ART STUFF on a train # 13: ‘ Minimum Values’

Most days art Critic Paul Carey-Kent spends hours on the train, traveling between his home in Southampton and his day job in Surrey. Could he, we asked, jot down whatever came into his head?

White Cube’s Masons Yard summer show includes six of Martin John Callanan’s striking series ‘The Fundamental Units’. Callanan uses thousands of exposures via a 3D optical microscope at the National Physical Laboratory to achieve intensely detailed (400 million pixels) images of the lowest denomination coins, here printed at over 50 times life-size. This elevation of the near-worthless reveals the construction and traces of circulation invisible to the naked eye. It also has a mournful aspect, as many of lowest value coins (Callanan has captured 16 of the 166 currently in use) will doubtless be withdrawn from circulation soon enough. As you can see at www.greyisgood.eu, Callanan has good form for obsessive projects, such as taking 2,000 photographs of floors in important buildings with restricted public access .

‘The Fundamental Units’ reminded me of a similarly-sourced but psychologically contrasting series : Moyra Davey’s late 80s series of 100 ‘Copperheads’, which concentrate on one coin – the US one cent – to show the range of scratching, rusting and tarnishing inflicted on the most famous American. These, focusing on one national economy at a time of recession – and currently on display at Tate Liverpool during the next recession – become harder to read as the damage tends towards abstraction. But then, isn’t the whole convention of money an abstraction of sorts?

Originally posted on FAD

Fundamental Units at White Cube Mason’s Yard, 12 July – 21 September 2013

White Cube Mason's Yard

São Paulo-based curator Adriano Pedrosa curates an attempt to “infiltrate the hierarchies of the gallery system” by inviting any interested artists to submit works through an open submission process involving an interview and selection system that closed in February 2013. Featured artists include Slade graduate Martin John Callanan and Camberwell graduate Venisha Francis-Hickson.

Open Cube, White Cube Mason’s Yard, 12 July – 21 September 2013

Open Cube, White Cube, Mason's Yard alt="Open Cube, White Cube, Mason's Yard"

Download the press release (PDF)
Download gallery information guide (PDF)
Watch Adriano Pedrosa talk about the exhibition
Buy the catalogue

White Cube Mason’s Yard is pleased to present ‘Open Cube’, an international group exhibition organised by São Paulo-based curator Adriano Pedrosa. Invited by the gallery to curate an exhibition, Pedrosa launched a process of open submission via Art Agenda in January 2013, under the title ‘Call for entries: ‘Open Cube’ at White Cube Mason’s Yard’. The only requirement was that the artist needed to be available for an interview in London with the curator, in March 2013. ‘Open Cube’ received over 2,900 applicants, of which Pedrosa interviewed 38 and selected a final group of 17 artists.

Taking his cue from Brian O’Doherty’s seminal book Inside the White Cube, the Ideology of the Gallery Space (1976), Pedrosa’s exhibition challenges the identity of White Cube as an organisation, as a physical space and as a concept, questioning the complex relationships between existent notions of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, value and economics. By opening up the curatorial selection process beyond his own networks and meeting with artists who were previously unknown to him, Pedrosa confronts what he perceives to be the standard gallery practice of seemingly closed systems that exist in the criteria for staging exhibitions.

The works in the ground-floor gallery are concerned with the concept of the ‘white cube’ and the ‘open cube’ itself, of public and private spaces, as well as value and currency. The works in the lower ground-floor gallery present different forms of abstraction – constructivist and geometric and also organic, amorphous, fluid types – yet many of these run counter to traditional modernist abstract idioms. The 17 artists included in this exhibition, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, The Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, UK and USA, have created work that seeks, as Pedrosa says, ‘to contest these national boundaries as well as the very identity of White Cube itself.’

In the accompanying catalogue, which includes transcripts of the interviews Pedrosa conducted with the 17 selected artists, he suggests that the ‘Open Cube’ is a transparent cube and sets out to reveal what goes on behind the gallery doors. Pedrosa is himself interviewed by Pablo Leon de la Barra, in order to expose his own methods and the motivations behind this exhibition. The publication is fully illustrated and will be available in September 2013.

