Aliens Among Us: Almost psychedelic microscopic photography of beetles, mites, spiders and moths
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Jumping spider (Phidippus otiosus).
Igor Siwanowicz’s interest in the natural world came from poring over brightly colored photographs and illustrations in biology and zoology textbooks as a child. Born in Krakow, Poland in 1976, Siwanowicz is the son of two biologists who he claims reinforced and rewarded his early interest in biology.

Certain amount of the fascination in natural sciences might be encoded in the genes, and that was definitely passed on me from my parents, along with some artistic skills that just pop up in my family generation after generation.

Siwanowicz studied for a Masters in biotechnology at Krakow and then Aarhus, Denmark, before going on to complete a PhD in structural biochemistry in Germany.

His artistic talents came to the fore during a hiatus from post-doctoral studies when Siwanowicz traveled the world as a freelance nature photographer. He “conned some people into organizing” exhibitions of his work which led to the publication of two books of his photographs.

He then returned to his career in science as a “lowly technical assistant in behavioural genetics at the Max-Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Munich.” Today, Siwanowicz works as a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia.

Siwanowicz believes his photographic work keeps him “(relatively) sane.”’s a sort of occupational therapy, a way to cope with the blues. I think I am slightly bipolar (as in manic-depressive), far from raving mad but still having those seasonal swings of mood and warped self-perception. Taking photos, among other things, gives me satisfaction and keeps my mind off of obsessing too much. I use my accomplishments to re-build my self-esteem and move a small step towards self-actualisation.

Siwanowicz’s photographic work includes beautiful macro “mug shots” of insects:

They are foreign, otherworldly looking creatures – the closer you get to them, the stronger the effect. See, insects have those totally alien, Gigeresque forms that I find somehow fascinating.

His incredibly trippy psychedelic extreme close-up photographs of insects—beetles, spiders, moths, mites—are made with a confocal laser-scanning microscope, which captures these beautiful creatures in greater clarity and detail than other lens-based imaging.

See more of Igor Siwanowicz’s glorious microscopy.
Jumping spider.
Jumping spider eyes.
More of these stunning photographs, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Peter Murphy stars as ‘The Dead’ in the experimental Super 8 film ‘The Grid,’ 1980
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The VHS release of The Grid (via Tumblr)
In 1980, the animator Joanna Woodward (a/k/a JoWOnder) cast her boyfriend Peter Murphy in a short film called The Grid. Now I know it’s hot on planet Earth, but goddammit! If In The Flat Field-era Peter Murphy playing a character called “The Dead” doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, then maybe somebody’s forgotten the true meaning of Halloween.

Here are JoWOnder’s own notes about her movie, which she says was projected at Bauhaus shows in the 80s. I wish she explained what T.S. Eliot is doing on the soundtrack. Typos are hers.

A story about a time traveler and the search for the first cell of one’s existence. ‘The Dead’, played by Peter Murphy searches for and finds a ‘Grid’ which enables him to watch the beginning of his life -from the moment of conception.

Tip: For a better picture view: watch using the ‘Full Screen’ Option.

Filmed when, when Peter was the boyfriend of Joanna Woodward in the 1980’s, on Super 8 Film Format. This copy has been taken by Jo from the VHS which Peter sold copies of on his, 2000, international Just for Love tour. (The original a clear picture Super 8 copy having been mislaid).

The Grid, movie toured with Bauhaus and was projected on stage in the 1980s. Jo says;’ that she was much more interested in fine art and not so much commercial art or popular music. Punk was predominant at that time and it was quite common for things to get ‘gobbed at’ as a sign of appreciation.’

The closing music here is Subhanallah by Peter Murphy however, the original concluding music track, for The Grid was Kate Bush, Lion Heart. Jo finds both concluding music tracks satisfying however, the Kate Bush track was intended to echo the opera music earlier in the film and the female ‘creator of life’ bursting through. The film’s main soundtrack Jo devised herself on a synthesizer with live playing of a recorder. The tiny sound of ‘clicks’ that can be heard are, literally the sound of switching on and off equipment as she recorded live to the film picture with an open microphone.

Watch ‘The Grid’ after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘The Witch’ movie playset for kids!
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Somehow I missed this delightful The Witch playset for kids created by Playnnobil and featured on Millionaire Playboy. It was “released” to the Internet back in March and is based on Robert Eggers’ 2015 historical period horror flick The Witch (or The VVitch if you prefer). Dig his Black Phillip figure!

I had mixed emotions about The Witch. While I thought that it was very beautifully shot, and well-acted, it just didn’t scare the pants off me the way movie critics (and seemingly everyone on Facebook) promised it would. More “arthouse flick” as opposed to something truly terrifying, like say The Descent.

I don’t know, but I thought that it could’ve been a lot scarier. That’s just me. I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen, but by the time it finally did it just felt too late. If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t give anything away. Again, what do I know, it could make for a good, spooky October film for you and yours. You might love it. Many people did. There were several haunting elements of the film that stayed with me, but I can’t honestly recommend The Witch but tepidly.

Anyway, I can appreciate the artistry, of both the film and this cool PLAYMOBIL-themed playset! If you want to know more about Playnnobil’s thoughts about his creations—and the source of his inpiration—go here. There aren’t too many spoilers.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The entire print run (1979-82) of NYC punk magazine ‘Dry’ is now online!
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Wendy O Williams of the Plasmatics in ‘Dry’ magazine
Ryan Richardson is one of the United States’ foremost collectors, archivists, and dealers of punk rock records and ephemera, as well as being the Internet saint who created free online archives of StarRock Scene, and Slash magazines. He also runs, a repository of various early punk zines as well as the exhaustive punk info blog Break My Face.

We’ve written about Richardson’s punk altruism before here at Dangerous Minds. The last time was back in June when he uploaded the entire print run of excellent early San Francisco punk magazine Damage over at his site

Richardson has done his Good Samaritan work once again, this time with the upload of the complete print run of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s NYC punk magazine Dry to Circulation Zero.

According to Richardson, Dry was conceived by art school students and titled as a reaction against Wet, “The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing.”

Dry is manic in its cut-n-paste layout and panicked in its reviews and reports. Eclectic coverage of punk, No Wave and eventually hardcore in the later installments.

Fourteen issues were published, all of which are available as a single pdf download HERE

The layouts in Dry are a bit over-the-top with the cut-and-paste collage aesthetic. Though the technique is certainly part of the design tradition of punk rock, it doesn’t always make for easy reading—but that’s a fitting standard for a counter-culture fanzine… it should be challenging. 

I wouldn’t call Dry a definitive chronicle of NYC punk between 1979 and 1982 by any stretch, but these issues are still a priceless addition to the historical record and certainly worth a gander by anyone with an interest in this specific era of alternative music, particularly things that happened in New York.

The download of the complete set is free, but Richardson asks that those taking advantage make a charitable donation to Electronic Frontier Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, or Austin Pets Alive. Donations to these charities make the project worthwhile for Richardson, so it would be, you know, the cool thing to do to toss a few bucks that way, considering the amazing gift being provided here. Richardson has placed donation links on—go there now to download Dry, and while you’re waiting on that file transfer, scroll through this gallery of pages from Dry‘s history:

A pre-fame Cyndi Lauper, singing with Blue Angel, in the pages of ‘Dry’

More from the pages of ‘Dry’ after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment