The Sea Within Us

June 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Atlantic Ocean at Chatham, MA

‘What do you love about the ocean?’     ‘There is some kind of music that lives there’ — late-stage Alzheimer’s patient

The ocean is Nature’s artwork. It provides us with a full sensory experience in 3D, total surround sound, and a varied array of olfactory and tactile delights.

When we compare the experience of reading literature and poetry, listening to great music, visiting a museum, going to the theatre, opera, or ballet with the effect that the ocean has upon us, the similarities are striking.

The ocean awakens and keeps alive in us the sublime order and elegance of Nature. The profound experience it brings resonates with us, because we too are Nature.

John Holland

View Text: The Sea Within Us

The Chicken and the Egg

February 12th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink


Consider the question: which came first, decease the chicken or the egg? This is the kind of dilemma that anyone can easily entertain. It is a people’s question. It has an aspect of humor. Yet when examined closely, nurse we see it has the possibility of revealing something inherent about biology, page about the nature of life.

John Holland

View text:  The Chicken and the Egg

The Masterpiece

August 10th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


Much has been written and discussed in the last few years about food. Mary Eberstadt claims, cost in her recent essay in Policy Review, shop that food is the new sex. Fifty years ago, relaxed sexual behavior was the moral ground on which a national debate was focused. Today it is food.

The Masterpiece is an artwork that looks at contemporary food issues and examines their evolutionary foundations. It also suggests that we may discover art not only in the museum or gallery, but in our most intimate surroundings.

John Holland

View text:  The Masterpiece

photo credit: ZGrmy

Origins of Self-consciousness

July 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


For a brain to be self-conscious it must be able to represent the world symbolically, clinic which implies the use of symbols such as marks, visual shapes and patterns, rhythmic and tonal patterns. Expanded long-term memory is a primary requirement for a self-conscious brain. By definition, a self-conscious brain must also include language, with an innate set of grammatical rules, or syntax. For a brain to be self-conscious, it must be able to think abstractly, question, predict, generalize, categorize, and reason.

My theory of the origins of self-consciousness proposes that the combination of increased brain capacity, intensified socialization, and introspection has resulted in THE SEARCH FOR PERSONAL AND SOCIAL IDENTITY, which ultimately led to our ability to think about ourselves both privately and socially.

John Holland

View text:  Origins of Self-consciousness


April 24th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


Rayleigh scattering is the dispersal of wavelengths in the visible light spectrum, hospital resulting in the appearance of colored light in the remaining wavelengths. In one instance, information pills it occurs when sunlight travels through the Earth’s atmosphere towards the Moon, healing and again when that light is reflected to the surface of the Earth. “Perigee” displays the visible wavelengths emitted by the elements and compounds currently present in the Earth’s atmosphere, to suggest that Rayleigh scattering caused by pollution might generate the phenomenon of an orange moon.

Alicenne Reid

A Question of Time

March 20th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink



Here is a short description of the nature of time (Time’s Constant), and several other pieces that consider various ways that we experience time.

Time’s Constant

Common Time

Now and When



author: John Holland

(photo credit: Reto Stockli, NASA Earth Observatory)

Artist Nathalie Miebach at Museum of Science, Boston

March 3rd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Weaving Science into Sculpture with artist Nathalie Miebach
Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Museum of Science, Boston

What do basket weaving, climate change, and sculpture have in common?
Artist Nathalie Miebach literally weaves scientific data related to
meteorology, climate change, and astronomy into brightly colored,
three-dimensional sculptures.  Come hear how – and why – she creates these
singular pieces that expand the boundaries of how scientific information
can be represented and what art can mean. 

One of Miebach’s sculptures “Temporal Warmth: Tango Between Air, Land, and
Sea” is on display in the Museum exhibit halls through April 12.

This program is part of the Museum’s ongoing “When Science Meets Art”
series.  It is free and open to the public.  Seating is limited. First
come, first served.  Free seating tickets available to the general public
in the Museum lobby beginning at 5:45 pm the evening of the program. For
more information, visit

About the Artist

Nathalie Miebach holds a Master of Art Education and a Master of Fine Arts
from Massachusetts College of Art. She is the recipient of the
International Sculpture 2006 Outstanding Student Award, an LEF grant, a
two-year fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center, a Bemis Center for
Contemporary Arts Residency in Omaha, NE, and the Berwick Research
Institute Residency in Boston. She is currently the Artist in Residence at
Amherst College. Her work has been shown nationally and throughout New
England and has been reviewed in Art in America and Sculpture magazine.
She is represented by the Nielsen Gallery in Boston and the Reeves
Contemporary Gallery in New York City.

