JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
It has been some months since the last post in the Blank/Missing Things category, and today I happily add the following, a nominalistically numerated note of nothing:
There is an "underneath" for this "overneath", as this is simply a glassine key for a relatively complicated photo showing a group of meteorological instruments1. Taken out of context, though, the overlay without the reference image takes on quite a different and appealingly Dada-like complexion, an artful canvas of enumerated blankness...that, or a rendering of unregulated numbers in the wild, a capture of herding physical numbers. Do numbers exist? Are there points in space, and lines, and planes, floating out there just beyond our knowledge like Arthur C. Clarke-like monoliths or Abbott's Flatland objects? Well, no. But it is enjoyable to find these printed forms that, if we look at them in a certain way and allow for a bit of fancy, take on a life of their own. (What a funny thing it would be if numbers had names other than their number-- for example, "3" is the form only but its name is a taste or smell, or "Borges", or the bubble 44,332 in the head of a pint of Guinness, or a particular wavelength...that could spice things up.)
1. Dorno, C. Ausstattung moderner Strahlungsobservatorien, Braunschweig, Vieweg u. Sohn, 1926. 10x7”, 13pp+ an interesting illustrated section, “Bilder aus dem Physikalisch_Meteorlogischen Obervatorium, Davos”, which has 9 photo illustrations of the instruments, 6 of which have numbered glassine overlays to help with the identifying legend for the plate.