Horizon – sneak preview

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Hot off the creative desk – some stills from the first half of Horizon showing at the Napa Lighted Art Festival in January 2019 (12-20) (not so long away!). The show features material from the Ordered Universe project and its research on the scientific works of Robert Grosseteste, as well as material from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA, curated and brought together and transmuted into something amazing by The Projection Studio – Ross Ashton and Karen Monid. Horizon will take viewers on a journey from the 13th century to the 21st, from the medieval universe to the modern, exploring perennial human questions of where we stand, how we should live, and how we are shaped and limited by our horizons.

Ordered Universe at the Napa Lighted Festival 2019 – Programme

 

So, in January, you’ll be able to catch a number of Ordered Universe team members at the Napa Lighted Art Festival. We’re hugely excited about the opportunity which was instigated by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid of The Projection Studio (with whom we have worked very successfully as followers of this blog will surely know). We’ve been working Continue reading

Ordered Universe at Leeds International Medieval Congress, 2019

Ordered Universe will be taking part in the 2019 Leeds International Congress, the largest forum for sharing research on the Middle Ages in Europe. The project has a lot to offer on the special conference theme of ‘Materialities’  so we proposed four sessions and a roundtable, all of  which were accepted. The Ordered Universe activities will take place Continue reading

Ordered Universe in Napa – Brian Tanner

Maybe it was happy memories of touring Napa Valley wineries some years ago, but when I was offered the opportunity  of taking part in the Napa Lighted Art Festival this coming January, I had no hesitation in accepting. For the past 10 years, Durham (UK) has had a similar event, Lumière, so I am expecting a spectacular visual experience. The Ordered Universe team is participating in the associated public activities series and I relish the thought of sharing my experiences of light in all its forms with residents and visitors to Napa. Colin Rennie and I will present a session ‘Beyond the Visible’ where we will go on a journey from X-Ray Imaging via Radio Astronomy to glass Art, all inspired by the science of the electromagnetic spectrum and one great thinker in particular, the 13thcentury polymath, Robert Grosseteste. The creative fusion between medieval European theories, modern vision science and glass art unlocks artistic inspiration and experience, which always surprises me.  It is never what I expect from our artist collaborators.

We will also enjoy showing visitors how simple optics experiments and observations, that they can themselves do with minimal apparatus, have a deep-rooted history in the medieval and classical worlds. I look forward to evenings revelling in the pieces of light art to be projected on to buildings, objects and in spaces. And, of course, there is the wine.

Napa Sun

Color est lux incoporata perspicuo – Colour is light incorporated in a transparent medium

OxNet-Ordered Universe launched

Last week we launched the Ordered Universe – OxNet North-East programme for 2018-19. Using the wonderful setting of St Peter’s Church, Sunderland, appropriate for the occasion given its connections to Bede and early medieval scientific thought, we introduced the project and the OxNet programme to about 100 school students, teachers and parents. Dating back to the 670s, St Peter’s, at the mouth of the Wear, formed part of the double monastery of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow. Bede spent his early years at Monkwearmouth, born on the estates of the monastery and spending the rest of life there and at Jarrow.

After a tour of the church, we divided into three groups. Brian Tanner and Sarah Gilbert led a session of medieval and modern astronomy, focusing on comets challenging the students to think their way through ancient and medieval views on the subject. In a similar way Giles Gasper and Jamies Irvine used the Hereford World Map, from the late-thirteenth century as a way to enter the medieval mind and the rather different attitudes towards geography and cosmology. Both sessions were very stimulating, and were intended as tasters of the sort of variety of subjects and our collaborative approach. The sessions were complemented by one for parents, demystifying university application, led by Peter Claus.

A final session featured Peter Claus on the OxNet initiative and its philosophy, Sammy Wright Vice-Principal of Southmoor Academy, three students who had taken the course over the last two years, and then Giles wrapped up with a presentation on Ordered Universe. Moving from Bede to Grosseteste, maps to the cosmos, with astronomy, comets, and interdisciplinary research we hope that that we gave an insight into university life and learning.

To apply for the course please visit: www.ox-net.org/apply_sunderland – the deadline for expressions of interest is 10th December. Please do spread the word – it is one of the high-points of the year for project members. We always learn a lot from the student comments and engagement, the course is demanding but rewarding as a result, and brings you into the heart of a dynamic research project.

