“Writing Against Memory” – Join Glimpse Poetry Editor Arto Vaun in Conversation at Armenian Library and Museum of America

Arto Vaun, Capillarity (book cover)

Join us this Wed., Feb. 20, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts!

Writing Against Memory
poetry reading & conversation featuring

Arto Vaun
GLIMPSE journal Poetry Editor

Taline  Voskeritchian
Boston University professor

Wed., Feb. 20, 7:30 PM, $5 donation

wine reception and book signing / GLIMPSE journal samples and subscriptions will be available

The Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA)
Contemporary Art Gallery (3rd Floor) ‐ 65 Main St, Watertown, MA
http://almainc.org/calendar.html

 

ALMA’s “In  Conversation”  Series begins  on  Feb.  20  with  poet  and  singer/songwriter  Arto  Vaun,  and Prof.  Taline  Voskeritchian moderating  the  conversation.  The  program  will  center  on  the  question  of  literature’s  relevance  in  diasporic  culture  and  space.

This  ongoing  series  seeks  to  be  a  forum  where  intellectuals  and  artists,  along  with  the  audience,  engage  in  an  open  conversation.

 

Born  in  Cambridge,  MA,  Arto  Vaun  has  attended  Harvard  and  Glasgow  University  where  he  is  currently  finishing  a  PhD  in  English  Literature.  Vaun  was  the  co‐founder  of  Aspora  Literary  Journal  in  Los  Angeles,  a  co‐editor  of  The  Armenian  Weekly,  and  is  the  current  poetry  editor  of  Glimpse  Journal.  His  next  book  of  poems,  Isinglass,  is  forthcoming  from  Carcanet  Press  and  his  new  recording,  The  Cynthia  Sessions,  is  being  released  in  February  2013. 

Professor  Taline  Voskeritchian  teaches  writing  and  literature  at  Boston  University.  Her  work  has  appeared  in  Agni  Review,  London  Review  of  Books,  Bookforum,  The  Nation,  Jadaliyya,  among  others.    

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Final call for submissions: GLIMPSE journal #10 – Blindness

Blindness, Issue #10

Deadline: March 1, 2013

GLIMPSE’s issue on the theme of blindness will investigate interpretations, explanations, and manifestations of blindness through the lenses of science, social science, art, and the humanities. We are interested in writings that tackle blindness as a physical state and/or as a state of mind. Do certain manifestations of blindness disrupt traditional views of a body/mind divide, i.e. cases in which blindness may be psychosomatic? How do individuals classified as “blind” express their blindness to others and, conversely, how do non-blind individuals interpret and make sense of blindness?

She's got a vision, by flickr member elise.y

She’s got a vision, by flickr member elise.y

From a scientific point of view, how does the brain compensates for physical blindness, and why does blindness often render other senses more acute? How have medical and technological advancements undermined the ‘permanence’ of blindness, and how do these developments change both the lifestyles of those with physical blindness and the discourse surrounding blindness? Indeed, what is the discourse that surrounds blindness, and how is the notion of ‘blindness’ manifested in language (for example: to turn a blind eye; love is blind; to blindside)?

We invite works that cover any of these suggested topics, and also encourage submissions that approach other relevant issues. Submissions may not exceed 2500 words (or 6 pages for non-textual visual submissions). Research articles presented for the layperson, essays, interviews, book and film reviews, and visual works are all welcomed.

Does your work fit? Read our submission guidelines.

– Esther Howe


GLIMPSE journal is an interdisciplinary supercollider of works that examine the functions, processes, and effects of vision and its implications for being, knowing, and constructing our world(s). Each theme-focused issue features articles, visual essays, interviews, and reviews spanning the physical sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. GLIMPSE contributors are leading and emerging scholars, researchers, scientists and artists from around the world. Some of our contributors are independent thinkers and doers with no formal institutional affiliations, and others are affiliated with the most respected research institutions in the world. Read all about them.

Want to be a GLIMPSE contributor? Read here.

Call for submissions: GLIMPSE journal #11 – Justice

Golden Lady Justice, Bruges, Belgium by flickr member Emmanuel Huybrechts

Golden Lady Justice, Bruges, Belgium by flickr member Emmanuel Huybrechts

Justice, Issue #11

Deadline Extended: April 1, 2014

GLIMPSE journal issue #11 will explore the concept of Justice, as it pertains to visual perception, visual representation, and seeing.

We invite articles, essays, research, and visual works that logically, artfully, and/or experientially research, connect, reveal, illuminate, unpack, dismantle, or assemble concepts of, and practices surrounding, justice and vision. Examples might include research related to the reliability of eyewitness testimony in the courtroom, the evolution of representations of a blindfolded woman as a symbol of justice, the meaning/s of “justice is blind,” witness identification of alleged perpetrators in police lineups, or research related to individual or group bias against perceivable characteristics.

