hardwood forests and on exposed seacliffs, where bird droppings provide a rich source of nitrogen. incredibly tolerant of air pollution and heavy metal contamination, it can be used as a bioindicator to measure things like air quality

    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

    book launch: An Introduction To Isomorphology


    Saturday 23 March 2013

    join us at EB&Flow Gallery for the launch of Gemma Anderson’s An Introduction To Isomorphology – a new way of seeing and classifying the natural world that draws on artistic and scientific practice. Gemma will be in conversation with mathematicians Tom Coates and Dorothy Buck talking about things like the topology of symplectic manifolds and algebraic varieties followed by drinks and the chance to see her ongoing exhibition

    talk starts at 4:30pm | EB&Flow is located at 77 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4QS

    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

    the art of Apollo 17

    forty years ago tonight, mankind’s last mission to the moon touched down in the Taurus-Littrow valley, located in the Taurus mountains just east of the Sea of Serenity. for the next three days, commander Eugene Cernan and geologist Harrison Schmitt lived and worked in this most dramatic of Apollo landscapes, collecting a record haul of moon rocks, taking measurements, setting up experiments and taking pictures on a range of cameras. some, like this one showing Schmitt next to big boulder, became well-known while hundreds of others languish in the archives. here is just a small sample…

    read more

    workshop: the monument

    we’re super excited about our first-ever schools workshop, created in collaboration with London Metropolitan University’s Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design. all next week, students will be designing a physical monument for visitors to experience 1000 years from now. using different materials and restricted only by size (10m x 10m x 10m), they’ll consider what materials will last so long, where to site their structure and how future people will experience and interpret their monument

    see the outcome of this workshop


    techniques and devices used to detect nuclear weapons are being deployed in the search for dark matter – the mysterious material that makes up perhaps 25% of the universe but which we know almost nothing about. located in an abandoned mine nearly a mile underground beneath the Black Hills of South Dakota, the LUX experiment is shielded from cosmic rays by the rock, and immersed in a tank of ultra-pure de-ionized water to keep out stray radiation. beyond observing dark matter particle interactions, which have so far eluded direct detection, the experiment could lead to smaller, more capable devices for searching for rogue nuclear material


    The world’s newest, largest and most complicated telescope is now official open for astronomy. Located high in the deserts of Chile, the European Southern Observatory’s Atacama Large Milllimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) is made up of a series of interlinked antennas stretching across an ultra-arid plain 5000m above sea level read more

    TARA party!

    as part of the TARA’s recent stopover in London, super/collider and AnOther Magazine teamed up to host a little soirée on board the French environmental research ship, which is sponsored by fashion house agnès b

    after some drinks and nibbles, captain Loic Vallette and chief scientist Chris Bowler gave a talk about the vessel’s recent plankton-sampling voyage before leading tours above and below decks. you can read our full piece for AnOther right here and scroll down to see Amelia Karlsen‘s lovely photographs of the night

    missed the boat? sign up for our mailing list and we’ll keep you posted on future events

    read more


    like dinosaurs? get yourself down to Protein‘s  Hewett Street space for GIF masterminds Reed + Rader‘s first solo show in the UK – ‘Cretaceous Returns’. expect dubstep dinos, prehistoric paper foliage and primitive animation – plus signed Mini Dinosaur sculptures, limited edition video pieces and prints of the Brooklyn-based duo’s prehistoric world for some early Christmas shopping


    on now at London’s Red Gallery, this solo exhibition of works by Worlds in Transit participant Fritz Stolberg comprises two installation works and two new photographic series. as Stolberg explains, the title of the exhibition was taken from Jorge Luis Borges Library of Babel, which describes the universe as an infinite architecture of interlocking hexagonal rooms filled with books that contain every possible combination of 23 alphabetical letters read more


    big news this week from the La Silla Observatory in Chile, which has detected an earth-sized planet in the star system next door, Alpha Centauri. using the HARPS fibre-fed high resolution echelle spectrograph (as you do) the team monitored star Alpha Centauri B over the course of four years, watching for tiny fluctuations that reveal the presence of orbiting bodies. though the planet is far too hot to visit (and not yet 100% confirmed) news of a new world just 4.37 light years away has already got folks discussing the possibility of sending an interstellar probe to the system


    a stylish and understated way of marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes courtesy of In God We Trust‘s collaboration with the Keep A Breast Foundation. the upside down heart is hand engraved and strung on an 18″ brass chain, and even comes with a retro pocket guide to boobie health


