The pastel drawing that showed us Mars for the first time

The pastel drawing that showed us Mars for the first time

Tommaso Berra · 4 weeks ago · Art

On 28 October 1964, the Mariner 4 probe was launched from Cape Canaveral, the one that would become the first to successfully reach Mars, following five failed Soviet and one US attempt in previous years. Mariner 4’s mission would also be the first to send a close-up image of another planet back to Earth, in a pre-technological era (at least with respect to photographic and digital products) that celebrated the first colour TV broadcast as a major technological achievement that year.
However, the story of the first close-up image of Mars has a complex history, involving art and a box of Rembrandt coloured crayons.

NASA’s probe was the first to have the necessary photographic instrumentation on board to take images by collecting signals from space, since Mariner 2, whose mission was the exploration of Venus, was not equipped with any camera.
On 15 July 1965, 42 minutes into the flight from the maximum approach point to the planet (13,000 km), the crew activated the camera, which took 21 images in a 25-minute time span. The probe was soon taken out of orbit and it took eight hours for each image and more than ten days to transmit the data to Washington, repeating everything twice to avoid transmission errors. These transmission difficulties led scientist Richard Grumm to choose a faster method of interpreting the binary signals detected by the probe. Grumm thus bought a box of Rembrandt coloured crayons and assigned each pulse a colour shade on the red-yellow-orange scale. He stuck several strips of tape next to each other and coloured in each code according to the colour legend.

By placing all the colours side by side in this way, it was then possible to reconstruct the variations in the terrain of Mars, with the choice of tones being random, chosen from the most practical to show the variations in tone.
NASA did not want to show the result at that point, preferring to broadcast the photograph and not the drawing on TV. Despite the opposition, the drawing was broadcast by the media, thus becoming the first image of Mars on TV.
One of the most important astronomical discoveries in history was thus popularised thanks to what is to all intents and purposes an abstract pastel illustration, which like few other works of art has succeeded in imagining a new world, full of mystery and poetry. On the NASA website, there is still Dan Goods’ blog where explanations of the mission and the development in the construction of the image are available.

The pastel drawing that showed us Mars for the first time
Art
The pastel drawing that showed us Mars for the first time
The pastel drawing that showed us Mars for the first time
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Artistic nudity and liberation in Lucie Nechanicka’s photos

Artistic nudity and liberation in Lucie Nechanicka’s photos

Tommaso Berra · 3 days ago · Photography

A form of freedom and self-assertion vis-à-vis a world of conventions and constraints, by photographing her own naked body artist Lucie Nechanicka wants to achieve this condition of personal and emotional freedom.
Born in the Czech Republic and now based in the UK, Lucie represents this freedom first and foremost by stripping away any veils that may condition the gaze, to move away from a traditional view of nudity and back to a tradition of the body, seen as pure unity, the element that most shares mechanisms with the Earth and nature.
Technically, Lucie Nechanicka represents the concept of freedom through perspective distortion or by hiding her body or playing with shadows, which are either natural or brought in by other objects that create decorations on the skin. The use of unusual angles helps to break out of the monotony of the narrative about the human body in photography, as well as other elements that seem to stand between the subject and the viewer, such as lenses, filters or mirrors, capable of altering a first impression that is all about rewriting, revising and analysing outside the traditional box.

Artistic nudity and liberation in Lucie Nechanicka’s photos
Photography
Artistic nudity and liberation in Lucie Nechanicka’s photos
Artistic nudity and liberation in Lucie Nechanicka’s photos
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Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation

Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation

Tommaso Berra · 5 days ago · Photography

Karen Navarro’s mixed-media photography is a tool through which the Argentinian artist explores sides of her past, her identity and the causes that led to the definition of certain personal traits shared with an entire people.
The multidisciplinary artist creates photos, collages and sculptures focusing on the theme of belonging, to a physical place and to another of the soul, using portraits and resorting to the use of the written word. All of Navarro’s artistic production is influenced by her being an immigrant (she now works in the United States, in Houston) and descendant of indigenous peoples of South America.

Migration in Karen Navarro’s work is in fact seen as a process of inner transformation, of the formation of a collective identity that reflexively shapes the personal one. The interpretation of the symbols of one’s own culture is present both in the installations but above all in the photographs, in which the subjects stand out precisely thanks to these details, together with the work of image transformation and deconstruction of the work.

Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro | Collater.al

Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation
Photography
Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation
Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation
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A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine

A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine

Tommaso Berra · 1 week ago · Photography

For two months, from 1 February to 30 March 2023, in Bologna, the concept studio THE ROOOM will host a new exhibition, curated by Mulieris Magazine.
The title of the project is DREAMTIGERS, a quotation from the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and his extraordinary imagery in which animals play a fundamental role in stimulating memories and imagination.

DREAMTIGERS is an exhibition that uses the imagination through the works of Lula Broglio, Alejandra Hern√°ndez, Joanne Leah, Sara Lorusso, Sara Scanderebech, Ayomide Tejuoso (Plantation), together with the installations of The Mosshelter by Marco Cesari. This dimension thus opens up a world of possibilities not only for the mind but also for the representation of what is real.
A fusion, that between the real and the imaginary, which Sigmud Freud defined as the navel of the dream, an undefined place in which it is possible to freely address the themes that have made THE ROOOM and Mulieris Magazine known to the public in recent years. These themes certainly include the condemnation of any form of discrimination and gender equality, addressed over the years through popularisation, wonderful books and very interesting artistic projects that will continue with the Bolognese exhibition.

Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine
Photography
A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine
A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine
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Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell

Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell

Tommaso Berra · 2 weeks ago · Photography

What is pinhole photography? It is an image taken through the photographic process of pinhole photography, a technique that, like most modern cameras, exploits the principle of the camera obscura, but using a small hole as a lens, which creates images through diffraction.
Justin Quinnell is considered one of the leading experts in this technique, both for his almost thirty years as a lecturer worldwide and for his artistic production of experimental photographs.
From Bristol, where he lives, he produces photography using pinhole cameras, creating unusual situations and points of view, thanks to the possibilities of the medium and the deformations of the image.

Among Justin Quinnell’s most bizarre photographic series is the one taken using a smileycam, a camera that the artist places completely inside his own mouth, thus exploiting the power of an unusual and very bizarre point of observation – POV to use a fashionable definition. all of Quinnell’s teeth appear in the frame, which the viewer ends up knowing better than the artist’s own dentist. In addition to the teeth, different subjects are presented from time to time, describing Justin’s daily routine, starting with his toothbrush in the morning, moving on to meals and the cocktail to share in the evening. From the photographer’s mouth we also keep track of his travels, so between an incisor and a canine, St. Mark’s Square in Venice and the Sydney Opera House pop up.

Stenoscopy does not involve any special focusing, which is why the photos look very amateurish. In the past it represented a high point for technology, now, surpassed by much better lenses and lenses, it is used for more experimental and artistic projects, thanks to the possibility of being able to create strange points of view and unpredictable results. Quinnell’s work is a very clear example of this, and if you would like to find out what your mouth sees, you can also find the smileycam here.

Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell
Photography
Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell
Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell
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