We invite works that cover any of these suggested topics, and also encourage submissions that approach other relevant issues. Submissions may not exceed 2500 words (or 6 pages for non-textual visual submissions). Research articles presented for the layperson, essays, interviews, book and film reviews, and visual works are all welcomed.

Does your work fit? Read our submission guidelines.


GLIMPSE journal is an interdisciplinary supercollider of works that examine the functions, processes, and effects of vision and its implications for being, knowing, and constructing our world(s). Each theme-focused issue features articles, visual essays, interviews, and reviews spanning the physical sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. GLIMPSE contributors are leading and emerging scholars, researchers, scientists and artists from around the world. Some of our contributors are independent thinkers and doers with no formal institutional affiliations, and others are affiliated with the most respected research institutions in the world. Read all about them.

Want to be a GLIMPSE contributor? Read here

Eat Your Carrots! The Chemistry of Vision

 

18th-century hand-colored etching of woman pushing wheelbarrow full of carrots.

“Sandwich Carrots-Dainty Sandwich Carrots.” Hand-colored etching. Gillray, James, 1756-1815, engraver. Published by H. Humphrey, 1796 Dec 3d, London.
Image courtesy of Library of Congress.

You’ve probably heard the old adage about eating carrots for good vision. Well, there is some truth to it. Carrots contain a high concentration of β-carotene which gets broken down in the intestines to form the aldehyde (hydrocarbon) form of vitamin A, cis-retinal. Vision deteriorates in the absence of vitamin A because cis-retinal is trafficked along the protein, opsin, to produce electrochemical signals from light.

Our retinas perceive light in tiny particles called photons. As soon as these photons hit the retina, they isomerize cis-retinal to trans-retinal.  Trans-retinal then bonds to opsin to form rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is a purple pigment in the photoreceptor cells of the retina that reads blue-green light. This is the first step of the phototransduction cycle where photon energy is transferred to a series of signaling and diffusing protein complexes.

Retinal isomerism drawn with ChemDraw

Mutated forms of rhodopsin will be folded and transported differently and could lead to deteriorated vision or blindness. In more rare cases, mutations can cause rhodopsin to be constantly activated, even in the absence of light. Hypersensitivity, autoimmune disorders, and mutations can all cause rod cells in the retina to undergo apoptosis or cellular self-destruction. This sort of degradation of the retina will ultimately lead to deteriorated vision and eventually blindness.

The absorbance of cis-retinal is optimized at approximately 100 nanometers less than rhodopsin and it is a very rigid molecule because of the arrangement of its double bonds. Thanks to isomerism, we can see in color as opposed to ultraviolet! As all of the above demonstrates, our ability to see involves a series of complicated and precisely regulated bio-chemical processes, and carrots play their role.

We will be exploring more about vision loss and blindness in the upcoming GLIMPSE issue 10, Blindness. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts, research, questions, or experiences related to the topic.

If you’re interested in the chemistry of vision and why we perceive the section of the electromagnetic spectrum that we do, you might also be interested in GLIMPSE, issue 4, Color, and the article on “Human Potential for Tetrachromacy” by Kimberley A. Jameson and the online supplementary article.

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Myya McGregory is the GLIMPSE 2012 Science Writing Intern. She is a junior double-majoring in chemistry and economics at Williams College. She enjoys music, dance, and literature.

Exhibit Review: Paris vu par Hollywood – Paris ponders the role of cinema in its identity

Paris vu par Hollywood exhibition banner, Paris, France, November 2012. Image by Meghan O’Reilly.

Paris vu par Hollywood
l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris
5 rue Lobau

until December 15, 2012

Paris: Is there a city more fetishized by Americans? The city of love, the city of lights, the capital of art, Paris has long captivated even those who’ve never seen it with their own eyes. To whom does France owe this notoriety? Its diplomatic tradition, its art, its literature…and in large part to American cinema.

Indeed France’s rich culture makes its capital a likely target for Hollywood producers, and since the advent of le 7eme art, hundreds of filmmakers have tried to capture the city’s unique allure. A new exposition, Paris vu par Hollywood, at l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris examines the city these filmmakers have portrayed throughout the years: a version of Paris, that has perhaps more to do with the American psyche than with the urban landscape itself.

The exhibition opens with a quote from mayor Bertrand Delanoë, pondering this American fascination. Regardless of its origins, he concludes, it has thankfully resulted in countless occasions for the whole world to “revel” in the city’s beauty.

I don’t disagree with the mayor; Paris is a striking city. Yet the exposition’s premise feels at times a bit patronizing: Paris, a city rich in history, tradition, art, and passion has a special ability to inspire the United States–a country that has none of those things.

But then again, hasn’t Hollywood been patronizing the French since the dawn of cinema? The exhibit ushers us through different eras and thematic depictions of the capital, from silent historical dramas in the early 1900s all the way to contemporary action films (including, to my amusement, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America World Police). Amongst the intriguing memorabilia, photographs, and video clips, we see the same themes emerging time and again: an obsession with the guillotine, a fixation on prostitutes, and a deification of the artist. Paris is simultaneously glorified and demonized; as much a cesspool of hedonism as a circuit of existential liberation; a place just as exotic, barbaric and primitive as it is enlightened, modern and fashionable.

