In the Spirit of Linnaeus

The Tercentenary Lectures on Science and Art
by Mariano Akerman
Manila and Taytay, Philippines, 2007

27.12.06 - Embassy of Sweden, Manila, In the Spirit of Linnaeus: The Tercentenary Lectures on Science and Art, by Mariano Akerman, official brochure (PDF, published by SwedenAbroad)

Abstract. The year 2007 marks the tercentenary of the birth of the renowned Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). In Manila special events take place, to enhance his unique contribution in terms of systematic research. Indeed, Linnaeus was an enthusiastic man, a researcher who believed that curiosity was the only firm basis for scientific thought. Interested in mapping, studying, cataloguing and classifying the living species, Linnaeus wanted to understand the organizational principles underlying God's Creation. The Linnaean approach involves a systematic giving of names to the natural spacies or binary nomenclature, which is an attempt to clarify and simplify the scientific dialog, raising it to a universal level. Exploration, medicine, geology, anthropology, ecology and philosophy were among the many interests of Linnaeus. Considering the scientific and artistic developments of the Age of Reason, Linnaeus’ deductive approach and his systematic classification of life can be put in context. Searching for species to be discovered, collected, examined, described, named and classified, Linnaeus traveled across Scandinavia. He also played a key role in leading seventeen of his students to important scientific journeys all around the world. Conceived as an interdisciplinary forum, the Manila Series of Lectures on Linnaeus gather together the Sciences and the Arts, to focus on Linnaeus’ extraordinary contribution which was to lead us to a better understanding of the world that surrounds us.

Program Topics
1. A tribute to Linnaeus: the presence of flora and fauna in the visual arts throughout the ages
2. An exemplary Swede: Linnaeus’ place among his other famous compatriots
3. Linnaeus: his life and work
4. Linnaeus in the 18th Century context: scientific and artistic developments in the Age of Reason
5. Linnaeus as researcher: a multifaceted man and his methodology
6. The scientific journeys across Sweden and abroad
7. Scandinavian botanical and animal species
8. Realistic ways of recording a botanical specimen: herbarium, sketches, drawings and paintings, printed illustrations and photographs
9. Following God’s steps: Linnaeus names and orders Nature
10. Linnaeus’ two-word naming of the living species: Taxonomy, then an achievement and today a complication?
11. The process of classification: its peculiarities, difficulties and advantages, risks and importance
12. Classification and its types (accumulation, aggregation, group, collection, set, association, family, system; class, order, genera, species, variety)
13. Linnaeus’ rule-books: description, importance and projections
14. Attempting to map, name and classify the realm of fantasia
15. Surrealistic ways of recording reality: sculpture, painting, engraving and photography
16. Challenging the concept of category: the hybrid, its shape and symbolism

Mariano Akerman, Researcher and Lecturer. Mariano Akerman was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1963. He obtained a masteral degree in architecture and urbanism from the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires with a prized graduation project on the limits and space in modern architecture. […] Specializing in visual communication, Mr. Akerman is an experienced educator. He has worked at renowned institutions such as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Universidad de Belgrano and Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires […]. Today, Mr. Akerman resides in the Philippines, working as a professional lecturer at the National Museum of the Filipino People, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University and the Embassy of Belgium in Manila. A painter himself, Mariano Akerman has exhibited solo or in group […]. He has been awarded with twelve major international prizes.