    we’re not entirely sure what to expect from Cosmicmegabrain‘s group show in London this weekend, but if nothing else Emily Candela‘s krustapseudicals alone should make it worth seeking out. created live on the night, the (theoretically) edible crystals contain vitamins, minerals, proteins (harvested from the artist’s hair) and tiny amounts of skin and dental care products like lip gloss and mouthwash – what Emily calls “basically crystallisations of magazine articles offering beauty advice”

    info on the event here, hat tip to (and full interview on) Dazed Digital

    Tristram Lansdowne: islands in the sky

    we first came across Canadian artist Tristram Lansdowne when his surreal island paradise graced the opening pages of Landfill Editions’ epic Mould Map project. now we’re wishing we lived in Toronto, as a retrospective of his meticulously hand-painted works opens, showcasing a breathtaking series of imagined worlds. since we don’t, we caught up with him via email to find out more about the natural inspiration behind his paintings
    read more

    radio silence

    couldn’t not post an image from Derek Mead’s photographic tour of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s facility in West Virginia: a series of telescopes nestled amid lush forests and hills read more

    science printing workshop

    23 October 2012

    as part of the ün-establishment series we’ll be bringing our new Risograph printer down to the Nicholls & Clarke building in Shoreditch for a Tuesday afternoon of science, art & craft. join our expert teachers Nancy Straughan and Ciara Phelan and learn how to create patterns, prints, collages and illustrated work using science textbooks and imagery as inspiration – then create your own on-the-spot prints


    after a voyage of more than 62,000 nautical miles, the French environmental research vessel TARA will next week dock in London as part of an ongoing educational sailing. we’ll be co-hosting an exclusive evening tour and talk onboard the ship with AnOther Magazine, and there are also a series of other events and an exhibition at the Covent Garden branch of agnès b, who have sponsored the two most recent expeditions: a two-year drift through the Arctic pack ice and a circumnavigation of the globe to study plankton. the following article appears in Issue 23 of AnOther, on newstands now

    read more


    after touching down on the western side of Mars’ Chryse Planitia in 1976, the Viking 1 lander beamed back the first images from the surface of another planet read more

    species of the week

    the Shield mantis is just one of millions of species found in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador – one of the most biodiverse places on earth thanks in part to the fact it never froze over during the last ice age. the rainforested area is home to an incredible array of wildlife ranging from fish and birds to reptiles and amphibians, as well as several uncontacted human tribes

    read more

    Neptune rising

    with the skies darkening and the most distant planet in our solar system shining high in the sky, we thought the next few weeks would be a good time to launch our new Pop-Up Astronomy Club – a series of impromptu events around East London that take place when there’s something good to see and the skies are clear. our first target will be Neptune, which reaches opposition tonight – making it brighter and easier to see. if you’d like to come see it with us in the coming weeks, check out the project page for more

    ps: it will look nothing like this image


    early next Monday morning, 154 million miles from earth, a white and gold UFO-shaped spacecraft will hit the Martian atmosphere traveling at nearly 6km per second. after some hypersonic aeromaneuvering (as you do) NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory will deploy this parachute – the largest ever made to fly on an extraterrestrial flight – and start its treacherous final descent. if all goes to plan, a series of rockets will then fire to slow the craft down, enabling it to lower a 1-ton rover called Curiosity towards the surface. if it makes it, the SUV-sized rover will spend the next Martian year (687 Earth days) exploring the Gale Crater for signs of life

    you can watch the landing, scheduled for 6:31am GMT on Monday August 6, on NASA TV


    the city’s streets can seem like a no-fly zone sometimes, but the air around us is alive with often-unseen fellow urbanites – and this week brings two chances to learn more about species who overfly us daily and nightly. the first is Jeremy Deller’s new collaboration with bat scientist Kate Jones for Invisible Dust: a series of walks around East London’s Greenway to look for (and listen to) bats. then on Thursday lunchtime, The Honey Club will be outlining their plans to create the biggest bee-friendly community in the world in King’s Cross. the event is the first in a summer series at the King’s Cross Filling Station – a new public space and pop-up restaurant which will also see events from Wired, Wallpaper* and something called super/collider


    good news for native wildlife this week with the release of 34 frankly adorable dormice into the Warwickshire countryside as part the PTES National Dormouse Monitoring Programme – the world’s longest running national mammal monitoring project. such reintroductions are only done in areas where historical populations of dormice have become extinct and where the woodland and hedgerows have been managed to encourage native species like this little fella. if you don’t know the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, check out their wildlife encounters programme, where you can go walking with wolves, hedgehog tracking or cruising for basking sharks

    image: British Wildlife Centre

    space camp

    Mars missions have already been simulated in the Canadian Arctic, off the coast of Florida, in the deserts of Utah and most recently inside an Austrian ice cave, but none look as fun as the one currently underway on New York’s Upper East Side read more

