slowly built up using tiny pieces of wallpaper before painting, David Wightman’s painstakingly-created canvases show a strange greyscale world of mountains, rocks and glaciers cut through by striking colour rivers. taking kitsch mountain scenes as their starting point, the fifteen works now on show at Halcyon Gallery transform traditional landscapes into something starker and altogether more foreboding


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 read more


with spring just around the corner and migratory birds returning north, this timely lunchtime lecture at The Royal Society looks at Francis Willughby – the man who basically invented ornithology. Professor Tim Birkhead FRS will explore how he and John Ray produced the landmark publication The Ornithology of Francis Willughby in the mid 1600s, which set the scene for future studies of birds, fish and insects

image: plate 42 of Birds of America by John James Audubon depicting the Orchard Oriole


delicate and highly detailed studies of the flora and fauna of the Pacific islands provide the inspiration for Carlos Noronha Feio’s latest work, now showing at IMT Gallery.  Plant Life of the Pacific World  is a series of gracefully collaged photos of nuclear explosions, alluringly echoing the forms of the natural world as classified by American botanist E.D. Merrill’s book from which the exhibition takes its name. the book’s dry classification of plant forms is transformed by Noronha Feio into an explosive revelry of intense, amoebic forms bursting forth as deadly chain reactions


from artists like David Lynch and Patti Smith to mathematicians like Cédric Villani and Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Mathematics: A Beautiful Elsewhere is a true meeting of minds at the Fondation Cartier in Paris read more

guest post: a new physics?

with all the recent talk about faster-than-light particles, we thought it timely to bring you selected excerpts from physicist Ben Still’s Neutrino Blog looking at how such speeds might be possible, what that means for physics and how we might have seen this all once before read more


sited at nearly 2400m above the Atlantic ocean, surrounded by utter darkness, the observing site at the European Northern Observatory on La Palma offers astronomers some of the best views of the night sky on Earth. every evening, the various telescopes there unveil and activate their advanced optics to begin tracking the stars – imaging hazy nebulas, distant galaxies and far-off worlds. located on the westernmost of the Canary Islands, the facility is perched high along the rim of an ancient volcanic caldera, far above clouds that drift towards the coast of Africa. silent and remote, it is truly a world apart – an island at the edge of the Universe

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


if you missed Katie Paterson‘s 100 Billion Suns in Venice there’s another chance to see it at Constellations in Manchester, where a canon will fire 3261 pieces of confetti whose colours correspond to specific gamma ray bursts – the brightest explosions in the universe. for us non-Mancunians, July 4 is a good day to go thanks to a screening and Q&A exploring the special effects that went into creating Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe


opening today at London’s Sumarria Lunn Gallery, David Rickard’s Time+Trace centres on Exhaust – a 24-hour experiment during which the artist collected his exhaled air for an entire day in a series of foil bags. other science-leaning works include mediations on constellations and pigeon droppings, random chance and, in Stored Capacity #1, the transmutation of lead into gold on heavily-laden shelves



plenty of cosmic happenings next week, starting with Nelly Ben Hayoun and Nahum Mantra’s ongoing Kosmica series at The Arts Catalyst with guests like Dr Jill Stuart, Alicia Framis and Jem Finer – artist in residence in the astrophysics department at Oxford University. next up, Science Fair™ drops by The Amwell Street Knocking Shop for a night of vintage shopping, astronomy, film and badge-making. and finally, if you’re up super early (or out super late) look out for a clutch of planets in the morning sky




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!



opening today at Saville Row’s Hauser & Wirth gallery, Matthew Day Jackson’s new show features coloured skulls, re-covered LIFE magazines, a repurposed B-29 and this work: a long, panelled landscape based on a Mercator map that replicates the moon’s surface through laser etching on drywall



you might know recent RCA graduate Nelly Ben Hayoun from her immersive, science-leaning installations – which range from Super K inspired tunnels to a chair that recreates the launch of a Soyuz rocket. now, working with explosives designer Austin Houlsdworth and in consultation with volcanologist Dr. Carina Fearnley from UCL, she’s only gone and created a volcano that slowly spews smoke and debris into your living room. ‘The Other Volcano’ is currently on show at East London’s Space In Between gallery and will later and will also be part of the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference later this year


