Saturday, August 31, 2013

Aurora Borealis.

Illustration for Jules Verne's An Antarctic Mystery,
via Smithsonian Libraries

I've been trying hard to imagine the feeling of seeing Aurora Borealis swirling and dancing right above your head. I imagine the feeling being so intense that I would lose the ability to speak for hours, maybe even days...

I started thinking about this as I stumbled upon a name of Seanie Blue. He is a photographer who decided to travel north to "catch" Aurora Borealis in order to conduct a personal experiment. He wanted to check if the impression of seeing Aurora Borealis would be aesthetically so strong that it would make him forget the love affair which had been stuck in his head for quite some time and thus help him cure his broken heart. His project isn't finalized yet so we still don't know the outcome but I bet that he's now cured.

"Directly overhead, and coming at you like falling paint."
- Seanie Blue, 
©Seanie Blue

I could watch this video over and over again....

A fascinating discovery made by scientists in 2012. is that Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, really do produce sound. This has been speculated over the years as many people who had seen Aurora Borealis also sometimes described hearing a special kind of noise, but this has not been officially confirmed until last year.

Scientists had always thought that Aurora Borealis is too far away for the people to hear the sounds it made but last year the researchers at Aalto University in Finland recorded the sound sources in an observation site and it turned out that the sources are just 70 meters above the ground.
Details about how these sounds are created are still a mystery. It is speculated that the same solar waves of charged particles that generate the display, also generate the sound but it is unknown why the sound doesn't occur regularly during every Aurora Borealis appearance.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dreams that money can buy.

"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." 

~John Cage

Hans Richter was a German painter and graphic designer who also experimented with the film as a medium. Just recently, I've discovered his feature film "Dreams that money can buy" from 1947. and found myself overwhelmed with joy upon the realization that such an extraordinary gem exists.

Richter's film practically had no commercial success and thus was forgotten not long after it was premiered but the film is such a thrill for anyone who is a 20th century art lover. The list of collaborators includes the most respectful avant-gardists of the time: Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger and Richard Huelsenbeck. 

The film consists of 7 surreal dream stories which were shaped by participating artists and each dream sequence is special and fantastic in its own way.

The above extract is from "The Girl with the Prefabricated heart" by Fernand Léger which is one of my favorite stories cause of the way it mocks all Hollywood romance movies of the time. And the hilarious accompanying song lyrics fit perfectly.

Marcel Duchamp's "Discs" is to me visually very interesting because he uses his "Rotoreliefs" which are actually painted cardboard disks rotating on turntables that create the illusion of depth

The soundtrack is as equally impressive. It features compositions by John Cage, Darius Milhaud, Louis Applebaum, Paul Bowles, Josh White.

Hope you are intrigued...Here's the link where you can watch the whole film.