    species of the week: Lycoperdon perlatum

    the surface of this mushroom is described, variously, as being covered in warts, spiny bumps, jewels or spikes. early on, when still crisp and white, these mushrooms are edible, with an apparently aromatic taste to them. when older, the matured and now slightly brown-coloured puffball reproduces by opening its upper surface to liberate and disperse spores

    warning: super/collider does not recommend eating wild mushrooms unless you are an expert, as insanely poisonous varieties can resemble edible ones

    species of the week: Cephea cephea

    the jellyfish Cephea cephea is captured here in the mobile stage of its life cycle. the term jellyfish or medusa only refers to the free-swimming members of the greater phylum of Cnideria, whereas when attached to the sea-bed, they are called polyps. instead of tentacles they have eight highly-branched oral arms, along which there are suctorial mini-mouth orifices. Cephea cephea wafts in the tropical water of the Indo-Western Pacific, and is fished for cooking purposes despite consisting of up to 98% water


    incrementally flowing down into valleys, lakes and oceans, the slow motion march of glaciers has etched the earth’s surface for eons – but today these remote white worlds are under threat. with the puzzling exception of the Karakoram range, the world’s glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate, with geologists predicting that some of Africa’s little-known ones could disappear completely before the decade is out

    created by the accumulation of snow over centuries, glaciers are found on every continent bar Australia. surprisingly, many remain unmapped and unphotographed, which is where Project Pressure comes in. founded in 2008 by lifestyle photographer Klaus Thymann, the not-for-profit initiative is slowly creating an archive of glacier photography which will form the basis of a touring exhibition and global glacier atlas. working in collaboration with the World Glacier Monitoring Service and NASA, the project carefully records GPS co-ordinates to compare glacial retreat, and has been recognised as an official contributor to the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers

    read more



    of all the lovely stuff on show at Pick Me Up to choose from, we’re totally loving the cosmic back-story behind Miles Donovan’s Ulysses collages. inspired by the NASA space probe and its Jupiter-assisted plane change and subsequent trans-solar adventures, the series presents an alternate take on the spacecraft’s wandering journey around the Jovian system, past Comet Hyakutale and out into the unknown

    read more

    mars / nudes

    we don’t often show nipples on super/collider, but it’s not often that an internationally-renowned artist simultaneously exhibits two shows based on photographs of porn stars and the surface of Mars read more

    guest post: dispatches from paradise

    for the past three weeks, twelve scientists and supporting team members have been recording, logging and observing sea life in the Chagos Archipelago as part of the first full scientific expedition since the area was declared a no-take marine protected zone in April 2010. in this special guest blog from the middle of the Indian Ocean, the team investigate the Salomons Atoll…

    read more

    Particle Plushies Gluon


    soft toy by The Particle Zoo
    acrylic felt with poly fill for minimum mass
    approx 15cm across
    (only suitable for ages 5 and up)

    an exclusive selection from the Particle Zoo collection:  this smiley little gluon is the ‘glue’ of the strong nuclear force.  it is the boson that communicates the strong force – holding quarks together. it is has no mass or electric charge



    this weekend’s Oxford Mineral Fossil Show will be preceded by a special meeting co-organized by the Russell Society, the Mineralogical Society and Gem-A (the Gemmological Association of Great Britain). entitled Nature’s Treasures, the day will see talks ranging from “Re-creating 3D models of fossils” to “Minerals at the Nano-Scale: Exploring our Crystalline World” read more


    when seen side by side with, say, the planet Venus, our sun looks pretty huge – but lurking out beyond our solar system are millions upon millions of much bigger stars read more


    a rare meteorite sample that could help unravel the mysteries of Mars has been acquired by the Natural History Museum in London. the space rock is about the size of a paperback book and is the largest known fragment of the Tissint meteorite, which fell as a shower of stones in the deserts of southern Morocco last July. eyewitnesses heard two sonic booms and saw a bright fireball trace through the night sky

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    the plant journal

    if the lush images, elegant illustrations and handy potting ideas from Issue 1 are anything to go by, tonight’s launch of The Plant Journal number two should be a cause of celebration. essentially plant porn, each lovingly-crafted issue is dedicated to a particular species – in this case one of our personal favourites: Monstera Deliciosa read more

    star power

    in the middle of the night, as the rest of America sleeps, a small group of physicists in California stand in a hushed control room. the clock steadily counts down towards zero and then, in a fraction of a second, everything happens at once

