Crew Lock It Bag

ISS Crew Lock Bag in orbit, Nov 2023, img via tumblr:anarchywoofwoof/octavio-world

As seen on tumblr, on November 2nd, US astronauts on the International Space Station lost control of a toolbox during a space walk. Known as a Crew Lock Bag, it is currently orbiting about 2-4 minutes ahead of the ISS, and is apparently bright enough to be seen from earth with binoculars or a telescope. The epic photo above is from the ISS.

modified replica of NASA Crew Lock Bag, 2019, fabricated by Lily Douglas and Jason Chang, img:

If you’re like me, you’re wondering where to get one of these swag Crew Lock It Bags? In the Summer of 2019 NASA industrial designer Lily Douglas fabricated a CLB based on NASA’s technical drawings for a space-related display at the US embassy in Moscow. She documented the project and the piece here.

A CLB is about the size of a hi-top sneaker box. It is made from Nomex, woven glass, and Perspex, with some relatively obtainable-looking webbing and some fairly specific-looking hardware.

If this info isn’t enough to help you figure out how to score or make your own Crew Lock Box, you could always wait a few months, and one will fall from the sky.

This Is (This Is) Air

(This Is) Air, rendering of Nic Brunsdon & ENESS’s 2023 architecture commission for the National Gallery of Victoria’s 2023 Triennial, image: NGV

Perth architect Nic Brunsdon’s inflatable and undulating sphere, (This is) Air, will be realized in the garden of the National Gallery of Victoria this December, as part of the 2023 Triennial.

It will respire, inflate and deflate, to help make air visible. As it “exhales” it will transform “into an array of cloud-like configurations.” On first, second, and third glances, it does resemble the satelloons and sculptural, inflated spheres that are the never-dissipating obsession of mine for the last 16+ years. It is comforting and encouraging to have astute friends and colleagues like Andrew Russeth see a 14m balloon ball project in Australia and think, “Oh, I need to send this to Greg.”

Paul Chan, Khara en Penta (Joyer in 5), 2019, image: Greene Naftali via Walker Art Center, where a show of Chan’s Breathers was on view until last month

As I type this up, the nature of Brunsdon’s project seems to relate even more closely to Paul Chan’s Breathers, whose undulating sculptural shapes are created by the flow of air through them. (This is) Air feels like a massive, Platonic solid (sic) version of Chan’s contorted, figural objects.

Martin Creed’s Work No. 2821, (half the air in a given space), 2017, was acquired by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which illustrates it thus.

It also brings to mind Martin Creed, whose “half the air in a given space” series uses smaller balloons, and obviously involves an enclosed space. Of course, a 14m-diameter sphere contains almost exactly half the air, by volume, of a 14-meter cube. So in a way, Brunsdon’s outdoor project also makes it possible to imagine, not just the air, but the space it would be given.

2023 NGV Architecture Commission: Nic Brunsdon, (This is) Air []

Anish Kapoor Charity Ball

Anish Kapoor, Untitled, 2009, 100 x 100 x 100 cm stainless steel sphere on 100 x 60 x 60 cm base, ed. 1 of 9, for sale at Sotheby’s London on 2 March 2023, Lot 387, est. GBP 60-80,000

So you’re telling me that in 2009, two years after I started spinning about satelloons, but two years before he filled the Grand Palais with Leviathan, Anish Kapoor made not just one 1-meter stainless steel sphere, but nine? And I’ve never seen one until now, and that’s the one he donated to Trudie Styler’s charity dinner in 2011?

What’s that? The provenance lists The Aspinall Foundation & The Ecology Trust Charity Auction on 24 March 2011, but tactfully omits the more common name of the event, the Ormeley Dinner? And the sphere, ed. 1 of 9, sold for £420,000 [nice], reported Trudie as she and Sting sailed on a schooner “from the French Riviera to our [their] Tuscan villa, Il Palagio? And now the sphere has an estimate of 1/8th of that? How did I miss all this?

Anish Kapoor, Tall Tree and The Eye, 2009, 13 x 5 x 5 m, 73 stainless steel spheres, including some that look like they could be a meter across, installed at Leeum in 2012-13, image:

Was it perhaps just left over from Tall Tree and The Eye, also from 2009? Did it fall off the Tree after it was installed in Bilbao in 2010, but before it moved to Leeum in Korea in 2012? Suddenly ed. 9 feels small.

[update: sold for GBP 266,700. amazing. do they get to write off the loss as a donation to Sting’s wife now?]