fifty years ago tomorrow Major Yuri Gagarin became the first human to leave the earth below and fly into space, orbiting the planet once in his Vostok-1 capsule for 108 minutes before parachuting down in the Saratov region of Russia to be greeted by confused locals. the launch of Chris Riley’s First Orbit promises to be among the highlights of the anniversary, which reminds us that although our progress into space sometimes seems to move at a glacial pace, it’s only been fifty short years since the voyage began


created and designed by the highly-talented William Rowe of Protein® fame, the Chromo™ colour system tracks daily and lunar cycles through the use of beautiful, vivid colours. building on this, their 2011 calendar takes the lunar positions for the whole year and maps them out using a CMYK colour fade. it’s plastified, so feel free to drool away at its niceness (and enter our competition to win one!) over on super/reader





entitled Cosmolology + 1, Peter Coffin’s new show at Herald St starts with the premise that “if cosmology is the study of the universe (from the Greek cosm-, universe, order + -logy, systematic study of), then cosmolology is the systematic study of the study of the universe, and +1 perhaps the study of the study of the study of the universe.” the result is an installation of floor-to-ceiling neon lights, photographs of clouds alluding to a 19th century method for Photoshoping skies onto landscapes, and this rather random but lovely doorway full of vines

_Peter Coffin, Cosmolology + 1, Installation view, 2011, Herald St, London. Courtesy of Herald St, London


at its brightest, the full moon reaches an apparent magnitude of –12.92, casting shadows and illuminating the ground here on earth. fitting then, that East London’s lovely Luminous Books is celebrating this weekend’s full moon – known in folklore as the Hunter Moon – with an evening of rare books, lunar maps, art by Nahoko Kudo and, of course, hula hooping


_cover detail from The Moon In Focus by Thomas Rackham, courtesy of Luminous Books


just a quick one this week as we’re sending this from the top of a volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canaries. we’re at the European Northern Observatory high above the clouds, where some of the world’s most advanced telescopes are based, to shoot a film as part of the 24 Hours, Here series. after a disastrous first night in which high winds claimed our camera (!) we’re heading back to the summit now to try again tonight. you can see more pictures and follow our progress here


_the Gran Telescopio Canarias at sunset


in Werner Herzog’s 2004 documentary The White Diamond, we are introduced to Dr Graham Dorrington – a London-based aeronautical engineer who builds airships to explore the ethereal canopy layer high above the world’s tropical rainforests. we caught up with Graham over on the reader this week to chat all things aerial ahead of the Treetop Odyssey event at the ICA this weekend


_the various strata of a typical forest


another week, another crater. but unlike the volcanic one in last week’s post, Meteor Crater in Arizona was formed when a 50m nickel-iron meteorite careened into it at up to 20km per second. if you missed Science Fair™ on Monday, there’s another chance to hear about such impacts from Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, as part of the Royal Albert Hall’s Close Encounters series, which also includes screenings of Alien and Barbarella, plus plenty of crater-making fun for the little ones


Frieze week may have seen the opening of a new exhibition by the legendary light/sky/space/land artist James Turrell at Gagosian London (pictured below), but the agonising wait for his long-term Roden Crater piece goes on. set inside an extinct volcano in Arizona, the mysterious installation could finally open next year, offering the chance to see Turrell’s imagination at work on a grand scale. in the meantime, you can always check out spy pictures and learn more about craters (the meteoric, not volcanic kind) at Science Fair™ on Monday


once every hundred years, there is a day you can write out as 10/10/10. in the 21st century, that day falls this Sunday, and to mark the occasion Eames Office will be celebrating Charles and Ray Eames’s classic Powers of Ten with screenings, events and the launch of a new website and educational initiative. originally released in 1977, the short film (below) puts things in perspective by zooming out from a picnicking couple in Chicago to the outer fringes of the known universe…


thirty years ago this week the American public broadcaster PBS aired the first episode of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, an epic and somewhat new age journey into time, space and science – from ancient civilisations to the last days of a dying earth, billions of years from now

to celebrate, we gave away a DVD boxset of the series. the question was ‘which spacecraft is Carl standing next to?’ and the answer is a replica lander from the Viking program to explore Mars – or as Kim Plowright so eloquently put it: “that is, I believe, a prototype model of the Viking 1 Lander Mars Probe, designation 1975-075C, innit. As Viking 1 has alternate names of Viking-B Lander, Viking Lander 1, Thomas Mutch Memorial Station and 09024, I’ll hazard a guess that the prototype might have been called Viking-A lander.” thanks to all who entered and congratulations to our winner, Pam Newall