Artist Statement

“My work focuses on the intersection of art and science and the visual
articulation of scientific observations or theories. Using methodologies
and processes of both disciplines, I translate scientific data related to
physics, astronomy, or climate change into three-dimensional structures.
My method of translation is principally that of weaving–in particular
basket weaving–as it provides me with a simple, yet highly effective grid
through which to interpret data into three-dimensional space.

“Central to this work is my desire to explore the role visual aesthetics
play in translation of science information. By utilizing artistic
processes and everyday materials, I am trying to both question and expand
the boundaries of traditional visual translations of science data (e.g.,
graphs, diagrams), while at the same time provoking the viewer and myself
to rethink expectations of what kind of visual vocabulary is considered to
be in the domain of ‘science’ or ‘art’.”

More about Nathalie’s presentation

More about  Science Meets Art series at MOS

Nature, Science, and Art

November 3rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink


Nature is everything, seek everywhere, cure in the present.
Nature is all things known and unknown.

Science is a formal method by which we investigate nature.
The Scientific Method is society’s way of verifying itself.

Art is a process of modeling nature, of representing forms, structures
and ideas.
Art raises social and cultural awareness, makes the invisible visible,
connects the improbable, breaks down artifice and presumption.
Art acts as a continuous feedback loop, constantly monitoring, evaluating
and modifying cultural activity.

Art and science share the goal of identifying, and identifying with, nature,
including a predictable fascination with human emotion, thought and
Both science and art aspire to truth without compromise.
Both challenge the way we see the world as individuals and community.

John Holland

(photo from musical score Fruit and Roses for Piano Solo by J. H.; for details on the score visit: Fruit and Roses)

VOICES of EARTH: A Global Symphony

September 30th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink


Voices of Earth: A Global Symphony is a 10 -minute video sample of a sound installation first presented in 2004 at the Pozen Center in Boston. The original program was a 24-hour musical simulation of various acoustic phenomena on Earth, shop computer-controlled in real time, from sunset to sunset. A variety of acoustic phenomena that vibrate outside the normal range of human hearing, such as the continuous rotation of the Earth, high and low atmospheric pressure systems, ocean waves, tidal motions, earthquakes, storm cycles, mountain waves, heartbeat, breathing, stress waves, etc. were converted to musical tones by transposing their frequencies and amplitudes to within the range of human audibility. The quality of each sound was determined according to the medium in which the sound occurs: air, liquid solid, organic substance.

A computer was programmed to organize start and stop times for continuous tones, pulses, and cycles relative to their durations within a period of a single rotation of the earth.

In addition, there are a variety of sampled sounds that are integrated into the music. These range from environmental noises, such as rain, wind, and thunder, to human speech sounds representing more than 25 different languages. Sampled sounds also include various animals, birds, and insects that are representative of diverse regions and environments throughout the world. The computer was used to control the selection of individual sounds, and their respective start times.

Screen images of the various acoustic phenomena accompany the music, including many low-orbit satellite photographs mined from NASA’s Visible Earth collection.

Along with the video, there are notes (PDF file) that describe the various acoustic phenomena, their characteristics, methods of conversion, and the real time computer program used in the original installation.

John Holland – Music, Sound Design

Josh Caswell – Programming, Sound Design

Voices of Earth video and text:

Video: Voices of Earth on

Text:  Voices Of Earth

Pietre Preziose

September 29th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink


Pietre Preziose is a celebration of beauty, ampoule chemistry and personal history. Women in Sicily are held precious yet often limited by the traditions of an ancient culture. My own background often hits up against the hard surface of these limitations. In an effort to soften the differences between us, stuff I have given gemstone pendants to twelve women that are interlocked in a social web around my Sicilian family. Each stone in turn symbolizes one of the many chemical hormones that drive women of every culture to be who they are – as mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, workers, and friends.

Linking hormone to gemstone to woman was a subjective process based on my impressions of these women, their strengths and weakness, their desires and accomplishments. The functions of the hormones were considered alongside the aesthetics, healing potentials, and legends attributed to the gemstones. Pietre Preziosa is a synesthetic experiment as well as a labor of love.

The current state of the project is a web site describing each women, stone and hormone. Other manifestations are forth-coming.

Nita Sturiale

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