Posts Tagged Art

Biophilia

Biophilia is an extraordinary and innovative multimedia exploration of music, nature and technology by the musician Björk. Comprising a suite of original music and interactive, educational artworks and musical artifacts, Biophilia is released as ten in-app experiences that are accessed as you fly through a three-dimensional galaxy

I still haven’t downloaded and checked out the app myself in detail, the price-tag is a bit hefty for my taste. So far I have never spend over 10 bucks on a single app, and personally find it very hard to digest more than 2 Björk-songs in a row. OK, my ears aren’t bleeding, and in this case my eyes are very much tempted by the visuals. Biophilia contains several subsections (in-apps), so one could argue it’s more than just a single app, comparable to an entire (concept?-)album. On the app-store reviews there’s some criticism of the pricing-policy, however content-wise one reviewer goes as far as claiming that “we will eventually see Biophilia as the Sergeant Peppers of music apps“. A steep claim indeed to liken it to the fab four… but even though the music is not exactly my cup of tea, I am thrilled by the unique combination of contemporary art, science and technology.

As for the scientific content, the spring 2012 issue of the quarterly newsletter published by the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank (RCSB-PDB for short) features a snapshot of the video for Björk’s title “hollow”:

To accompany the song “Hollow,” Björk’s meditation on biological ancestry, [Biomedical animator Drew] Berry
created a lush landscape for DNA to replicate (and sparkle) to the music. Molecular
machines work at real-time speed, culminating in the appearance of Björk as a complex
protein structure. Many of the molecular shapes, illustrated with great depth and rich
color, were created with the help of crystal structure data from the PDB.

More of these stunning, educational and award-winning 3D animations by Drew Berry and his colleagues are available on WEHI.TV at the Walter+Elisabeth Hall Institute of Medical Research. Enjoy!

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Ars Electronica


(not to be confused with ars technica) … Next time I make it to Austria, I’ll have to visit this exhibition (in Linz), maybe even the festival. Awesome, definitely.

New cultural techniques are emerging in the ever more tightly-knit global networks of digital technologies.

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The Tail of the Elephant

There is this old story of the 3 wise blind guys who come to examine an elephant. They are lead up to it, and one of them gets to grab the ear, another the holds on to a tusk, and the third gets hold of the tail.
Later, they come to completely different opinions about the nature of the object under study – is it flat and flappy, thin and wriggly, or hard and pointy? And, obviously, later they spend a looong time arguing and beating each other up about their theories on what it really is like.

George Cham, creator of Ph.D. comics, refers to this in this beautiful animation on how current science might redefine our understanding of the universe – Enjoy!


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(molecular) Happy New Year !

The PSI Structural Biology Knowledgebase released their annual Calendar. Similar to the Cal” by Pirelli, the 2012 issue is featuring tantalizing renderings of some of the finest models around.

… a very sophisticated concept of beauty, mid-way between fashion and glamour. And every year the Cal offers a collection of images that interpret the concept of beauty in an original way, different to the previous year.

In some (aeehh, broad sense, admittedly) this applies to the PDB version as well, I guess it’s a a must have for the structural biologist! The .PDF file is available here, the card on the right is from the corresponding RCSB PDB News.

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Water – Oil – Alphabet

As a bioinformatician, the computer scientist in me has a certain affinity to (finite) alphabets. Having been exposed to experiments with micro-droplets (in the context of high-throughput interaction screening and directed evolution using in-vitro compartmentalization), finding this video that combines characters with a water/oil emulsion is just great! Not to mention hydrophobicity as a force in protein folding – anyway, I hope you find it also aesthetically as appealing as I do, even if the experimental or biophysical ideas that I project onto it might not be exactly your cup of tea. Enjoy!

Isn’t that what art is meant to be, building a stimulating projection surface for more abstract concepts beyond superficial beauty – even if these concepts are not really what the artist had in mind originally?

video by Jesse Zanzinger, found via Glaserei.

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Weekend Video

“Volcanoes don’t just happen! They take millions of years to form, probably. … — right … I see what you mean.”

Hilarious!! Wonderful short movie by Aardman Animations, with Bill Bailey doing the voices of the lads:

Warning: contains some math & strong language.

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Network-Sculpting in 3D

Not only the WWW, but also the roots of Linux date back about 20 years. (What the heck was going on back then?)
Happy birthday, little Penguin! It has waddled a long way, found many friends and has grown up considerably.

(see the Linux Foundation pages for more info, and I’ll spare you the historic details of my first install of a kernel with a version nr.<1.0). Besides that much of the internet rests on Linux, what’s that got to do with 3D and networks? Read the rest of this entry »

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