_image: Carl Sagan in Death Valley / JPL


on now at Matt’s Gallery in east East London, Alison Turnbull’s Observatory show takes starcharts, graph paper and the architectural plans for Thomas Jefferson’s observatory as starting points. painstakingly recreating pages from Czech astronomer Antonín Bečvář’s sky atlases, Sea the Stars and Observatory are masterfully hand-painted reminders of an era before digital sky mapping, when artists and astronomers alike relied on the connection between our eyes and the stars


_detail from Observatory, 2010. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 150x180cm

_detail from Observatory, 2010. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 150x180cm


strange goings on in the atmosphere high above Jupiter of late, with ghostly flashes and disappearing clouds spotted by amateur astronomers in recent weeks. it all began in June, when a small bright spot appeared briefly in the clouds. another followed in August, which professional and amateur astronomers have now identified as comets or meteors hitting the gas giant – the first such impacts ever observed. meanwhile, one of the famous planet-wide storm belts that ring the planet has suddenly faded, leaving Jupiter looking markedly different. when – and whether – it reappears remains a mystery


_images by amateur astronomers Anthony Wesley (left) and Masayuki Tachikawa (right)


following on from his Light After Dark series, which captured softly-glowing coal stations running through the night, photographer Toby Smith has turned his lens on renewable energy infrastructure – starting with hydroelectric facilities like the 305MW Foyers plant shown here. now on show at The Print Space in London, Toby hopes to continue and expand The Renewables Project to cover other forms of cleaner power and the strange places and machines that make it possible


_Foyers Turbine Shaft by Toby Smith



Turner Prize-winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans’ long-term interest in astronomy led him to photograph the 2004 transit of Venus (pictured), a twice-in-a-lifetime event that next happens in 2012 – and then not again until 2117! as part of a retrospective of his work at Serpentine Gallery, Tillmans and Professor Dimitar Sasselov of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative will be in conversation next Friday as part of a night of astronomy in the park. you can read our interview with Professor Sasselov on Dazed Digital

image: Venus, transit 2004 C-type print 40.6 × 30.5 cm / Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London. this work has been rotated 90° to avoid cropping



fifty years on from his famous two cultures speech, British scientist and novelist CP Snow would be pleasantly surprised to pick up Art + Science Now, a hefty tome covering the increasing crossover between science and various fields of art. on Tuesday 13 July, the book’s author Professor Stephen Wilson and featured artist Gina Czarnecki will be our guests at Science Fair™ – a special collaboration with our pals at The Arts Catalyst


_‘Species Reclamation’ by Brandon Ballengée


early this morning, Japan’s Akatsuki space probe blasted off from Tanegashima Island, bound for Venus. its serious mission is to study the climate and atmosphere of our cosmic neighbour, but this being the Japanese space agency, they’ve also created some ultra-cute anime characters and a DIY paper model to get people involved (here’s one we made earlier). to celebrate the successful launch, we want you to get crafty and create your own customised Akatsuki. just download our blank cut-out pattern, design your own exterior, then send us your results in the next two weeks. our favourite will win a copy of Mikhail Marov and David Grinspoons’ epic 464-page book about Venus


_T+Cs: the prize is one copy of The Planet Venus (£50 RRP), described as ‘Used – Very Good ex-Library copy’. all entries should consist of a photo of your space probe (3MB max) and be received by 03/06/2010. winner will be chosen at our discretion.


opening this weekend at Somerset House, new graphic art fair Pick Me Up is a veritable who’s who of art and illustration – including stuff from our pals at Nous Vous and Peepshow, like this cosmic piece by Miles Donovan. check out their online shop to see the full image…


_‘Arctic’ by Miles Donovan


nearing the end of its run at the Nottingham Contemporary gallery, Star City is an exploration of the future under Communism, combining Eastern Block art from the 60s and 70s with more modern and Western pieces. the exhibition also includes artifacts like propaganda posters, a life-size replica of a Sputnik, Soviet space food, a collection of Polish space toys and even a giant walk-through sculpture inspired by Valentina Tereshkova’s spacesuit


