Collimated Sweat Acting at a Distance

That should warm the cockles of Colin Berry’s heart

imageFrom a press release this morning:

JERUSALEM.- The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, has announced the awarding of its 2014 Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography to American artist and photographer Lisa Oppenheim. Selected from among 160 applicants from 28 countries around the world, Oppenheim was awarded the prize for her outstanding body of existing work and prospective projects.

And one of the prospective projects is:

. . . said Noam Gal, Noel and Harriette Levine Curator of the Museum’s Department of Photography. “Her choices of subjects – including the future project she presented in her application, Imprint (Shroud of Turin) – give promise to the perpetuation of this fascinating artistic path.”

Imprint?  Shroud of Turin?  That should warm the cockles of Colin Berry’s heart. Colin is old fashioned enough and British enough to understand that expression.

Let me explain (or you can read Colin’s whole bloody post on his blog). Colin shows us the picture (below) and tells us: “The mechanism of imprinting of the body image? Can there be any doubt that the artist wanted us to know that the image was a SWEAT IMPRINT.”

Yes! There can be some doubt; for I must ask: Are Jesus followers lifting the cloth up and away from the body or putting it down over the body? If they are just getting ready to lower the cloth over Jesus, was the “imprint” caused by collimated sweat acting at a distance?

Colin writes:

Is this the definitive answer to the Shroud of Turin visible in old paintings? Answer: YES – almost certainly, as the above [=below now] paintings demonstrate, but I don’t suppose Dan Porter will be overjoyed at the use I’ve made of his website graphics.

But I am overjoyed; for I have always put pursuit of the truth about the shroud ahead of trying to convince anyone it is real. In accord with that I am NOT going to put a lot of stock into Colin’s interpretation of a 17th century artist’s artistic interpretation of events and call it definitive evidence of anything.  

Look closely. You can almost correlate the darker areas of the smudge-ish image on the cloth being held above Jesus’ body to the followers surrounding the cloth. Are those perhaps shadows?  Light seems to come from different places in this painting. 


4 thoughts on “Collimated Sweat Acting at a Distance”

  1. Lisa Oppenheim was born in New York City and she is
    >the winner of …
    >third biennial Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography as American photographer and experimental filmmaker

    >… Chosen from a pool of 160 applicants spanning 28 countries, Oppenheim will receive $45,000 to continue her prospective project, “Imprint (Shroud of Turin).” Prize jurors included Quentin Bajac, MoMA’s chief photography curator; Monika Faber, founder and director of the Vienna’s Photoinstitut Bonartes; and Galit Eilat, co-curator of the 2014 São Paulo Biennial, among others.


    – Quentin Bajac is the Chief Curator of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
    – Monika Faber is the Founder and Director of the Photoinstitut Bonartes in Vienna.
    – Ruth E. Iskin is an art historian…
    – Galit Eilat is an independent curator, a writer and the founding director of The Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon (2001 – 2010).
    – Noam Gal is the Horace and Grace Goldsmith Curator and the Head of the Noel and Harriette Levine Photography Department at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
    — — —
    It would be interesting to know exactly what the project on which she wants to work.
    An interesting image obtained on lilion (Polyamide 6, link = ) should not be too difficult to achieve, but to work on linen is another matter, more complicated if I’m not mistaken …

  2. Errata corrige:
    I wrote:
    >It would be interesting to know exactly what the project

    Instead of:
    >It would be interesting to know exactly what is the project
    — —
    ie: what exactly is the project on which Oppenheim is working or she want to work …
    and, unfortunately, I have not yet found any information on the Web about this project.

  3. Perhaps a project “optimal” (and difficult to implement) would be to create
    the impression of hot smoking on linen (image first obtained with a geometric
    figure [realized thanks to a particular spatial confinement] and then with the human form…). So the smoke of incense on linen cloth is a strange substance…
    But it is not said that the idea of incense smoke is really what gave rise to the famous footprint on linen.
    In short, Art is something rather more complex than scientific research, however, the two fields can intersect each other.
    Even the images of thermal footprints on linen (eg: handprints photographed
    or filmed in the IR field) can be interesting.
    In a nutshell:
    here can seem to us to fall in a really fun space…
    So here we arrive at the border between poetry and photography.
    But …
    Do you can realize the “scientific poetry” by the sweat of a dead man?
    I have several doubts about these vague ideas.
    Perhaps we will come to think of being able to work with a
    “Modern Ark of the Covenant” (ie: with appropriate capacitors …).

    >Experiments have shown that the intensity of this electric field is greater in the middle of the day than at morning or night and is also greater in winter than in summer. In ‘fine weather’, the potential, aka ‘voltage’, increases with altitude at about 30 volts per foot (100 V/m), when climbing against the gradient of the electric field.
    — — —
    Maybe we should analyze well (with the SPM techniques) the old experiments on linen obtained in the past by Judica Cordiglia …

    What do you say?

  4. I have found the news about “The Feynman Lectures on Physics”.
    The Feynman Lectures on Physics is perhaps the most popular physics book ever written.

    Spicer indicated us the question of polar molecules
    that typically have dipole moments
    that are 3-4 orders of magnitude larger
    than non-polar molecules
    (See: Richard Feymann, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands.
    The Feynman Lectures on Physics Volume II.
    Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1965)
    the magnitude between 100 and 300 volts per meter in the vertical, downward direction…
    — — —
    The words by Feynman (= “What is Science?”)
    Here are the last words of his speech:
    “… … It is necessary to teach both to accept and to reject the past with a kind of balance that takes considerable skill. Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generation.
    So carry on. Thank you.”

    Obviously it is not necessary that we take everything at face value,
    even that which comes from a Nobel.

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