Protective Membranes

METAMORPHOSIS REVEALED

From the study Metamorphosis revealed: time-lapse three dimensional imaging inside a living chrysalis, by Tristan Lowe, Russell J. Garwood, Thomas J. Simonsen, Robert S. Bradley, Philip J. Withers, published 15 May 2013 by The Royal Society:

"Studies of model insects have greatly increased our understanding of animal development. Yet, they are limited in scope to this small pool of model species: a small number of representatives for a hyperdiverse group with highly varied developmental processes. One factor behind this narrow scope is the challenging nature of traditional methods of study, such as histology and dissection, which can preclude quantitative analysis and do not allow the development of a single individual to be followed. Here, we use high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT) to overcome these issues, and three-dimensionally image numerous lepidopteran pupae throughout their development. The resulting models are presented in the electronic supplementary material, as are figures and videos, documenting a single individual throughout development. [...] In the future, this form of time-lapse CT-scanning could allow faster and more detailed developmental studies on a wider range of taxa than is presently possible."

ACCIDENTALLY SPRAYED

Accidentally Sprayed

by Gonzalo Escobar (2008)

From Gonzalo Escobar's Vimeo page:

Winged performers in the streets, armed with water sprays bottles, become a metaphor to the relationship between a Colombian filmmaker living in the United States and the aerial fumigations of coca crops occurring in his native country. Different perspectives of the topic are explored through images and sounds, but especially, through his opportunity to travel to southern Colombia, where the fumigations have been taking place. Aspects of documentary filmmaking are mixed with elements of the film essay genre. Animation, news, and found footage also take part of this visual and sonic collage that thrives to represent the filmmaker’s position and to some extent, the position of any viewer.

Gonzalo is the lead performer in my film Oh My Soul, and a good friend.  This video taught me a lot about the issue of crop fumigation in Colombia as well as strategies for investigating the social and political through personal filmmaking.  I hope he makes more soon!

NEW VIDEO POSTED: YX

YX is an allegory about cities, bodies, fluid media, privation and loss, in which hermetic spaces create hermetic narratives. Shot in 2007 in Chicago with performances by Evan Scott Rubin and Jeff Harms, production assistance by Sam Wagster, Britt Willey, Matthew Kellard, Chris Vlasses and Lizzy Lynette Vlasses.  Music by Vaughan Williams and Paysage d'hiver.

You can also view the full page with stills here.

Work In Progress: yx

In 2007 I shot ten scenes for a feature length project called The Upper Air, but I was dissapointed with the results and scrapped the project.  I've decided to re-edit the scenes into a short entitled yx, which will hopefully be finished next month.  The themes and concept are very much the same as the original project: the privitization of resources and of bodies, the translation of hermetic spaces into hermetic narratives, allegories of ecologies in crisis.  The new title comes from Stéphane Mallarmé's poem, Sonnet en -yx.  The video has performances by Jeff Harms and Evan Rubin, and Sam Wagster was an immense help in the production.  Below are some stills from the edit in progress.

Cueva de los Cristales de Naica

The Crystal Cave was accidentally discovered in 2000 by miners working in the silver and lead mine at Naica, Mexico. It lies almost 300 meters (900 feet) below the surface of the Earth and it contains the largest crystals known in the world, by far. The largest crystals are over 11 meters long (36 feet) and weigh 55 tons.  The crystals themselves are made of selenite which is crystallized gypsum, the same material used in drywall construction. Except these crystals formed over a span of about half a million years in a hot water solution, saturated with minerals. The temperature inside the cave remained very consistently hot for the entire time the crystals were growing.