Open Cube Catalogue

Artists:

Matt Ager was born in 1985 in England and lives and works in London. He recently completed a residency at Skowhegan School in Maine, USA and is currently part of the postgraduate programme at the Royal Academy Schools in London. Recent exhibitions include ‘Classic Poncho’, The China Shop, Oxford (2013); ‘A Nod’, Space in Between, London (2012); ‘OVERTHIN’, Gallery Primo Alonso, London (2011) and ‘DUMBO Arts Festival’, Brooklyn, USA (2010).

Adriano Amaral was born in 1982 in Brazil and lives and works in London. He is currently studying for an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. Recent exhibitions include ‘WIP Show’, Royal College of Art, London (2013); ‘Embaixo da Terra o Cèu de Novo’, Transversal Gallery, São Paulo (2012); ‘Solo Objects’, Arco Madrid (2012) and ‘Nova Escultura Brasileira’, Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro (2011).

Frank Ammerlaan was born in 1979 in Sassenheim, The Netherlands and lives and works in London. He holds a BA in Fine Art from Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy, Amsterdam and an MFA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London (2012). Awards include the Land Securities studio award, Degree Show, Royal College of Art (2012), a residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Calasetta, Italy (2013) and the Royal Award of Painting, The Netherlands (2012). Recent exhibitions include ‘Painting without Paint’, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen (2012); ‘Day’s End’, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam and ‘Stereopsis’, The Drawing Room, London (2012).

Helen Barff was born in 1974 in England and lives and works in London. She holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Art History from Goldsmiths College, London (1999) and an MA in Drawing from Camberwell College of Arts, London. Residencies include Greatmore Studios, Cape Town and Gasworks Gallery/The Triangle Arts Trust, London (2008).Recent exhibitions include ‘Brood’, Bend in the River, Gainsborough (2011); ‘Things from the Thames’, Bearspace, London (2005); ‘Trident Way’, Departure Gallery, London (2010). Site-specific projects include ‘Route 12:36’, South London Gallery: Artwork on bus routes 12 and 36, London (2000).

Sarah Bernhardt was born in 1989 in Canterbury, UK and lives and works in London. She received a BA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Recent exhibitions include ‘Co-Respondent’, Transition Gallery, London (2013) and ‘The Sand Between God’s Toes’, Pie Factory, Margate (2012).

Martin John Callanan was born in 1982 in the UK and lives and works in London. He holds an MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (2005) and is currently a Teaching Fellow in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Recent exhibitions include ‘Along Some Sympathetic Lines’, Or Gallery, Berlin (2013); Whitstable Biennale (2012); Horrach Moya Gallery, Palma (2012) and ‘Deed Poll’, a performance at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2012).

Nuno Direitinho was born in 1981 in Portugal and lives and works in London. He holds a BA in Fine Art Photography from the Glasgow School of Art (2011) and is currently doing his MFA in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Recent exhibitions include ‘Voies Off’, La Galerie a Ciel Ouvert, Arles, France (2012); ‘Emergents DST’, Teatro Circo de Braga, Portugal (2011) and ‘3+1’, Assembly Gallery, Glasgow (2011).

Venisha Francis-Hinkson was born in 1989 in England and lives and works in London. She holds a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design from St. Francis Xavier College (2009) and a BA (Hons) in Drawing from Camberwell College of Arts (2012). Recent exhibitions include ‘Future Map 12’, CSM Lethaby & Window Galleries, London (2013); The Learning Resource Centre, Camberwell College of Arts (2012) and ‘Peek Show’, The Biscuit Factory, London (2011).

Rodrigo Garcia Dutra was born in 1981 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and lives and works in London. He holds an MA Fine Art from Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, London (2009) and is currently studying for an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London (2014). Awards include Fundacão Bienal de São Paulo, Programa Brasil Arte Contemporanea. Recent exhibitions include ‘Notes to Self’, Royal College of Art, London (2013); ‘Outras Coisas Visiveis Sobre Papel’, Galerie Leme, São Paulo (2012); ‘Theory of a City or the Possibilities of an A4′, ISCP, New York City (2011) and ’17 Ingredients: Measures of Autonomy’, BASH Studios, London (2009).

