We’re pleased to say that Alex and Giles will be giving a seminar this coming Friday, 11.30am-12.30pm in the Department of History, Durham University, in Seminar Room 1. The talk will outline the project, Alex’s thoughts so far on the form her sculpture might take, and the supporting materials that will be produced. In addition we’ll talk about the nature of the collaboration between medieval and modern science, some of the key textual and visual inspirations, and how the project will engage with the public. If you’d like to come along, please do! For any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
And here it is, the wonderful show from Philip Ball’s Science Stories, on Radio 4. An evocative opening, and then a treat with Tom talking about Grosseteste, the De luce and the interdisciplinary work of the Ordered Universe, and a final consideration of multiverses with Mary Jane Rubenstein. Thought-provoking, meditative and stimulating by turns! Just shows how well the story of Grosseteste’s world, how it inspires scholarship and creativity today, and the intrinsic interest in the phenomena studies, works on radio. Do listen – it’s well worth it.
Well, by Hercules, as Seneca did, in fact, say, the Ordered Universe Reading Group (Durham Chapter), finished this week its reading of Seneca’s Natural Questions. A very interesting experience, with our usual interdisciplinary mix. While the explanations for terrestrial waters might not have commanded universal interest, the books on Comets and on Cloud <Rain, Hail and Snow> were of particular note, given the project symposium in Oxford in May. Continue reading →
Absolutely thrilled to announce an upcoming exhibition at the National Glass Centre, University of Sunderland. Artists Cate Watkinson and Colin Rennie, with contributions from MA and PhD students from the Centre will be creating a fantastic array of installations, all based on Grosseteste’s treatises on light, colour and the rainbow. The exhibition will run from October 2017 to February 2018 at the Glass Centre.
Amongst the pieces to be created are pillars of colour casting shadow and reflection, and an exploded rainbow, with sequences of colour moving and blending into each other:
Other pieces will work with medieval imagery and text; all will be exploring Grosseteste’s idea that Colour is Light ‘Color est lux’. Or, as he put in his Commentary on the Genesis Creation story, a constant mediation and mingling of the elements:
Nor should anyone think that the earth could not have been coloured at the beginning, given that colour is light in a diaphanous medium and light was not yet created. In fact, if the creation of things was successive the fire was mixed with this solid earth since the beginning, as it is now; and the incorporation of its light (that is: the fire-light) in the moisture of the earth made the earth coloured. In fact, these elements that we perceive around us are not pure, but mixed with each other, and are named from the element that predominates.
[Hexaemeron 4.7.2: ed. Richard C. Dales and Servus Gieben (Oxford, 1982); translated by C.F.J. Martin as On the Six Days of Creation (Oxford, 1996)]
Flowing from the Through A Glass Darkly collaboration the exhibition also forms part of the City of Sunderland’s bid for UK City of Culture. It really is amazing to see the continued inspiration that Grosseteste’s thinking moves and shapes, and to see different levels of analysis, interpretation and explanation of these texts through glass.
We’ll be creating a Vlog to track the progress of the making – many thanks to Claire Todd – and to whet your appetites for the exhibition, in its various modes: meditative and explosive by turns.
A new resource for Grosseteste, and wider medieval, manuscript research, is now available on the Ordered Universe website. It comprises a list of all known manuscripts of Grosseteste’s scientific, theological and philosophical opuscula. Compiled by Professor Neil Lewis (Georgetown University), the list is designed to be iterative: if you come across Continue reading →
An update on the Leverhulme Trust funded Artist in Residence position for Alexandra Carr. Alex is settled into the wonderful surroundings of Ushaw College (with many thanks to the fantastic staff), and the programme for the summer is taking shape. This will involve collaborations across the university and across the region. We have a website up and running which will give more information on the project and its activities: Sculpting with Light.
One not to miss! Tom McLeish is featured at 21.00 on Wednesday this week, talking with Philip Ball, on Science Stories, Radio 4: The Medieval Bishop’s Big Bang Theory. Tom and Philip explore the scientific world of Robert Grosseteste, rainbows, colour and light streaming through Cathedral windows, and the birth of the cosmos described in his treatise ‘On Light’ with its eerie resonance of modern thinking. Listen in, or to the podcast afterwards!
The Ordered Universe, in association with the International Robert Grosseteste Society, is organising a conference, 3-5 April 2018, at Pembroke College, University of Oxford. The call for Papers and Posters is available now. Please circulate and put in an application! Science, Imagination and Wonder: Robert Grosseteste and His Legacy…
Supporters of the Ordered Universe will be pleased to know, I’m sure, that Alex Carr has been long-listed for the Aesthetica Art Prize. More details on Alex’s website. A video of the shortlisted piece, Phi, will be on show at the exhibition at York Gallery this May. It will also be published in the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology which showcases the work of 100 leading artists from around the world and is a dynamic guide to international contemporary art. Phi features the spiral of Fibonacci, a direct contemporary of Robert Grosseteste.