Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ever or Not.

Few days ago I was visited by a fascinating creature. One beautiful, quite large dragonfly flew in through my window, for a while flew around my room in all directions and then it found its way out.

During this close encounter, I realized how powerful dragonflies look because of the way they fly. Unlike other insects, they can fly backwards, straight up or down, suddenly change direction and  hover around just like a helicopter.

As I dag into reading about the order Odonata, I came upon this striking data: in the process of flying, dragonflies flap their wings mere 30 times a minute while mosquitoes or houseflies, need to flap their wings 600 to 1000 times a minute respectively.

Lucien Bull, "Films stereoscopiques"

I especially like the symbolism behind them which is very different in each culture. For instance, in most of Europe they are associated with evil and the Devil , while in Japan they are a symbol of self realization, courage, change and strength. I prefer the Japanese symbolism as I think it suits them better.

While exploring the subject, I came across a movie which is now on my "want to watch" list:  "TrollslĂ€ndor Med FĂ„glar Och Orm / Dragonflies with birds and snake" by Wolfgang Lehmann.

Stills from the movie "Dragonflies with Birds and Snake"
© Wolfgang Lehmann

The film is a meditation about life and death with high visual stimulants. Wolfgang Lehmann used images from science films and combined them with his own footage to form a collage-like surrealistic nature film. In the film, three different images are combined in strict rhythm with occasional shifts to the combination of six different images. This creates a hypnotic, pulsating rhythm of visual data and as the movie is silent, this gives each viewer a chance to "see" the music inside itself based on the received visual inputs.

I would love to see this 60-minutes silent mosaic in a movie theater.

The song which I played in my head with the 2 minutes trailer:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Faraway does not exist.

I love when I'm attracted to somebody's art and I've already seen this person's work somewhere before and had been equally fascinated by it, but without knowing that it's the work of the same person. This usually means that this somebody possesses wild curiosity and keeps exploring different ways to express itself. The person is Dan Goods. Last year I wrote about his "eCloud" installation .

Aerogel from Dan Goods on Vimeo.

Note: It kinda feels nice to watch the video with the following song in the background:

Forever Dolphin Love by Connan Mockasin on Grooveshark

This  installation that I came across now is actually something which he had done much before the eCloud. Besides being impressed by its name - " For those who dream, faraway does not exist", I was mostly impressed by the material that was used for it.


Aerogels are the world's lightest solid materials with 95 to 99 % air in volume. They are derived from gels but with gas in their pores instead of liquid. There are different kinds of aerogels. The one that Dan Goods used, which instantly overwhelms you with its blueish transparent appearance, is called silica aerogel. One of its extreme properties is superinsulation:


And even though they can protect a delicate flower from a blow torch, silica aerogels are very fragile because of its low density and can be crushed with the kind of strength you use to crush a potato chip. At least that's how I imagine it from what I've read about them.

At the moment, aerogels are being used in Mars Exploration Mission which includes two rovers: Spirit and Opportunity. The electronics of these two little robotic guys are protected from the heat on Mars with the help of impressive insulating abilities of silica gel. Also, silica aerogel is being used in Stardust Mission for collecting samples of comet dust.

Wow, right?

I would love having this material in my possession so I could take some photos and experiment with it.

Thank you Dan Goods, for introducing me to it.