Rowena Harris was born in 1985 in Norfolk and lives and works in London. She holds an MFA in Art Practice from Goldsmiths College, London (2010) and a BA in Fine Art from University College Falmouth, UK (2008). She is the founder and editor of a bi-annual art publication called ‘Misery Connoisseur Magazine’. Recent exhibitions include ‘Cold Compress’, Drei Gallery, Cologne (2012); ‘No More Icons’, Rod Barton Gallery, London (2012); ‘Believing in Things’, Van Horbourg Gallery, Basel (2011); ‘New Contemporaries’, ICA, London and The A Foundation, Liverpool (2010).

Alan Magee was born in 1979 in Ireland and lives and works in London. He holds an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. Awards include Florence Trust Studio Residency, Arts Council of Ireland and Travel and Mobility Award. Recent exhibitions include ‘Endogenous’, Maria Stenfors Gallery, London (2012); ‘Agents of change’, Studio 1.1, London (2012) and ‘Our Lives as Things’, Occupy Space, Limerick, Ireland (2011).

Fay Nicolson was born in 1984 in Derby, UK and lives and works in London. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London (2006) and an MFA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2011). Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Work with Material’, Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna (2013) and ‘Bad Signs’, PLAZAPLAZA, London (2012). Group exhibitions include ‘A Small Hiccup’, Grand Union, Birmingham (2013); ‘Take Me Out’, Limoncello Art Projects, The London Art Fair (2013) and ‘Manifesta 8’, Murcia, Spain (2010).

Daniel de Paula was born in 1987 in Boston, USA and lives and works between Itapevi, São Paulo and Paris. Recent exhibitions and residencies include ‘Espaáos Independents ñ a alma è o segredo do Ègocioí’, Galerias Funarte de Artes Visuais, São Paulo (2013), Citè Internationale des Arts Residency, Paris (2013) and ‘Da prûxima vez eu fazia tudo diferenteí’, Pivù, São Paulo (2012).

Nada Prlja was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and lives and works in London. She holds a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Skopje, Macedonia and an MPhil research degree from the Royal College of Art, London. Recent exhibitions include the ‘7th Berlin Biennale’ (2012); Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain (2010) and International Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana (2009). Recent public presentations include Nottingham Contemporary, UK (2013); ICA, London (2011) and Tate Britain (2009).

Nicky Teegan was born in 1987 in Ireland and lives and works in London. She holds a BA in Visual Arts Practice from IADT, Dublin (2009) and an MA in Fine art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (2012). She is a founding member of Ormond Studios, Dublin. Recent exhibitions include ‘MA Fine Art Show 2012’, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (2012); ‘SWITCH/OVER’, Wimbledon Space, Wimbledon College of Art, London (2012) and ‘Invite or Reject’, Chicago Loop Alliance, Chicago, USA (2011).

Jacopo Trabona was born in 1989 in Italy and lives and works in London. He graduates this year with an MA from Chelsea College of Art, London. Recent exhibitions include RIVAlutACTION, Riva Lofts, Florence (2012); ‘B x H x Me’, A + A Gallery, Venice (2012); ’95 Young Talents Collective’, Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, Venice (2011) and Cava delle Rosselle, Grosseto, Italy (2011).

Caitlin Yardley was born in 1984 in Australia and lives and works in London. She received an MA from Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia (2007) and an MFA from Goldsmiths, University London (2012). Recent exhibitions include ‘Changing direction after entering at an angle’, Goldsmiths, University of London (2012); ‘Peripheral Orbit’, Acme, International Residency Studio, London and ‘An Intimate Distance’, Venn Gallery Project Space, Perth, Australia (2011).

Curator:

Adriano Pedrosa is an independent curator, editor and writer currently based in São Paulo. He has curated numerous international exhibitions and was adjunct curator of the 24th Bienal de São Paulo (1998) with chief curator Paulo Herkenhoff, co-curator of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (2006) with chief curator Lisette Lagnado and co-curator of the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011) with Jens Hoffmann. He has published extensively on contemporary art in numerous catalogues and magazines and is the founding director of PIESP-Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo.

Negocios: Monedas al microscopio

intereconomia

El artista de Birmingham (Reino Unido), Martin John Callanan es un artista conceptual cuyo último trabajo, “The Fundamental Units” (Las Unidades Fundamentales) ha llevado las monedas de menor valor de cada divisa al microscopio para fotografiarlas.

see the whole gallery

The Fundamental Units by Photographer Martin John Callanan

e-junkie

Photographer Martin John Callanan, a Teaching Fellow at the University College (London), an intense researcher, Editor of Leonardo Electronic Almanac and Publisher at a online artworks site called Merkske. That’s the kind of informed background he comes from.