_Jane & Louise Wilson, Star City, 2000. Projection. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York


vast, white, frozen and forbidding, the Arctic and Antarctic hold endless fascination for artists and explorers – but are also the ideal setting for some of the latest research in physics, astronomy and climate change. join us for a special (and free!) Science Fair™ on Monday as we discuss the polar regions of the earth in terms of art, culture and science. our guests will be Nicola Triscott of the Arts Catalyst’s Arctic Perspectives Initiative and New Scientist journalist Anil Ananthaswamy, whose forthcoming book The Edge of Physics took him to Antarctica to visit cutting-edge physics experiments and meet the people behind them


_image: a photograph of the snow surface at Dome C Station, Antarctica by Stephen Hudson


as part of this year’s If You Could project, filmmaker Michael Moloney and photographer John Hooper spent 24 hours on a hill in the Lake District called Pavey Ark. their stunning 720° panorama starts with the last light of day fading, rotates with the earth as the moon rises and, with Orion finally dropping beyond the hill as the sun rises, continues into the daytime. throughout the night planes and stars traverse the sky, as camera flashes illuminate the landscape, transforming the film from a Koyaanisqatsi-like timelapse into something very special


_still from 24 Hours, Pavey Ark


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

read more


we couldn’t decide between the Barbican’s Radical Nature event and all the different Apollo-related stuff happening this month, so this picture of Richard Buckminster Fuller’s US Pavillion for Expo ’67 is perfect. part of the Barbican’s amazing architecture-meets-nature summer spectacular, it also happens to show the parachutes and capsule from the Apollo program – at that point, still untested and waiting to make history in the years ahead


_image courtesy of the Barbican / the estate of R Buckminster Fuller


with the 40th anniversary of the moon landings fast approaching, our Apollo season continues with apollo +at + apollo – an evening of live music, art, video and spacecraft construction in an abandoned video shop in South London



we wanted to tell you about Friday’s release of wild beavers in Scotland but due to overwhelming press interest the pictures didn’t arrive in time. so instead, we’d thought we’d preview the latest work from United Visual Artists, whose upcoming show at The Smithfield Gallery comprises a series of photos taken at various sites around the UK of a glowing, moon-like orb


_image: Deus by UVA

_image: Deus by UVA

_image: Deus by UVA



Friday 22 May 2009

to kickstart our Apollo season, super/collider is proud to present the UK premiere of Orphans of Apollo, which tells the story of a group of space entrepreneurs who flew to Moscow in the late 1990s to takeover the Russian space station, MIR. after negotiating one of the most ambitious business deals on earth, they hired and launched a group of astronauts into space to visit the station – a momentous but often overlooked moment in history. though ultimately doomed, their bold plan set the stage for the current private space race and the space tourism industry. definitely one for space nerds, the screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director, Michael Potter

The Soho Hotel, 4 Richmond Mews (off Dean Street), London W1D 3DH | 7pm for a 7:30pm start


trust Werner Herzog to find the weirder side of any story. in Encounters at the End of the World, the German documentary master sweeps away the pristine white snow of Antarctica and uncovers the grimier, more real and more surreal side of this continent at the end of the world, and the nutcases who work there. a bit long towards the end, but worth it for the incredible and seemingly never-ending descent into an ice tunnel formed by a volcano – surely one of the most beautiful and silent places on earth


_still from Encounters at the End of the World

drowned world

from JG Ballard to, uh, Kevin Costner, the idea of a flooded earth has long gripped the imaginations of great thinkers. with global ice sheets looking increasingly precarious, the idea behind artist/architect Chris Bodle’s Watermarks project is to show us just bad things could get. a series of high water marks projected around Bristol from today, the project aims to stimulate debate and discussion about how we predict, prevent – and deal with – the rising tide


_Watermarks projection by Chris Bodle

cold war

if you live in London and you haven’t checked out the Cold War Modern exhibition at the V&A yet, you’ve got until Sunday before it moves on to Italy in March. worth tracking down for an impressive dose design and culture from 1945-1970, it includes a real Soviet model of Sputnik, experimental spacesuits, clips from films like 2001, fashion from Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabane plus all manner of futuristic architectural utopias, from Superstudio and Archigram to lesser-known Soviet and Japanese plans for dome cities, modular living and high rise towers. if super/collider was an exhibition, this would be it