LECTURE SCHEDULE. 1. In the Spirit of Carl Linnaeus: The Tercentenary Lectures on Science and Art, Swedish Residence, Manila, 10 January 2007 - 6:30 – 7:30 pm. 2. Carl Linnaeus: Exploration, Creativity and System, British School Manila, 11 January 2007, 2:30 – 5 pm. Music Room, 36th Street University Park, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Manila 3. The Art of Linnaeus: From Curiosity to Apotheosis, University of Santo Tomas, 15 January 2007, 2 – 4 pm. Beato Angelico Audiovisual Room, College of Fine Arts & Design, España Avenue, Manil 4. Carl Linnaeus: A Creative Person in the Age of Reason, European International School, 17 January 2007, 1:40 - 3:20 pm. Auditorium, 75 Swaziland Street, Better Living, Subdivision Parañaque 5. Linnaeus: Nature Exploration and Knowledge Systematization, International School Manila, 22 January 2007, 9 – 11 am. Fine Arts Theatre, University Park, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Manila 6. Linnaeus and the Rara avis Phenomenon, Ateneo de Manila University, 24 January 2007, 4:30 – 6:30 pm. Ateneo Art Gallery, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City 7. The Art of Classification: Linnaeus’ Passion and System, Lyceum of the Philippines University, 26 January 2007, 1:30 – 3:30 pm. JPL Hall of Freedom, Muralla Street, Intramuros, Manila 8. Classification: A Fundamental Tool involving Surprises, Advantages and Risks?, Mahatma Gandhi International School. 30 January 2007, 12:30 – 2:30 pm. Auditorium, 3270 Armstrong Avenue, Merville Access Road, Pasay City 9. Nature and Art: Species Exploration in the Spirit of Linnaeus, School of Sciences, De La Salle University, 31 January 2007, 12:30 – 2:30 pm. Waldo Perfecto Seminar Hall, SPS Building, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila 10 Linnaeus and Order: Nature and Its Architectural Projections, School of Architecture, Far East Aero-Technological University, 2 February 2007, 2 – 4 pm. Audiovisual Room, Administration Bldg., Helios Street, Santa Cruz, Manila 11 Linnaeus’ Systematic Approach to Nature and Its Implications, Hoppets Stjärna (Star of Hope School), 7 February 2007, 10:30 –12 apm. Auditorium, Taytay 12 A Tribute to Carl Linnaeus as Homo universalis, Swedish Residence, Manila, 22 February 2007, 4 – 7:30 pm. 01.12.06 - "In the Spirit of Linnaeus," EU NEWS, Vol. 4, Issue 4, December 2006, p. 13 Educative Program Linnaeus for the Philippines: Abstract and Schedule.

01.01.07 - LINNÉ 2007, Sweden "Linné ska göra filippinska studenter mer kreativa - Linnéjubiléet 2007 - Ambassador Annika Markovic of Sweden I Manila inleds Linnés jubiléumsår med en sexveckorsperiod föreläsningar på universitet och högskolor som man hoppas ska väcka nyfikenhet och ge inspiration till filippinska studenter. Linnéfirandet i Manila, Filippinerna, lanserades nyligen med en presskonferens/sponsorkväll i ambassadresidenset. Under en sex veckor lång period kommer universitet och högskolor i Metro Manila-området att engageras genom föreläsningar för studenterna om Linné och hans insatser.Vi vill inspirera filippinska studenter att följa i Linnés fotspår - att blir mer kreativa, innovativa och nyfikna. Föreläsningsserien arrangeras tillsammans med konstvetaren Mariano Akerman och det filippinska utbildningsdepartementet.Studenterna inbjuds också att delta i en uppsatstävling där den första vinsten är en resa till Sverige i samband med Linnés födelsedag den 23 maj. Avslutningsveckan gästas Manila-universiteten också av en svensk föreläsare och Linné-expert Dr. Lars Jonsson från Uppsala Universitet. En filippinsk konstnär Manuel Baldemor har också inspirerats av Linné vid besök i Uppsala att måla en serie akvareller om filippinsk fauna. Dessa kommer att ställas ut i residenset. Linnéfirandet i Manila är en del i ambassadens Sverige-arrangemang för att under hela 2007 uppmärksamma 60 år av diplomatiska relationer mellan Sverige och Filippinerna."


01.01.07 - Annika Markovic - EMBASSY OF SWEDEN, MANILA Events: Linnaeus 2007 2007 heralds the 60 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Philippines and Sweden and the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus. To highlight these two momentous events, the Embassy of Sweden in Manila together with Mr. Mariano Akerman, Researcher and Lecturer, will organize a series of lectures with different universities and educational institutions entitled In the Spirit of Linnaeus, a [series of] Tercentenary Lectures on Science and Art from 11 January to 22 February 2007 that will enhance Linnaeus' consistent contribution in the field of systematic research. The primary goal of the lecture series is to promote interdisciplinary involvement and exchange of ideas in the Linnaeus Forum which we hope will increase the interest of young people in science and research (swedenabroad.com, retrieved 08.01.07). 11.01.07 - Rapeepat Jumnongjit, In the Spirit of Linnaeus, SCANDASIA, News for Scandinavia: Scandinavian News Portal for Southeast Asia Sweden and Philippines celebrate their 60 years of Diplomatic relations and the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus. The Embassy of Sweden in Manila together with Mr. Mariano Akerman, Researcher and Lecturer will organize a series of lectures with different universities and educational institutions entitled “In the Spirit of Linnaeus”, a tercentenary Lectures on Science and Art from 11 January to 22 February 2007. 11.01.07 - Inger Ultvedt, 60 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Philippines and Sweden the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, SCANDASIA THAILAND, News for Scandinavia: Scandinavian News Portal for Southeast Asia 60 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Philippines and Sweden the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus 2007 heralds the 60 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Philippines and Sweden and the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus. To highlight these two momentous events, the Embassy of Sweden in Manila together with Mr. Mariano Akerman, Researcher and Lecturer, will organize a series of lectures with different universities and educational institutions entitled In the Spirit of Linnaeus, a Tercentenary Lectures on Science and Art from 11 January to 22 February 2007 that will enhance Linnaeus' consistent contribution in the field of systematic research.