His work over the years has included translations of “active communication data into music; freezing in time the earth’s water system; writing thousands of letters; capturing newspapers from around the world as they are published; taming wind onto the internet and broadcasting his precise physical location live for over two years.”

With scores of published and displayed works in Europe, The Americas, Asia and Australia, we loved his absolutely tech savvy project – The Fundamental Units.

With the bitcoins being all the rage and global economies facing a currency crisis here and there, countries constantly revamp or abolish their lowest denominations time and again.

Categorized as “worthless coins” in the economic setup, Callanan initiated to save all such currencies from across 166 countries. Not by taking up a anti-wipeout campaign but capturing these lost coins with his lens.

The creative series was first kickstarted with the works of Horrach Moya Gallery. The artist teamed up with the National Physical Laboratory(NPL) in U.K, that boasts off having Europe’s best 3D microscope.

The coins are photographed with 4,000 individual exposures and processed over a span of three days to produce these marvellous single photogrraphs shown below. Each of them weighs approximately 400 megapixels and measures 1.2X1.2 meteres, a good 3.9 square feet.

Martin opines that the high defination photography reveals the the “material makeup of the coin, marks and traces from their use as tokens of exchange.”

An interesting tidbit about currencies before you can check out these beautiful reproduction of coins from Australia, Chile, The Euro, Mynamar, Kingdom Of Swaziland.

Every coin the US State Treasury mints to produce 1 cent coin costs them 2 cents. Its best to undesratnd the value of the metal and the human resources that go into producing a small denomination of the currency. With people dealing everyday in millions and billions, probably the value of a cent goes unrecognized.

Do have a look at Martin’s samples below.

see the full article

Russian press on Fundamental Units

Большой интерес к маленьким монеткам. Фотопроект Fundamental Units от Martin John Callanan

kulturologia

Как известно, копейка рубль бережет, а с 10 центов и того больше набежать может. Жаль только, что мелкие монеты постепенно выходят из оборота. Изготавливать такие деньги слишком дорого, ведь их себестоимость зачастую получается вдвое выше номинала, и потому в ряде зарубежных стран мелочь уже практически не используют. Дабы оставить потомкам память об этих исчезающих деньгах, фотограф Мартин Джон Калланан (Martin John Callanan) и задумал свой масштабный фотопроект Fundamental Units, посвященный монетам разных валют с самым низким номиналом.

В этом проекте Мартин Джон Калланан решил собрать монеты из 166 различных стран, чтобы сохранить их хотя бы на фотографиях. Причем сделать фотоснимки наивысшего качества, предоставив любопытным людям возможность рассмотреть монетки в мельчайших подробностях, до самой последней зазубринки. Так что фотограф работал не с фотокамерой, а с 3D микроскопом с фокусировкой на бесконечность, который ему предоставили для работы в Британской Национальной Физической Лаборатории. Это устройство дает изображение с рекордным разрешением в 400 мегапикселей.

Каждую монетку фотографировали с индивидуальной экспозицией, а затем собирали все получившиеся снимки в одно гигантское изображение, обработка которого занимала около трех дней. Размер готовых фотографий составлял 1.2 х 1.2 метра. Этого оказалось достаточно, чтобы показать истинное “лицо” каждой монетки из этой мегаподборки разнообразной мелочи. Фотографии продемонстрировали все неровности, царапины и другие механические повреждения монет, следы коррозии и частички грязи, – те “шрамы”, которые оставило на их боках время.

Арт-проект Мартина Джона Калланана включает в себя фотографии таких монеток как мьянманский кьят и шведская крона, британский пенни и чилийский песо, свазилендский пятицентовик и румынский бан, польский грош и латвийский сантим, а также американские и европейские центы и другие “копейки”. Выставка больших фотографий маленьких монеток стартовала в ноябре прошлого года в Испании, в арт-галерее Galeria Horrach Moya.

see the full article

and Kleinburd News

Kleinburd News

Daily Mail: Look after your pennies: microscopic pictures of world’s lowest value coins to save them for future generations

Daily Mail

Look after your pennies: Photographer takes microscopic pictures of world’s lowest value coins to save them for future generations

  • The Fundamental Units is a project by photographer Martin John Callanan
  • Used Europe’s best microscope’ to show each coin in all its worn charm
  • Comes as governments debate whether to do away with lowest value coins
  • With every battered line, scrape and knock, each coin has been rendered as individual as the many thousands of hands they have passed through.

