Research at St. James Weybridge for work thinking about collapsing space in on itself, moving from one space to another via portals, holes in space time, or dream spaces and spiritual spaces.
Seeing intertidal steel plate propped up with the print on my desk has given me some ideas about building images and the idea of opposites. Earth and heaven. If they are as in some myths, a mirror image – how do we know which way is up?
Happened upon a large very shiny bowl that I will try with new submīrārī images in water.
It already does amazing things before any water is added. It only came in one size so need to try and find some similar (may be an excuse to go to India where this one was made). Plan to transfer some images from sacred spaces to fabric for the bowls and begin to look for more saints and sacred springs to photograph too to join Mary from St.Non’s holy well.
The Royal Society Summer Exhibition was a fantastic showcase for science research across the UK, manned by enthusiastic practitioners it was hands on and minds engaged.
It is thought that at the BIG BANG the same number of matter and anti mater particles would have been produced – they then went about colliding with each other – annihilating into photons. We are awash in photons – particles of light. It’s still unknown what happened to leave enough matter to create all the stars and galaxies and planets of the universe.
Follow this link to Antimatter Matters for an in depth explanation of what is going on at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in the search to understand why matter outnumbers antimatter in the universe.
In some information about ring-imaging Cherenkov detectors that distinguish between different types of charged particle such as muons, protons, pions and kaons I was curious to read that particles travel through the gas volume of the detector at faster than the speed of light emitting a coherent shockwave of light – I didn’t think it was possible for anything to travel faster than the speed of light.
Had a chat with Grieg Cowan who, it turns out, helps run a schools outreach programme demonstrating cloud chambers, and explained my interest in particle physics and how I am planning to build a cloud chamber myself inspired by our trip to the Dark Matter Research Laboratory at Boulby. Obviously I won’t be able to make visible any dark matter particles but I am still excited about making other cosmic rays visible and capturing my own images of these tiny projectiles hurtling around us.
Inspired by bubbles, researchers at the University of Bath studying photonics have created a new hollow glass fibre optic to channel high powered lasers. The walls of these tubes are designed to trap light of particular wavelengths in the core. The effect is similar to the reflection of different wavelengths by the thin film of a bubble.
The laser loses less energy as the beam travels through air rather than solid glass.
Fascinating and useful stuff but it was the bubble machine that was the most captivating. The thin soapy membrane stretches, reflecting and refracting light until the skin becomes so thin the light passes straight through – it is this mix of colour and turning to black that is so beautiful and mesmerizing.
I got to make my own mini spectroscope using a piece of ridged plastic cut from a CD to diffract the light into a cardboard tube and a brief instruction of how to identify differences in LED, fluorescent and even the light on a smart phone which is created using a spectrum plus added blue (cheaper this way).
The Planck satellite was launched in 2009 into orbit about 1.5 million kilometres away from earth. Over three years it has mapped the whole sky and observed the cosmic microwave background – the afterglow of the big bang when electrons and protons first combined to form transparent hydrogen gas allowing light to travel – it was like a fog lifting across the entire universe.
The forces of gravity and pressure from trapped light balanced each other creating a slow oscillation of matter through very low frequency sound waves – the music of the stars. These harmonics can be read and interpreted in cosmological theory supported by the data from Planck. From data gathered by Planck scientists calculate –
4.9% – Normal matter in the Universe
26.8% – Dark matter in the Universe
68.3% – Dark energy
67.8km/s/Mpc – Expansion rate of the Universe
550 million years – Reionization from first stars forming
13.8 billion years – Age of the Universe
There were of course discoveries that didn’t fit in with the standard model and theoretical predictions. Questions about hemispheric asymmetry and the ginormous cold spot remain. A small fraction of the CMB is polarised and this means it contains even more information and may hold further clues about the very early phases of the Universe’s history and also its present and future expansion.
The European Rosetta space mission and Philae explorer spent 10 years travelling to visit Comet 67P.
Arriving in 2014 at a celestial object with almost no gravity they sent back news of a dusty world of ice and gas but one that also has traces of the building blocks necessary to create life.
The Galaxy Makers were there with supercomputer simulations to test how galactic ingredients and violent events shape the life history of galaxies.
Following a recipe I created my own galaxy which was given a code and could be brought to life using a hologram video, my smartphone and a plastic galaxy maker I was provided with. I can’t convey with a photo how cool this tiny spiral galaxy rotating over my phone screen is.
From godlike galaxy gazing to immersive hurtling between the stars dodging between fronds of dark matter magically made visible by a virtual reality headset, Durham University had it covered.