21.01.07 - C. Jude Defensor, "In the Light of Linnaeus," WHAT'S ON & EXPAT, Philippines The year 2007 marks the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Philippines and Sweden and the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus. To highlight these two momentous events, the Embassy of Sweden in Manila together with multi-awarded Researcher and Lecturer Mr. Mariano Akerman have organized a series of lectures with different universities and educational institutions entitled In the Spirit of Linnaeus, a Tercentenary Lectures on Science and Art, from 11 Jan. to 22 Feb. 2007. Conceived as an interdisciplinary forum, the Manila Series of Lectures on Linnaeus is meant to highlight Linnaeus significant contribution in the field of systematic research, and is hoped to lead to a better understanding of the world that surrounds us as a result of Linnaeus' curiosity and inventiveness. Venues for the lectures include the British School Manila, University of Sto. Tomas, European International School, International School Manila, Ateneo de Manila University, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Mahatma Gandhi International School, De La Salle University, and Feati University. Carl Linnaeus is Sweden's most famous and outstanding scientist in history. Linnaeus lived at a time of enormous discovery when science was seeking to explain the world around us. He is looked upon not just as a traveler and explorer of his own country, but more notably as the father of the modern classification system of flora and fauna, being the first to enunciate the principles of defining genera and species and to adhere to a uniform use of two names (one each for for genus and for species). Linnaeus received a degree in medicine at the university town of Uppsala, the former capital of Sweden. In 1761 he was granted a patent of nobility. His later years were taken up by teaching at the Uppsala University where he inspired many of his students to go on voyages of scientific discovery all over the world. For much of Linnaeus’ life, he was financially insecure and his health suffered due to overwork. His untiring and resolute endeavors in the description of the living world laid the groundwork for the eventual emergence of many significant scientific ideas such as heredity, evolution, and genetics. He died at his beloved Uppsala on Jan. 10, 1778. Linnaeus published many books on flora and fauna, the Linnaean manuscripts, his herbarium and collections of insects and shells are now carefully preserved by the Linnean Society at Burlington House, London. The celebrations were launched at the residence of H.E. Ambassador Annika Markovic of Sweden and were attended by members of the diplomatic corps, the media, and representatives of Swedish companies such as Ericsson, Sony Ericsson, Sandvik, AstraZeneca, and SCA.

01.02.07 - Xavier Banès, Linnaeus 2007, EIS LETTER: The European International School Newsletter, Parañaque, January 2007, p. 4 (retrieved 01.02.07) 2007 marks the tercentenary of the birth of the renowned Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), an enthusiastic researcher and a man who believed that curiosity was the only firm basis for scientific thought. Ecole Française de Manille had welcomed Mr Mariano Akerman, Researcher and Organizer of the Linnaeus Tercentenary Program in Philippines, who gave a very instructive lecture to EFM students. Through Ms Marilou Pascual, the Swedish embassy donated informative documents that were received by Xavier Banès for the use of the EIS library. Other schools selected for this program included the British School, the International School, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle and the University of Santo Tomas.

18.02.07 - Beth Day Romulo, Win a Trip o Sweden, THE MANILA BULLETIN: PHILIPPINE PANORAMA, pp. 16-17 On the 300th anniversary of the birth of the great natural scientist (biologist and botanist) Carl Linnaeus, ... Ambassador Annika Marcovic ... held a reception ... that previewed a series of lectures which will be held in universities and schools, in Manila from January 11th to February 22nd, to refresh young Filipinos' knowledge of the astonishing work of Sweden's most famous citizen. The lectures will be conducted by the Argentinean educator and curator, Mariano Akerman, at the British and European and International Schools, Santo Tomas, Ateneo, De La Salle, FEATI, the Lyceum, and the Gandhi International School. The 18th century in which Linnaeus was born and worked (1707-1778) was a time of discovery. [...] He was determined to classify and make rational order out of the elements of the universe. [...] His categories live on, and remain part of the curricula of modern schools. It is a concern among local educators today that the education of young Filipinos is weak in the sciences. This series of lectures is therefore aimed at stimulating young Filipino minds to an interest in the discoveries in science."

