An opportunity to submit science-related poetry


I received this notice through a professional group – permission was included to share anywhere poets may be lurking…

If you have written any (unpublished) poetry touching on the intersection of communication and science [including but certainly not limited to biomedicine], please submit it for consideration for “Peer-Renewed,” a column that debuted in the July-August 2006 issue of Science Editor, the bimonthly journal of the Council of Science Editors (CSE), based in Reston, VA. The ideal maximum length of each poem (or cluster of poems) is about 90 typeset lines. Type your poetry within the body of an email, to prevent any difficulties with opening attachments. Add a short paragraph about your educational and professional background, including whether or not you have had any poetry or other literary work published before; note that this material may be edited for inclusion in the column, if your poetry is accepted. Email ( to Mary E. Knatterud, PhD, Editor, “Peer-Renewed” column, Science Editor. Thanks!

January 2009 – Taking a Closer Look

First of all, we at Synchronized Chaos welcome our family of readers to the New Year and send best wishes for creativity, prosperity, and a fertile imagination. Thank you all very much for your feedback, comments, submissions, and thoughts – and we welcome anyone new to the project. Hopefully you will find much to fascinate and encourage you within this site, as well as inspiration for your own creative projects.

This first month of the year saw fewer submissions than usual, but what we received is unique and distinctive. Our artists and writers chose to study our world in greater detail, stopping to take a closer look at everyday or unique phenomena.

M.R.C. of Chaos Creations takes some concepts common to much of poetry (conflicts between the creative individual and society, rejection, peace, death/tombstones) but explores them in fresh ways through unusual plays on words and linkages between ideas. Her speaker poses the question of how far communication can go towards combating brutality and social injustice…and questions whether fragmenting oneself and one’s painful memories can truly bring inner peace or psychological survival for those who must live through violence.

Mateo Jaimes attempts to convey specific, immediate physical realities through abstracting exactly what is most noticeable – and most changeable – about the scenes he represents.  Momentary light and color combinations come through in his oil and acrylic renderings of eucalyptus forests. He also explores what communication might look like to people developing language and symbols on their own without influence from larger cultures…a high concept thought experiment taking the form of physical symbols grounded in the subjects’ possible everyday world. Plenty of artists have looked at forests, nature, even the South Seas – yet the immediacy and the ability to abstract the essence of a subject without losing touch with its physicality and placement in time sets Jaimes apart.

Mark Fischer translates whale and bird song recordings into visual pieces based on their frequencies through a detailed mathematical process. His work looks at what is at once everyday (many people claim to love nature, go whale watching, visit the beach, draw or buy whale/bird images) yet foreign (how much do we truly know, even the best scientific minds among us, about the life within our sky and oceans, beyond the terrestrial plane humans inhabit?) He represents natural phenomena in a unique way that reflects the  physical properties of the sound, taking a closer look at the animal recordings to discover possible patterns, order, and beauty.

We encourage you to further explore the natural and psychological landscapes conveyed by Fischer, M.R.C. Creations and Jaimes this month, and to leave comments and feedback for our contributors. Marcel Proust believed the process of discovery was more a matter of having new eyes (greater awareness of different aspects of our world) than necessarily new surroundings. These works beg to be explored with ‘new eyes’ and their creators hope to enhance our appreciation and our sense of wonder for our multifaceted universe.

AguaSonics – visual mandalas from whale and bird songs


Visual and recording artist Mark Fischer showcases his gallery of mandala images created by transliterating recordings of bird and whale sounds through mathematical processes into patterns which can be represented visually. Some scientific information behind this process available on this page: 

Sound travels much faster in water than through air, and the process may be speeding up with climate change as increased oceanic carbon makes our oceans more acidic.

YouTube videos on the AguaSonic process and mandala creation in action:

Biography of Mark Fischer and some thoughts on the project, online at the Green Museum:

Excerpts from Synchronized Chaos’ conversation with Mark Fischer:

Fischer: The animal recordings kind of come from all over- from the US Navy’s hydrophone network via various researcher friends, to my own hydrophone thrown over the side of a boat. The nice thing about
working with recordings is that, as long as the result is of high quality, the source can be quite varied.

Synchronized Chaos: Interesting how we know more about the surface of the Moon than our own planet’s oceans!

Fischer: It is indeed. A reflection, I think, of constantly looking out, not inwards.

Fischer, on Four Mountains, a serendipitous path towards conveying artistic meaning during portions of recorded whale song inaudible to human ears. The mathematically mapped sound frequencies created a pattern which reminded him of a mountain, which led to mental connections to Hopi medicine wheels and Aleutian kayaking adventures and the history of the Aleutian peoples – read the story here:

Yes, well, that’s one of my favorite little projects ever. If you look in Webster’s Dictionary under ‘esoteric’, I think they mention ‘Four Mountains’. 🙂

Artist Mark Fischer explores subtlety and nuance in sound, primarily with those of whales and dolphins, but occasionally other natural sources. Recordings are made using the highest quality equipment available, and images made from these sounds using the AGUASONIC(R) process.

Mateo Jaimes – capturing the moment, hypothetical communication


Local San Francisco Bay Area artist Mateo Jaimes, who recently exhibited work at San Francisco’s Artist Exchange, has a couple new series of paintings. Abstract in style, the work strives to convey particular aspects of physical scenes or ideas.

Eucalyptus represents his walk through an eucalyptus forest, his attempts at capturing the exact look of one of many fleeting moments: the intensity of various sources of light, the exact colors of each natural object. Ocean Communication, a thought experiment, poses some possibilities for how a non-Western island culture might communicate if they had never encountered modern languages. The symbols in Ocean Communication speak to art’s ability to probe the ‘other,’ the unknown in its various forms, through imagination, and the seemingly near-universal drive to communicate and be heard.

All paintings are wood panel, created with acrylic and oils.

Please peruse Jaimes’ work on his website:

Peace and stones


They told me the pen was mightier than the sword,
And so I studied words upon words until my vocabulary was far beyond that
Of anyone else in my grade, even beyond many of my teachers.
They said to stop the bullies with my words,
And I taught myself to speak basic phrases of politeness and asking for help
In every language I could pick up, I can even speak it with my hands if their ears can’t hear me.

But it never stopped the cruel words hurling down on me like cold hard stones
Or the cruel hands striking against my skin and bones
Or the actions that ripped through me like claws and teeth and shattered me

Into tiny reflecting portions of myself, struggling to pull together. 
The broken body,
 The broken mind,
The broken soul,
That only wanted to be left in peace, not pieces. There is a difference between those two words,
I knew it early on.

Maybe the only peace is the one that they write on the stone that lies over the bones of those who can no longer fight

copyright M.R.C-Chaos Creations-2008

This experimental work has been running around in its author’s head for years before finally taking shape on paper. You may leave comments for M.R.C. here if you wish and I will pass them on.