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Nature

This category contains 75 posts

Inmate takes over the asylum

One Republican senator said after the historically “extraordinary” unpresidential press conference this week, “He (@realDonaldTrump) should do this with a therapist, not with the country” (The Hill). The occasion came across as an open and public catharsis. The rest of the world got drenched in the outpourings of his singularly troubled unconscious. Long term care institutions (asylums) for psychiatric patients are mostly … Continue reading

Network Nature

The blog medium invites disclosures about work in progress. So here’s the how the table of contents is shaping up for my new book: Coyne , Richard. Network Nature: Digital Technology and the Semiotics of Place. London: Bloomsbury.  The draft is due end of March, including 30 illustrations, and it is on track so far. Table of … Continue reading

Garage labs and biohacks

The domestic garage is adjunct space without heating, insulation and wall coverings. It’s often physically connected to the rest of the home, but homeowners treat it as an outside space, or at least a buffer between inside and outside. Garages are less common in inner city dwellings (where I live), especially where there are row houses, terraces, flats and older … Continue reading

Unaugurate

To inaugurate is “to take omens from the flight of birds.” At least, that’s how the OED explains the word’s derivation — from the Latin inaugurāre. Nature as a source of signs related to events that might affect human beings comes under the category of what the American Pragmatic Philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) called an “indexical … Continue reading

No retreat: 360 video and the visible camera operator

“There’s no more behind the scenes,” said a colleague as we discussed 360 video. The camera operator can’t hide behind the camera, but has to retreat some distance away, unless they are content to be part of the act. That explains why 360 camera operatives need to control the 360 camera with a hand-held smartphone … Continue reading

The dark net wilderness

“There are darker things beyond the Wall,” said Catelyn in George Martin’s A Game of Thrones (22). That’s the bleak wilderness where the wildings live, an uncharted landscape, dangerous, of uncertain extent, and a symbol of the darker reaches of the untamed unconscious. You venture into the wilderness from the safe confines of civility. Hopefully you … Continue reading

Biocentrism

Nature, the organic and the biological exhibit growth, decay and disorder, or at least an order that is outside of human mastery. Technology equates to function, control, precision, efficiency and factory production. It’s easy to place modernity at odds with nature, and on the side of technology. But as any student of architecture knows, there was a … Continue reading

The biolingual architect

I retain fond memories of Biology 101 — a lab-based undergraduate science elective in which we lab-coat rookies dissected Formaldehyde-soaked frogs and weighed the collective scalps of lamented snap-frozen drosophila. Not least, we learned the language of nature: zygotes and gametes, monocots and dicots, dominants and recessives, liverworts and mosses. But no bio-vocabularizing prepares you for the zoo of terms … Continue reading

Slime and goo

Nature and health are closely aligned, but not always positively in the case of buildings. Left unchecked, nature delivers invasive plant life with root systems that unseat brickwork, and break through water barriers. Fungus, mould, lichen and other spore-producing organisms (cryptogams) invade architectural cracks, pores and surfaces. Invasive nature invokes a kind of “disgust” according … Continue reading

Lifeless architecture

Architecture has more in common with geology than biology. At least this is one of the conclusions I take from a series of interesting articles from a special issue of Arq (Architecture Research Quarterly) on architecture and biotechnology. More accurately, it’s the skeletons, hardened excreta, dead tissue, and shells that provide the structural support for … Continue reading