23.02.07 - Twink Macaraig, Take One News: Interview with Friedrik Agerhem and Mariano Akerman, ABS-CBN NEWS, TV channel 27, Philippines, 4:45-4:57 pm (Drasko Markovic).

06.03.07 - Maria Presson, "Linné i Taytay," HOPPETS STJÄRNA, Sweden (retrieved 08.02.08) 7 februari var en speciell dag på "High school" i Taytay, Filippinerna. Det var dagen då Carl von Linné kom på besök. Inte i egen hög person men i form av ett mycket inspirerande och lärorikt föredrag om vår världsberömde svenske botaniker. I år är det 300 år sedan han föddes, något som kommer att uppmärksammas både i Sverige och utomlands. Det var ett erbjudande från Sveriges ambassadör Annika Marcovics som föranledde besöket. Föredragshållaren Mariano Akerman höll, på uppdrag av svenska ambassaden, föreläsningar på skolor och universitet i Manila. Att även få berätta om Linnés arbete för elever på en skola i slummen, uppskattade både han och eleverna väldigt mycket. Precis innan han skulle börja sin föreläsning försvann strömmen och varken lampor, mikrofoner eller den specialgjorda datorpresentationen fungerade. Å andra sidan hade ju inte heller Linne tillgång till sådana finesser och föredraget fungerade utmärkt ändå. Linné katalogiserade och beskrev växter och djur och gav dem latinska namn, ett arbete som än idag ligger till grund för botanikers arbete världen över. Under de sista åren som Linné levde, var han professor i Uppsala. Han valde då ut 17 av sina duktigaste studenter, vilka han skickade ut över hela välden. Deras uppgift var att samla och skicka hem plantor och djur till Linné. Eleverna på Taytay blev glatt överraskade när de fick höra att Linnés studenter även genomförde resor ända bort till Filippinerna.

Carolus Linnaeus

Online resources
Linnaeus-Manila Program
In the Spirit of Linnaeus
What a century!
Rara avis
Kingdom and Ecology
The Same Order
El mismo orden



The Same Order

Concordia discors
Latin expression for “discordant harmony" (Horace, Epistles, bk. 1, no. 12, l. 19)

The same order concerns predator and prey

The same order allows some to hide and leaves others unprotected

The same order is based on all kinds of unions

The same order embraces purity and hybridization

The same order makes some fertile and denies others to be so

The same order provides some with offspring and leaves others struggling for an orphan

The same order leads some males to compete for a female and others to take care of an abandoned little one.

The same order encompasses different realities
Some of them are puzzling
Yet they all belong to the same order.

That tremendous harmony
Created by God.

THE SAME ORDER © 2007 All Rights Reserved. Research, ideas and design: Mariano Akerman (Akermariano), Manila, 23 December 2006. See the original source, in Spanish: El Mismo Orden. Related posts: Atypical Beings, Rara avis, Selective Cruelty and Twenty-First Century: Must the Show Go On? See also the digital collages Rabbits with Tiggers and Quiosco de Quimeras (Chimeras' Kiosk).

Versión castellana: El mismo orden

Online resources
In the Spirit of Linnaeus
Linnaeus-Manila Program
What a century!
Rara avis
Kingdom and Ecology
El mismo orden


El Mismo Orden

Concordia discors
Expresión latina que significa “armonía discordante”
(Horacio, Epístolas, libro 1, no. 12, l. 19)

El mismo orden concierne al predador y a la presa

El mismo permite a algunos esconderse y deja otros desprotegidos

El mismo orden se basa en todo tipo de uniones

El mismo orden abraza pureza e hibridación

El mismo orden hace fértiles a algunos y niega a otros tal condición

El mismo orden confiere a algunos descendencia y deja otros pujando por un huérfano

El mismo orden lleva a algunos machos a competir por una hembra y a otros a cuidar de un pequeño abandonado

El mismo orden abarca realidades diferentes
Algunas de ellas desconciertan
Mas todas pertenecen al mismo orden,
Esa tremenda armonía
Creada por Dios.

EL MISMO ORDEN. Poema-observación, por Mariano Akerman. Manila, 23 de diciembre de 2006. Copyright © 2007 Todos los derechos reservados.

English version: The Same Order

Recursos online
In the Spirit of Linnaeus
Linnaeus-Manila Program
What a century!
Rara avis
Kingdom and Ecology
The Same Order



..........................."Y el silencio se hizo"

No es lo que construyen. Es lo que derribaron.
No son las casas. Es el espacio entre las casas.
No son las calles que existen. Son las calles que ya no existen.
No son tus recuerdos que te persiguen.
No es lo que has escrito.
Es lo que has olvidado, lo que debes olvidar.
Lo que debes seguir olvidando toda tu vida.

Los trabajadores desmantelan las casas de los muertos.

Él olvida continuar el asunto.
No es lo que quiere saber.
Es lo que quiere no saber.
No es lo que dicen.
Es lo que no dicen.

............................................Una lección

REFERENCIAS. Fuentes visuales: Y el silencio se hizo (“Et le silence s’est fait,” anuncio publicitario de cierta cerveza europea); Una lección (imagen digital inspirada por óleo homónimo de Samuel Bak, 1968; Bak: Paintings of the Last Decade, Nueva York: Aberbach Fine Art, 1978, p. 131). Fuente literaria: James Fenton, “Un réquiem alemán” (A German Requiem, 1981), tomado de su colección The Memory of War and Children in Exile: 1968-83; estrofa 1, líneas 1-7; estrofa 4, línea 8; estrofa 9, líneas 6-9 (The Great Modern Poets, ed. Michel Schmidt, Londres: Quercus, 2006, pp. 220-21). Título del presente artículo y traducción de las palabras de Fenton al castellano rioplatense, idea y diseño por Akermariano (Mariano Akerman). Las palabras de Fenton en su versión original pueden encontrarse en mi artículo Selective Cruelty (ver texto debajo del título "The Selective").

European Cuckoo

Hasn't the same Order created Man and the Cuckoo ? (Masa Confusa)
The cuckoo is a type of grey European bird that lays eggs in others birds’ nests. When a female cuckoo is ready to lay her eggs, she finds a nest of a suitable host species and waits for the host bird to leave the nest unattended. She needs only a few seconds to fly to the nest, pick up one of the host’s eggs in her beak, and lay one of her own eggs in its place. Immediately afterwards she flies off, abandoning her offspring to the foster parents and eating the stolen egg. When the host bird returns, she usually accepts the cuckoo’s egg and incubates it with her own eggs. The cuckoo’s timing is precise, and its egg usually hatches before the host eggs. The hatchling cuckoo, with its eyes not yet open, ejects the unhatched host eggs from the nest. This process of ejection is innate. After ejecting the host’s eggs, the young cuckoo gets the undivided attention of its foster parents, which will feed and nurture it.

Ejection of host eggs from nest by cuckoo hatchling

When a hatchling senses that an adult bird is near, it begs for food by raising its head, opening its mouth, and cheeping. In turn, the foster parent stuffs food in the gaping mouth. These innate behaviors are replayed over and over, even after the young cuckoo is much larger than the adults.

The foster mother keeps feeding the cuckoo chick

Cuckoo's research references and picture credits: Neil A. Campbell, Lawrence G. Mitchell, and Jane B. Reece, Biology: Concepts and Connections, Redwood City, California: Benjamin Cummings, 1994, pp. 720-21; Cecile Starr and Ralph Taggart, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life, Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 1995, p. 914.


Fiddler on the Roof at M.G.I.S.

"Our main goal is to learn from each other." Opening words, Prof. Beena Bhardwaj, Mahatma Gandhi International School, Manila, 15 December 2006. "The Fiddler on the Roof" performed by the M.G.I.S. students. An educational experience, both subtle and moving.

"Nuestro principal objetivo es aprender los unos de los otros". Palabras de apertura, Prof. Beena Bhardwaj. "El violinista sobre el tejado", obra representada por los alumnos de la Escuela Internacional Mahatma Gandhi, Manila, Filipinas, 15 de diciembre de 2006. Una experiencia educativa, sutil y conmovedora.

M.G.I.S. 3270 Amstrong Avenue, Merville Access Rd., Pasay City, Philippines

All photographs, videoclip and slideshow by Mariano Akerman.


Spot the Difference

Cool Slideshows

Details from nine of my pictures, which belong to The Argentinean Suite, Here, There, Everywhere, The Inner Constellations, and Akermania Digitalis.

For each image complete version, see Wooloo-Akermariano.