    Now, as governments across the world debate whether to do away with their lowest value coins, one photographer is on a mission to save as many pennies as he can before they are consigned forever to history,

    Photographer Martin John Callanan is busy working on a photo project entitled The Fundamental Units – a series of extremely large prints showing the lowest value coins of countries around the world.

    He has teamed up with National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, to use ‘Europe’s best microscope’ to show each coin in all its worn charm.

    Each coin is photographed with 4,000 individual tiny exposures, and it takes three days of processing to turn the individual photos into a single composite photograph weighing 400 megapixels. Printed out, each photo measures 1.2 and 1.2 meters (~3.9 square feet).

    ‘In this sense, and in response to the dominance of macroeconomics in the discourse of the media, the artist chooses a microscopic view of the world economy.

    ‘The Fundamental Units, a series that begins with the works produced by Horrach Moyà Gallery for this exhibition, is an exploration of the lowest denomination coins from the world’s currencies using an infinite focus 3D optical microscope at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington.’

    ‘The images obtained with the microscope have been combined to form an extremely detailed large scale reproduction of the least valuable coins from Australia, Chile, the Euro, Myanmar and the Kingdom of Swaziland.

    ‘In these images the humble metal acquires a planetary dimension and is displayed as the atoms that shape the global economy.’

    There are many precedents for scrapping small coins.

    In America, the half-cent was abolished in 1857, and in 1984 the UK’s halfpenny was withdrawn.

    New Zealand and Australia abandoned the one-cent and two-cent coin in the 1990s.

    Campaigners in the US and UK also want the penny and cent coins to be consigned to history, because nothing can be bought with a one-cent or one-penny coin.

    see the full article by Amanda Williams

    Reposted on Numismatica

    Small Change Writ Large: ‘The Fundamental Units’ by Martin John Callanan

    Core77

    Rain Noe at Core77 writes:

    What does that look like to you? The cave drawings at Lascaux, maybe?

    How about this one? A shield from an ancient civilization?

    Nope, these are the lowest of the world’s low-value coins, those forgotten bits of metal that keep lint company in our pockets or fill forgotten jars. Perhaps sensing that cents are on the way out, Martin John Callanan—self-described as “an artist researching an individual’s place within systems”—is photographically preserving them for posterity with his The Fundamental Units project.

    The kicker is that a regular camera wouldn’t do, not for what Callanan had in mind; so he teamed up with the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, which is that country’s national measurement standards lab, to use their infinite focus 3D optical microscope. Callanan then captured some 4,000 exposures of each freaking coin, resulting in a series of 400 megapixel images that, blown up and hanging on a gallery wall, reveal details you’d never spot on the real deal. Every nick, scratch, dent, ding and discoloration are laid bare.

    So far he’s captured cents, pesos and pence from Australia, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lituania, Myanmar, Poland, Romania, Swaziland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, not to mention the Euro; but by the project’s end, Callanan plans to have captured “the lowest denomination coin from each of the world’s 166 active currencies.”

    see the full article

    Монеты мира, сфотографированные лучшим в Европе микроскопом

    Знаете ли вы, что для того, чтобы отчеканить монету номиналом в 1 цент, Соединенные Штаты затрачивают 2 цента вследствие стоимости материала и производства? Страны такие, как Канада уже отказались от использования монет с низкой деноминацией из-за их стоимости и бесполезности.

    Так как эти монеты “ не имеющие ценности” вызывают горячие дебаты в правительствах о том должны ли они быть упразднены, фотограф Мартин Джон Калланан (Martin John Callanan) взял на себя миссию, чтобы сохранить их…. не, как валюту, но скорее на фотографиях.

    Калланан работает над фото проектом под названием «Фундаментальные Единицы»( The Fundamental Units), который представляет собой серию очень больших принтов с изображением монет стран мира с самым низким номиналом. Цель этого проекта заключается в том, чтобы сфотографировать фундаментальные монеты 166 различных стран.