_still from 2001: A Space Odyssey courtesy of the V&A


forty years ago this Sunday, the Apollo 8 spacecraft blasted off for the moon, carrying astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders – who would go on to take the famous ‘earthrise’ photograph from lunar orbit. it marked the first human mission ever leave the earth for deep space, the first time anyone could see and photograph the whole earth, and the first time anyone saw the dark side of the moon; all welcome Christmas distractions after a turbulent year. re-live the journey at NASA’s image archive, have a great holiday and we’ll see you in the year 2009


_artist’s concept of Apollo 8 Command Module (NASA)

_Apollo 8 on pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center

_Apollo 8 Saturn V launch (with moon added by NASA)

_earthrise seen from Apollo 8 (NASA)

_artist’s concept of Apollo 8 jettisoning panels (NASA)

_Apollo 8 re-entering the earth’s atmosphere (NASA)

chemistry 4/4

the Biochemistry Department at Oxford University is internationally renowned for its research on understanding of DNA, cell growth and immunity. working 24h a day, researchers will use the shiny new labs to learn more about how cells work, which has already lead them to breakthroughs in malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, avian flu, cancer, strokes and other illnesses


_photo: Keith Collie

chemistry 3/4

throughout the building, specially commissioned art pieces bring the space to life, encouraging creative thinking and interdisciplinary working. visible here (L to R) are Annie Cattrell’s ‘chandelier’ of birds, Nicky Hirst’s Portal façade and Peter Fraser’s photographs of the building under construction


_photo: Keith Collie

chemistry 2/4

designed by HawkinsBrown, the brand new building features high-tech labs arranged around a tall central atrium. timber-clad and naturally ventilated, its glass ceiling is lined with small solar panels, visible here


_photo: Keith Collie


we don’t cover life sciences half as much as we should, so super/collider jumped at the chance to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the new Biochemistry building at Oxford last week. an amazing fusion of art, architecture and leading-edge science, it’s a glimpse into new ways of encouraging creativity


_photo: Keith Collie


of all the crazy stuff out there in the Universe, few things can top our relatively close neighbour, Saturn. from its sci-fi ring system to over 60 moons like Titan and Enceladus, it’s got the lot. inspired by the ongoing Cassini-Huygens mission, Jeff Mills and Mike Banks of Underground Resistance fame have revisited their 1992 techno opus: X-102 Discovers the Rings of Saturn. there’s a film screening / talk / club night next Thursday at London’s ICA, but you’ll need to be quick as it’s selling out fast


_image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

_image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

_image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

_image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute


if you haven’t checked out The Arts Catalyst’s nuclear art show yet, you might want to do so before next Friday, when they and the venerable Royal Society of Arts will be hosting a forum on nuclear power, art and culture. it’s free to register and speakers include Kate Hudson of CND and James Acord – the only private citizen in the world licensed to handle radioactive materials


_image: still from Chris Oakley’s Half-Life


this week saw the launch of India’s Chandrayaan lunar probe, the country’s first venture beyond earth orbit. roughly translated as ‘moon vehicle’, it’s off to map the lunar surface and carry out a whole load of international experiments – with everyone from Bulgaria to NASA hitching a ride. back on earth, the probe was the inspiration behind the awesome Moon Vehicle project; a collaboration between British artist Joanna Griffin and design students at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore which saw school kids designing their own satellites. if only the real thing looked so rad!


_photo: Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology

_photo: Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology


remember Edwyn Collins? he’s back, but with birds instead of music. after suffering a brain haemorrhage in 2005, he began sketching them to help with his recovery. according to the press release, he was always interested in it, but “bird illustration soon became incompatible with the life of a pop star”. as it does. Collins’ work will be on show at the Smithfield Gallery from next week


_drawing: Edwyn Collins


Simon Norfolk is a war photographer, but not in the traditional sense. while he has covered the aftermath of conflicts in places like Afghanistan, he is increasingly interested in the ‘battlefields’ we don’t see – the murky realm of millitary supercomputers, signals intelligence and missile silos; the latter being the subject of his latest exhibition. for more, check out our interview with Norfolk in the forthcoming issue of Dazed




if you missed our live coverage of the International Astronautical Congress (aka Giant Space Show) last week, you can find a summary of our dispatches on our Twitter feed. things started with a bang on Monday morning, with the European Space Agency’s ATV burning up over the Pacific Ocean as they guided it down to a fiery end after its successful mission. check out the full video here