Pictures by Mariano Akerman. Copyright 2000-6. All rights reserved.


Metamorphosis (Bald Men)

The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb.[1]
« Dios con nosotros »
Porque ese cielo tan azul que todos vemos
Ni es cielo ni es azul
Lástima grande / Que no sea verdad tanta belleza

“God with Us”
For that sky so blue we all see
Is neither sky nor blue
Big pity / That so much beauty wouldn’t be the truth

Gott mit Uns (Delusion of Grandeur)


All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.[5]

Four legs good, two legs bad.[6]


Qué esfuerzo el de la mosca por ser caballo.
Esfuerzo es el del puerco por ser humano.

What an effort for the fly to become a horse
It’s an effort for the hog to become a stallion. [9]

Tamaño esfuerzo el de las moscas por ser caballos.
Such an effort for the flies to become horses.


Pure {Delikatessenhandlung} and Superior {Stink}


Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.[10]



Reality is always problematic
and not unquestionable.

References [1] Jorge Luis Borges, Time, 14 February 1983. [2] Versos de Lupercio Leonardo Argensola (poeta español, 1559-1613). El título “Dios con nosotros” de hecho no pertenece al poema de Argensola. [3] Lines by Argensola (see above); my translation. The title “God with Us” doesn’t belong to Argensola’s poem. [4] George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949, pt. 1, ch. 1. [5] Orwell, Animal Farm, 1940, ch. 10. [6] Ibid., ch. 3. [7] Paráfrasis: “qué esfuerzo [el] de la abeja por ser caballo” (Federico García Lorca, Poeta en Nueva York, 1929-30: “Muerte,” l. 6). [8] Mine is a paraphrase of Lorca’s “what an effort for the bee to become a horse.” Christopher Maurer translates it as “How hard the bee tries to become a horse” (Federico García Lorca: Selected Verse, revised ed., New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2004, p. 266). It should be noted that Lorca does not accentuate the mode in which the bee tries to become a horse, but the very effort it takes that insect to become a quadruped. [9] Puerco and hog aren’t synonyms, neither are humano and stallion. [10] Orwell, Shooting an Elephant, 1950. [11] José Ortega y Gasset, “Ideas y Creencias,” 1934-40. Visual sources: “10,” unidentified bodybuilder; Michel Kerbow, Pigs à la Warhol, New York, 1991.

Metamorphosis (Bald Men) is a digital configuration by akermariano (Mariano Akerman); it includes six digital images, Supermann (Proximity), Pigs I-IV, and Supermann Plastified. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.


Flight Path (Painted birds); Trayectoria (Pájaros pintados)

Fly, fly high wounded dove
Fly, fly if you want to change your life
Fly before the night will cover your days
Dove of mine, my wounded dove

Cool Slideshows

click image to enlarge/resume. doble-click sobre cubo para ver detalles

Vuela, vuela bien alto paloma herida
Vuela, vuela si quieres cambiar de vida
Vuela antes que la noche cubra tus días
Paloma mía, paloma herida

The six Painted Birds are digital images by Mariano Akerman. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. Visual source of inspiration: S. Bak, “Fugue,” 1972 (Bak: Paintings of the Last Decade, New York: Aberbach Fine Art, 1978, p. 86). Literary source of inspiration: Horacio Guaraní, “La villerita,” chamamé. Translation into the English language by Akermariano.

You may consider catching a bird and keeping it away from its covey. Add someone hurrying up to paint the recently captured bird, so to covering its feathers entirely with paint of many colors. Afterwards, the painted bird is set free. It instinctively flies towards the covey of its kin, aiming to regain its place amid the other members of the group. But, as the painted bird rejoins the covey, none of the unpainted birds recognizes the painted one. The presence of this “alien” turns the unpainted birds pretty hostile. Yet, the painted bird doesn’t understand much about what has happened to it. The closer the painted bird gets to the unpainted ones, the rougher their response. In the end, the unpainted birds attack the painted one, wounding it badly. All locals find great delight in watching the painted bird falling from the sky.

