Caddis fly larvae usually form their protective sheaths by spinning silk with sand, minerals, plant particles, and bits of bone they find in their aquatic environments. French artist Hubert Duprat collects the larvae, carefully strips their shells, and then puts them in aquaria filled with stuff like pearls, rubies, gold, and diamonds. The larvae make new coverings out of these materials.
Duprat traces his work with the caddis fly larvae back to pioneering nineteenth-century entomologists such as François-Jules Pictet and Jean-Henri Fabre, who both conducted experiments in which structure-building insects were given alternative, non-indigenous materials. Seen within the context of the artist’s work–a practice that has often addressed aspects of mimesis in the realms of both nature and facture through his conceptual sculptural activities–the caddis fly larvae project is an example of Duprat’s ongoing interest in productive collisions between organic forms and technologized materials.
In Global proliferation of cephalopods a paper in Current Biology, an esteemed group of marine biologists reports that the population of octopuses (and other cephalopods) is booming thanks to its ability to adapt quickly to ocean acidification and temperature change, which is killing off other types of marine life at alarming rates.
This interview with UBS whistleblower Brad Birkenfeld is as neat a case study in financial corruption as you could ask for: Birkenfeld’s disclosures detailed 19,000 US tax evaders, including the bank’s super-secretive list of “politically exposed persons,” including people who laundered money for terrorists, and the US government threw him in prison (as well as […]
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