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Posts tagged romance


It’s not often that aesthetics are considered in the study of science, but [University of Chicago grad student Elizabeth] Kessler maintains it is necessary if one is to fully understand the space telescope and its impact.

“There’s a lot of translation that occurs between the data the Hubble collects and the final images that are shared with the public,” Kessler explains. Translating raw data into the “pretty pictures” that have become a staple of newspaper front pages requires careful image processing.

Astronomers and image specialists strive for realistic representations of the cosmos, yet they make subjective choices regarding contrast, composition and color. The Hubble images are complex representations of the cosmos that balance both art and science. In that sense, as well as in their appearance and emotional impact, Kessler says they resemble 19th century Romantic landscape paintings, especially those of the American West.

“The aesthetic choices made result in a sense of majesty and wonder about nature and how spectacular it can be, just as the paintings of the American West did,” Kessler said. “The Hubble images are part of the Romantic landscape tradition. They fit that popular, familiar model of what the natural world should look like.”

a Tomorrow Museum aside by Joanne, 19 December 2008

If you were on the Internet this week you probably heard that love can no longer exist in the age of the romantic comedy. But like all cultural artifacts, while 95% of the output is rubbish, there are some real gems. I love Sliding Doors and Bridget Jones’ Diary isn’t all that bad. Next Stop Wonderland is one of my all-time favorite movies. (NYT captures it perfectly in this 1998 review.) Little Black Book is actually a weird Network-inspired satire and I’d consider Neil LaBute ’s The Shape of Things a rom-com too. To believe the genre is inherently stupid is like dismissing horror because Eli Roth makes movies.