Fly, fly high wounded dove
Fly, fly if you want to change your life
Fly before the night will cover your days
Dove of mine, my wounded dove

References. The six birds presented as Trajectory are digital images by Mariano Akerman → visual source of inspiration: Samuel Bak, Fugue, 1972 (Bak: Paintings of the Last Decade, New York: Aberbach Fine Art, 1978, p. 86). The first paragraph in this post has its literary source of inspiration in Jerzy Kosiński, The Painted Bird, 1965; the second one in Horacio Guaraní, “La villerita,” chamamé: « Vuela, vuela bien alto paloma herida / Vuela, vuela si quieres cambiar de vida / Vuela antes que la noche cubra tus días / Paloma mía, paloma herida » (English translation by Mariano Akerman). In The Painted Bird, there is a professional bird catcher. When he is upset or bored, he takes one of the birds he has captured and paints it in several colors. Then he watches the bird flying through the air in search of a flock of its kin. When it comes upon the otherbirds, they see it as an intruder and wound the bird until it dies, falling from the sky. For me, the professional bird catcher is a symbol of so-called humanity and its inherent cruelty.

Kingdom and Ecology

Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Sweden

The Three Kingdoms of Nature

Each of the crowns in the Swedish coat of arms may symbolize a component of Linnaeus' favorite--Nature.

And if you could see it with Linnaeus' eyes, you'll probably find it entirely ecological.

"Nowhere abroad have I found any region richer than our land in marvels in the kingdom of nature; not one, that can boast of so many, so astounding masterpieces of nature…” (Carl Linnaeus, The Necessity of Expeditions Through Our Native Land, 1741; cited in Enchanted Land, p. 5).

These ideas should be understood in the context of the Eighteenth Century, when most Swedes knew very little about their country. Today, Linnaeus is considered a pioneer in the exploration of Scandinavia having also encouraged many of his students to explore all corners of the world.

Coming from a family of farmers and provincial priests, Linnaeus had a humble background. But this prevented in no way the Swedish monarch (Adolf Fredrik) from appreciating his contribution as a scientist. While social mobility was not uncommon in Sweden in those times, Linnaeus was himself rised to nobility in 1761. Calr Linnaeus became then Carl von Linné.

Interestingly, Linnaeus' coat of arms presents a central egg (a clear symbol of Creation) surrounded by three crowns. The crowns recall the three ones in the Swedish coat of arms. The crowns are exhibited in differently colored fields, which suggest the Three Kingdoms of Nature.

In Linnaeus' coat, the flower on top of the helmet is the Linnaea borealis, a specimen he discovered and named during his exploration of Lappland in 1732. That five-month exploration covered not only Northern Sweden, but Norway and Finland as well.

Undeniably, Linnaeus was not very good in drawing, but he had clear ideas about what he wanted. Here's his proposal on a coat of arms for his family, showing a central motif known as the "anatomic egg," the three fields symbolizing the Kingdoms of Nature, and the Linnaea borealis on top of everything.

But Linnaeus' proposal was rejected and later reformulated. As I've read elsewhere, "Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) was a brilliant Swedish naturalist and educator who considered all of nature his classroom. Like a botanical prophet, he would lead students on long excursions through woods and countryside, reeling off colorful anecdotes and observations on plants, insects and vertebrates. He eventually collected over 14,000 sheets of pressed plants and thousands of insect specimens. [...] Centuries after his death, Linnaeus is most honored for his revolutionary plant and animal naming system of binary Latin nomenclature: one name indicating the genus and the other the species."

Picture credits. Mineral Kingdom: “Sunset, Ramvikslandet, Bohuslän, 27 February 1997,” by Jan-Peter Lahall (Enchanted Land: Pictures from Nature in Sweden, Örebro: Jan-Peter Lahall, 1999, p. 18). Vegetable Kingdom: “Aesculus pavia,” by Edvard Koinberg (Gunnar Broberg, Carl Linnaeus, Stockholm: The Swedish Institute, 2006, p. 21). Animal Kingdom: A Tengmalm´s Owl Chick (“Owls, Hälsingland,” detail), by Håkan Vargas S. (Copyright Håkan Vargas S. / Swedish Travel & Tourism Council).