_one highlight was the spacefood tasting hosted by the Korean space agency, KARI. moving on from the freeze dried ice cream we all know and love from science museums around the world, their astronauts will be packing green tea, ginseng, hot sauce and kimchi for their trips into space / photo and styling: John Hooper

_SpaceX were celebrating their just-launched Falcon 1, the world’s first privately-funded carrier rocket to reach orbit. just before the champagne reception, the company showed an amazing video of the launch from the Marshall Islands; you can see the full 40min version on YouTube

_the European Space Agency’s ATV burning up over the Pacific

crystal castles

if you haven’t seen Roger Hiorns’ Seizure installation in south London yet, this weekend is a good time to do so. the house, flooded with copper sulphate crystals, will be open to those brave enough to don wellies and squeeze through the doorways, while on Sunday the 28th at 3pm Dr Wendy Kirk and Jayne Dunn will lead ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Crystals’. while you’re in that neck of the woods, wander around the surreal Heygate Estate, now quiet and mostly boarded up. despite the wind turbine, skywalks and greenspaces, it awaits demolition – another artifact from the future past


_photo: super/collider


if you get the Sky Arts channel on some fancy cable package, check out their green season, which starts on Monday and concludes with Edward Burtynsky‘s documentary, Manufactured Landscapes. the Canadian photographer documents our impact on the planet, with large-scale images of mines, quarries, recycling yards and megaprojects like China’s Three Gorges Dam, pictured. he also recently proposed an eternal art gallery as part of the Long Now Foundation’s 10,000 year clock


_image: the Three Gorges Dam by Edward Burtynsky



in his Formulas For Now project, über curator Hans Ulrich Obrist asked thinkers, artists and others to come up with a formula for the 21st century. as listed in the periodic table index shown here, contributors ranged from artists like Gilbert & George through to scientists like James Crick, who co-discovered the structure of DNA. their contributions vary from pretty clever to kind of half-assed, but the finished book (published this month by Thames & Hudson) provides an unique insight and, as Obrist puts it, “asks a very fundamental question of us all: what is your formula for now?” (answers to the usual address)


_periodic table of contents from Formulas for Now


“a brain scan in 1999 triggered Susan Aldworth’s ongoing fascination with the relationship between the physical brain and the sense of self,” explains the press release for her upcoming show at Transition Gallery in East London. “since then, Aldworth has worked and collaborated with doctors, neuroscientists, artists and musicians in pursuit of this elusive subject.” her show, Scribing the Soul, will be complemented by two talks examining the relationship between art, science and the mind


_artwork: Susan Aldworth

bird of prey

despite the recent loss of a female who crashed into a building near London Wall, the RSPB is going ahead with its Peregrine Falcon watch at Tate Modern. starting this weekend, they’ll be on hand with telescopes to point out the birds, who nest in the Herzog & de Meuron designed chimney at the gallery. as the RSPB’s Tim Webb explains, “these magnificent birds have taken to London in a big way. we now have half a dozen breeding pairs living wild in the capital and probably double that in single birds”



back before the world was run by computers, painters and illustrators were employed to show what things would look like in outer space, under the sea or in prehistoric times. we found this hand-painted example on the European Space Agency’s site, rescued from the archive as they mark the end of the Ulysses mission, which orbited the sun to study its poles and the solar wind. the probe was launched in 1990 – making this probably one of the last such paintings before the world went CGI


_image: ESA


slowly rising on London’s South Bank, the Hyperbolic Crochet Reef is a very pretty fusion of science, math, craft and environmental activism. created by the Institute for Figuring, the project aims to highlight the plight of the world’s reefs. hand-crocheted by fellow artists and volunteers, the multicolored corals and anemones are showing at various venues on the South Bank until August 17, alongside other reefs made from discarded plastic bags dredged from the Thames. if you want to contribute to the ever-growing mass of brightly coloured craftiness, head down to one of the weekly crochet sessions and get your knit on


