Friday, August 5, 2011

today's creative endeavours

Proofs of the Countess Lovelace I sold a Lady Ada Lovelace print. The customer requested her biographical information be included. This is the second time a customer has asked for information on my subjects. Occasionally, despite ample evidence to the contrary*, I forget that not everyone is obsessed with the history of science, and in fact, perhaps most people have no idea who my scientist portraits represent. Even my father, who rarely admits to being ignorant of anything whatsoever, didn't know who Niels Bohr was, and asked me about him, at the 'A Hidden Place' artshow, last December.** So, I think I should learn from this experience and print some information with my prints.

So, I spent my morning fighting with my insubordinate printer, before heading off to the post office. I lost this battle.

MercatorI also mailed my print of Mercator (1512-1594) to Belgium, where they will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of his birth year at the Mercator Museum Sint-Niklaas and asked to include my print in their exhibit.

Apart from buying some oddly coloured vegetables (with which I plan on confusing RJH) my other accomplishment was purchasing thermochromic powders (after considerable research). There are a lot of interesting new materials out there, and an entire sub-culture of crafty, techno-savvy DIYers putting them to interesting use. As a physicist and an artist, it's high time I looked into this further. Thermochromic materials change colour with increased temperature. There are also photochromic pigments and inks which will change colour upon application of UV light (which comes naturally with sunlight). I plan on making artwork (on paper or other textiles) which will change if touched (due to temperature) and then move onto art which changes with the application of electric current (cause any electrical conduction will produce some waste heat, hence a temperature change). I thought I might embed some simple circuits so the art would be interactive. What I really want is some electroluminescent ink which I can interface to sensors so that art will 'turn on' if approached. Bwhahaha! Ok, er, one step at a time. First, the thermochromic powder and testing how it mixes with block printing medium. Actually, perhaps that is the second step; despite the array of manufacturers producing these sorts of materials, very few of them seem to sell them directly, or in small enough quantities to make experimentation feasible, or affordable for an individual. So, I've made it through the first hurdle.

Oh, and I also wrote about Biophilia by Björk on magpie&whiskeyjack.

*I taught physics for arts students for how many year? I should know better.
**Why do people know Einstein, and not Bohr? I suppose Einstein's career was more ecclectic and his hair more eccentric, but I think if you surveyed physicists on "giants of the 20th century", their names would be quoted together.

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