Skip to main content

The Medicine Chest

Items

Is Part Of is exactly Astronomy
Advanced search
  • Page 135 of the Curiosity CLXXV catalogue

    "Peering into one of them could, for instance, reveal musical instruments from the South African College of Music’s Kirby collection; old wooden mathematical models of abaci and polyhedrons from the Maths department; mobiles demonstrating platonic solids made by mechanical engineering students; publications by a UCT Professor of Astronomy; a sign pointing to ward D10 from the old section of Groote Schuur Hospital; glass slides once used as a teaching aid for art history at Michaelis; bird ringing material from the Avian Demography unit; and a bottle-brush plant labelled by the son of one of the curators" (Liebenberg 2021: 179).
  • Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning

    Cyanotype on paper. Ink on perspex. The work shows the exact positioning of the stars from J.M. Barrie’s window at 3 Adelphi Terrace, London (51°30'N 0°7'21"W), on Saturday, 19 June 1937 – the night of his death. Based on the direction of his window, I was able to locate the ‘second star to the right’ at the 45 degree angle he would have stood and viewed the night sky. Hopefully, he reached his destination, after departing the flat and traveling ‘straight on till morning’.
  • Falling stars

    Marine biologists studying whalesharks use the pattern-recognition technique, developed in 1986, that astronomers use to analyze data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Studying the spatial relationships between a whaleshark's spots form the basis for creating a unique identifier for each shark.
  • Falling stars

    Published in 1841, Jackson’s guide was the first of a series of guides published during this period which offered notes for the traveller on appropriate conduct in the field – from providing methods for training the eye to observe what was deemed as relevant details, to instructions on which precision instruments should be carried and how to use them to record and inscribe the results of observations made (Withers 2013: 170). As Jackson states, his guide pointed out to the “uninitiated Traveller what he [sic] should observe, and to remind the one who is well informed, of many objects which (…) might escape him” (Jackson 1841: i).
  • ​Navigation chart, Micronesia

    "Early Pacific seafarers did not have scientific instruments or conventional European-style maps to voyage to, and settle, the thousands of islands of Micronesia and Polynesia. Instead they used the movement of the sea, the direction of the wind, the position of the sun and stars, and the flight of birds. This is a navigation chart, obtained by Georg Irmer, the Governor of the Marshall Islands from Chief Nalu of Jaluit atoll in 1896. The strips of wood, bound by cane, represent the currents and winds, and the six small, white shells represent islands".
  • Space Station

    Household objects and spray paint. A space station made with objects found around the house, spray-painted with white enamel and suspended from the ceiling with monofilament.
  • The Tralfamadorians

    In Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse-Five', the protagonist Billy, is abducted by aliens and taken to their planet, Tralfamadore. Throughout the novel, Billy imparts what he has learned from the Tralfamadorians, whilst there. In one instance, in a letter to a late night radio station, he writes about their views on time: "The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads in a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that someone is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes' " (Vonnegut 1969: 24 - 25).
  • Constellation no. 3

  • The body fluid

    "We shed many skin cells – at a rate per hour it comes close to a million cells per day. New cells generated at the bottom of our layered epidermis push their way to the top, where they are weathered by the environment and our daily activities. ​ As the living body breaks down, it becomes lodged in skin pores and clothing fibres. It is inhaled, irritates, is sneezed out and blown afar; it collects in corners, and gathers on surfaces. It welcomes company, joining with soil or, lifted by weather patterns, combines with volcanic eruptions, pollution and plant pollen, or with animal bodies, minerals, and even with burnt meteorite particles – all the while becoming increasingly microscopic and indistinct. The body, now fluid and divisible, transgresses boundaries. Transformed and nomadic, it inhabits spaces without detection. That is, until a ray of sunlight reveals drifting motes hovering in the air, or a missing shoe leads to the surprise discovery of a copulating fluffle of dust bunnies under the bed. In Gutspeak, these former remnants of ourselves are gathered by the artist Dominique Edwards from the tools used to seemingly eliminate them, and turned into sheets of paper. On closer inspection, these sheets reveal a multitude of its separate components: eyelashes, cosmetics, grains of sand, diminished chewing gum wrappers and pubic hair. There is also glitter. And a surprising amount of it. Are these cosmetic ingredients? Or...perhaps meteorite particles?"
  • The Tide Turns Installation