    Для своих фотосъемок он не использовал фотокамеры. Вместо этого он обратился в Национальную Физическую Лабораторию в Теддингтоне, Великобритания, в котором, как говорит Калланан, работает лучший в Европе микроскоп (3D микроскоп с фокусировкой на бесконечность).

    Каждая монета фотографировалась с индивидуальными экспозициями 4,000. Для обработки каждого изображения в отдельную композитную фотографию весом 400 мегапикселей требуется 3 дня. Размер каждого распечатанного снимка составляет 1.2 х 1.2 метров.

    Получившиеся в результате фотографии отображают материальность монет, изношенных и поврежденных коррозией.

    Coins of the World Photographed Using Europe’s Best Microscope

    The Fundamental Units

    Michael Zhang writes about the Fundamental Units over on Peta Pixel with lots of images.

    Did you know that it costs the US Mint 2 cents to produce every 1 cent coin due to the cost of materials and production? Countries such as Canada have already done away with their lowest denomination coins due to their costs and lack of usefulness.

    As these “worthless” coins cause debates in their governments about whether or not they should be abolished, photographer Martin John Callanan is on a mission to save them… not as a currency, but rather in photographs.

    Read the full article

    Peta Pixel

    Article made it to the top of Digg.com

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    Screen shot 2013-04-14 at 14.51.04

    Along Some Sympathetic Lines, Or Gallery, Berlin

    Along Some Sympathetic Lines

    Along Some Sympathetic Lines

    Along Some Sympathetic Lines

    Along Some Sympathetic Lines

    Along Some Sympathetic Lines

    23 February – 27 April 2013
    Opening 7pm, 22 February 2013

    Or Gallery, Oranienstr 37, Berlin 10999, Germany

    Or Gallery is pleased to present Along Some Sympathetic Lines, an exhibition of artwork by London-based artist Martin John Callanan, and an archive project by curator Liz Bruchet. The exhibition considers the poetic possibilities of data and its documentation, and the tenuous process of making meaning.

    Martin John Callanan is an artist researching an individual’s place within systems. Callanan generates and reworks photographs, letters and electronic data into evidence of exchanges – between the individual, the institution and the networks of power that intertwine them. The exhibition presents four of the artist’s series: The Fundamental Units, the result of amassing millions of pixels of data, to photographs, in microscopic detail far beyond the capacity of the human eye, the lowest monetary unit of each of the 166 active currencies of world, only to enlarge and print them to vast scale; Wars During My Lifetime, an evolving newspaper listing of every war fought during the course of the artist’s life; Grounds, an ongoing photographic archive which charts ‘important places’ in the world where security restrictions limit the image to the carpeted, tiled or concrete floors; and Letters 2004-2006, Callanan’s correspondence with various heads of states and religious leaders which implicate them in conversations that question their very rationale of their authority. These acts of excavating, accumulating and visualising data draw out the sympathetic aspects within documentation and in so doing, mark and disrupt the underlying power dynamics.

    A second gallery features an archive project by London-based curator Liz Bruchet. The display of ephemera from the personal archive of the curator’s grandfather, a Canadian insurance salesman and aspiring radio presenter, takes its inspiration from a found audio recording – part monologue, part autobiography, and part radio show – made in 1974. Harnessing the impulses of the collector, archivist and biographer, the curator reasserts her role as custodian and caretaker to nurture narratives and give weight to the subjective remnants of one man’s life.

    This exhibition is curated by Liz Bruchet.

    The exhibition is possible with the generous support of Or Gallery, the National Physical Laboratory, and UCL European Institute.

    With thanks to Galeria Horrach Moya, (Hiper)vincles, Whitechapel Gallery, Book Works, David Karl, and Pau Waelder.

    Rhizome Editorial: The Fundamental Units

    Rhizome Editorial

    How did this collaboration with National Physical Laboratory come about for your project The Fundamental Units?

    For six months I was having tests run all around the UK on different types of microscopes such as scanning electron microscopes, at different institutions, universities and testing laboratories. The Curator of Modern Money at the British Museum suggested an idea which eventually lead me to the National Physical Laboratory.

    I ended up at the Advanced Engineered Materials Group which is part of the National Physical Laboratory, using an Alicona infinite focus 3D optical microscope.

