Archive for photograph

la maison des mathématiques

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2017 by xi'an

ihp0When I  worked with Jean-Michel Marin at Institut Henri Poincaré the week before Xmas, there was this framed picture standing on the ground, possibly in preparation for exhibition in the Institute. I found this superposition of the lady cleaning the blackboard from its maths formulas and of the seemingly unaware mathematician both compelling visually in the sheer geometric aesthetics of the act and somewhat appalling in its message. Especially when considering the initiatives taken by IHP towards reducing the gender gap in maths. After inquiring into the issue, I found that this picture was part of a whole photograph exhibit on IHP by Vincent Moncorgé, now published into a book, La Maison des Mathématiques by Villani, Uzan, and Moncorgé. Most pictures are on-line and I found them quite appealing. Except again for the above.

Death of a pigeon…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 2, 2008 by xi'an


Yesterday afternoon, a pigeon crashed in my office window hard enough to die (but not enough to break my window!). This morning, I thought no more about it until I saw the imprint it left on the window pane, photographed here.  This is quite an impressive “last-live” picture that manages to capture all the details of the surprised pigeon, as well as a feeling of movement and some more metaphysical meaning of the final moment of this unsuspecting pigeon. It somehow reminds me of the representations of the flying souls in classical paintings, with this white opaque evanescent rendering (and also because souls are classically represented as doves). In a sense, this is also the ultimate photography, when you force the subject onto the photography plate!

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