Archives for posts with tag: Chamkaur Ghag

Work underway for the upcoming Reading Stones exhibition with artists Anne Krinsky and Carol Wyss. We will be installing site-specific works in response to the history and architecture of the ancient stone Tower of Saint Augustine, Hackney’s oldest building. Built in the 13th century, the tower houses a magnificent 16th century clock whose mechanisms still strike the hours, occupying three floors connected by steep spiral stone stairs.

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The nature of time itself was a concept that St Augustine of Hippo grappled with in his philosophical texts sixteen centuries ago and is still perplexing us today; namely, how to equate the subjective experience of time with an objective understanding.

I am working on a video which makes reference to the scientific theory of time crystals; a model which proposes a structure that repeats in time, as well as in space.

1908 Time Crystal 2 wip

Patterns used in the film aim to mirror the crystal structure of the mineral beryl, commonly used to fashion the original reading stones which were used to magnify texts before the invention of optical glass. Reading Stones could be considered the first instruments used to create an enhanced sensory experience.

1907 reading stones WIP 1

I am playing with speeding up, slowing down and overlapping events to deconstruct a linear flow of time and interrogate the methods used to measure and experience time. I  spent a couple of nights in remote car parks setting up a time lapse sequence under darkish skies in anticipation of  the Perseids Meteor Shower and was rewarded with my first experience of live meteor action.

1908 perseids

I also think there was a faint glimmer of the Milky Way. These weren’t true dark sky areas but not bad for an hour to two hour drive from London.

1908 milky way

Also set up a time lapse station overnight on the Suffolk coast with the two wind turbine’s in view that dominate the Kessingland village skyline. I was surprised to see how much aerial activity goes on usually unnoticed.

1908 wind turbines

Another times lapse experiment focused on crystal growing over a week period.

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Filming slowing down time with a Go Pro set at 240 frames per second to record smashing rocks.

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I made some earth meteorites to collide with the ground but the results not so great.

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Beautiful light in Richmond Park when photographing the tree clock’s I plan to make into spinning time portals

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Hot Sunday morning traipsing around a car boot sale for ceramic atrocities to line up for an energy exchange experience.

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A site visit to St. Augustine’s Tower gave me pause for thought over the hanging sculpture I had planned which would possibly be dangerous to attempt. So looking at projecting directly onto the brickwork in that corner instead. This is giving me all sorts of issues over projecting in portrait mode and whether the projector will cope being on its side.

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Testing ideas for a viewing circle on the tower roof.

1908 viewing circle test

Inside the circle will be the image of a rock or meteorite.

I have been auditioning candidates.

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1908 meteorite

On the final day of the exhibition we will have extra activities which will include a lithomancy board and the chance to have your fortune told by the fall of the stones.

The act of “reading stones” can refer to both the scientific practice of geological investigation and the ritual of lithomancy which seeks to interpret the patterns of stones cast by those wishing to divine the future.

1908 laboradite

Made a trip to Box Hill Fort for a photo shoot of the artists books I had made for the Insatiable Mind Exhibition. The Fort is one of a line of 13 mobilisation centres built in the 1890’s to protect London from the threat of invasion from continental Europe. Never used for its intended purpose, it is now part of the National Trust Box Hill property and home to three species of bats that have taken up residence in the tunnels originally built for ammunition storage.

1908 old fort box hill

1908 unbound detail

‘Unbound’ depicts images taken from my cloud chamber. A cloud chamber is a supersaturated sealed environment that enables us to see the trails of cosmic rays. These high energy particles know no boundaries, travel at high speed across the universe and continuously pass unseen through us and our world. The twelve pentagons form a dodecahedron, the solid described by Plato as ‘the fifth construction, which the god used for embroidering the constellations on the whole heaven.’

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1908 InOUT detail

‘In/Out’ expresses the energy and randomness of quantum fluctuation as particles pop in-and-out of existence in empty space. At this tiny scale the universe is mysterious and unpredictable. Originating from a large crystal ball which reflects and absorbs its surrounding landscape, the bright spheres act as a series of portals to alternative perspectives.

1908 InOUT

Chilled evening at the Science Gallery for Zen-On a collaborative presentation from artist Ansuman Biswas and astroparticle physicist Chamkaur Ghag.

‘We have many tools at our disposal to gather information about the world. Physicists are tuning their instruments to an unprecedented level of sensitivity. Even burying super-cooled xenon under a mountain in the hope of detecting the faintest, most elusive particles of matter.

