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Mollusk #7
2020 | 52.6 µm diameter | mixedmedia | ︎ ︎ scroll down

The exchange between control and contingency is a fundamental aspect of my work: what kind of reactions can happen spontaneously and what properties are planned? Where lies the balance in this exchange? and how does this balance present itself to an audience. Do they sense it? can they identify the properties that are composed? Perhaps they dont really care. Regardless of such philosophic or aesthetic obstructions,  we often find profound reward in studying the world so closely. The miniature world is a gift of disguised greatness, in beauty and ugliness, and therefore an honour to study. It is in this spirit that I would to refer here to a comment made by Robert Hooke...

“[..] the more we magnify, and the closer we examine, the work of artifice, the grosser and stupider they seem. But if we magnify the natural world it only becomes more intricate and excellent”

Robert Hooke, 1665
, Micrographia

Micrographia: or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses. With Observations and Inquiries Thereupon is a historically significant book by Robert Hooke about his observations through various lenses. It was the first book to include illustrations of insects and plants as seen through microscopes.
Published in January 1665, the first major publication of the Royal Society, it became the first scientific best-seller, inspiring a wide public interest in the new science of microscopy. The book originated the biological term cell.  Known for its spectacular copperplate of the miniature world, particularly its fold-out plates of insects, the text itself reinforces the tremendous power of the new microscope. The plates of insects fold out to be larger than the large folio itself, the engraving of the louse in particular folding out to four times the size of the book*


Hooke also selected several objects of human origin; among these were the jagged edge of a honed razor and the point of a needle, seeming blunt under the microscope. His goal may well have been to contrast the flawed products of mankind with the perfection of nature...

Mark