If you can't make it tonight, perhaps you can join us for the Morbid Anatomy and Ghoul-a-Go-Go Krumpus-themed holiday party? Or you might fancy participating in the holiday edition of our popular anthropomorphic insect shadowbox class! Or checking out a slideshow of amazing art from the rare book collections at the AMNH? Or learning about dark New York? If not, perhaps you'd like to learn about medieval automata! Or see a 3D slideshow!
These and many other delights await you as part of Morbid Anatomy Presents this month and beyond at Observatory; full details follow. Hope to see you there!
Sicilian Sex Ghosts AND Morbid Anatomy Birthday Party
An illustrated lecture and Slideshow by Empire of Death author Dr. Paul Koudounaris with Music and Cocktails by Friese Undine and thematic baked goods by Rachel Ridout
Date: Tuesday December 11
Produced by Morbid Anatomy
Do you like sex? Do you like Death? Do you like Sicilians? Do you like Morbid Anatomy, alcohol, birthday parties, thematic cakes and music? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please join author/photographer of Empire of Death Dr. Paul Koudounaris, as he presents an in-depth lecture with full slideshow on the Sex Ghosts of the Palermo Catacombs for an evening's spectacular which will also serve as the birthday party for Morbid Anatomy's Joanna Ebenstein.
Over 400 years ago, the monks of Palermo's Capuchin monastery began mummifying their own brothers and prominent local citizens, and displaying their bodies in subterranean galleries. The result was one of the world's most haunted sites. But many of these ghosts were not content to simply roam the passageways rattling chains--death had apparently not quelled their sexual appetites, and with libidos in overdrive they took to the streets of the city to fulfill their lecherous needs. Dr. Koudounaris will explore this fascinating folklore in a uniquely bizarre lecture, illustrated with his own photographs of the mummies still preserved in Palermo.
Come for the lecture, and linger for the party, which will feature Music and Cocktails by Friese Undine and morbid baked goods by the lovely Rachel Ridout.
Dr. Paul Koudounaris holds a PhD in Art History (UCLA) and has taught classes at numerous universities and published in magazines throughout the world. He is the author of The Empire of Death, the first illustrated history of charnel houses and religious sanctuaries decorated with human bone. Named one of the ten best books of 2011 (London Evening Standard), it has garnered international attention for its combination of unique historical research and stunning photography.
Date: Friday, December 14, 2012
Time: 8:00 PM (Doors open at 7:00, there'll be refreshments and much to see))
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
Exploring Mysteries has been a prominent feature in the work of artist Gerald Marks over the past four decades. Tonight, join this 3-D legend and former San Francisco Exploratorium artist in residence for a 3-D ode to the Nature of Vision. Seven “Chapters” of images will explore a wide range of topics... Lost Art around the City, Aviation and Space, The JFK Assassination, People Lost in Devices, Liberty, Mysteries of Scale, and much more.
There will be a special segment featuring images of small specimens in 3-D, made using a desktop scanner. On January 5, Marks will be holding a Saturday workshop on this technique. More on that here.
Gerald Marks is an artist working along the border of art and science, specializing in stereoscopic 3-D since 1973. He may be best known for the 3-D videos he directed for The Rolling Stones during their Steel Wheels tour. He has taught at The Cooper Union, The New School for Social Research, and the School of Visual Arts, where he currently teaches Stereoscopic 3-D within the MFA program in Computer Art. He was artist in residence at San Francisco’s Exploratorium and a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab, where he worked with computer-generated holography. His Professor Pulfrich’s Universe installations are popular features in museums all over the world, including the Exploratorium, The N. Y. Hall of Science, and Sony ExploraScience in Beijing and Tokyo. He has done 3-D consulting, lecturing and design for scientific purposes for The American Museum of Natural History, the National Institutes of Health, and Discover Magazine. He has created a large variety of 3-D artwork for advertising, display, and pharmaceutical use, as well as broadcast organizations Fox and MTV. He has designed award winning projections and sets at the N.Y. Public Theater, SOHO Rep, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center and the Nashville Ballet, where he created stereoscopically projected sets. He created the 3-D mural in the 28th Street station of the #6 train in New York City’s subway. He did 3-D imaging of dance around the New York shoreline as part of an iLAB grant from the iLAND Foundation for using the arts to raise environmental consciousness.
Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowbox Workshop: Special Holiday Edition, with Former AMNH Senior Insect Preparator Daisy Tainton
With Daisy Tainton, Former Senior Insect Preparator at the American Museum of Natural History
Dates: Sunday, December 16 (Special Holiday Edition!)