The Chinese Star

The Chinese Star, recorded by, I believe, Chase Doak, from his Billings, Montana driveway, and used without credit on CBS News.

The sole purpose of this vehicle would be to be seen. To be seen by [330 million Americans,] [1 billion] 400 million Chinese, 200 million Russians, [one billion] 400 million Indians, etc. The American Chinese Star, rising in the west and setting in the east. Father would show it to son, and the priests would be asked about it, too. It would be punctual and predictable like a clock. Don’t you think this would do more for the Western Asiatic cause in the Asiatic Western mind than the Korean war, the existence of the A-bomb, or the Voice of America TikTok?

Adapted from nazi-American rocket scientist Werner von Braun’s 1955 epilogue to a Time Life Books paperback about the future of space flight, in which he called for the United States to use his old V-2 rockets to launch “The American Star,” a giant, white balloon, into space, just to freak the other countries out. [quoted here]

Previously, related: Speaking about Exhibition Space, Satelloons & the Palomar Sky Survey at CPNAS

Speaking about Exhibition Space, the Sky Survey, and Satelloons at CPNAS

It’ll be ten years since “Exhibition Space: Images, Objects, and Perception from the early days of the Space Race,” the show I curated at apexart, and I’ve been thinking about it and revisiting it a bit.

Thanks to apexart’s expansive invitation, the show helped me recognize a significant connection between the two main visual and photographic subjects: the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, the first and last photograph of the visible universe before the space age; and Project Echo, the 100-foot diameter mirrored satelloon that was the first manmade object in space visible to the naked eye.

In June 2013, I was invited to talk about the show at the National Academies of Science, which was awesome, and I brought the 10-foot satelloon modeled after the one presented at the US Capitol. It was a great evening, but I remember the webcast being a little complicated, and so assumed it was one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments lost to time.

In fact, it’s been on the Youtube channel of CPNAS, the Cultural Programs for the National Academies of Science, all this time. Go pump up those views!

Previously: ‘Exhibition Space’ Installation Snaps

Wait What? Osaka ’70 Isozaki X Thomas Ruff Japanese Press++

Where to even start when I’ve been at it for so long?

Interior of Buckminster Fuller’s US Pavilion from Expo ’67, with a lunar lander and satelloons to the left, and Alan Solomon’s curated show of American painting to the right, as seen in USIA director Jack Masey’s book, Cold War Confrontations

World’s Fair pavilion artworks at Expo ’67. Which led to pavilion artworks by painters, and a modest, domestic proposal to chop them up to share with the people,

Study for Chop Shop Newman Painting No. 1 and Nos. 2-6, 2015, jpg

which became a thing at an art world’s fair.

World’s Fair pavilion by artists, E.A.T.’s Pepsi Pavilion at Osaka ’70, surrounded by Robert Breer’s float/robots.

Continue reading “Wait What? Osaka ’70 Isozaki X Thomas Ruff Japanese Press++”

Satelloons Over Manhattan

It’s been a while, too long, since I’ve had a good, old-fashioned satelloon post around here, and wow, is this one.

Arthur C. Clarke & Stanley Kubrick looking through the Questar on the terrace of Kubrick’s CPW penthouse, 1964, image: Kubrick deutsches filmmuseum catalogue via:

On March 31, 1964, Stanley Kubrick wrote to Arthur C. Clarke in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka, obv), asking to meet to explore the possibility of working together–and for advice on buying a larger telescope than the Questar model he already had. Clarke responded immediately, and added a visit with Kubrick to his New York City itinerary just three weeks later.

As Michael Benson recounts in his new book, timed to the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the film 2001, Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece, it went pretty well. AND THEN SOME:

After shaking hands on their deal, or at least their intention to negotiate one, Clarke and Kubrick repaired to the patio. They had established a real rapport over the past month, and any guardedness had long since dropped. Both were excited and didn’t mind showing it. It had been a beautiful late-spring day, with temperatures reaching 75 degrees, and was now a perfectly mild evening, with a crescent Moon hanging in a slight haze several degrees above the southeastern horizon. Thankfully the building’s heating system had been switched off weeks before, and the ash-spewing chimney was now silent. To the south, all of Midtown Manhattan was spread out before them, its lights twinkling.

Suddenly they noticed a brilliantly bright, unwavering point of white light rising above the horizon in the southwest.

