Chemical-Soaked Photographs Explore The Wild Realities Of Polluted Places

According to his online biography, artist Brandon Seidler grew up in a part of New Jersey “where the ocean and the mountains met,” a place that taught him to see the beauty in imperfections. These days, those early imperfections take center stage in Seidler’s career as a photographer. His hallucinatory series, “Impure,” features landscapes that appear to be ripped straight from a vintage science-fiction film, with colors and shapes blending in ways both creepily familiar and altogether alien.

But sci-fi they are not. Seidler captures real places, mostly lands in and around New Jersey and the Hudson River, that have been historically contaminated by various chemical pollutants. He then takes his photographic negatives and soaks them in the very same chemicals found to be befouling the bodies of water and land he’s documenting. The results attempt to reveal the tainted realities of America’s natural havens.

“I started this project my senior year at Ramapo College of New Jersey,” Seidler explained to The Huffington Post. “Originally I was just taking pictures and finding ways to alter the camera or film with chemicals. After a few critiques I decided that I needed to add something to my images to help give them meaning, and that’s when I decided to research chemical spills in the area and pair those chemicals with the film negatives.”

Even prior to college, Seidler had become interested in chemistry and the various environmental issues plaguing his home state, inspired by his marine biologist sister and chemical engineer grandfather. “Impure” proved to be a good way to blend these interests with art, allowing the photographer to embark upon an impassioned process of trial and error. After snapping photos of mountains and oceans, using at first disposable cameras and then a Nikon F100, he would introduce chemicals from those —> Read More

Learn More About Neurologist Oliver Sacks’ Greatest Works

(Reuters) – Oliver Sacks, the neurologist who studied the intricacies of the brain and wrote eloquently about them in books such as “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” died on Sunday at the age of 82, his personal assistant said.

The British-born Sacks, who announced in February that he had terminal liver cancer, died at his home in New York City at 1:30 a.m. with his partner, the writer Billy Hayes, and his personal assistant, Kate Edgar, at his side, Edgar told Reuters.

“He definitely wrote to the very end,” said Edgar, noting Sacks in his final days never stopped penning a legacy that will be published posthumously and may include “several books.”

NYU School of Medicine, where Sacks taught, said in a statement mourning his death that his “breakthrough work” in the fields of neurology and neuro psychiatry led to important understandings in these fields.

“Equally important, his prolific, award-winning writing touched the lives of millions around the world,” NYU said.

Sacks was called “a kind of poet laureate of medicine” and “one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century” by the New York Times.

Using a typewriter or writing in longhand, Sacks authored more than a dozen books, filling them with detailed, years-long case histories of patients who often became his friends. He explained to lay readers how the brain handles everything from autism to savantism, colorblindness to Tourette’s syndrome, and how his patients could adapt to their unconventional minds.

Sacks’ view, as expressed in his 1995 book “An Anthropologist on Mars,” was that such disorders also came with a potential that could bring out “latent powers, developments, evolutions, forms of life that might never be seen, or even be imaginable.”

“The brain is the most intricate mechanism in the universe,” he said in a People magazine interview. “I —> Read More

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