Here’s a review of the RSC’s production of The Tempest with Simon Russell Beale as Prospero. Through a combination of editorial tightening and big claims (I’m saying Shakespeare’s last play was a masque, not a drama) I make it appear here as though two fully grown polar bears once starred in its production. Please no one correct me: with a following wind this nonsense could become canonical.
for New Scientist, 21 November 2016
From the 1950s, science fiction writer Stanisław Lem began firing out prescient explorations of our present and far beyond. His vision is proving unparalleled.
for New Scientist, 16 November 2016
Drunk as we are on the illusion of personal control, we should remember that data trickles uphill toward the powerful, because they are the ones who can afford to exploit it. Today, for every worried-yet-well twentysomething fiddling with his Fitbit, there is a worker being cajoled by their employer into taking a medical test.
for The Guardian, 2 November 2016
Visitors to Philippe Parreno’s vast installation at London’s Tate Modern, Anywhen, get a carpet to lie on while the vast Turbine Hall shimmies and pulses around them. And they’re going to need it: Parreno’s grey machine is triumphally futuristic, an interior so smart it has outgrown any need for occupants. Anywhen is thunderous, sulphurous, awful in its full archaic sense.
for New Scientist, 19 October 2016
One big complaint about science – that it kills wonder – is the same criticism Amitav Ghosh levels at the novel: that it bequeaths us “a world of few surprises, fewer adventures, and no miracles at all”
for New Scientist, 15 October 2016
In a disused mail sorting office in Linz, Austria, an industrial robot twice my height has got hold of Serbian-born artist Dragan Ilic and is wiping him over a canvas-covered wall.
for New Scientist, 21 September 2016
The basic chemical and structural components of vision existed long before it evolved. Something happened to make eyes viable, although the exact nature of that innovation remains mysterious. But once visual information meant something, there was no stopping it – or life. For with vision comes locomotion, predation, complex behaviour, and, ultimately, consciousness.
for New Scientist, 3 August, 2016
Penelope Umbrico, 30,400,020 Suns from Sunsets from Flickr (Partial) 04/04/16, photographs, machine c-prints, in the Collection of the Artist
A few hours north of Helsinki, Finland, on the shores of a lake, sits an art museum, opened in the 1930s and much expanded since. Now one of its galleries is filled with 200 years’ worth of artistic visions of the skies.
for New Scientist, 20 July 2016.