Continue reading “Satelloons Over Manhattan”

Untitled (Repressed Memory X Raf, Fall/Winter 2013-14)

Untitled (Repressed Memory X Raf FW2013-14), 2017, mylar satelloons, Magritte-ian floor, unidentified trauma, installation shot from Dior F/W2013-4, image: thesartorialist
Oh hi! What do you remember from 2013? More than me, I bet! Take Feb/March 2013, for example. I’m only now realizing I was so busy putting the finishing touches on “Exhibition Space,” the satelloon show I was opening the next week at apexart, that I completely forgot-and obviously forgot to hype-my colabo with Raf Simons. The one where I stuffed a bunch of satelloons onto the runway of the Dior Fall/Winter show.
dior_satelloons_fw2013.jpgDior F/W2013-4, image: not thesartorialist
Fortunately The Sartorialist was there to document it, or I might never have remembered. To be honest, it’s still all quite hazy. Was I even involved? Why would I have scooped my own show?
“Warhol also echoed in the silvered spheres suspended in the room (like the artist’s iconic ‘clouds’)”, said Vogue, shadily.
Does this mean Raf read my blog? Or that I’m friends with Sterling Ruby? Holy crap, Peter Marino soundbite? It’s all a work now, but if this really happened to me, I can see why I’ve repressed the memory. (thanks, random Russian LJ)

Thank You

Thumbnail image for chop_shop_spring_break_install_6.jpg
It’s been a hard season to think of positive things, and sometimes looking back, it’s been difficult to see how or if things mattered at all. But I also look back at the year with immense gratitude, both for the opportunities I’ve had, but also for the people who helped make them possible. I’d probably still be doing a lot of what I’m doing here if no one else was paying attention; that’s how it often feels, actually. But I’ve come to know that sometimes people do take an interest in what I’m doing, whether writing, research, criticism, or artmaking, and they respond to it, react to it, challenge it, run with it, join in on it. And it makes it interesting, better, and more meaningful, and it is nice to feel that. But there are also things, some of my greatest, favorite things, that would not have existed at all without the interest, effort, and support of others.
So I’d like to give some specific thanks to some of the many people who engaged with and supported my work in 2016. Without them, these things I am so proud of would literally not have happened.
Magda Sawon suggested we do a proposal for SPRING/BREAK. “Chop Shop” began as a glib sendup of Simchowitzian cash&carry speculecting. But in the last few weeks before the show, it grew exponentially in scale, which forced some real thinking about its meaning and ambition. With Ambre & Andrew’s flexibility, and the extraordinary efforts of Magda’s posse, Chop Shop somehow became what supposed to not be: a Basel-ian boothful of investment-grade masterpieces. [Some of which are still available, btw. Get in now at 2016, pre-boom prices.]
Book deals come and go, but Jennifer Liese and her colleagues at Paper Monument offered what bloggers need most: a good editing. When PM first asked to include my 2+ years of posts about the history of Erased deKooning Drawing in their anthology Social Medium, I frankly thought they were nuts. But Jen’s vision and thoughtful editing helped me see my own writing and ideas anew, and she enabled them to reach people in an amazing, new context. I’ve never felt prouder of my writing than to have it included among the great work of so many artists who influence and inspire me already.
Thumbnail image for leckey_satelloon_ps1_365-in-nyc_insta.jpg
Mark Leckey and John Garcia included my work in shows that were totally fascinating and different from anything I could have imagined, which let me think about it and the world it inhabits in a new way. Having my satelloon sculpture be subsumed into Leckey’s autobiographically inspired installation at MoMA PS1 turns out to be a rare privilege, to be able to help realize, almost literally, someone’s memory.
And Garcia’s inclusion of the Madoff Provenance Project in his show about context’s impact on art at To___Bridges___ not only gave it a challenging context, it pushed me to figure out ways to make the project visible and understandable beyond its datalayer. This in turn helped me see how my work connects to, and was informed by, artists of earlier generations. [In this case, there’s an obvious shoutout due to Mel Bochner and his Working drawings and other visible things on paper not necessarily meant to be viewed as art, a project whose title has long resonated with my own ambivalence about calling myself an artist or what I do art.]
Sarah Douglas and Andrew Russeth at ArtNews invited me to write about one of my favorite, all-consuming blogtopics: the disappearance of the Johns flag in Short Circuit. And recently Eric Doeringer and I had a great public conversation about his work, and the early Johns/Rauschenberg era that I continue to find engrossing and misunderstood.
Collectors and supporters who engage in the oddball, time- and space-limited art projects I proposed around here literally made them happen. In the crazy-skewed art world of the moment, lowering the stakes and making and trading art for two figures feels refreshing. And most awesomely, these projects have been a catalyst for connecting with some inspiring people who share some interests, and who introduce me to their passions and practices, too. [I hope 2017 lasts long enough for me to do a book version of eBay Test Prints, btw.]
Most of all, I have to thank my wife, who is my smartest, most skeptical, yet most tireless supporter. She is so deeply disapproving of my #andiron-style art designation practice it is not even funny, but she also sees me wrestling with it myself and taking it seriously, so she does, too. And anyway, at the very least, when I’m dead and gone, and she doesn’t have to deal with a storing or tossing a studio or warehouseful of objects, she’ll come around. So thank you, and thank you all. I hope we all get through 2017 and beyond to do this again.