 

OxNet NorthEast 2018 Programme Launch, and Other Ordered Universe Updates

Next Monday the OxNet – Ordered Universe programme for 2018-19 launches in the North-East. Organised through the hub school at Southmoor Academy in Sunderland, the programme involves and is open to schools from across the regions. We’ll be holding a taster evening at St Peter’s Church in Sunderland, rich in its connections to the medieval heritage of the region and to the history of science – the church was once home to Bede. Join us for a tour of the church, sessions on Comets – medieval and modern, or Cultural Cosmology, with Brian Tanner, Sarah Gilbert, Jamie Irvine and Giles Gasper, from Durham University (Physics and History Departments), and, for parents a session on student life and myth-busting led by Peter Claus (University of Oxford) and Lee Worden (Durham). The sessions will give an insight into the sorts of activities we’ll run from January to July – evening seminars at St Peter’s on a wide variety of topics and subjects, a residential Easter School at Durham, and the longer residential school at Pembroke College, Oxford. Moving between science and humanities, and medieval and modern thinking, we’ll show the students what it is that we can do at university, the joys and challenges of collaboration, how to ask questions and think more deeply about the world around us. The evening will wrap up with talks from Peter Claus on the OxNet programme and its philosophy, Sammy Wright from Southmoor Academy, Claire Ungley our OxNet North East co-ordinator, two students who attended the course last year, and finally Giles Gasper introducing Ordered Universe. 

And in other news we can report a number of talks delivered by Ordered Universe members in recent weeks. Neil Lewis was at the Medieval Studies Institute at Indiana University on October 17, and gave a presentation on ‘Robert Grosseteste and the Ordered Universe:  The value of interdisciplinary study for solving textual and interpretative problems’, Giles Gasper gave a paper to the Durham University Centre for Catholic Studies Seminar on the Hexaemeron and Scientific Literacy in the Middle Ages, with a focus on Grosseteste on November 8th, and Nader El-Bizri gave two talks, on Monday 12th November at the Arab School of Astrophysics at American University of Beirut on Ibn al-Haytham, Selenography and Optical Studies on the Light of the Moon, with Ordered Universe as a model. Nader is also to be found tomorrow at the UNESCO sponsor event, ‘Une nuit de la philosophie‘ in Paris, tonight! 

Grosseteste’s Dicta

We’re very pleased to announce that the Ordered Universe website is now hosting a downloadable PDF of the working transcript of Grosseteste’s Dicta prepared by Edwin J. Westermann and Joseph W. Goering. We’re extremely grateful to Professor Goering for making the transcript available in this way, and these fascinating texts open to a wider audience. The PDF is available under Resources-Dicta. We hope that this will be of service and use to all interested in the fields that the Dicta touch upon. The essential starting point for contextualising the Dicta is Professor Goering’s article: ‘Robert Grosseteste’s Dicta: The State of the Question’ in John Flood, James R. Ginther and Joseph W. Goering, eds., Robert Grosseteste and His Intellectual Milieu(Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2013) pp. 64-86.

 In addition, thanks to the kind offices of Gordon Jackson, Bishop Grosseteste University, his English translation will also be made available on the website – the first two volumes are to be found under the same page-heading.

 

Ordered Universe at the North American Conference on British Studies

Over the last three days, some member of the Ordered Universe have been attending the North American Conference on British Studies at its annual meeting, this year in Providence, Rhode Island. The conference covers all aspects of British culture, from the medieval period to the present-day. So, Ordered Universe research was presented Continue reading

Nominations for Northern Lights

 

As followers of the Ordered Universe and its blog will know, various members of the team worked with The Projection Studio (Ross Ashton and Karen Monid) in June this year, on their show Northern Lights, set, spectacularly, in York Minster. Excitingly the show has been shortlisted for two awards. The first as Best Event in the MinsterFM awards. Now, this is based on a public vote, and voting closes on October 29th. So, if you feel like casting one, just follow this link: https://www.minsterfm.com/local-events/lcavote-event.php

Second, Northern Lights has also been shortlisted for the Excellence In Media Arts Category at the York Culture Awards 2018. This is judged by panel, so we wish the show and Ross and Karen the best of luck for that one.

Anyone who saw the show live will not be surprised, but delighted, by these nominations – it really was something quite stunning – the Minster roof dissolving into sky, for example. It was a real privilege to be of some help in the planning and inspiration for what was projected, alongside other academic colleagues at the University of York. It’s quite appropriate that the show should be recognised – fingers crossed for the awards (and get clicking for the first one!).

Boston College – Knowing and Speaking

Yesterday, Sigbjørn and Giles were hosted by the Theology and Philosophy Departments at Boston College, for a seminar on Ordered Universe, its methods, principal findings and ethos. We outlined the historical issues in encountering Grosseteste, the difficulties in tracing his steps, which affect in turn the context that can be given, or is assumed, for his earlier works. After that we ran through On the Liberal ArtsOn the Generation of SoundsOn the Sphere, On the Six DifferentiaeOn Comets, On Light and On the Rainbow, to give a full conspectus of Ordered Universe activities. At each step we evoked the conclusions of Continue reading