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Viewing single post of blog In Search of Silicon Valley

A chance to explore the surrounding countryside with a trip into the hills to visit the Lick Observatory. When it was built in 1888 it was the largest telescope in the world, and I have a particular fascination with it because it is featured in ‘How To Know The Starry Heavens’, a book of astronomy written in 1905 by Edward Irving and dedicated to ‘All true citizens of the great cosmos, and all who wish to become such’. I have made several artworks in response to Irving’s book, so I could not pass up on this chance for a pilgramage.

It did not disappoint. It is astonishing to think of the ambition, vision and money that was needed to plant such an instrument in such a remote location. (There are warnings of mountain lions and rattlesnakes). Lick himself was too ill ever to see it, but he decreed that his body be buried beneath the telescope, which indeed it is.

Particular thanks to our guide Jason Tobin, who was enthusastic and informative, and I am sure will now come to share my enthusiasm for Edward Irving… :)

I couldn’t help but notice the large banner acknowledging support from Google. This is Silicon Valley, after all.

When I got back, a piece of pure serendipity. I found that I am staying, quite literally, next door to both an enormous secondhand bookshop and an artist studios; plus directly oppostite, another art studios called ‘Visual Philosophy’. I shall visit them all. I chose the Flamingo Motel because (a) it was cheap, (b) I liked the name and (c) I liked the huge neon sign. To have these on my doorstep is a wonderful bonus.

Tomorrow the heavy lifting begins. I am off to SFMOMA and then have booked meetings all week. Exciting times. Thanks once again to Arts Council England and the DYCP programme for this opportunity.