Untitled (Satelloon), 2007, In Mark Leckey: Containers and their Drivers at MoMAPS1

via [instagram/365days_in_nyc]
I will have more to say about it because it is blowing my mind in unexpected ways, but it has already taken me too long to shout it out: Mark Leckey has included my piece, Untitled (Satelloon), in “Containers and their Drivers,” his survey at MoMA PS1.
The satelloon is incorporated into a new installation of Dream English Kid 1964-1999 AD (2015), an autobiographical piece Leckey assembles through what he calls “found memories.”
The satelloon is a refabrication of a Beacon satellite, the 12-foot Mylar inflatable that was shown publicly at the US Capitol and other sites in the run up for NASA’s Project Echo. Echo 1A, which launched in 1960, was 100 feet in diameter, and was the first visible manmade object in space. In Leckey’s installation, though, the satelloon serves as a reference, I believe, to Echo II, the 135-ft successor, which launched in 1964.
Satelloons have been big around here for nearly 10 years, and I’ve been engrossed by their aesthetic power, and what can only be called their exhibition and display. They are beautiful objects created to be seen, and they have many implications.
Part of this became the subject of “Exhibition Space,” a show I organized at apexart in 2013, which was the occasion for fabricating this particular object. At the time, I was reluctant for a whole host of reasons to declare the show, and the objects in it, to be artworks. But I’m chill with it now, thanks in no small part to Leckey’s own powerful and generous practice over the last several years of curation-as-art, as well as my own subsequent developments.
In any case, a huge thanks and congratulations to Mark Leckey, along with curators Stuart Comer and Peter Eleey, and the folks at PS1, who have been a pleasure to work with. I had no idea how Mark would end up incorporating the piece, but it looks utterly transfixing, and I cannot wait to see it in person.

Imi Knoebel’s Sternenhimmel (Starry Sky)

I don’t know much about Imi Knoebel’s Sternenhimmel photos, except they look awesome. And by awesome, I mean, like the gridded slice of sky seen captured by the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey photos I installed at apexart a couple of years ago.
Sternenhimmel is actually Sternenhimmel – für Lola, a portfolio of 54 prints, each 40x30cm, that Knoebel apparently shot in 1970, but only produced as an edition in 2006. He has a granddaughter named Lola who looks to be about that age, so maybe that’s why.
This is ed. 1/7, plus 2APs, and this is the second time it’s come up for sale at Christie’s. I’d like to think his 8yo granddaughter is not hard up for the £12-18,000 they didn’t sell for in 2014 or the £7-10,000 they’re estimated at now. But maybe she got an AP.
Not much is online about Sternenhimmel, except Joerg Heiser’s discussion of seriality and Knoebel’s 1975 Kunsthalle Düsseldorf exhibition:

The conceptual focus of the pictures of stars, which were brought together into one large picture in the exhibition, is that one star was added to each photo, but this information is not supplied in the catalog. The star motif makes the refusal to communicate sexy; it does not reflect obtuse mental sloth, but is mysteriously seductive due to the cosmic, unending series of stars. It is minimal techno, so to speak, long before it existed, digital in the analog age. Black and white as 0 and 1.

