Professor Brian Tanner, Durham, Department of Physics
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.
Color est lux incoporata perspicuo – Colour is light incorporated in a transparent medium
As part of last week’s Ordered Universe symposium in Dublin, Seb Falk and Giles Gasper gave a talk about the work of the project (Giles) and medieval understanding of the night skies, and the instruments for measurement and observation available in the period. It was a lovely venue – in the Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin, an attentive audience, and a testing series of questions (!), finished off with Seb’s demonstration of how to use an astrolabe. An especially fascinating and Continue reading
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA at sunset.
January 2019 – if you’re in or around Napa California, drop into the Napa Lighted Festival which runs in the second two weeks of the month. Various members of the Ordered Universe team will be participating with a series of talks and activities in the afternoons and evenings of the 17th, 18th, 19th. We’re thrilled by the invitation to work for and with the Festival, which came about through Ross Ashton and Karen Monid of The Projection Studio. With a festival theme of Beyond, we’ll be working with Ross and Karen on a new projection show drawing on Grosseteste’s cosmological treatises: Horizon. On the Six ‘Diffeertiae’, On the Sphere, and others will feature in the new piece, under development at the moment. Taking research from the seminar-room to a different audience, in partnership with artistic collaborators is a fascinating and exhilarating experience. We’re very much looking forward to working with the Parks and Recreation Department in Napa to bring the best that we can to the city. Continue reading
News of the next public talk from the Ordered Universe, which takes place in Dublin, at the Trinity College Long Room Hub, Neill Lecture Theatre: Tuesday 18th September 2018, 18.00-19.15. The talk, ‘Getting Hands-on with Medieval Science’ will be delivered by Professor Giles Gasper (Durham University) and Dr Seb Falk (University of Cambridge). Giles will introduce the Ordered Universe project, its blend of medieval studies and Continue reading
Courtesy of the Projection Studio
After our summer breaks, Ordered Universe members will be convening for our next symposium. This time we are hosted by Laura Claver at Trinity College Dublin. We’re very much looking forward to being in Ireland, and have a full schedule of texts to examine. Meeting between 17th and 20th September, we’ll be looking at Grosseteste’s treatises On Light (familiar to many!), a final reading of On Comets, and second readings Continue reading
Northern Lights: A brand new sound and light show from the Projection Studio takes place at York Minster this weekend 16th and 17th June. The spectacular display put together by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid takes inspiration from the stained glass and architecture of the magnificent building. The events form part of a fundraising weekend to raise money in an appeal for protective glazing to be created for all of the Minster’s windows with medieval stained glass. The windows and their characters will take centre-stage in Northern Lights, as part of an immersive sound and light experience featuring music from the Minster choir.
With projection onto the ceiling of the nave and quire, Northern Lights develops themes of creation, the history of the region and contemplation. Ordered Universe team members helped in the early stages of the project, and it will be wonderful to see the fruition of these ideas and the sensory feast that awaits.
All profits from the weekend events will support the fundraising campaign. Doors open at 8pm, with last admission 9pm, before the sound and light projection is shown at 9.30pm. The event will finish at approximately 10pm.
It will absolutely be worth it!
Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased through the Minster’s website at www.yorkminster.org. For more information visit the website or call 01904 557200.
Images courtesy of Ross Ashton.
Ordered Universe is off on its travels. Fresh from our project conference, Easter School and participation in other conferences and colloquia, the next symposium takes place in Canada, at McGill University, Montreal. We are delighted to be hosted by Professor Faith Wallis, a core team member, and are very much looking forward to four days of collaborative reading in such a stimulating environment. Three texts are on the menu, a re-reading of Grosseteste’s On the Six Differences edited and translated by Sigbjørn Sønnesyn on notions of the horizon and up/down/left/right/back/front, and two new ones. The first is On the Supercelestial Motions, edited by Cecilia Panti, and newly translated by Neil Lewis, the second On Corporeal Motion and Light, edited and translated by Neil. These are the tenth and eleventh of Grosseteste’s scientific opuscula to be tackled by the team, thirteen in total. As we work through the texts, the sense of the intricacy and intensity of Grosseteste’s thought comes to the fore time and again. In the texts to be considered roots of characteristic aspects of his later thought emerge, for example the identification of nature with the first form, namely light. More than shades of On Light…
The symposium will also feature a public lecture to be delivered in the Redpath Museum, by Tom McLeish, Giles Gasper and Jack Cunningham, with details to follow. The symposium will be followed by a graduate conference at McGill, and then by members of the team making their way steadily westwards to Kalamazoo and the International Medieval Congress. We are very grateful to Faith and to Shameem Mooradun for expert organisation, and for helping to shape our twentieth collaborative reading meeting. And they get better every time!
Dr Jack Cunningham, Bishop Grosseteste University. History.
Next week, Thursday 22nd February, Dr Jack Cunningham from Bishop Grosseteste University will be delivering a public lecture, at Ushaw College, County Durham, as part Ushaw Lectures Series run by Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies, and in association with the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
Saving Catholic Grosseteste: Fr Philip Perry’s Lost Biography
The lecture will explore the wonderful new discovery of a late 18th century life of Continue reading