Time: 1 - 4 PM
***Must RSVP to morbidanatomy [at] gmail.com to be added to class list
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
Today, join former AMNH Senior Insect Preparator Daisy Tainton for a special Holiday-themed edition of Observatory's popular Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowbox Workshop. In this class, students will work with Rhinoceros beetles: nature's tiny giants. Each student will learn to make--and leave with their own!--shadowbox dioramas featuring carefully positioned beetles doing nearly anything you can imagine. Beetles and shadowboxes are provided, and an assortment of miniature furniture, foods, and other props will be available to decorate your habitat. Students need bring nothing, though are encouraged to bring along dollhouse props if they have a particular vision for their final piece; 1:12 scale work best.
Daisy Tainton was formerly Senior Insect Preparator at the American Museum of Natural History, and has been working with insects professionally for several years. Eventually her fascination with insects and love of Japanese miniature food items naturally came together, resulting in cute and ridiculous museum-inspired yet utterly unrealistic dioramas. Beetles at the dentist? Beetles eating pie and knitting sweaters? Even beetles on the toilet? Why not?
Ghoul A Go-Go Holiday Krampus Party with “DEVILS” Show Premiere!
Date: Saturday, December 22
Time: 8:00 PM
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
* Premiere of Ghoul A Go-Go's "DEVILS" show with Vlad and Creighton appearing LIVE!!
* A screening of the bizarro Mexican holiday classic feature film Santa Claus (1959)! The devil Pitch is on the loose! Can Christmas be saved?
* "Beelzebab "Siren of Sodom" performs live burlesque!
* Mistress Dominae Drakonis beats the naughty!
* Mulled Wine! Krampus cake! Piñata! More fun than you can beat with a stick!
Ghoul A Go-Go and Morbid Anatomy are throwing a Krampus holiday party to celebrate the world premiere of Ghoul A Go-Go's new "DEVILS" show! The ghost of Sammy Davis Jr. will not be there, but Vlad and Creighton will pour on more entertainment than a naughty child can handle. Beelzebabe, Siren of Sodom, will perform her scorching "Bad Girls Go To Hell" burlesque--an act one archbishop cited as the cause of his fall from grace! To add to the Krampus festivities, Mistress Dominae Drakonis, in all her satanic majesty, will deal out beatings to the naughty. There will be mulled wine to spice things up even further, as well as a Krampus cake. For your visual entertainment, there will be a screening of the 1959 Mexican classic film, Santa Claus, featuring the the devil Pitch. A piñata will be beaten. You will also have the privilege of being the first to see the brand new Ghoul A Go-Go episode on the big screen in all its devilish glory! To grind things to halt, there will be an Observatory styled lecture on Christmas. And then back to the party! It'll be more fun than a sack full of children so wear your best Krampus costume!
CLASS: Creating Stereoscopic 3-D Images of Small Specimens Using a Desktop Scanner
Workshop Class with Stereoscopic 3-D Artist Gerald Marks
Date: Saturday, January 5, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM with a short lunch break
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
*** Class size is limited to 16; please RSVP to morbidanatomy[at]gmail.com
In this workshop class you will learn to produce high-quality stereoscopic images of small objects, using a conventional desktop scanner. Everyone in the class can expect to leave with at least one 3-D picture, ready to post on a the web, email, or include in digital slide show, and the knowledge of how to do the process. With this technique, quite a bit of magnification is possible, almost rivaling microscope work.
After scanning, we will work with the images in Adobe Photoshop, using the same basic approach that the instructor has developed for Stereoscopic 3-D images in general, so you will be learning a professional technique for working with 3-D image pairs.
We will primarily view and work with our 3-D images using traditional Anaglyph Red/Blue 3-D glasses but we can output our scan work to any 3-D viewing system, including all types of 3-D projection and 3-D Television. 3-D glasses will be provided.
We will be scanning the objects on a conventional desktop scanners, such as the Epson Perfection series, and working with the scans on a laptop, using Adobe Photoshop (any version). All of the computer work on the instructor's laptop will be projected large, and in 3-D, so that it will be easy to follow.
Bring to Class
The primary thing to bring to class is the object you wish to scan. Almost anything in your collection from about .25" to about 6" wide should work, as long as it holds together. (Slime, for example, doesn't hold together) Natural or man-made objects, such as coins or medals work great. Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral are all OK, as long as it will hold still for at least two exposures. Bring additional objects as some things scan better than others and there may be time to scan more.
Bring a flash drive, or a blank CD, to put your scans on and take home.
You may bring your own laptop, with Photoshop installed, but it is not required. Bring your own scanner, too, if you like (When transporting a scanner, remember to "lock" the scanner head!)