Imi Knoebel, Projections, 1974, 28 photos, ed. 2/9, image: christies
Knoebel was making a series of 250,000 line drawings (Linienbilder) and photos documenting the flashing patterns of lights in a closed room (Innenprojektionen, above), so maybe taking a picture of every star was just one more grand project doomed to futility. (Not to get too On Kawara about it, but if he kept it up, he probably could’ve finished the drawings by now. 250,000 drawings in 50 years is only like a dozen a day.)
14 Apr 2016, lot 168, Imi Knoebel, Sternenhimmel – für Lola, 1970/2006, est. £7-10,000 [christies]
Seriality and Color in Knoebel’s Work []

Your Star, Skystar

Ice Watch, 2015, image:
The big Olafur Eliasson news out of Paris last week was obviously Ice Watch, the circle of ancient Greenland glacier fragments melting and popping in front of the Pantheon.
depiction of Your Star test flight, 2015, image:
This week Olafur is in Stockholm launching Your Star, a public art commission from the Nobel Committee. It is inspired, he explains, by the “space before an idea,” the space from which an idea emerges, the moment when you first register a curiosity or change. In this case, it is the change in the night sky over Stockholm caused by an LED tethered to a balloon, which is powered by a battery charged by a solar panel that captured the energy of the summer sun. Your Star is a new star that returns the light of summer to the dark night of Stockholm in December.
RT-LTA video still of Skystar 180 deploying from its monitoring station
But even if you’re still in Paris, you can get a sense that something is different in the sky, and change is afoot on the ground. @domainawareness notes that Paris intelligence officials have leased a surveillance balloon from the Israeli defense contractor RT-LTA Systems, to monitor protestors and other members of the public during the climate talks.
RT-LTA press photo of Skystar 180 deployed with 360-degree surveillance camera
The Skystar 180 was used in Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip last year, and is deployed near contested holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as throughout East Jerusalem and Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank.

photo of olafureliasson work from nobelprize tweet 20151208

olafur eliasson my star metal sphere with a light at the bottom, image from olafureliasson's 2015-12-07 tweet, converted from png to jpg

One is art, one is policing. One you watch, one watches you. It’s easy to think of differences, but Skystar and Your Star look so much alike that I have to wonder what else they have in common: they are both designed to exist in and affect public space. In his Nobel Week greeting, Olafur talked about the importance of public space:

It is where people come together, to exchange opinions, to disagree, to agree, and through doing all of this they help co-creating society. So does culture. I think it’s very important to keep our public space alive, resilient, and open for change and renegotiation.

Think of that in Paris, where protestors try to influence the political negotiators, primarily by influencing media narratives–and where the looming presence of police surveillance seeks to document what it can’t intimidate or silence by its presence.
O hi. I am here, watching you.
And now think of the original public sites where these aerostats are permanently deployed: occupied neighborhoods where Palestinians and Arab Israelis under decades-long seige or contestation where renegotiation takes place with rocks, bullets, tear gas, and bulldozers.
It turns out both Skystar and Your Star function by being seen. The former as a projection of power and potential deterrent, the latter as an inspiration. This turns out to bear an uncanny resemblance to the original Project Echo satelloon, which was created to be a visible presence in the sky, an inspiring beacon of American power and progress. It was also intended to acclimate people to the presence of satellites overhead, to normalize the eventuality of being watched by surveillance satellites.
When he originally conceived of a large inflatable satellite to win the hearts and devotion of the developing world, Werner von Braun called it an American Star.
Your Star []
Jerusalem – Spy Balloons Give Police New View Of Jerusalem [vosizneias, the voice of the orthodox jewish community]


Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach are decluttering and downsizing, from Monaco/Surrey/Snowmass/Beverly Hills to LA and a London apartment. Nearly 1400 lots of furniture, art, clothing, memorabilia, and borderline boot sale junk will be auctioned this week in LA. Here are some of the things:
First up, Lot 79, Originally John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Refectory Table [est. $5-7,000, sold for $19,200]
“‘This refectory table was left at Tittenhurst by John and Yoko when I took over the house. Enjoy!’ – Ringo.” That would be in 1971. Tittenhurst Park was outside London. Starr sold it to the Emir of Abu Dhabi in 1988, but took the table with him. Hey, here it is in the living room of Rydinghurst, Starr & Bach’s Jacobean estate in Surrey, which they put up for sale last year. Look at how they lay down a Google-like blur on the artwork in estate agent photos.
And speaking of tables, what is up with that coffee table? It’s big and moon-shaped and filled with gazing balls. Or giant Christmas ornaments? I cannot tell, and the designer Ringo Starr doesn’t weigh in this time.
Lot 351, Moon Coffee Table Designed by Ringo Starr [est. $1,000-2,000 sold for just $1,920]
And speaking of gazing balls, holy smokes. Lot 608, Two Monumental Gazing Spheres [est. $3,000-5,000] They’re from Rydinghurst, and each one is 36 inches across. Let’s see Jeff Koons try to handle those. [WHAT, sold for just $1,920? Why didn’t you ever get back to me with the condition report??]
And finally, speaking of satelloon-looking things, Lot 411, Galaxy Theme Platform Bed [est. $800-1,200] “‘When we bought the house in 1992 in LA, we had this bed made so we could sleep under the stars and moons, and surrounded by the stars and moons.’ – Ringo.” Will the presumably LA-based Master Of The Ringo Starr’s Bed Starscape with the initials SWG please come forward and take a bow? [Yes, well, sleeping in Ringo and Barbara’s bed? Priceless, but apparently they’ll take $875.]
Lot 1005, **RINGO STARR’S UK 1st MONO PRESSING WHITE ALBUM NO.0000001 [est. $40-60,000]
Oh wait, no, one more: It turns out Ringo got the first numbered copy of the White Album, and he put it in a vault. Now it is selling for at least $55,000. What a world. #monochrome [WHAT A WORLD INDEED: $790,000.]
Property from the Collection of Ringo Starr & Barbara Bach, 12/03/2015 [julienslive via jjdaddy-o]

