Perlus Wins Einaudi Seed Grant
Barry Perlus, associate professor of art, is the recipient of a $9,000 seed grant from the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. Perlus will use the funding to work on a project titled The Astronomical Observatories of Jai Singh.
Between 1727 and 1734 Maharajah Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five astronomical observatories in west central India. Commonly known as "Jantar Mantar," the observatories incorporate multiple buildings of unique form, each with a specialized function for astronomical measurement. According to Perlus's grant proposal, "These structures with their striking combinations of geometric forms at large scale, have captivated the attention of architects, artists, and art historians world wide, yet remain largely unknown to the general public. The objective of this project is to bring the story of sky observation, and an awareness of this extraordinary cultural heritage site, to an international audience."
Perlus will use the Einaudi grant to support the completion of an immersive/interactive book and linked website, and a prototype show for use by planetariums and fulldome theaters (immersive, dome-based video projection environments). "This project will initiate an international, interdisciplinary collaboration between Cornell, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi, India to produce an immersive show for planetariums and fulldome theaters worldwide," he says.