Countdown to Powers of Ten Day
- 10/10/10 952 days ago
Posts by eames:
An installation at the Tate Modern of 100 million sunflower seeds–actually 100 million hand made porcelain sculptures of sunflower seeds. More soon.
It was an amazing Powers of Ten Day at the Eames Office, Eames House and around the world. Thanks to all who participated–there were about 50,000 viewings on YouTune alone.
So, PLEASE: Tell us your stories. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post comments here.
PICTURES??? Then upload them to our Powers of Ten Day Celebration Flickr group. If you haven’t joined yet, don’t worry: we’ll let you in.
And, BTW, since it is continuing to be an amazing Powers of Ten Month around the world, we are pretty confident that the 1000 days of Scale are going to be magic.
(But, we do ask you to please cut us a bit of slack as we gather images and stories for this blog. There are some events posted, but alot more to come!)
Just got a Happy Powers of Ten Day txt from Kuala Lumpur. And so it begins . . .
. . . from 10,000 km away.
I very much wish I could attend this event. I have not had the pleasure of hearing it, but Composer David Haines ambition sounds wonderful:
“Join composer David Haines and more than two hundred young people and adults on an amazing voyage through the magnitudes from the human scale right down to string theory via fingers, fleas, amoebae, bacteria, viruses, atoms and quarks – then back up the magnitudes via landscape, tectonic plates, Earth, Moon, Sun and Solar System, black holes and galaxies.
The twenty-odd songs of Powers of Ten are bursting with musical flavors that evade description: a touch of classical, a soupcon of jazz, a dash of pop, a sprinkle of rap. The lyrics are usually fact-packed, often hilarious – and occasionally even tug at the heart strings. Who’d have thought a song about the wonders of Bacteria could evoke tears? But it does…”
We hope to get a full report! If someone attends, please send some reports and images. It happens 10/10/10 from 5-7
We are only days away from 10/10/10!
(And, though at crunch time things feel like they are mere micro powers of ten away, every day is still almost 10+05 seconds–86,400 to be precise!)
Powers of Ten Day will be a special day of screenings, workshops, and events around the world — not just October 10th, but throughout the month. It is all part of the Eames Office’s commitment to Powers of Ten thinking–here’s a new look at one familiar item. And, of course, thinking about scale doesn’t stop in November, it is a year round educational enterprise.
But why is this so important that people are joining from around the world in sharing and watching and learning about Powers of Ten?
Well, we believe that much of the magic and many of the problems of the world are matters of scale, and yet that we are not really wired to understand the extremes of scale — or even exponential change in general.
We believe that having a deep understanding of scale makes us all better citizens of the world.
We believe that creating ways for people to have hands on experience with scale makes that understanding possible.
We believe that this website can be a powerful tool in achieving that understanding and giving individuals around the world new ways to understand the relative size of things.
Director, Eames Office
& Scale Exponent
I am experimenting with the mobile posting capability of my iPhone.
About to start my first Powers of Ten event of the month at Dezart Performs in Palm Springs, California. They put together a special Eames exhibit too.
So it is a real treat to talk about the Powers of Ten ideas in the mid-century modern mecca of Palm Springs. (Down on Cherokee if you are in the area!)
Here’s an excerpt from a new film we did exploring the concept of Powers of Ten Thinking. The idea was to look at one topic–Wine–from various orders of magnitude. The complete film will soon be online, but this excerpt connects the spatial journey to many different ideas and dimensions of wine.
It features conversation with Peter Gago, the chief winemaker of Penfolds, that took place at Magill Estate in the outskirts of Adelaide, Australia.
Wine (and all alcohol) is not for anyone below the legal drinking age in their current jurisdiction.
This video is intended as an exploration of a substance that has been woven in to human culture and ritual for generations, not in any way as encouragement for its use.
This is the Big Daddy Dune, said to be the tallest in the world (but there is some competition, naturally, for that title. In any event it 383 meters (nearly a quarter mile in height) above the clay pans around its base. That makes it an extremely robust 10+2!
This dune is in the Namib Desert, near Sossusvlei, Namibia. There are many Powers of Ten hidden in this image, but for now, I will share just one: the way the heat and dryness of the desert stretches the scales of time.
Big Daddy Dune over looks a place called Dead Vlei. You can run down the dune directly into it.
When the Tsauchab River flooded, the silt flooded this little valley in the dunes, engulfing these trees and the heat pounded that silt into hard clay.
When you look at the trapped trees, they look no different than a tree that died a few weeks ago–but this flood happened about 900 years ago–almost 10+3 years ago.
Like this shot of 100 bikes from a couple of weeks ago.
This is an image of the star Pollux, also called Beta Geminorum, taken by Nagano based photographer Yuugi Kitahara.
Pollux is one of the twenty brightest stars in the night sky (it is also the nearest Giant star), but today we are considering it from the standpoint of distance. Pollux is 33 light-years away from the Earth, or a bit past 10+17 meters. That also means that when you see this star as part the Constellation Gemini in the night sky (actually early morning this time of year), the beam of light you are seeing left Pollux 33 years ago–in 1977.
Think of it: that beam of light started its journey exactly at the moment Charles and Ray and the Eames Office team were making the film Powers of Ten we celebrate on this site. It took a billion seconds (33 years is about 10+9 seconds) and the trip for the twinkle you saw early this morning began right around the moment this drawing was being done:
Many readers of this blog were not even born yet. But the journey reveals something else. Though the star certainly did not change, our understanding of it did. In 1977, planets outside our Solar System were a merest speculation to human astronomers, now we know that Pollux has at least a Jupiter size planet orbiting it. (This is old news to Star Trek fans, who will remember that the episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?” took place on a planet in the Pollux system.)
One final (for now) Eamesian connection: Castor and Pollux are the twins in the constellation Gemini. They are also the names of two paintings by Ray’s mentor Hans Hofmann that once belonged to John Entenza and were displayed for a while in the Eames House. Here’s what they looked like on the wall (I believe that Pollux is the orange one):
So what is 33 years? A billion seconds? A stellar hop skip and a jump? A new generation? The loss of an old generation? Enough time for new discipline in science? 10 million viewings of a classic film? Naturally, all–and just the beginning of the list.
BTW: Here’s a cool list of other stars within 50 light-years of Earth.
AND: here is another page about Pollux the star.
We’ll finish with a closer shot of one of the Hofmann Paintings hung from the ceiling of the Eames House in the 1950s. As I said, I think it is Castor, not Pollux, but on the other hand, Castor and Pollux were twins, so may be it is close enough?