Tree Tuesday

Jack and I came upon a dancing tree over the weekend that we want to share with you. We haven’t seen one in a long time, and Jack thinks it’s because the trees are too cold and stiff in winter to dance. I can relate to that, so the boy might be right.

©voyager, all rights reserved


Segmented Glass

After that delicious cheese interlude, here’s something a little different via This Is Colossal:

Driven by an interest in the biological process of cell division, artist Jiyong Lee (previously) fabricates translucent sculptural works of segmented glass components fused through coldworking techniques. Some pieces purposefully take the form of organic life with titles such as “White-orange Chromosome Segmentation” or “Geometric cell membrane segmentation” while others are decidedly more geometric in nature. Born and raised in South Korea, Lee has helmed the glass program at Southern Illinois University since 2005. He most recently had a solo exhibition with Clara Scremini Gallery in Paris, and you can see many more of his pieces on Artsy.

They’ve got a lovely soft feel to them – knowing they’re made of glass just adds to the compulsion to touch them and run my fingers over all the surfaces and the edges and the lines.

I think this one’s my favourite:

white Drosophila embryo segmentation, 6.5h x 14.5w x 5.75d (inch), 2014, from This Is Colossal

There’s plenty more examples from Jiyong Lee’s website:

white segmentation-construction, 9.25h x 11.25w x 11.25d (inch), 2013

Green cosmarium segmentation, 7.25 x 10 x 7.25 inch, 2018

Blue-Yellow cuboid segmentation, 10.5 x 9 x 5 inch, 2015

Go look! With other interesting stuff, too.



Musical Cheese

This story has aged well in my archives, like a good, sharp cheddar (or perhaps flat?).

Last September, Swiss cheesemaker Beat Wampfler and a team of researchers from the Bern University of Arts placed nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese in individual wooden crates in Wampfler’s cheese cellar. Then, for the next six months each cheese was exposed to an endless, 24-hour loop of one song using a mini-transducer, which directed the sound waves directly into the cheese wheels.

So, what kind of music does cheese enjoy?

The “classical” cheese mellowed to the sounds of Mozart’s The Magic FluteThe “rock” cheese listened to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” An ambient cheese listened to Yello’s “Monolith,” the hip-hop cheese was exposed to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)” and the techno fromage raved to Vril’s “UV.” A control cheese aged in silence, while three other wheels were exposed to simple high, medium and low frequency tones.

Well, that’s not a huge range of choices, plus six months of the same song, over and over? It’s enough to curdle the blood in my musical ear, that’s for sure.

Ah, you say – cheese doesn’t have ears! True. This issue was resolved by applying music directly to cheese:

The wheels were stored in wooden crates and played 24 consecutive hours of either classical, hip-hop, techno, ambient, or rock and roll. Rather than speakers, the researchers attached small transmitters to the wheels to relay the sound waves directly into the cheese.

Bern University of the Arts

I have my doubts, of course, but until I have my own dairy farm and cheese making equipment to attempt a reproduction of this experimental method, it sounds pretty good to me.

In anticipation of the annual celebration of, among other things, cheese, here’s an indirectly thematic song:

Tales from the Loop!

Simon Stålenhag was featured by Caine back in 2016, and there is some interesting news out: a TV series based on his Tales from the Loop is coming out April 3! I’m a little bit excited because I had no idea this was in the works, and also I just bought his book The Electric State. Soundtrack composed by Philip Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan.

Here’s the trailer, it looks suitably unfathomable and weird and slightly creepy to me:

Looking forward to this very much!


Hi Again

Well hello there strangers and not-so-strangers. It’s a new world out there, or so I’ve been told – who really knows what’s actually going on out there?

It’s been a while, and I apologize for that (but in a ‘sorry to inconvenience everyone because I’m a polite Canadian’ way, not because there’s anything I should be apologizing for). The past several months have been a whirlwind of personal issues and deaths in the family and a few other things I could think of if I bothered, but long story short, I’m healthy, the kids are healthy, I’m still in a relationship, and work is hell. I’ve actually talked about quitting out loud a few times by now, which is a pretty big thing because of how much I (usually) love what I’m doing, but after being thrown under the bus a couple of times, the shiny parts ain’t so shiny no more. I feel a bit like:

(original here)

Plus now the state of emergency means I could become a frontline worker at any time (depending on how things go down). Life, eh?

Anyhoo, enough about that.

In the meantime, I’ve collected like a bajillion (no exaggeration) links about art and other things that I’d like to clear out of my gmail drafts, so in this time of quiet contemplation and creative inspiration that working from home provides us with (please, I’m looking on the bright side), I will try to get some of that content out to you. Plus maybe some photos of my own from time to time.

I am a bit more active on twitter these days (@andtheunicorn, if anyone’s interested), where I try to post a different photo every day or three, plus I like to pretend I’m interacting with the world.

So, today is a ‘hello again’, next two posts are two I’ve had lined up since last August, and we’ll see what happens after that.

Stay healthy, everyone, wash your hands, and best wishes to you all! Special shout-out to all you teachers, shop workers, delivery people, mail persons, and others previously not appreciated but now deemed essential services – most especially to all those in the medical field. ♥ like crazy for you all.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack wanted to check on things in the woods on the east side of town, so off we went to the Vansittart Trail. We don’t come here often for a few reasons. The first reason is bugs. There are a lot of mosquitos and ticks around these parts, but it was a few degrees below zero today so I thought that was safe. I was partly right. There wasn’t an insect in sight, but the trail is not maintained in winter when it is also seldom used (that’s the other reason we don’t come here often), and our walk was anything but safe.  The path was covered with ice and we had to wend our way between the trees to keep upright. The closer we got to the pond, the more snow we found, which actually made walking a bit easier. It was nice to see that the water was entirely frozen over, and there was no evidence of flooding here at all.

Jack seemed satisfied with the state of things and told me the fairies and little ones here were in deep winter sleep. Nonetheless, he wanted to check out their communication centre (who knew fairies even had those?) and so we veered off the path towards the meadow, and this is where Jack stopped – at a hollowed-out stump. He says this is an important spot for the woodland people and told me on the quiet that the fairies use it to send smudge signals, I have a general idea of what that is, but when I asked for more information, Jack wandered away as usual. I love that boy, but I wish he was a bit less recalcitrant.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a triple gravity sort of day for me and my brain can’t seem to organize itself to write. Rather than leave you with nothing, I thought I’d share this poem by one of my favourite authors, James Joyce.



Gold-brown upon the sated flood
The rock-vine clusters lift and sway:
Vast wings above the lambent waters brood
Of sullen day.

A waste of waters ruthlessly
Sways and uplifts its weedy mane,
Where brooding day stares down upon the sea
In dull disdain.

Uplift and sway, O golden vine,
Thy clustered fruits to love’s full flood,
Lambent and vast and ruthless as is thine


James Joyce – 1882-1941