_photo: Institute for Figuring


on until July 27 at Wolfgang Tillmans‘ East London gallery, Autotechnogeoglyphics is an aerial survey of America’s automotive test tracks, from vast slabs of black tarmac in the desert to a giant sandbox that Catepillar uses to test their diggers. created by the Centre for Land Use Interpretation, it’s part of their mission to explore the ways we use – and abuse – the landscape


we recently took a few months break to redesign the site and whatnot, so this week’s issue is a recap of some of the stuff we missed. nothing comprehensive, just some nice images we came across, like this photo of the ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle approaching the international space station


_lastly, we’d like to pay our deepest respects to the brilliant visionary Arthur C. Clarke, who passed away on March 19, with thousands attending his funeral in his adopted homeland, Sri Lanka. of all the images we could have chosen (think 2001: A Space Odyssey), we thought this simple cover from hisProfiles of the Future makes a fitting tribute. it shows a geosynchronous communications satellite, one of Clarke’s predictions, floating high above the sea, which he also loved. a keen scuba diver, being weightless underwater was sadly the closest he ever got to floating in space. rest in peace Arthu

_in April, CERN opened up the Large Hadron Collider for the last time before it starts smashing particles together in August. we visited our namesake for a tour of the tunnels and experiments, and took so many pictures our camera broke. we’ll do a full post in the next few weeks

_later in January, a joint team of UK, US, Chinese and Australian astronomers travelled to Antarctica’s remote Dome Argus ? a high plateau that’s been visited by fewer humans than have walked on the moon. in the cold, crisp air, they set up PLATO ? a fully robotic observatory should enjoy skies twice as clear as anywhere else on earth

_it looks like the moon, but this is actually Mercury. In January, NASA’s MESSENGER probe reached the planet closest to the sun, capturing images of its never-before-seen hemisphere and the Caloris Basin, a giant crater that’s probably filled with precious metals for us to mine in the year 3000

_photo: ESA

modern life

on now at London’s Science Museum, a new exhibition mixing sci-fi comics with real world objects examines the rise of modern Britain through new advances like radar, penicillin and the jet engine. an interesting take on how fiction and imagination influence the real world and vice versa


_photo: Bristol Bloodhound anti-aircraft missile, Mark I


we’ll be back ‘properly’ next week with a full round up of the last few months, but we wanted to tell you about James Joyce‘s show at Kemistry Gallery since it starts today. ‘Drawings and Other Objects’ features new and existing work, including Joyce’s illustrations for Stop Climate Chaos – a mix of packaging, tips, slogans and, most importantly, elephants


_illustration: James Joyce

peace on earth

as the year comes to an end, we thought this European Space Agency photo would be a nice way to say goodbye to 2007. season’s greetings from everyone at super/collider… wherever you are on this planet, here’s to peace on earth and goodwill to men. and women. we’re taking some time off to revamp the site and hatch new plans, so see you again in spring 2008


_image: ESA


oh dear. we cancelled last week’s mailout thanks to a scrubbed space shuttle launch, and this week’s “issue” is really just an ad for our new online shop, where you can buy science-related giftery for the discerning scientist in your life. items include signed copies of Valerie Phillips’ Monika Monster Future First Woman On Mars (pictured) and it all helps keep super/collider advertising-free


_photo: Valerie Phillips


open late tonight as part of their after hours sessions, the Natural History Museum’s sleek new space, The Vault, features some of the world’s rarest gems. items range from giant diamonds to willowy gold but the highlight has to be the case of ultra-rare meteorites from the moon, Mars and beyond. the collection includes a tiny vial of diamond dust from the stars – the oldest thing you will ever see


_photo: Imalic meteorite c/o NHM

space age

opening tomorrow at Bethnal Green’s recently revamped Museum of Childhood, the Space Age exhibition looks at the influence of the now 50-year-old space race on toys, fashion and pop culture. artefacts range from Star Wars figurines to a gold 60s mini-dress, alongside furniture, space clothes and model rockets. free, on for a year and definitely worth a look-in


_lunar wallpaper by Michael Clarke, 1964


a coffee table book the size of a coffee table, Cosmos is a massive tome which takes you across the entire universe. starting on earth with stunning pictures like these irrigation fields in Kansas, you pass the moon and Mars, then travel through the asteroid belt and Jupiter’s swarm of moons before leaving the outer planets for deep space. quite a ride


