Archive for the ‘Other Archives’ Category

V.I. – Powers of Ten context

December 6, 2009

Will case study the remarkable film from Charles and Ray Eames, Powers of Ten. Wikiwiki –

Powers of Ten is a 1977 short documentary film written and directed by Ray Eames and her husband, Charles Eames.[1] The film depicts the relative scale of the Universe in factors of ten (see also logarithmic scale and order of magnitude). The film is an adaptation of the 1957 book Cosmic View by Kees Boeke, and more recently is the basis of a new book version. Both adaptations, film and book, follow the form of the Boeke original, adding color and photography to the black and white drawings employed by Boeke in his seminal work.

From the Library of Congress

The ultimate Eamesian expression of systems and connections, Powers of Ten explores the relative size of things from the microscopic to the cosmic. The 1977 film travels from an aerial view of a man in a Chicago park to the outer limits of the universe directly above him and back down into the microscopic world contained in the man’s hand. Powers of Ten illustrates the universe as an arena of both continuity and change, of everyday picnics and cosmic mystery. The film also demonstrates the Eameses’ ability to make science both fascinating and accessible.

A major theme in all the Eameses’ scientific endeavors was the beauty and elegance of scientific principles and the tools used to study and convey them. Revealing science’s complex integration of art, philosophy, and nature, the Eameses’ films and exhibitions successfully related the unfamiliar aspects of science with familiar and comfortable facets of everyday life. These projects translated complex ideas into simple images to make them understandable to the lay person.

Throughout their careers, the Eameses counted many scientists as colleagues and friends, joining their community as visual communicators.

There was an incredible level of detail and need for truthful communication, unfettered by artistic flair, but not unaesthetic in it’s attempt to appeal to a lay audience. This letter just proves the level of understanding and exchange of information that the Eames’ had with their subject matter.

Beautiful storyboard sketch

Art board images. Get a bit emotional looking at them really –

Above: production (Charles Eames in crane). Below: sweet joy –