On The Golden Record

Could this really be happening? Four years ago I wished for a way to play back the Golden Record, the earthly calling card stuck to the sides of the Voyager space probes nearly 40 years ago. I knew all the recordings and diagrams and photos Carl Sagan and friends recorded on there, but I wondered what it would actually be like to play it back? What would the 116 images turn out like if you played them off an analog record with a needle, and then assembled the 512 raster lines?
I wanted to find an extra Golden Record and play it, which turned out to be hard-to-impossible. And also unnecessary. [Though I’m still game, if you have a Golden Record I can borrow!] Because the Record has been played.
A few weeks ago, Man Bartlett tweeted about some strange electronic passages in a NASA recording of the Golden Record:

And then sound artist Ranjit Bhatnagar identified them as the encoded data for the 116 photographs. Here’s one of the first images Ranjit processed, the aliens’ intro to Earth Math:
above: Image of math chemistry from Voyager 1 by Frank Drake, below: same image decoded by Ranjit Bhatnagar

[images from ranjit’s tweet, decoded math above, and original below]
So this is it. The answer was sitting right there on the Internet Archive the whole time. And yet.
above/below: image of Earth, and image of Earth decoded from Voyager 1 by Kyle McDonald
Within a few minutes of Ranjit’s decoding, code artist Kyle McDonald happened by, and blew things wide open with his distortion adjustments, which he promptly documented and pushed to github. So it just took four years and one serendipitous hour. And now we know that the images we’ve sent out into the universe look like a 1970s TV with a tinfoil antenna.
Voyager1 audio track []
Kyle McDonald | Voyager 1 Decoding [github]
Previously: Off The Golden Record

The Berkowski Daguerrotype

The first successful photographic image of the sun’s corona was taken 164 years ago today. A daguerrotypist named J. Berkowski was brought to the Royal Observatory in Königsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia) by the director, Augustus Busch, to record a solar eclipse on 28 July 1851. According to this 2005 paper in Acta Historica Astronomiae, Berkowski soon made some daguerrotype reproductions. Busch commissioned Robert Trossin of the Royal Academy of Painting to make a steel engraving of the daguerrotype. In 1891, CFW Peters had Berkowski’s original daguerrotype photographed for publication. It has since been lost.
Four of Berkowski’s copies were known, including one in the Jena Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany [above]. The order of copying events in the Jena description does not quite line up with the 2005 paper, even though the author, Dr. Reinhard Schielecke, is the same.
The moon in the 2nd-generation daguerrotype is tiny: 8.7mm across. The original was under 8mm. The Jena print is thus only around 5x6cm, as wide as the screen on an iPhone 4s, but shorter. It was recently conserved, and the Google translation makes me wonder if images of the daguerrotype have been Photoshopped a bit.
I don’t expect to beat diehard collectors of Prussian daguerrotypes to the rediscovery of another of Berkowski’s prints. It would probably be easier to start from scratch and make a new daguerrotype of a solar eclipse somewhere.
ABSTRACT: “On the Berkowski daguerreotype (Königsberg, 1851 July 28): the first correctly-exposed photograph of the solar corona” [ via @coryspowell]
Daguerreotypie der Sonnenfinsternis vom 28. Juli 1851 []
Konservierung der Berkowski-Daguerreotypie abgeschlossen []