Space is full of dust. Stardust. On earth I believe it is mostly made up of dead skin cells. Jorge Otero-Pailos’ The Ethics of Dust is an impressive interaction with centuries of dust accumulation in Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament.
Stripping the ancient walls of the patina of age, the build up from the passing through of countless dignitaries and ne’er do wells, onto a latex cast that is then hung like a skinned animal the length of the impressive hall.
The surface is thick velvet, wrinkled like a newborn.
and the birthmarks of provenance can be matched to those on the opposing wall.
Taking both her cue from and her place in history Mary Branson’s New Dawn light sculpture can also be found at the Houses of Parliament as a permanent addition to Westminster Hall, a site of many demonstrations calling for change.
Inspired by the many hundreds of petitions made to the government by women fighting for a right to vote that lie furled in the archives of the chambers; the scrolls are transformed to glass.
The circles, that together form one large sun rising, change colour and pattern via a computer link to the monthly cycle of the pull of the moon on the waters of the Thames.
Paid a worthwhile visit to Imperial College Sherfield Building Gallery to see Chud Clowes show Murmurations inspired by analogies between the swirling clouds of migrating starlings flashing gold from their feathers and the gold of the rescue blankets offered to desperate migrants drawn to collective movement across borders.
Catching up with RCA Alumni and celebrating this years graduate show. The atmosphere was unfortunately tempered by the nation having hit the self destruct button on the previous day. A world turned upside down.(courtesy of Nayoun Kang)
Despite some uplifting and inspiring work my thoughts were very distracted and so I only have a few images to share.
Mollie Teane’s sunshine colours showing a multi-layered collision of cultures was just a reminder of the cultural poverty a brexit vote signals.
Kristina Chan’s monumental monoprint to the slow time of geology
and primordial instincts that even Hoyeon Kang’s simulated fire invokes serve as reminders of the tiny fragment of time we inhabit.
Mayra Ganzinotti’s beautiful interplay of the body with crystals made me think of this grounding inscription,
taking us back to the essence of ourselves.
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art presented Magical Surfaces: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography, an exhibition that explored the uncanny as exemplified in the works of seven artists : Sonja Braas, David Claerbout, Elger Esser, Julie Monaco, Jörg Sasse, Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld. For me it seemed more about the unreal than the uncanny.
Queued theme park style (actually it wasn’t that long) to experience Yayoi Kusama’s mirror rooms next door at Victoria Miro for a brief 30 second immersion. Like entering the Tardis momentarily. The attraction may be triggering a primordial response to galaxy gazing that makes this reflected infinity so captivating.
More multiplicity and reflective surfaces with Sinéid Codd at Camberwell School of Art MA show.
This was a world caught between sci fi and the surreal. Inspired by the shapes and colours of gaudy jewellery it maintains that buoyancy of brash confidence found in oversized boldy faceted gemstones. Not afraid to be fake, like costume jewellery out-glitzing real diamonds. I saw clouds, a summer pavilion by the sea, here shapes morph into a world of shifting surfaces to drown in.
There was an inspiring look at the transformation of materials from Simon Starling at Nottingham Contemporary. This work explored the physical, poetic and metaphorical journeys of objects and materials. He considers transformation that can take place through the geographic, the economic and through time.
He is also interested in the physical properties of photography, which he has recast as sculpture through epic distortions of scale in The Nanjing Particles. Silver particles taken from 1875 photographs are enlarged a million times.
Project for a Crossing is a new work where Simon Starling has built a boat out of magnesium extracted from the politically contested waters of the Dead Sea.
After the exhibition he intends to use his magnesium boat to cross the Dead Sea – a fraught geopolitical journey that may only be partially possible since the Dead Sea lies between Jordan, Israel and the Israeli occupied West Bank.
Joseph Wright of Derby’s painting from 1771-95 The Alchymist, in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone, Discovers Phosphorus, and prays for the successful Conclusion of his operation, as was the custom of the Ancient Chymical Astrologers is the subject for one of the series Recursive Plates.
Ephemeral daguerreotypes, created with a delicate chemical deposit on silver plated copper, that reflect back and hold within the same image.
Phosphorus was discovered by accident in 1669 when Hennig Brand was boiling down thousands of litres of urine in his quest for the Philosopher’s Stone. It gave of an unearthly glow and then what a magical moment when phosphorus first ignited and the brilliant light filled the room.
A few hundred years on and phosphorous, the 13th element to be discovered has been terribly misused as a cruel weapon.