Gerald Marks is an artist working along the border of art and science, specializing in stereoscopic 3-D since 1973. He may be best known for the 3-D videos he directed for The Rolling Stones during their Steel Wheels tour. He has taught at The Cooper Union, The New School for Social Research, and the School of Visual Arts, where he currently teaches Stereoscopic 3-D within the MFA program in Computer Art. He was artist in residence at San Francisco's Exploratorium and a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab, where he worked with computer-generated holography. His Professor Pulfrich's Universe installations are popular features in museums all over the world, including the Exploratorium, The N. Y. Hall of Science, and Sony ExploraScience in Beijing and Tokyo. He has done 3-D consulting, lecturing and design for scientific purposes for The American Museum of Natural History, the National Institutes of Health, and Discover Magazine. He has created a large variety of 3-D artwork for advertising, display, and pharmaceutical use, as well as broadcast organizations Fox and MTV. He has designed award winning projections and sets at the N.Y. Public Theater, SOHO Rep, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center and the Nashville Ballet, where he created stereoscopically projected sets. He created the 3-D mural in the 28th Street station of the #6 train in New York City’s subway. He did 3-D imaging of dance around the New York shoreline as part of an iLAB grant from the iLAND Foundation for using the arts to raise environmental consciousness.
Illustrated lecture and Book Release Party with Tom Baione of New York's American Museum of Natural History
Date: Thursday, Jan 10
Time: 8:00 PM
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
*** Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing
Most people are well acquainted with the front-stage wonders of New York's American Museum of Natural History--the world class habitat group dioramas, the highly stylized hall of biodiversity, the epic dinosaur skeletons; what is less well known is the equally astounding back-stage collection, which includes an world-renowned collection of exquisite, rare, and beautifully illustrated books on the natural sciences held by museum's research library. The new book Natural Histories: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library , edited by AMNH's Tom Baione, brings these hidden works to the fore, showcasing forty extraordinary works created between the 16th and 20th centuries, covering all seven continents, and spanning such diverse scientific fields as anthropology, astronomy, earth science, paleontology, and zoology. The book also features essays about each work by Museum curators, scientists, and librarians, as well as forty extraordinary, suitable-for-framing art prints of images from the book.
In tonight's highly illustrated lecture, join American Museum of Natural History's Boeschenstein Director of Library Services and volume editor Tom Baione for a look inside the Natural Histories... and a virtual trip behind the scenes of the Library's Rare Book Room. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase--and have signed!--their own copy of this gorgeous new volume.
Tom Baione, a Brooklyn native, started working in the Museum's Library in 1995 after attending Pratt Institute's School of Library and Information Science. After years in the Library's Special Collections and Reference Services units, Tom became the Library's Director in 2010. He is an active member of New York's Grolier Club and lives in midtown with his high school sweetheart. The Museum was his favorite childhood destination and he still reports a thrill upon entering the museum each day.
A Dark Day in New York: Dispatches from The New York Grimpendium: Lecture and Launch Party for Book of Death-related Sites and Artifacts in New York
An Illustrated Lecture and Book Signing with J.W. Ocker
Date: Monday, January 14
Produced by Morbid Anatomy
*** Copies of The New York Grimpendium will be available for sale and signing
J.W. Ocker spent a year traveling around New York, visiting some 250 death-related sites and artifacts in the state. A brain collection. A ship graveyard. An abandoned spiritualist mecca. And yes, even The Morbid Anatomy Library. For this presentation, he will be showing pictures and recounting some of the stories from from the darkest corners of the state.
J.W. Ocker grew up in Maryland and currently lives in New Hampshire. He is the author of The New England Grimpendium, for which he won the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing, and the recently released The New York Grimpendium. He writes about his travels to strange sites around the country at his site OddThingsIveSeen.com.
Medieval Robots: Automata Since the First Millennium
An illustrated lecture with Elly R. Truitt, Bryn Mawr College
Date: Friday, January 18 (PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE)
Time: 8:00 PM
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
Robots are everywhere. They build our cars, fight our wars, and clean our homes. Robots help us define concepts of humanity, explore the ethical ramifications of knowledge, and question the role of complex technology in our lives. Yet these liminal objects have a long history. Medieval robots, also called automata, appear throughout the Middle Ages in literature, art, courtly ceremony, and liturgical ritual. They could reveal the time of day or the date of your death, and they might be made by artisans or sorcerers. This illustrated lecture will explore these seductive, strange, and sometimes terrifying objects, and will uncover the hidden medieval past of our robotic present.
Elly R. Truitt is Assistant Professor of Medieval History at Bryn Mawr College. She has published articles in a number of scholarly journals, and is currently finishing a book on medieval automata. She also has a blog, called Medieval Robots. She lives in Philadelphia, PA and is left-handed.
You can find out more about all of these events here, or sign up for them on Facebook by clicking here.
Image: A bonneted figure at the Crypt of the Santa Maria Della Pace monastery, Palermo, Sicily by tonight's speaker Paul Koudounaris.