558 – Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry by Esther Leslie

“Through coal’s carbon chemistry, and its waste product of coal-tar, a realm of synthetic colours and substances is unlocked from a dense and primitive blackness. The first magic act is coal-tar becoming colour, the first of thousands of substitutions. This magic is a black force. Gravity’s Rainbow lets loose its narrative strands amongst a world of acronyms and neologisms, fictional and actual. spqr, arf, mmpi, soe, spog,
cios, bafo, nta, shaef, pwd, cns, pisces, viam, tsagi, niso, bafo, okw, achtung, Kryptosam, Hexeszüchtigung, ctenophile, Oneirine. These clatter like the evil spells from a necromancer’s manual. These clotted words spell out the coordinates of military, economic and technological power. The most important of these cryptic formulae, the acronyms that generate the rainbow and allow the tracing of its arc,are the colour factory ig Farben and the German Second World War rocket weaponry known as v-1, v-2 or a4. Pynchon brings these two industrial-technological forces into proximity with magic, mysticism and alchemy.”

“Inside the arcades, the ur-architectural phenomenon of the nineteenth century, transitional colours, twinkle, glimmer and reflection danced, and all the more charmingly as night fell. In the early days the gas lighting, whose illumination was an uneven flickering, cast a sparkly sheen over everything. In the arcades, their historian Walter Benjamin claimed, ‘falser colours are possible’, and everything is doused in a special ‘glaucous gleam’, which is reminiscent of aquariums, as Friedrich Gerstäcker imagined in a fictional transposition and, after him, Aragon made so vivid in Paris Peasant. In Gerstäcker’s The Sunken City, the hero sees, to his amazement, that
with the gradual infusion of twilight, these undersea corridors just as gradually lit up by themselves. For everywhere in the bushes of coral and sponge were sitting broad-brimmed, glassy-looking medusas, which already at the outset had given off a weak,greenish phosphorescent light that quickly picked up strength at the approach of darkness and now was shining with great intensity.
The arcades are zones of special effects where optical illusions, tricks of the light and transformations readily occur. This is why the arcades appear so magical, but it also intimates something of their propensity to deception and delusion. The very magic of the space colludes with the commodity promises on sale.”

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Celestis offers space burials, with the ashes compacted in a capsule and sent into orbit (before re-entering) or fired to the moon or into deep space (for ever). That which is legally a ‘final deposition’ can be commodified further in an effort to afford a technologically guaranteed sublime.They also offer a star-naming service.   At the start of the twenty-first century, a Chicago company announced that it had created a new way to memorialize loved ones: by turning their charred remains into a gem. The ‘patent-pending’ LifeGem offers to press the cremated ashes of a lost one into a diamond. You can have your loved one with you whenever you choose, which is something that no other memorial product offers, remarks Greg Herro, LifeGem’s chief executive. ‘Nothing else quite offers that everlasting love.’ (…) ‘The proprietary LifeGem creation process creates diamonds from the true essence of our loved ones, the carbon.”

Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry by Esther Leslie

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Runge_M_80663

Der Bildungstrieb der Stoffe : veranschaulicht in selbstständig gewachsenen Bildern (Fortsetzung der Musterbilder)

by Runge, F. F., 1795-1867 (Includes 23 smaller chromatograms mounted on the title page surrounding the title, and 60 larger chromatograms mounted on 31 leaves. The chromatograms consist of concentric circles of color produced by applying a liquid chemical compound to filter paper.)

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479 – Human Flow (2017)

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Human Flow is a 2017 German documentary film co-produced and directed by Ai Weiwei about the current global refugee crisis. Ai Weiwei also comes from a past of displacement; his entire family was exiled to an isolate village of Xinjiang in the Gobi desert due to his parents being writers in the midst of the Cultural Revolution in China.

Like Human Flow, Ai has created similar art installations such as the “Law of the Journey” that features a 200 foot inflatable boat carrying 258 refugee figures, “Laundromat” where he filled a New York City gallery with discarded clothing and personal notes left by refugees in a camp in Idomeni Greece, and the recreation of the captured image of Aylan Kurdi, the young Syrian who drowned off the coast of Turkey.

Human Flow (7)Human Flow (8)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6573444/

https://www.humanflow.com/

429 – The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)

spacetime coordinates: remote Cumbrian mountain village 1348 >> 1980s New Zealandnavigator_xlgThe Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey is a 1988 feature film, an official Australian-New Zealand co-production, directed by Vincent Ward.

Ward and his production team based the look of the film on extensive research into the Middle Ages, particularly the mining industry, although this was then rendered imaginatively.  The colours of the film are based on medieval art and, in particular, medieval and renaissance artists’ ideas about heaven and hell. The blues in many of the modern-day sequences are based on the inks in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, while the reds and oranges of the motorway lights and furnace fires evoke images of hell in the works of Hieronymous BoschPieter Bruegel and Matthias Grünewald.  Ward later said he had not achieved what he wanted to with the colour of the modern-day scenes due to the film’s short shooting schedule. Ironically, the colour in the medieval scenes, which were turned into black and white, was far better than that in the 20th century scenes. Some of the mining scenes were inspired by engravings from the German mining manual De re metallica, although it dates from two centuries after the time of those scenes. The angel of death seen flying across the moon at one point is based on a medieval engraving in Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery.

See also: Middle Ages in film

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095709/

405 – Zen (2009)

spacetime coordinates: 13th century Japan // ChinaZen_(2009-Japan)Zen () is a 2009 film directed by Banmei Takahashi and starring Nakamura Kantarō II as Dogen, and Yuki Uchida as Orin. 

The film is a biography of Dōgen Zenji, a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher. After travelling to China to study, Dogen founded the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan. The Buddhist Film Foundation described it as “a poignant, in-depth, reverent and surprisingly moving portrait of Eihei Dogen.”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1156470/

390 – The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

read “The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe HERE

read Two lectures given by Rudolf Steiner at Berlin and Cologne on Goethe’s Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily HERE

 

(…)  “Now in this chasm lay the fair green Snake, who was roused from her sleep by the gold coming chinking down. No sooner did she fix her eye on the glittering coins, than she ate them all up, with the greatest relish, on the spot; and carefully picked out such pieces as were scattered in the chinks of the rock.

Scarcely had she swallowed them, when, with extreme delight, she began to feel the metal melting in her inwards, and spreading all over her body; and soon, to her lively joy, she observed that she was grown transparent and luminous. Long ago she had been told that this was possible; but now being doubtful whether such a light could last, her curiosity and her desire to be secure against her future, drove her from her cell, that she might see who it was that had shaken in this precious metal. She found no one. The more delightful was it to admire her own appearance, and her graceful brightness, as she crawled along through roots and bushes, and spread out her light among her grass. Every leaf seemed of emerald, every flower was dyed with new glory. It was in vain that she crossed her solitary thickets; but her hopes rose high, when, on reaching her open country, she perceived from afar a brilliancy resembling her own. “Shall I find my like at last, then?” cried she, and hastened to the spot. The toil of crawling through bog and reeds gave her little thought; for though she liked best to live in dry grassy spots of the mountains, among the clefts of rocks, and for most part fed on spicy herbs, and slaked her thirst with mild dew and fresh spring water, yet for the sake of this dear gold, and in the hope of this glorious light, she would have undertaken anything you could propose to her.” (…)

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“the rain surrounded the cabin… with a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of rumor. think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the world with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside… nobody started it. nobody is going to stop it. it will talk as long as it wants, the rain. as long as it talks i am going to listen.”  Thomas Merton