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    death from above

    to mark the first month of the Mayan year of doom, super/collider will be publishing stories about and predictions for 2012 throughout January. we start with “Death From Above?” – a look at one man’s efforts to save the world from cataclysm via a DIY asteroid observatory in rural Wales, originally published in Dazed & Confused

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    twice in a lifetime

    Venus transit, 2004 from Vol. 3: Truth Study Center © Wolfgang Tillmans

    pay attention folks – this is the most important heads-up we can give you for the next 105 years. this June, the planet Venus will be visible as it passes in front of the sun for the second – and last – time in our lives. the first transit of our era took place in 2004, but thanks to the way the planets turn the next one won’t take place until 2117. watching a small disc pass in front of the sun may not sound all that thrilling, but seeing this rarest of cosmic alignments unfold gives you a true sense of our place in space. indeed, it was from observations 17th and 18th century transits that we first able to measure the distance between the earth and the sun, and modern observations have helped researchers learn more about how to detect exoplanets orbiting distant stars

    Turner Prize-winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans captured seven images of the 2004 transit of Venus, one of which formed the cover of his book Truth Study Center – recently re-released by Taschen as part of a three volume boxset. writing recently in The Guardian, Tillmans called it his favourite shot, and recalled that “observing the 2004 transit through my telescope, which I still have from my astronomy-obsessed teenage days, had no scientific value, but it was moving to see the mechanics of the sky”

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    with Dawn’s adventures in the asteroid field entering month five, amazing images and videos continue to arrive from deep space. first it was a close up view of Vesta, then a 3D tour of the asteroid, and now NASA have released these beautiful images of rocks from Vesta – found right here on earth

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    despite the failure of Russia’s ambitious Phobos sample return mission, the next chapter in our exploration of Mars began over the weekend with the launch of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory read more


    on Friday and Saturday, we’ll be covering a new Intelligence² conference dedicated to all things futuristic – from extreme architecture and endless cities to longevity research and life in outer space. alongside the usual more tech- and business-oriented stuff, the iq² If Conference has packed in a lot of science, including Hugh Broughton Architects’ spacecraft-like pods for the British Antarctic Survey read more

    another earth

    super/collider’s own John Hooper was involved in the making of this amazing promo for Another Earth, which tells the story of a second planet approaching ours. filmed at a school in West London, it shows the textbooks literally being re-written as a solar system forms inside the school and the earth’s climate changes. to make the video, John shot still images of the backgrounds, which were then animated by director Rupert Cresswell of Glint

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    profile: Julie Peasley

    the world of particle physics is full of huge detectors and complicated machines searching for unimaginably small particles. the Particle Zoo – in contrast – is a colourful little workshop in LA created and run by self-taught physicist Julie Peasley. visiting the studio is like entering a subatomic world of stitching, sewing machines, buttons, zips, multi-coloured felts – and a few cats to keep Schrödinger happy. her immaculately-ordered shelves echo the grid-like standard model structure, with ‘boson eyes’ at one end, ‘beta decay zippers’ at the other. even every thread colour is ‘charm’ or ‘strange’, ‘truth’ or ‘beauty’

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    AnOther Magazine: Sylvia Earle

    Few people on earth can tell the kind of stories that Sylvia Earle can. We’re huddled around a speaker phone, leaning forward intently as the legendary oceanographer recounts one of the most memorable moments of her long career. The year was 1979, and Earle was about to attempt the deepest undersea walk ever attempted. At a depth of 381 metres beneath the surface, she stepped off the edge of a submersible – and into the abyss read more

    species of the week: Dendronephthya

    there are over 250 species of Carnation Tree Coral, including this peach-colored specimen found in Komodo National Park, Indonesia

    sample of the week: Gallium

    a soft, silvery metal whose melting point is so low that it turns to liquid in your hands. used in semiconductors, neutrino detection and, possibly in the future, in hydrogen energy transfer and storage systems


    it’s taken us days and days and days to even start this post – possibly because we can’t actually bring ourselves to acknowledge that after almost sixty years of nature broadcasting, Sir David Attenborough might well have completed his last major TV epic read more

    Seana Gavin: cosmic worlds

    on distant moons and remote mountaintops, crystals slowly grow starwards, while lichens, mosses and funghi creep across the landscape. mushroom clouds bloom on the horizon, while planets and insects hover under orange skies. as strange figures dance on hilltops, expressways cut through canyons made of rock and cities

    this is the strange and wonderful world of collage artist Seana Gavin’s mind and art: a surreal set of worlds composed of images from our world, but utterly different. with her first three dimensional work opening this week at b store, and being fans of a good diorama, we thought it high time we caught up her to talk all things cosmic…