    They were really into experimenting and pushing the equipment. It took about a month of tests to get the results we see. The process involved Petra the scientist in charge of the machine writing programs to capture the data as a whole, as the machine is designed for looking in detail at one tiny part of an object. We crashed it several times working out the right solution. Each coin, which are generally around 18-20mm in diameter, take a whole night to capture. Then computers run for three days assembling the data into extremely high resolution photographic images. We are talking files too big for normal image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. Each photographic print is from files with around 400 million pixels.

    What did some of the earlier tests look like?

    Many microscopes are not optical, they don’t use light, and therefore produce results that are removed from what we generally expect to see. A scanning electron microscope, for example (attached), produces images in greyscale and the electric charge greatly emphasises dust and dirt. Clean images could be obtained though sonic cleaning and plating the coins in gold, but this started to become very removed from examining these low value tokens of exchange.

    Could you explain the choice to scan these particular coins? How did you get a hold of them?

    There are currently 166 active currencies using coins. Using online market places and by contacting national banks I have found the lowest donimation coin for each of these currencies. At the moment, at the beginning, we have imaged one from each continent. All 166 will be imaged.

    What are you working on currently?

    Well, the UCL European Institute have just (five minuets ago) awarded the research project funding to image the currencies of: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania Sweden, and the UK.

    As well as this I’m working on several larger works including archive the hugh photograph archive for Grounds grounds.greyisgood.eu

     

    http://rhizome.org/editorial/2012/dec/20/martin-john-callanan

     

    Big photos of little coins: National Physical Laboratory

    National Physical Laboratory (NPL) wrote:

    Martin John Callanan of the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London contacted the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) as he wanted to put together an exhibition featuring large images of the lowest denomination coins from around the world.

    Petra Mildeova from NPL’s Advanced Engineered Materials Group demonstrated that full colour images could be taken using an infinite focus 3D optical microscope. Five coins were imaged (containing over 400 megapixels), allowing coins of less than 20 mm diameter to be printed as 1.2 m diameter images.

     

    Martin John Callanan described the images as “really stunning” and is exhibiting them at the Galleria Horrach Moyà in Mallorca, Spain, in an exhibition entitled ‘The Fundamental Units‘ (referring to the smallest denomination of coins on display and not as a result of working with NPL, the home of fundamental constants in the UK). He now hopes to enhance his exhibition by imaging a further 161 coins, one from each of the other countries around the world that use them.

     

    The images have attracted interest from the British Museum and were featured by New Scientist as their image of the day on 4 December 2012.

     

    The mapping of large areas at very high resolution is becoming a more regular requirement. In fact, the capabilities of the microscope used to produce the images of the coins were barely stretched, as they were only in 2D. Using the Alicona Infinite Focus optical microscope NPL is able to acquire 3D datasets from large areas, which can be used to study worn surfaces on a gear, drill bit or metal punch and hence produce a detailed measurement of the volume of material lost by wear of the component. Such quantified volume measurements can then be used to determine the best material or operating practice for a given material grade.

    Back-to-basics money shot shows a cent’s battle scars – New Scientist


    The euro has taken a bit of a battering of late – and not just in the financial markets. As you can see for yourself above, the surface of a 1-cent coin, while smooth to the naked eye, is pitted and scarred when viewed through a powerful microscope.

     

    To create this image, artist Martin John Callanan, a fellow at University College London based in the Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art, worked with Ken Mingard, Petra Mildeova and Eric Bennett at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory in London. The team used an optical microscope to create images of the lowest-denomination coins used in Australia, Burma, Swaziland and Chile, as well as the transnational euro. They took standard coins that had been in circulation and left the microscope to make 4000 tiny exposures overnight. It then took three days of processing to stitch these images together to create each final, 400-million-pixel version. The zoomable picture above is a low-resolution version.

     

    The coin images are part of an ongoing series called The Fundamental Units in which Callanan explores “the atoms that shape the global economy”. Ultimately, the series will encompass all 166 of the world’s active currencies that use coins. The first five are on display as 1.2-by-1.2-metre prints, along with more of Callanan’s works, at the Galleria Horrach Moyà in Mallorca, Spain, until 17 January 2013.

    Physics & Math, Picture of the Day, Science In Society

    Sumit Paul-Choudhury, editor, 16:05 4 December 2012

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