Elen A. Feinberg
Nocturne XXXIII
oil on linen
64″ x 52″

“I began as a still life painter. After some time, I created a window behind the still life with a view of the landscape. Eventually, the landscape took over and the still life objects were reduced to sitting on a window sill.
Eventually, the objects disappeared and I was out in the landscape. Eventually the landscape turned to water (as you know, the desert was underwater way,way, long ago; people often mistook my landscapes for water). Eventually the water disappeared – and I there I was, up in the cosmos. The impetus for these paintings is derived primarily from images of the galaxy which have been flashed back to us from the cosmos.”

James MacAllister

Jim is a Fellow of the LInnean Society of London. He is also the webmaster for the Environmental Evolution Education Initiative and part of the Margulis Laboratory team at University of Massachusetts
“Calonymphids-origin of the nucleus, symbionts is a protist (protoctist) or colonial organism that lives in the hindgut of Crytotermes brevis, a West Indian drywood termite.
Protoctists were the first composite beings–made from a consortium of bacteria and archea that integrated genomes (symbiogenesis). We and other large mammals are also chimeric being made of larger groups of differentiated cells with or own communities of microorganisms on our skin, mouth, gastrointestinal tracts, etc. that we rely on for digestion, immunity, and manufacture of vitamins, etc.
Calonymphids is the community of hindgut protists and bacteria that digest the wood eaten by the termite. The hindgut is an anoxic environment, one with little oxygen, much like early Earth and the denizens of that environment may be good proxies authorized to act on behalf of early organisms that lived all over the anoxic Earth. Some may have changed very little, much like sharks.
Prokaryote and eukaryote are general terms for cells without nuclei (bacteria and archea) and with nuclei (protoctists, fungi, animals and plants) respectively and do not need to be capitalized. What my dear friend and mentor, Lynn Margulis, taught the first Big History course and the first Earth Systems Science course: Environmental Evolution, the origin and effect of life on Earth. She was a great champion of the microcosmos and she saw (as you do intuitively) that all life is lived in communities that scale up from microbial to Gaia (the Earth as ecosystem) with the smaller forming the larger (fractal) in similar form and function. Lynn’s was a systems view of life. The looseness or integration of communities provides the continuum of community life: neighbors, obligate co-inhabitants, syntrophy, symbiosis, composite or chimeric beings.”