Exclusion Zone art by Lukasz Pazera

Just a selection of the amazing Exclusion Zone art by Lukasz Pazera – full gallery here.

thx mediapathic​!

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Technology surrounds us and is an integral part of our society.  It is a tool, and it can be used for both good and bad. For me, technology is very important and most helpful – for instance I do all of my illustration on a Wacom Cintiq Companion. My general stance on technology is cautious optimism – I’m reminded of Carl Sagan who said something like: we can use our technology to destroy ourselves, or we can use it to carry us to the stars. And to continue on the Carl Sagan line of thought – my real concerns about technology is how society is increasingly depending on it yet there’s no corresponding curve in people’s understanding of it. Technology must not become this kind of magical force that people use without understanding the basic concepts that governs it. Then we have this kind of booby trapped society. Now think of what Jacob Bronowski said about science forty years ago: “Fifty years from now, if an understanding of man’s origins, his evolution, his history, his progress is not in the common place of the school books, we shall not exist”.

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The uncovering of the engraving, in 1864, was the handiwork of a joint British-French archaeological expedition and it provided the first, unambiguous evidence that human beings had once shared this planet with long-extinct animals such as the mammoth. Its discovery was also an act of extraordinary good fortune, it transpires.

“The site has since lent its name to a period known as the Magdalenian era, which thrived across Europe between 12,000 and 16,000 years ago, and which we now appreciate was a time of incredible artistic creativity,” says Professor Chris Stringer, curator of the Natural History Museum exhibition.

The site has certainly produced many wonders, but in terms of their sheer scientific importance none can match the splintered mammoth figurine that was spotted by Lartet and Falconer on that day in May 1864. In their hands lay fragments, freshly dug from the earth, of a beautiful engraving of a mammoth, with its distinctive domed head, that was, for good measure, made of mammoth ivory.

“You couldn’t really top that in terms of proving that humans had lived at the same time as mammoths,” says Stringer. “Indeed, when you examine the piece you can see details of the mammoth’s anatomy that we only know about today from the frozen mammoth carcasses that we have found in Siberia.”

In other words, only an artist who had shared that ancient landscape (the Madeleine mammoth was carved about 14,000 years ago) with these creatures would have been able to record one with such precision and flair – and on a piece of the animal’s own ivory.


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12:18 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time on Aug. 2, 1971, Commander David Scott of Apollo 15 placed a 3 ½-inch-tall aluminum sculpture onto the dusty surface of a small crater near his parked lunar rover. At that moment the moon transformed from an airless ball of rock into the largest exhibition space in the known universe.

Between mouthfuls, van Hoeydonck and Scott discovered shared obsessions with archaeology and Mayan mythology. At the end of the evening, van Hoeydonck praised Scott and Irwin: “ ‘You guys are like the knights that existed in medieval time—the astronauts of the Holy Grail,’ I told them. They toasted me, ‘Look what this guy says! Let’s get him a sculpture on the moon!’

Two days after the NASA press conference, van Hoeydonck wrote to the Apollo 15 crew: “To open the way to the Stars is the most important mission of man in this century.” In a separate letter, sent directly to Scott the same day, he added, “Sorry you didn’t find an ancient temple but … the experience of walking on the moon must be out of our dimensions.”

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