Archive for the ‘Publication’ Category

Robert Fludd and some Context etc.

December 10, 2009

S’incredible how many scanned in books there are on the interweb. Really, very useful. Above image by Robert Fludd.

This is something I wrote last year for an essay about my working practice in comparison to scientific theory –

Pythagoras* and his Golden Ratio, the application of which helped establish the concept for Microcosm and Macrocosm as a unifying theory, first recognised that by understanding the same traits/characteristics that appear in one entity, this knowledge can be applied to other entities of different sizes. Therefore, by using the Golden Ratio, everything can be considered in the same context.

Robert Fludd was one such man to recognise this theory in his work. A Mathematician and an Astrologer, he wrote many books on the subject, and was credited as the first person to use Microcosm and Macrocosm to explain the circulation of blood in the body, to pretty accurate effect. The heart, he suggested, was The Sun. Our blood is the equivalent of Planets in constant orbit about the heart/Sun and the Universe is our body. Such illustrative analogies crop up consistently in his most celebrated work, Utrusque Cosmi, Majoris scilicet et Minoris, Metaphysica, Physica, atque tenchnica Historia.

To go back to a definition for each of the terms referenced –

Microcosm and Macrocosm is the seeing of the same patterns in all levels of the cosmos. From a universal level to a metaphysical or sub-atomic level. It was  assumed to have derived during the Rennaisance particularly with the popular use of the Golden Ratio or the Golden Mean or the Fibinacci sequence to aesthetic purposes.

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V.I. – Newton Update

December 8, 2009

Just read on Wired 1671: “A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton, Professor of the Mathematicks in the University of Cambridge; Containing His New Theory about Light and Colors” –

In one of the most famous experiments ever, Newton used a glass prism to spread a beam of light into a rainbow spectrum, demonstrating that colors were a property of light’s refraction. Not mentioned, however, is Newton’s earlier studies of light, in which he stuck a needle into his eye and recorded how colors changed as he pressed his retina into different shapes.

Irrelavent, but good to know.

A Violent Universe, Nigel

December 3, 2009

Quick post, must show aforementioned scaffold-related images of scientific monkey bars. Book bought in Dumbo bookshop, now identified as P.S. Bookshop.

Haystack Radio Telescope. A ver accurately figured surface, apparantly.

Arno "Bulldog" Penzias (front) and Robert "Killer" Wilson discovered the mysterious 'microwave background' of the universe.

MASSIVE Arecibo Ionospheric Observatory, Puerto Rico

Drew this, it’s Nigel Calder, he wrote the book, deadly interested in such a violent universe. Deadly.

Realm of Fathom

December 3, 2009

Acquired numerous books in NY, most non-fiction. Exceptions being The Tanners by Robert Walser. This is now in possession of one Edward Maxwell Ironside Parkinson. Want to talk particularly about Isaac Asimov (again) but this time about a book, bought in a shop right underneath Manhattan bridge, Dumbo, Brooklyn, called Realm of Measure. The specificness of the location is only because I can’t remember the name of said shop and I’ll probably need to find it again in the future so. Anywhoop. Realm of Measure is a concise and amusing history of measure. Fascinating to trace civilisation and the growth of community and eventual society through the establishment of a collective unit of measure.This is a picture of the copy + Of Time, Space and Other Things of previous post fame.

My favourite unit of measurement is a Fathom. Which is the length between outstretched finger tips. The word is derived from an anglo-saxon word for ’embrace’, which is generally considered to be what you do with all your arms unless it is a particularly awkward hug. It is understood that a fathom is 6 feet in length and is used to refer to depth of water. For example – when Shakespeare said – Full fathom five thy father lies. He implies drowning in 30 feet of water.

I am exactly one fathom high. You can’t fathom a fathom.

How Things Used To Work, But Now They Don’t Work Like That And Noone Really Cares Anymore

December 1, 2009

This is like finding part of the true cross or something. Reading it is a religious experience and I believe in it’s teachings. And diagrams, they really are very good drawings. Back cover –

Flipped to random page, will only scan one page for fear of damaging the goodness. An example of the gospel according to Simon and Schuster –

Jacket design by Harry Zelenko – I think that’s him, he seems to enjoy orchids.

A Brief De-Brief of nothing

December 1, 2009

I lost touch with whatever it was I was doing.So I did some other things, like go to New York for two weeks.

Before I went I read the Life Magazine moon specials I found in a boot sale with 3 tables in the back end of Dungeness, did a few illustrations for some of the articles. Helped raise morale.

Caption reads:

Gloves must fit so accurately that they are constructed around plaster casts of astronaut’s hands, each bearing an astronauts name.

They’re are the most beautiful magazines I have ever seen. I will use them for something worthy in the future. I will.

Saturnin Dax

October 19, 2009

Was thinking about editions and a sort of publishers identity I could adopt as a club when I found these copies of The Mystery Book Guild. Have unconciously decided to do a wrap around cover (a la Stephen Russ) and am loving the diamond+illustration on negative/positive. Colours are also excellent as is the Gibbet. The one copy I havn’t included is called ‘The Frightened Bride’, and the Commisionaire is called Saturnin Dax. Most, most excellent.

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I will shamelessly take such persuasive genius for my own ends.

Strange and Charmed

October 19, 2009

Strange and Charmed – Science and the Contemporary Visual Arts by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation* –

Thinking and visualising are not mutually exclusive activities and the term ‘visual thinking’ has been coined to represent a mode of perception and understanding which is quintessentially beyond logic and words. The significance and weight of ‘visual thought’ can be gauged by the number of instances in science where a set of images derived from the world of sense perception has been replaced by ‘artificial’ visual images, and even more so by models, which go on to generate their own reality. Thus geological maps, at a macroscopic level, and models of the atom, at the opposite end of the scale, have come to exert extraordinary explanatory power precisely because they are easier to deal with than nature itself. Some might even claim that visual thinking is the most important form of understanding, so that science’s crowning achievement – the formulation of explanatory theories – becomes an exercise far more akin to the process of making a picture than formulating a sentence with rational language.

More on this later. Have just ordered ‘Seen, Unseen’ by Martin Kemp, and ‘Of Time and Space and Other Things’ by Isaac Asimov. Who I just googled and looksie for I found-

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This is him, on his throne of Sci-Fi Glory. AND this – (no big deal)

irobot*Julia Bailey is supreme.

Seagul Library

October 13, 2009

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Most excelllent spine to this Collins Seagul Library edition. Is the first illustrative spine, where the publishers mark is decoratively encorperated. Good colours, fine beard, lovely seaguls.

The Whole Earth Catalog

October 9, 2009

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The Whole Earth Catalog was a cultural phenomena – Founder Stewart Brand, in his 1968 CATALOG article wrote –

Standing with one foot firmly in the rugged individualism and back-to-the-land movements of the Sixties counterculture and the other in the nascent global community made possible by the Internet, the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG offered an integrated, complex, challenging, thought-provoking, and comprehensive worldview.

It’s content is mind bendingly good, with alot of books like the first How Things Work (just bought ’68 off t’interweb) getting exposure on it. The catalog’s contained up to date publication’s that, before the internet, was feared by The Left and Sneered at by the New Age for their technicalogical proclaimations and freedom of exchange in ideas and information. Apparantly.

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The Good Provider EBAY has given me the whole set yeah.