Download e-book for kindle: Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of by Christopher Kemp

By Christopher Kemp

ISBN-10: 0226430367

ISBN-13: 9780226430362

“Preternaturally hardened whale dung” isn't the first photo that involves brain after we examine fragrance, another way a logo of glamour and attract. however the key aspect that makes the delicate odor linger at the dermis is strictly this strange digestive by-product—ambergris. regardless of being one of many world’s most costly elements (its price is almost that of gold and has every now and then in historical past been triple it), ambergris is additionally one of many world’s least identified. yet with this strange and hugely fascinating e-book, Christopher Kemp can provide to alter that by way of uncovering the original background of ambergris.

A infrequent secretion produced basically through sperm whales, that have a keenness for squid yet an lack of ability to digest their beaks, ambergris is expelled at sea and floats on ocean currents for years, slowly remodeling, ahead of it occasionally washes ashore having a look like a nondescript waxy pebble. it could seem virtually wherever yet is located so hardly, it could possibly in addition look nowhere. Kemp’s trip starts off with an stumble upon on a brand new Zealand seashore with an enormous lump of pretend ambergris—determined after a lot pleasure to not anything extra unique than lard—that conjures up a entire quest to search out ambergris and its tale. he's taking us from the wild, rocky New Zealand sea coast to Stewart Island, a distant, windswept island within the southern seas, to Boston and Cape Cod, and again back. alongside the best way, he tracks down the secretive creditors and investors who populate the clandestine modern day ambergris trade.

Floating Gold is an pleasing and full of life background that covers not just those important grey lumps and people who covet them, yet provides a hugely informative account of the typical heritage of whales, squid, ocean ecology, or even a historical past of the body spray industry. Kemp’s obsessive interest is infectious, and keen readers will believe as if they've got stumbled upon a worthy bounty of this fascinating substance.

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44 | 45 46 | 46 46 | 47 48 | 48 Inertia aims to show the human ability to live within a bubble. This tunnel–vision piece aims to immortalize our general apathy toward global warming. 48 | 49 A celebration of rejuvenation, the wings of the angelic figure in Reclamation are planted with reclaimed purple gorgonian sea fans that had been displaced from the natural reef after heavy storm surges. The plant’s mesh-like structure filters nutrients from the tidal currents. 50 | 51 52 | 29 54 | 55 Symbolically representing the cycle of life, the children comprising Vicissitudes echo how we are all affected and transformed by circumstances, opportunities, and local surroundings, and how these changes begin to inscribe themselves within the physical body.

30 | 30 PLATES 31 | 31 32 | 33 The Dream Collector archives a collection of messages in glass bottles that were collated by the artist from various communities around the world. 34 | 35 36 | 36 36 | 37 The mirror-finished piano in The Musician is based on an actual-size replica of a Steinway Concert Grand and incorporates spaces that are designed to encourage habitation by marine species. A small hermit crab can be seen crawling across the keys. 38 | 39 39 | 39 40 | 41 42 | 42 The Bankers symbolize denial, a resistance to acknowledge our looming environmental crisis, and the shortsighted actions of banking and government institutions.

The buttocks support an internal living space for crustaceans and juvenile fish to breed and inhabit. 42 | 43 Assembled entirely from casts of human ears molded during a workshop of local Cancún students, The Listener is constantly recording the marine environment to advance our understanding of acoustic relationships while informing the science of conservation management. 44 | 45 46 | 46 46 | 47 48 | 48 Inertia aims to show the human ability to live within a bubble. This tunnel–vision piece aims to immortalize our general apathy toward global warming.

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Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris by Christopher Kemp


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