_photo: NASA

high definition

shot by astronaut Bill Anders as he orbited the moon on Christmas Eve 1968, NASA image AS8-14-2383HR, better known as ‘Earthrise‘, has been called the most influential photo ever taken – inspiring us to see the earth as a fragile blue oasis in the black void of space. now, a Japanese space probe is on its way to the moon to record such scenes with a large high definition camera

update: super/collider will be screening the footage on January 28 2007 t London’s Science Museum


cover me

if, like us, you always judge a book by its cover, you’re probably already a fan of Penguin books. their imagery, typography and graphic design has made each cover a miniature work of art, now celebrated in a book. Seven Hundred Penguins features everything from murder mysteries to science books like Arthur Rook’s The Origins and Growth of Biology and everything in between


_cover detail from The Origins and Growth of Biology

pocket sized

lovingly handcrafted by the Leeds-based Nous Vous collective, Pocket Sized is a little book of drawings, musings and doodlings featuring work by the likes of Marc Alcock, Hannah Barton, Holly Stevenson and Superfamous. the first issue is themed, simply, SPACE – so contributions range from a chap in pants wearing a NASA shirt to a cat with a universe in its head. awesome!


_image: nousvous


in case you missed artist Brandon Ballengée’s nature hike at the Artists Airshow a few weekends back, you’ll be pleased to know he’s doing it again. the artist/stroke/biologist is best known for mixing serious field study with art, like this series, in which he collected specimens from fish markets in New York in order to study biodiversity and changing marine populations


_images from The Ever-Changing Tide


this weekend, strange goings-on will be going on above Gunpowder Park as the Artists Airshow takes fight. curated by The Arts Catalyst and now in its second year, the event will feature experimental and artistic aircraft, a symposium, inflight films and a midnight nature walk led by Brandon Ballengée, whose work combines field study with art



captured with high-quality Hasselblad cameras in the crisp, airless vacuum of space, the photos taken by astronauts during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs remain as striking today as they were in the 60s. collector Leslie Cantwell’s extensive collection of signed examples goes on display today at Proud Galleries, offering a glimpse of the astronauts’ thoughts, emotions and experiences via their scribbles


_image: NASA / Leslie Cantwell


“My ideas for the future came from my love for crystals and the magnifying qualities they have,” says fashion designer Christopher Kane of his contribution to the ICA’s All Tomorrow’s Pictures project. “I wanted to capture perfection using the crystal to magnify and multiply the faces of women I consider beautiful and perfect”

read more

high rise

inspired and informed by the Barbican‘s utopian spaces and interconnected skywalks, Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrc’s Forest Rising is ‘an island community floated on some 40 trees, including a field, pier, helicopter platform and a school, complete with solar panelling and satellite dish’. an ideal for Amazonian life in the 21st Century, it will be on display until September 2007


_photo: The Barbican


At Abrahams is a quarterly forum for new ideas, bringing together ‘thinkers, doers and makers’ for an evening of talks, performances and goody bags. their ‘Appliance of Science’ event next week features guest speakers from the Institute for Cancer Research, ARUP and The Division, plus a free copy of _S3


_image: The Division


white lines

how do we overcome our addiction to air travel? that’s kind of the concept behind our contribution to Don’t Panic‘s climate change issue. it’s free to use and reproduce so long as you include a credit. email us if you’d like a larger or higher resolution version


_photo + montage: super/collider


art is great, owls are great, and now art and owls are teaming up in a new art show about owls! works by Kid Acne, Dscreet, Matt Sewell, Mia Thittichai (pictured) and thirty other artists, illustrators, fashion designers and sculptors will be on sale at Hoowot, with all proceeds going to help the World Owl Trust‘s efforts to protect owls and their habitat. yay!


_artwork: Mia Thittichai


originally released in 1972, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solyaris is a master stroke of psychological sci-fi, since remade by Hollywood. this Sunday, you can catch the original in all its Technicolor – sorry, ‘Sovcolor’ – glory at the Camden Arts Centre, which is also showing artwork by chemist-turned-artist Victor Grippo


_image: Japanese release poster for Solyaris

crystal ball

this month, the Science Photo Library celebrates 25 years of providing stunning science-related images, like these oh-so-nu-rave Hornblende crystals, captured in something called a ‘polarised light micrograph’