Ice : Photo Essay by Jesse Dann

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Date & Time: Monday, February 8, 2010 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010
8:00 AM-9:00 PM

Suggested Audiences: Elders, Adult, College, High School, Middle School
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WPI: George C. Gordon Library
Class of 1941 Gallery -- 3rd floor
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609-2280
Description: The subject is ice, not the melting of glaciers and ice sheets, so consequential to climate change, but the variety of ice in local environments readily available to anyone in the Northeast--no special equipment. Jesse Dann photographs what appeals to him artistically, but through the filter of a scientist who is interested in natural processes and similarities to a wide variety of natural phenomena. For instance, in photographing ice on a local pond, Jesse was attracted to the luminous colors of fractures in the ice, and looking at my photos, most people assume they are nebula taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. His photograph is titled Nebular Ice, and the accompanying title card shows that comparison to nebula with two side-by-side photographs. Nebular ice is rare, only forming when we have many clear cold days with no precipitation and thick, black ice starts to crack under stress. The title card also points out the complex fracture patterns and the invasive water-milfoil, of interest to material and environmental scientists, respectively.

As an earth scientist with degrees from Dartmouth, Michigan Tech, and Washington University, Jesse Dann brings to his ice photography an appreciation for and understanding of crystallization. His post-doc research at MIT focused on komatiites in South Africa, the hottest lavas to erupt on Earth. These lavas grew large, paper-thin sheets of olivine and other spectacular crystal textures, which do not grow in modern lavas. However, ice crystallizes with similar textures, providing Jesse the opportunity to examine the relationship between textures and processes, while walking the dog through the woods and along shores of rivers and lakes. Jesse teaches Earth Systems classes with emphasis on students doing science in the field and discovering how isolated observations relate to the whole. In this photo essay Jesse has isolated images of ice for their interesting patterns and relationships, while the information cards create a thread, connecting the images to some larger concept or system. Jesses photographs have been accepted for juried shows at both the Emerson Umbrella and Concord Art Association.

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Entered by: WPI University Archives + Special Collections

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Created: January 28, 2010 at 12:02 PM
Last Modified: March 9, 2010 at 11:19 AM

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