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    sample of the week

    a 22.70g fragment of the Carancas meteorite, an H chondrite breccia containing clasts of petrologic types 4 to 5 which impacted the Puno Region of Peru on 15 September, 2007


    after nearly three decades of smashing particles together, physicists at America’s forerunner to the Large Hadron Collider will be raising a glass as the Tevatron is shut down for the final time later today. and while many are talking about the closure in the context of increasing international competition (like China’s recent space habitat launch), the team at Fermilab (whose amazing offices are pictured above) will probably be remembering the good times, like discovering the elusive top quark particle, and looking ahead to the mysteriously named Project X

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    All About: Science

    28 September 2011

    the first book in our new All About: Science series launches at The Landfill Library – a pop-up shop at Wiltons Café with new books by Landfill Editions and music from L-V-L and Burning Bush of TOP NICE. illustrated by our pals at Nous Vous, it’s all about crystals of every shape and size

    All About: Science is a new series from Landfill Editions and super/collider, exploring the myriad worlds of science through the eyes of contemporary image makers


    yesterday evening, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft began surveying Vesta, one of the largest asteroids we know of – and the brightest as seen from earth. after a spaceflight of 2.8 billion kilometres, the probe became the first to orbit an asteroid in the main belt last month, and has been slowly approaching its rocky surface even since. click here for a 3D image and more on what comes next


    if all goes to plan, today will see the launch of Juno: a heavily-shielded space probe bound for the radiation-drenched magnetosphere of Jupiter. the spacecraft and its three passengers will enter the Jovian system in 2016 and approach the planet over its north pole, avoiding the worst of the deadly radiation belts. once in orbit around the gas giant, the solar-powered probe will make 32 passes, skimming to within 5000 miles of the cloud tops. you can launch today’s launch live over on nasa.tv

    image: technicians at Astrotech’s payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida watch as NASA’s Juno spacecraft is tested for center of gravity, weighing and balancing on the rotation stand
    credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett


    even as the clock ticks down to the final shuttle launch, we’re counting down to the launch of very different but equally far out mission. next week, we’ll be joining Unknown Fields and students from the Architecture Association School of Architecture on the start of an epic journey through the atomic and cosmic regions of the former Soviet Union. you can join us for the public forum on Monday, then follow the trip, our Colossal Space curation and the work of various participants on our live blog, which will launch on the same day as the mission

    caption: the abandoned town of Prypiat, near Chernobyl
    credit: Flickr user Wolfhowl

    Unknown Fields

    in July 2011, super/collider joined Unknown Fields and students from the Architecture Association School on an epic journey into the atomic and cosmic regions of the former Soviet Union: from the ruins of Chernobyl to Baikonur Cosmodrome and points between and beyond read more


    situated nearly 2400m above the surrounding ocean, the telescopes of the European Northern Observatory on La Palma offer astronomers some of the best night-sky views on earth. every evening, their giant optics open and begin tracking the sky, imaging hazy nebulas and distant galaxies. located on the western-most of the Canary Islands, the facility is perched on the rim of an ancient volcanic caldera, high above clouds that drift towards the coast of Africa. silent and remote, it is truly a world apart  read more

    worlds in the making

    turning away from the star that has inspired much of their previous work, film/art duo Semiconductor’s first major UK solo show at FACT in Liverpool looks at the volcanic processes that have shaped the earth from within. the main work is projected over three screens, juxtaposing the work of the Instituto Geofisico Volcano Observatory in Tungurahua, Ecuador alongside stunning videos of the volcanoes and animations of crystals growing deep below the ground


    with the days stretching long into the night, summer solstice is nearly upon us – a traditional time of celebration and worship. but what causes this annual change, and why was it so important to the ancients? come find out on Monday as Science Fair™ delves into the fascinating world of archaeoastronomy with Professor Andrew Gregory of UCL for our first outdoor event of the summer



    the strange land between science fact and science fiction has produced some the most inspiring ideas, images and imaginings yet seen, which is why the British Library’s new Out of This World season has got us freaking out. combining far-out legends like Alan Moore and George Clinton with serious real life business like tonight’s ‘Fixing the Planet: Have we Finally got some Concrete Options?’ it’s science meets fiction uptown, in a library!



    all across the former USSR, a series of strange concrete monoliths stand in silent testimony to the final few decades of the Soviet Union – and the diverse architecture it produced. over the past seven years, Citizen K editor-in-chief Frédéric Chaubin has set about capturing these relics for his book Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, which includes facilities like the Polytechnic Institute of Minsk, the Ukrainian Institute of Scientific and Technological Research and Development and even a  lunar base-inspired youth summer camp

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    forty years ago this afternoon, Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Canaveral to deliver Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon

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