by Shalakha Sanalkumar
Mahatma Gandhi International School, Manila

I agree with Linnaeus’ maxim stating that "All excess is harmful". Indiscriminate felling of trees results not only in the destruction of the natural habitats of animals and other living things but also disturbs the climate resulting in freak weather which may cause natural disasters like typhoons, tornadoes and tsunamis. Excessive industrialization has resulted in global warming which threatens the future of our planet. There is diversity in nature and certain areas are blessed with abundant trees, rainfall and other flora and fauna while certain areas have a different climate. I agree that “Nature always compensates for a disadvantage by an advantage elsewhere”. When Carl Linnaeus went to Lapland, which is a very cold place, he saw reindeers which adapt to that harsh climate and also provide for the needslike food, clothing andtransportation for the people living there. In other places, such as deserts, extreme heat and scarcity of water make them uninhabitable. But the camel and the cactus plant adapt to this condition and an oasis is created in the middle of the wilderness, with fresh water and plants, which is indeed a miracle of nature. This supports the maxim of Carl Linnaeus. All forms of life like plants, animals and humans have been created to share this planet and maintain its ecological balance. But human beings, in their greed and quest for modernization, have disturbed this balance. We are only to be blamed for dumping waste, chemicals, sewage into the rivers making it non drinkable and even unsafe for contact. We have changed forests (which like our lungs provide pure air to us) into farmland and expand our cities. This leads to extinction of animals, causes landslides, floods and threatens all forms of life. Life is precious and we must preserve it by maintaining its ecological harmony and balance.

Online resources
In the Spirit of Linnaeus
Linnaeus-Manila Program
What a century!
Rara avis
The Same Order
El mismo orden
Education: In the Spirit of Linnaeus

Flying Being

Visual source of inspiration: Samuel Bak, “Fugue,” 1972 (Bak: Paintings of the Last Decade, New York: Aberbach Fine Art, 1978, p. 86). The Flying Being is a digital image by Mariano Akerman.


Cosas Nuestras

Criollito & Cia. (or "Have a mate!"), by akermariano, 2006; based on Disney Animation Art: "The Flying Gauchito," 1945.

Rompecabezas Filipino • Philippine Puzzle

There is a well known—yet unpleasant—Spanish proverb referring to the idea that distance engenders apathy: "Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente" (out of sight, out of mind). In one of my lectures, I have transformed it deliberately. This was "Filipinas: ojos que te ven, corazón que te siente" (Philippines: eyes that see you, heart that feels you; Buenos Aires, Universidad de Belgrano, 2005). Today I may choose the motto of the Philippine Ministry of Turism, of which I think as very apt to introduce these pics—"WOW PHILIPPINES!"

Image selection, sequence and text by akermariano. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.


My Song (Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941)

This song of mine will wind its music around
you, my child, like the fond arms of love.

The song of mine will touch your forehead
like a kiss of blessing. When you are alone it
will sit by your side and whisper in your ear,
when you are in the crowd it will fence you
about with aloofness.

My song will be like a pair of wings to your
dreams, it will transport your heart to the
verge of the unknown.

It will be like the faithful star overhead when
dark night is over your road.

My song will sit in the pupils of your eyes, and
will carry your sight into the heart of things.

And when my voice is silenced in death,
my song will speak in your living heart.

Mariano Akerman
Constelación E3 (Constellation E3)
watercolor, 2005

Alguien dijo, "Nadie muere, si alguien le recuerda."

Yo te recuerdo todos los días.

Philippine Riddle • Acertijo Filipino

Riddle / Salawikain / Acertijo

Water wrapped in flesh
Flesh wrapped in bone
Bone wrapped in hair
Hair wrapped in skin.

Original Tagalog:
Tubig na binalot sa laman,
Lamang binalot sa buto,
Butong binalot sa balahibo,
Balahibong binalot sa balat.

Mi traducción:
Agua envuelta en carne
Carne envuelta en hueso
Hueso envuelto en pelo
Pelo envuelto en piel.

Answer ? / Sagot ? / ¿ Respuesta ?

Source: Doreen G. Fernandez, Fruits of the Philippines, Manila: Bookmark, 1997, p. 179. Photo: ibid. Text, p. 82: “Niyog (Coconut), Family PALMACEAE, Cocos nucifera L. / Lubi, Niog (Bisaya), Iniug, Niug, Ongot, (Ibanag), Gira-gira, Ngot-ngot (Sambali), I-ing (Itneg), Ngot-ngot (Pampango), Ponlaing (Subanon, Yakan), Niog (Bikol, Iloko, Tagalog). / Season: Year round.”

Entre las Naciones / Among the Nations


Sin identidad
Mirage, illusionism, apparentism
Hombre espejismo
Realismo aparente, genuino aparentismo.


With no identity
Espejismo, ilusionismo, aparentismo.

Mirage man
Apparent realism, genuine apparentism.

"Genuino aparentismo / Genuine apparentism" is a poem by Mariano Akerman (akermariano), London 1995. And so are all the images in this post: 1. Entre las Naciones (Among the Nations), collage, 2005; 2. Constelación E1 (Constellation E1), watercolor, 2000; 3. Entre las Naciones (Among the Nations), digital configuration, 2006.