    Tumble dryer lint
  • The Tide Turns Installation

    Paper works made from new mops, used mops and tumble dryer lint. Sculptural installation consisting of one small intermittently rotating mop and one large continuously rotating mop.
  • Mop

    Videos projected onto a floating screen
  • Floor

    Used mop paper
  • The Northern Lights

    Histology slides of the brain (human and animal), scanned and converted into video projection
  • Einstein's abstracts

    Cibachrome on aluminium. Microscopic magnification of Einstein’s equations from a blackboard that had been preserved in the History of Science Museum in Oxford
  • How to look at the night sky

    "Even fainter is the galactic light, a diffuse glow that scatters off the dust in the space between the stars. It is said to account for an additional 6 percent of the light of the night sky, too faint to be distinguished from the integrated starlight and the nightglow. Dust accounts for another of these nighttime lights, the zodiacal light. It is caused by the zodiacal cloud, the name astronomers give to the dust that orbits the sun along with the planets and asteroids. Sunlight that reflects off the zodiacal cloud is called zodiacal light" (Elkins 2000: 214 - 215).
  • Donahue near-miss

    An artwork purchased in 2015 from the Michaelis School of Fine Art Graduate Show, created by then student, Tess Metcalf.
  • Amelia

    Amelia explaining her flight plan
  • Aurora Borealis

    Extract from 'What to Observe', 1841, written by Julian Jackson (The Royal Geographical Society)
  • Breath of a Physicist

    William Blake, 1794, Ancient of Days Inscription: "In his hand, he took the Golden Compasses, prepared in Gods Eternal stone, to circumscribe This Universe, and all created things One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd Round through the vast profundity obscure, And said, thus farr extend, thus far thy bounds, This be thy just circumference, O World" "In the process of realising this work, [Cornelia] Parker facilitated the collaboration of scientists from the physics department with those from its art gallery. She also drew attention to the scientific qualities of the artwork and, through the performative act of igniting a firework display, the symbolism of scientific discovery" (Liebenberg 2021: 31).
  • Graphene

    "Parker formulated 'Breath of a physicist' while engaging with the academic communities of the University of Manchester in 2015. She worked closely with the scientists of the institution, most notably Kostya Novoselov, who, with Andre Geim, was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of graphene – the world’s thinnest and strongest material. After being inspired by the discovery of a graphite drawing by William Blake ('The ancient of days') in the university’s art collection, Parker facilitated a collaboration between the gallery staff and Novoselov in which he sourced microscopic samples of graphite from the drawing, as well as graphite from drawings by Turner, Constable and Picasso and from a pencil-written letter by Sir Ernest Rutherford (who split the atom in Manchester), which all formed part of the university’s collections. Novoselov produced graphene from these samples, which Parker then used to make her own artwork and a ‘Blake-graphene sensor’, which was activated by the breath of a physicist (Novoselov) and set off a firework display, returning iron meteorite into the Manchester sky on the opening night" (Liebenberg 2021: 31).
  • Amelia

    "We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait." On July 2, 1937 Model 10 Electra 1055 piloted by Amelia Earhart with navigator Fred Noonan took off from Lae Airfield, New Guinea and was never seen again. Earhart's last radio message was estimated to be within 200 miles of her destination Howland Island. Burn holes made with a magnifying glass on a handkerchief which corresponds to the positioning of the stars as observed from the place, date and time Amelia Earhart sent her last broadcast.
  • Amelia (detail)

    "We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait." On July 2, 1937 Model 10 Electra 1055 piloted by Amelia Earhart with navigator Fred Noonan took off from Lae Airfield, New Guinea and was never seen again. Earhart's last radio message was estimated to be within 200 miles of her destination Howland Island. Burn holes made with a magnifying glass on a handkerchief which corresponds to the positioning of the stars as observed from the place, date and time Amelia Earhart sent her last broadcast.
  • Flight

    A chorus of juvenile heartbeats affected by Atrial Septal (ASD) and Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD), Patent Ductus Arteriosus(PDA), and Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS), transposed to a higher frequency to simulate birdsong
  • The Lost Boys

