A week ago I made my 81st orbit.  Speaking of “orbit”, it was a gratifying experience to see on Wednesday the Chandra X-Ray Center (NASA)
launched a special feature on its website, a fusion of art and science called “COLORING SPACE” with work from my "Organiverse" Starry Night edition (original paintings are just 8 1/2 cm. in diameter (3.3").  Micro and macro cosmos.

What is Chandra? 'The Chandra X-Ray telescope is an orbiting observatory that reveals the most detailed x-ray view of the universe.  Since its launch on July 23, 1999, the Chandra X-ray telescope has been NASA's flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, taking its place in the fleet of "Great Observatories."'  You can also see lots of fascinating detail about Chandra on NASA's website page "Exploring the Invisible Universe" here.

COLORING SPACE juxtaposes images from NASA-operated satellites taken between 1998 and 2008 with a selection of pointillist spheres from my ORGANIVERSE Starry Night edition.

The project is intended, as the people at Chandra say, “to provoke thought about how the two realms of color - in art and in space - intersect and diverge. This piece explores the similarities of how these different types of images are made, as well as discusses the ways in which they differ. We invite you to explore these images and what they represent both on their own and when presented as a comparison, or contrast, to another in a separate field.”

Organiverse - Original set created in 1972

The original series of 100 Organiverse paintings (or “Helios” edition) was painted on watercolour paper - - - dot by dot, atom by atom. There are four spheres per folio, for a portfolio of 25 pages.  This was done back in 1972, long before the Internet, or even fax machines. Since 1972 there has been a phenomenal evolution of electronic intelligence, of computers and software gadgets. Yet my original intent in creating Organiverse was for the viewer to view (on paper) one sphere at a time, quietly, for contemplation and meditation.  This motivation has now been overtaken by technology.

Yet it's interesting, even three decades ago, there was foreshadowing of links, a harbinger  between science and space, art and science, when filmmaker Julius Kohanyi was commissioned to create an experimental 35mm colour and sound film based on Organiverse (Also, already in the early 1960's, long before the moon landing any any NASA images or Chandra , I gave lectures and one of these was called "THE INVISIBLE MADE VISIBLE" More about that in another post.)

When it came time to give the completed film a title, Kohanyi wanted to use only a symbol: the two circles at the top left corner of this picture: (if If it looks familiar, this is from the plaque installed aboard Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1973).
However, he was told a symbol alone wouldn’t “work” for cataloguing the film, so Julius had to give it a name, and he chose “H-A” (for Hydrogen Atom, the first building block of the universe.)

Creation of the “Starry Night” edition  - the Starry Night edition of Organiverse was born from curiosity.  In the early 2000’s, I was collaborating with Hewlett Packard (HP) who graciously agreed to scan the complete original Organiverse series using their latest scanning technology. When all 100 scans were completed, I asked the HP expert, Allen Rothwell: “Can we create a negative from the positive?” And the rest is history, as they say.  Recent developments - In the past two years, first with the recent International Year of Astronomy 2009From Earth to the Universe” exhibit which included both the Original and Starry Night editions of Organiverse on video,  and now with this special feature created by the Chandra X-Ray Center, Organiverse has taken on a life of its own.

Speical note re: "From Earth to the Universe" FETTU  - I would like to thank the volunteers of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada VICTORIA Centre who made possible last year's FETTU exhibit, and a special thank you to Garry Sedun and Joe Carr.

Although we keep a strict copyright on the work, in a way Organiverse is now "out of my hands” so-to-speak, and has orbited beyond my original intent, as said earlier: that is, for people to quietly, contemplate the spheres individually as an antidote to our multi-tasking and over-stressed times.  It was the Starry Night edition of Organiverse that caught the eye of staff at Chandra. A very special thanks to Kimberly Arcand Kowal for all her work on the project.

We wish Organiverse and Chandra X-Ray Center a healthy and constructive orbit over the "Human Family", bringing - we hope - wonder and nourishment for the mind.

ORGANIVERSE HANDSET project - in keeping with its seemingly endless evolutions, yet another initiative was born.  We thank Brian W. Johnson of Victoria, BC for his help in working with me on colour callibration of the scanned spheres, and also in developing the concept of having the images housed in a striking and innovative wood container made from recovered Westcoast wood. 

These handsets are available and we invite you to read more about these unique sets here.

Signing off for now, Happy Trails! Henri

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Monsoon and beyond

Posted by Kitara Julian On 3:17 PM 0 comments
Once while in India, we experienced the Monsoon season. Remember it well.

After a scorching hot and ‘blood-thinning’ month, the dark clouds and Monsoon rains came upon us.  This refreshing relief prompted us to rush outside, hold up our arms, dance and be merry with the villagers.  Something like Gene Kelly, “Singing in the Rain”.

What an enormous contrast to Pakistan with the current calamity and untold human suffering.  Some 14 million people are made homeless. A staggering number.  Mother Nature seems to be calling us to order.  Behave, or else!

