Monthly Archives: May 2014
Mathematical Models from the Musée des Arts et Métiers
Bird Automata Test Track
White Rhino and Paradoxical Shadows
I have posted a photograph of the White Rhinoceros group at the American Museum of Natural History before (in stereo, if I remember correctly). The 1937 diorama has a fine background painting by James Perry Wilson. It is located in a corner of the mezzanine level of the Akeley Hall of African of Mammals in a corner with a low ceiling (which wilson tries to disguise with heavy rain clouds). To fit the two large White Rhinos in the tight space without them standing too close to the observer, one is located very close to the painted background. To help mitigate against a shadow on the background (which would collapse the illusion of depth) apparently the hidden side of the Rhino is painted white. This possibility of negating one’s shadow has been teasing me recently and will be part of the new instrument I am working on.
A view looking up at the highest point of the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral
Instrument Eight – Perry Kulper Drawing
A flight of paint flying past Perry Kulper’s drawing and drawing pieces in our collaboration (documented in Pamphlet Architecture 34)
Instrument Eight Drawing
Some of the dioramas at the Helsinki Natural History Museum. Many of the animal poses are dynamic, which paradoxically makes the stillness of the displays and the death of the animals more present. Most of the dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History in New York have the animals in a state of rest (the Wolf Diorama based on Gunflint Lake in Minnesota in the American Hall of Mammals at the AMNH would be an exception) and are much more uncanny as a result. There is a lot of care in the foreground work in Helsinki but the backgrounds are around displays with sharp corners, which somewhat deflates their illusory pleasures.