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by Diane Cook (Photographer), Len Jenshel (Photographer), Todd Newberry (Contributor), Lawerence Weschler (Contributor)

From Booklist
Cook and Jenshel, wife and husband, work together on large projects, she in black and white, he in color. Turning to water after a project about volcanoes, they settled on two approaches, one concerned with ice, the other with immense aquariums--hence, one with pure nature, the other with nature humanly constrained. Their aquarium pictures are gorgeous, thoughtful, and provocative. At first the black-and-whites seem more artificial and abstract, especially in the subtly turbulent image of a tiger plunging after a pumpkin, which is virtually impossible to decipher without a written explanation. But it is almost as hard to "decode" the adjacent color image of a spotlighted shark lunging toward the viewer. Other color pictures are forthrightly painterly: illuminist (a redheaded woman watches identically red jellyfish), magical realist (a baby and a turtle in a seeming face-off), and, of course, surrealist (the giant fish-nose "invading" a sunken classical Greek city). Biologist Todd Newberry's essay and the interview-afterword raise piquant questions about the aquarium experience for inhabitants as well as spectators. Ray Olson
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved


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The Art Instinct
Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution
by Denis Dutton (Author)

From the New Yorker
Dutton, an aesthetic philosopher best known as the curator of the Web site Arts & Letters Daily, sets out to do for art what Steven Pinker and others have done for psychology, language, and religion: consider it from a Darwinian standpoint. Along the way, he gives an engaging, if opinionated, survey of various currents in aesthetic debate; it is perhaps unavoidable that he seems on more solid foundations here than in the realm of science. When trying to assess whether artistic impulses should be considered adaptive or merely by-products of the evolutionary process, a crucial question raised by his approach, he argues by analogy and tries to have it both ways. But the book is ultimately animated less by its grand thesis than by all the questions tossed up along the way why did no art form develop to exploit smell, as music does hearing and by Dutton’s infectious and wide-ranging love of art, a passion that clearly goes beyond anything that could be considered an adaptive trait. 
Copyright 2008 Click here to subscribe to The New Yorker.


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The Botany of Desire
A Plant's-Eye View of the World
by Michael Pollan (Author)

From Publishers Weekly
Erudite, engaging and highly original, journalist Pollan's fascinating account of four everyday plants and their coevolution with human society challenges traditional views about humans and nature. Using the histories of apples, tulips, potatoes and cannabis to illustrate the complex, reciprocal relationship between humans and the natural world, he shows how these species have successfully exploited human desires to flourish. "It makes just as much sense to think of agriculture as something the grasses did to people as a way to conquer the trees," Pollan writes as he seamlessly weaves little-known facts, historical events and even a few amusing personal anecdotes to tell each species' story. For instance, he describes how the apple's sweetness and the appeal of hard cider enticed settlers to plant orchards throughout the American colonies, vastly expanding the plant's range. He evokes the tulip craze of 17th-century Amsterdam, where the flower's beauty led to a frenzy of speculative trading, and explores the intoxicating appeal of marijuana by talking to scientists, perusing literature and even visiting a modern marijuana garden in Amsterdam. Finally, he considers how the potato plant demonstrates man's age-old desire to control nature, leading to modern agribusiness's experiments with biotechnology. Pollan's clear, elegant style enlivens even his most scientific material, and his wide-ranging references and charming manner do much to support his basic contention that man and nature are and will always be "in this boat together."

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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A Collaboration with Nature

by Andy Goldsworthy (Author)

From Library Journal
A new generation of American and European sculptors is receiving critical and commercial attention for rediscovering, in the spirit of Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel (1913), the wealth of forms in everyday life. Variously labeled "New Object," "Metaphoric Object," "Neo-Geo," or "Simulationist," this new sculpture mimics familiar objects from industrial, domestic, and historical sources. Eight such artists are features in OBJECTives: Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Annette Lemieux, and Haim Steinbach from New York; Grenville Davis and Judith Opie from London; Katarina Fritsch from Cologne; and Juan Munoz from Madrid. This exhibition catalog, which presents works exhibited at the Newport Harbor Art Museum in California from April to June 1990, includes exhibition histories and a selected bibliography for each artist. Goldsworthy is an extraordinarily innovative British artist who employs a range of natural materials--leaves, bark, twigs, petals, berries, rock, clay, stones, feathers, snow, ice--to create outdoor sculpture that works instinctively in nature. His range of scale is impressive, from grasses and leaves to ice spires and slate stacks. Goldsworthy records his works in the 120 full-color photographs that are the subject of this book. The delicate tensions and balance of his collaborations encourage a sharpened perception of the natural world. Goldsworthy's introduction eloquently explains his working methods and philosophy and convinces the reader that he's doing more than playing the primitive.
- Russell T. Clement, Brigham Young Univ. Lib., Provo, Ut.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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by Andy Goldsworthy (Author)

From Booklist
*Starred Review* "I don't know what will happen but look forward to whatever changes occur," writes sculptor Goldsworthy, a statement that can stand as his credo. An artist who works with nature in nature, he creates astonishingly subtle, ephemeral, seemingly impossible, and elegantly mysterious works out of stone, sticks, leaves, stalks, ice, and sand, constructions vulnerable to sun, wind, storms, tides, and time. Documentation is an integral aspect of his art, and, consequently, Goldsworthy, the subject of the gorgeously meditative, award-winning documentary Rivers and Tides (2004), has created a number of beautiful books. His newest covers many recent works--including Garden of Stones, a Holocaust memorial in New York City and the subject of an essay by Simon Schama--and tracks his ongoing involvement with an ancient tradition, the building of cairns. His are not mere stacks of stones marking a trail but rather elaborately constructed and gracefully balanced egg-shaped forms that bring into focus the beauty of their surroundings. Magical and exquisite, Goldsworthy's sculptures move us to look more carefully at the world around us and consider more deeply our place within the fine mesh of life. Donna Seaman
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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The Spirit of Costa Rica: Honoring the Elements
By Chris Migliaccio

In 1992, my family and I traveled to Costa Rica for the first time. I quickly fell in love with the land and its people, so I've been returning at least once a year since that time - traveling all over the country and shooting photos. Some of my most memorable life experiences have come from these adventures.

In 2010, I co-taught a college Honors Earth Literacy & Sustainability course in the Monteverde area. We used David Suzuki's "The Sacred Balance" as our primary text and the combination of readings, fieldwork, and student responses to his unique perspective sparked the ideas that lead to this book. Two additional Summer visits to create images followed by countless hours selecting and reprocessing images produced this view of the elements with a Costa Rican flavor.

173 color photos of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Love and Biodiversity feature native Costa Rican flora, fauna, land and seascapes.

More information and to purchase

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 Chandra links pulsar to historic supernova 


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