Artist Grimanesa Amoros Combines Architecture And Ecology For Spellbinding Public Work

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“I created ‘Golden Waters’ so when the public engages with the work, they are not only drawn in, but are able to stop, think and observe,” artist Grimanesa Amoros explained to the Huffington Post. “By looking, we are informing ourselves and deciding how to get involved with what we see. During the moment of engagement, the work hopefully takes viewers into a space of reflection where they themselves might be surprised by their reactions.”

Amoros is the mind behind “Golden Waters,” an electric artistic intervention spread atop the 50-mile-long body of water that is the Arizona Canal. Using an LED tubing system, Amoros crafts a glowing serpentine stream at the nexus of light and water, nature and metropolis.

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Born in Lima, Peru, Amoros was inspired by her childhood travels when crafting the public art piece as well as the Peruvian people’s ability to combine beauty and survival. “As a teenager, growing up in Lima, I would travel throughout Peru whenever I could,” she said. “My goal was to see as many of the country’s historical sites as possible.” Specifically, Amoros was moved by the Uros Islands in Lake Titicaca in southeast Peru, floating islets made entirely out of totora reeds. “The pre-Incan Uros people, who lived on 42 self-fashioned floating islands, built everything out of these reeds — from houses to watch towers.”

“The Uros people are very similar to the Hohokam people. They both used ingenuity to survive and improve their existence.” The Hohokam people, also known as the Canal Builders, were another major source of inspiration for Amoros. “They developed an ingenious irrigation system that enabled them to become the most skillful farmers in the Southwest as early as 300 A.D.,” she said. Their use of the canal inspired the central concept behind —> Read More

In Search of Death Plunge Asteroids

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MUCH TO THE DELIGHT of scientists and technicians, the frigid sky over the snow-covered Siberian fields and villages remained clear as dawn approached. The February stars put on a dazzling show as they revolved about Polaris, higher in the sky than many of the foreign visitors were used to seeing it. The frequency of sporadic meteors increased as the night grew long, as if providing a warm-up act.

Charter flights were already in the air, filled with business tycoons and celebrities, and rumor even had it that Russian President Vladimir Putin was on one. The planes could be seen in all directions except in the special airspace dedicated to cooperative research flights by the Russian Federal Space Agency, the European Space Agency, and NASA, and in the restricted airspace directly beneath the asteroid’s projected path. In order to keep light pollution from interfering with the observations, the nearby city of Chelyabinsk was in blackout. Everyone waited at the ready for the meteor event of the century.

This is a fictional account of what might have happened February 15, 2013, if we had been a decade further along in our efforts toward asteroid discovery and planetary defense. An array of powerful space-based infrared survey telescopes (such as the proposed NEOCam or Sentinel Mission), combined with dedicated ground-based telescopes (such as ATLAS and LSST, both currently under construction) might have been able to warn us of the 65-foot-wide (20 meters) asteroid that exploded over Russia, causing damage and alarm. We have pieced together the asteroid’s story from recovered fragments and serendipitous dashboard-camera footage. But imagine instead how the events near Chelyabinsk might have unfolded if an advanced detection system had already been in place.

The meteor explosion pictured here is the result of a 3-D simulation by the author. By modeling such events, —> Read More

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