Thursday, May 31, 2012

NYC, World Science Festival | The 2012 Kavli Prizes

The World Science Festival in New York opened its second day with the announcement of the 2012 Kavli Prize winners, announced with a live webcast from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letter in Oslo. The Kavli Prizes recognize scientists in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

The Kavli Prize for astrophysics this year "honoured the individuals who showed that there is much more to the solar system and whose work prompted astronomers to re-evaluate what it means to be a planet." The 2012 prize winners are David C. Jewitt, Jane X. Luu, Michael E. Brown, whose research has focused on the Kuiper Belt, shown below.

The prize for nanoscience was awarded to Mildred S. Dresselhaus, selected as a "scientist whose work, over more than five decades, has improved understanding of how and why the thermal, electrical and other characteristics of materials structured at the nanoscale can be dramatically different from those of the same materials at larger dimensions.

 A clip from my work on hexagons in nature: a visualization of a nanotube

Cornelia Bargmann, Winfried Denk and Ann M Graybiel were awarded the 2012 prizes for neuroscience “for elucidating basic neuronal mechanisms underlying perception and decision. Understanding how the brain receives information from the environment and processes it to make decisions is a major challenge in neuroscience. The prize winners have addressed this question in different organisms, from worms to primates. They have used a wide range of approaches and have invented new technologies."

 Movement and Behavior as rhythmical firing of neurons (Credit:Christine Daniloff-MIT-News Office)

Cells and synapses reconstructed from serial block face electron microscopy data 
© Kevin Briggman/Max Planck Institute for Medical Research

The opening remarks were given by John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The event concluded with a panel conversation between ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Richard Besser and Angela Belcher, Thomas Jessell, Claire Max.

I would like to conclude with an image I created for a 3d model of the "Flower of Life", so much similar to the Kavli logo. A quite interesting parallel, to be continued...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NYC, World Science Festival | Icarus at the Edge of Time

Black holes and Greek mythology marked the beginning of The World Science Festival, which opened tonight at the United Palace Theater with the animated film Icarus at the Edge of Time .

Brian Greene, the Festival co-founder, introduced the film: a science fiction interpretation of the Greek myth of Icarus, the son of Daedalus.  Icarus tried to fly by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax, but ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned. The Icarus portrayed in the film is boy who challenges a black hole, an area of space-time whose gravitational field is so strong that nothing which enters it, including light, can escape. The slowing of time allows Icarus to escape the black hole in a 10,000 year time travel into the future.
The film Icarus at the Edge of Time by Al and Al featured an original orchestral score by Philip Glass, performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Brad Lubman, and narrated by LeVar Burton.
The film could not have been screened in a more appropriate theater: The United Palace Theater, originally known as Loew's 175th Street Theater, in Washington Heights. The 1930 former movie theater was designed by Thomas Lamb for vaudeville and movies. Its eclectic style include Moorish and Mughal architectural elements and decorative elements are based on intricate symmetries, perhaps recalling the intricate multidimensional cosmological shapes.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Public Art NYC | "Common Ground" at City Hall Park

Another summer and another public art series scattered along NYC parks. On the spotlight City Hall Park with the Common Ground exhibition and performance: not particularly impressed by the curatorial effort...Featured work included: Elmgreen & Dragset, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Roger Hiorns, Jenny Holzer, Matthew Day Jackson, Christian Jankowski , Justin Matherly, Paul McCarthy, Amalia Pica and Thomas Schütte.
Mayor Bloomberg introduced the exhibition.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Events | New York State Heritage Weekend

Last weekend was Heritage Weekend. My choice among the very many remarkable sites was dictated by the proximity to the Hudson river and the relationship between houses and views. The most notable absence: Olana, Frederick Church home.

Gardens and river views at Boscobel

Nature and formal neoclassical arrangements at the Vanderbuilt Mansion

An intriguing helicoidal star at the Dr. Oliver Bronson House

Monday, May 21, 2012

camminando + exhibitions | The Metropolitan Museum

Framing the Sun
I was disappointed by Tomas Saraceno's roof installation; while allusive to entering to space, it is mainly perceived as an object. The interior polyhedral forms are not strong enough while they could have been used as focal structural elements. Nevertheless I enjoyed the kaleidoscopic views and of course the mirrored interactive self portraits are always enjoyable.

 Not to be missed: Schiaparelli & Prada; a masterpiece of exhibition design at the intersection between art and fashion, portraying the conversing vocabulary of the two fashion masters.

 And of course, the permanent collection, including artifact from ancient classical Greek Roman architecture and sculpture