So perhaps it’s only natural that a young, Puritanical country be so enthralled with an ancient, decadent city. Yet just how much of Paris’s reputation was based in reality—and how much was a myth perpetuated by Hollywood studios? As the exhibition cites one 1930s French journalist as saying,

“There’s the ‘Paris Paramount’ and the Paris en France…and the Paris Paramount is certainly the more Parisian!”

Indeed the exhibit emphasizes the absurd amount of effort invested in the constructing this “faux Paris”. Aerial shots of “Culver City”, the part of MGM studios used to film An American in Paris (1952) attest to the scope of the illusion. It was interesting, too, to witness how the city’s image developed after World War II, when more and more filmmakers began to come to Paris to shoot on-site. Tones shifted, idealism waned, but a certain Bohemian dream remained personified by the City of Lights.

The exhibition is rich in enticing artifacts: amongst my favorites were a bill from Mary Pickford’s lunch at the Ritz (she had an omelette), Gene Kelley’s boots from The Three Musketeers (they were enormous!), and several Givenchy costumes worn by Audrey Hepburn (they were somewhat less enormous). Notable as well were striking set and costume designs for an array of films, including Jean Renoir’s Moulin Rouge, and Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

For those less well-versed in cinema, I would have appreciated a more historical approach. While thought-provoking, the exhibition could have incorporated more context into its arguments, specifically regarding technological, political, and philosophical developments over the course of the 20th century. Nevertheless, I appreciated the collection’s clarity and organization, especially given its large scope. Paris has a separate museum for the cinematic history after all! Ultimately the exhibit is a success, delightful in its ability to both celebrate and critique the nostalgia that clouds our perception of city.

At the end of the exhibit, tourists and Parisians alike lingered at the back of the hall to watch a clip of Gene Kelley and Leslie Caron dancing on the banks of the Seine. The images are so familiar, yet so foreign; entirely fabricated, yet somehow more concrete than the city they represent. I suppose that for any given place, cinema—and art in general for that matter—is the closest one can ever get to seeing “the real thing”. But observing this universal transfixion in front of the projector made me wonder whether the real thing really matters at all.


by Meghan O’Reilly, GLIMPSE journal reviews correspondent, Paris


Paris vu par Hollywood is free at l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris (5 rue Lobau) until December 15, 2012. Open from 10am-7pm, Monday-Saturday. Audio guides available in multiple languages for 5 euros.

Newly discovered! The earliest color motion pictures

Lying dormant in the archive of Britain’s National Media Museum for decades, what everyone thought were black and white films, turned out to be the first color motion pictures ever made. British photographer Edward Turner made the films using his 1899 patented color film process in about 1903, shortly before his untimely death:

A complicated process, it involved photographing successive frames of black-and-white film through blue, green and red filters. Using a special projector…these were combined on a screen to produce full-colour images.

Highlights of these never-before-shared test films can now be seen on YouTube via our 21st-century RGB screens, and of course, at the museum itself, where the specially-formatted projector can be viewed as well.

Thanks to GLIMPSE subscriber, Francis H., for sharing this with GLIMPSE readers! A very well-timed discovery with our Cinema issue.

Now playing! CINEMA (GLIMPSE journal issue 9, summer 2012)

Now available!

CINEMA, issue 9, summer 2012
GLIMPSE journal | the art + science of seeing
http://www.glimpsejournal.com

Cover, GLIMPSE issue 9, Cinema. Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Spring 2011. Photograph by Sherief Gaber. Image courtesy of Lara Baladi.

Cover, GLIMPSE issue 9, Cinema.
Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Spring 2011.
Photograph by Sherief Gaber. Image courtesy of Lara Baladi.

CONTENTS

Timeline: Selected Dates in Cinema Art, Science, and Technology
Vic Leeds

Tahrir Cinema: Film Activism in Egypt’s Revolution
Esther Howe

Your Brain on Movies
Norman Holland

Cinematic Spelunking Inside Plato’s Cave
Maureen Eckert

RetroSpect: 1868, The Myriopticon
Lauren B. Hewes

Opening Wide: Film Festivals and Fan Communities
Kevin Corbett

Silver Screen Society: New posters for old movies
Brandon Schaeffer, Timo Meyer, Alex Griendling,
Barry Blankenship, and Eren Blanquet Unten

Pancakes with Darth: Shifting Images of Villain from Death Stars
to
Department Stores
Tony Pacitti

(Re)View:
Inside the Dead Matter: Natalia Almada’s The Night Watchman
Courtney Sheehan

Be My Projector So I Can Fail Differently
Arto Vaun

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http://www.glimpsejournal.com
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