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster caused much damage.  Many who lost their livelihood brought their pets to their local humane society because they couldn’t feed them any longer. This prompted citizens from all over the USA to adopt the ‘orphans’. Some even let the animals fly First Class!  We humans are a strange breed. We go to war, and kill and even get medals of honour to do so. On the other hand when called upon, we’re ready to come to the rescue.  Only this week, 45 Chihuahuas were dropped off in our community by one woman (!) at the local SPCA.  (Not sure why she had 45 Chihuahuas but  that's another story.) Within 48 hours, thirty-three of these long-eared canines available for adoption had found new homes.
See what we mean? Signing off, Henri

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Paul the Octopus - yet more developments

Posted by Kitara Julian On 7:25 PM 0 comments
More news about our amazing octopus, Paul the Oracle.  Another agent has now joined the gravy train for endorsements. This one resides in England and tells us children’s books are being written. That’s what I predicted a couple of months ago, I was "right on the money", except I won’t get any royalties. (ho-ho)
Also I predicted awhile ago for the coming Christmas season that toys would be manufactured about this oracle from the deep. Now we discovered there is a record deal in the works, "Paul the Octopus Sings Elvis".  What Elvis the Pelvis has to do with it, I’m not quite sure. Maybe because Paul’s 8 arms are flexible and can move in all directions.  Just like Elvis moved all over the place, “all shook up”.  Stay tuned for more on Paul, the amazing 8-armed clairvoyant.

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Have been silent for awhile. With all those worldwide communication-gadgets on the market and in homes, telling us about all the “hot news” that’s out there, tomorrow’s happenings are already news today!

One thing’s for sure, however -  every day we are getting a bit closer to the Pearly Gates, so make the best of it. A news item that’s still unfolding by the day has kept my attention: in previous posts I predicted (long before he became a news item), that the renown would spread of Paul the 8-armed Amazing Psychic Octopus of World Cup (and Bundesliga) prediction fame.

Although Paul has now retired from predicting, he has begun to spread his fame and eight arms commercially worldwide:  like the celebrity he is, Paul now has an agent! 

Already hundreds of endorsement offers have come in, expecting to bring forth millions of Euros and Dollars. 

Here he is selecting a box with the name of a Germany supermarket chain, Rewe:

Saving Turtlles in Greece - but Paul has not forgotten his fellow deep sea dwellers.  One of his arms is intended to protect endangered TURTLES in Greece.  Funds will be set aside for this good cause. Here is one link to learn more about turtle protection in Greece.

Don’t ask me how I predicted Paul’s future fame, months before it happened.  The facts are there.
Stay tuned for further multi-armed spreading news about Paul the amazing psychic wonder of the Deep.

That’s All Folks!  Henri

See the story below from Spiegel Online

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From July 30th edition of SPIEGEL ONLINE "Psychic Octopus Begins Advertising Career"  By Eric Kelsey:

Paul the psychic octopus may have retired from predicting football matches, but his advertising career has just begun. The eight-legged oracle recently appeared in an advertisement for a German supermarket chain and has received more than 160 endorsement offers, including a book deal, according to the mollusk's agent.

From the depths of the ocean to the height of stardom, Paul the octopus' star hasn't gone dim yet. After shooting to fame this summer by correctly predicting the results of each of Germany's World Cup matches -- including tipping Spain to beat Netherlands in the final -- the cephalopod oracle from the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen was featured in recent print ads for the German supermarket chain Rewe.

The ads, which were shot about a week ago, show Paul in his trademark pose atop a transparent box after snatching a mussel from inside. Naturally, Paul chose the Rewe box.

How long did it take Paul to choose the mussel from the Rewe box? "Instantly," the mollusk's England-based agent Chris Davis told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Neither Rewe nor Davis would disclose the amount Paul earned from the ad, but the agent would only say that it was "substantial" sum. Paul's income will go to a turtle sanctuary in Greece, according to the agent.

"Paul has turned into a million-plus brand instantly," says Davis, noting that Paul has so far received more than 160 offers to hawk products. "I have had 37 offers just this morning," he said on Friday.

Paul Meet David

Rewe is so far undecided on whether it will continue its work with the cuddly octopus. "It cannot be ruled out that we will use the well-known octopus again in our advertising," Rewe spokeswoman Julia Robertz told SPIEGEL ONLINE in an e-mail. Robertz added that Paul's image will only be used in the short-term.

Paul may have bigger fish to fry, anyway. The octopus also has his eight arms wrapped around a book deal, a plush toy contract and will swim alongside David Beckham to promote England's bid for the 2018 World Cup, says Davis.

Nevertheless, campaigning for a supermarket chain may be problematic for the mollusk. On Rewe's own website, the Cologne-based supermarket calls octopus "tasty" and says that "especially coveted are their meaty arms, which also come deep-frozen and pre-fried."

During the World Cup, disappointed fans from Argentina to Germany threatened to roast the octopus after he correctly foresaw losses by their squads. And in China, a movie is about to hit the big screen entitled "Kill Paul Octopus," whose fictional plot reportedly revolves around gambling and match fixing at this year's World Cup.

But Paul has a legion of protectors in Spain. Shortly after the nation's World Cup victory, the city council of Carballiño, a town of 14,000 in northern Spain, made Paul an honorary citizen. Carballiño Mayor Carlos Montes traveled to Oberhausen last week to hand-deliver the honor to Paul.

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