    After they left Neverland, Mr and Mrs Darling adopted the Lost Boys. Before they had attended school a week they saw what goats they had been not to remain on the island; but it was too late, and they settled down to being as ordinary as “you or me or Jenkins minor” (Barrie 1989: 180). It is sad to say that the power to fly gradually left them. “At first Nana tied their feet to the bedposts so that they should not fly away in the night; and one of their diversions by day was to pretend to fall off buses; but by and by they ceased to tug at their bonds in bed, and they found that they hurt themselves when they let go of the bus. In time they could not even fly after their hats. Want of practice, they called it; but what it really meant was they no longer believed” ( Barrie 1989: 180-181).
  • Icarus

    Perspex wings with histology slides. Histology slides are prepared by taking a sample of biological tissue and fixing it to preserve the tissue in as natural a state as possible and prevent postmortem decay. The tissue is immersed in a chemical fixative and then embedded in wax to make it hard enough to cut into very thin sections of tissue (usually 5 to 7 micrometers in thickness). It is then passed through baths of solvents which remove the wax, then through graded alcohols, water and finally through baths of haematoxylin and eosin to stain it for better viewing under a microscope.
  • SP-368 Biomedical Results of Apollo

    Electrocardiograph signal received at Mission Control during various periods of the Apollo 11 mission
  • Moon landing

    "FIZZY LIFTING DRINKS, it said on the next door. ‘Oh, those are fabulous!’ cried Mr Wonka. ‘They fill you with bubbles, and the bubbles are full of a special kind of gas, and this gas is so terrifically lifting that it lifts you right off the ground just like a balloon, and up you go until your head hits the ceiling – and there you stay.’ ‘But how do you come down again?’ asked little Charlie. ‘You do a burp, of course,’ said Mr Wonka. ‘You do a great big long rude burp, and up comes the gas and down comes you! But don’t drink it outdoors! There’s no knowing how high up you’ll be carried if you do that. I gave some to an old Oompa-Loompa once out in the backyard and he went up and up and disappeared out of sight! It was very sad. I never saw him again.’ ‘He should have burped,’ Charlie said. ‘Of course he should have burped,’ said Mr Wonka. ‘I stood there shouting, “Burp, you silly ass, burp, or you’ll never come down again!” But he didn’t or couldn’t or wouldn’t, I don’t know which. Maybe he was too polite. He must be on the moon by now’” (Dahl 1974: 95).
  • The Eagle has landed (Apollo 11 Lunar Module Ascent Stage Photographed from Command Module)

    The Apollo 11 Lunar Module ascent stage, with Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. aboard, is photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) during rendezvous in lunar orbit. The Lunar Module (LM) was making its docking approach to the CSM. Astronaut Michael Collins remained with the CSM in lunar orbit while the other two crewmen explored the lunar surface. The large, dark-colored area in the background is Smyth's Sea, centered at 85 degrees east longitude and 2 degrees south latitude on the lunar surface (nearside). This view looks west. The Earth rises above the lunar horizon.
  • Dung beetles

    Like ancient seafarers, dung beetles can navigate using the starry sky and the glow from the Milky Way. After locating a fresh pile of feces, dung beetles will often collect and roll away a large piece of spherical dung, then climb on their dung balls and dance around in circles before taking off. This dance is not one of joy, however; the insects are watching the sky to get their bearings.
  • Avoided Object

    Photographs of the sky above the Imperial War Museum taken with the camera that belonged to Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz
  • Looking up

    In 'Looking up', the artist stares intently at the sky until he has attracted a group of curious bystanders to do the same (at which point he retires from the scene).
  • Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air

    "In the struggle to add the air to man's dominions, no less than in the task of opening up the unknown and the waste places of the earth's surface, 'Tabloid' medical equipment have played an important part. In balloon, airship and aeroplane, they have been, and are being, used by men whose initiative , resource and daring we owe it, that today the 'conquest of air' is no longer a vision but a reality" (BWC 1934: 12).
  • Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air

    "In the struggle to add the air to man's dominions, no less than in the task of opening up the unknown and the waste places of the earth's surface, 'Tabloid' medical equipment have played an important part. In balloon, airship and aeroplane, they have been, and are being, used by men whose initiative , resource and daring we owe it, that today the 'conquest of air' is no longer a vision but a reality" (BWC 1934: 12).
Powered by Omeka S