Ultimately, however, whatever external instruments we use, all data is experienced by our bodily senses. These senses turn out to be more finely tuned and calibrated than anything we have yet invented. And they are available to all of us, for free.

In this interactive performance we will draw parallels between the physical world around us and the physical experience of the body. We will explore the instrumentation we have available to us and discover its limits and possibilities in search of the subtlest and most elusive elements of reality.’

1908 zen-on polaroid

I enjoyed the parallels drawn between the search for dark matter and the search for inner peace, both of which require PURITY, QUIET and SENSITIVITY in processing data, looking for patterns and understanding knowledge.

The Dark Matter exhibition at Science Gallery was not so inspiring in its curation but there were a few nuggets to be gleaned.

Through the AEgIS from Semiconductor

1908 Science gallery semiconductor

Images gathered from data captured from the AEGIS experiment based at CERN of violent collisions between matter and antimatter, along with tracks of newly created particles, all of which are too small to see with the human eye reveal the chaos of the unseen.  The artists call it a “space time-lapse” work, showing an animation created from around 100,000 still images.

Mirror Matter by Emilija Škarnulytė

1908 Science gallery Emilija Škarnulytė
In thousands of years, how will the gigantic structures dedicated to the pursuit of science be viewed? Will their remains be viewed the same way we think of Stonehenge or the pyramids – relics of a previous civilisation? Mirror Matter is set 10,000 years from now, with an all-seeing alien eye surveying the ruins of scientific machines that once probed and measured the Universe.

The public engrossed in building Utopia at Tate Modern Turbine Hall

1908 Tate Turbine Hall lego

Olafur Eliasson In Real LIfe at Tate Modern works well for social media posts but on the day I felt mostly disappointed with one or three exceptions, this may be because it was like an unruly crèche or being swamped with spectacle.

  1. Waterfall 2019 against a grey London sky

1908 Olafur Eliasson Waterfall 2019

2. Model Room 2003

1908 Olafur Eliason model room

3. Glacial Currents 2018

 

and A description of a reflection 1995

1908 Olafur Eliason description reflection

Loved this idea

1908 Olafur Eliason magnetic field

Went on to see Takis Sculptor of Magnetism, Light and Sound which was great (also no babies)

1908 Takis magnetism

‘Plato speaks of an artist turning the invisible world into the visible. I hope that someone seeing my sculpture is lifted out of his ordinary state’

1908 Takis Telelumiere No 4

‘I cannot think of my work as entirely my work, I’m only a transmitter, I simply bathe in energy’

1908 Takis sound and silence

‘We have chased the sacred symbols into the desert and replaced them with electronic eyes’

1908 Takis Music of the Spheres

Reading Timothy Morton ‘Being Ecological’ I started off thinking I am going to love this book but after a chapter of multiple examples of how to look at ‘being ecological’ this way or that way I was a bit frustrated. I missed the reading group to see how everyone else got on.

I did find it interesting to discover that the Anthropocene has a proposed official start date and it’s very recent – 1945 – the time when the first atomic bomb was detonated.

1908 nuclear explosion 1945.jpg

In January 2015, 26 of the 38 members of the International Anthropocene Working Group published a paper suggesting the Trinity test on 16 July 1945 as the starting point of the proposed new epoch.

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BEYOND – Midsummer Events at Allenheads Contemporary Arts kicked off with Far From Daylight -Outstation #1. This involved lying in candlelit rows, blindfolded, on inflatable beds subjected to a pulsating tone while a disembodied voice gave an account of cosmonaut training in the 1960’s and the interrogation of the minds of the cosmonauts. 1806 outstation 1

Fact and fiction overlapped or merged as documented experiences of cosmonauts were read from texts by group participants. Later small groups of participants plucked word cards from a bag, the words signified archetypes or directives to inspire images that would be used as thought cards for future floatation tank experiences.

1806 outstation 1 discussion

‘The Illuminated Woman’ became the all encompassing and much more open ‘The Illuminated’.

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The Pilgrimage; a non-linear spiral, borders were permeable or herbaceous, the map dissolved leaving no points of reference in space only the depths of the mind to navigate. This was preceded by skimming stones on the cosmic pond and followed by conversations around the fire with artists Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman who had devised and led this affecting event.

The next night was a test run for the scheduled live streaming of the sunset and sunrise from the top of the fell…

1806 ACA BEYOND

1806 BEYOND

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…situated between borders.

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The Midsummer’s Night droning began just as the sun dipped the horizon and continued until it appeared again on the other side of the earth. It seemed to get around very quickly.

1806 BEYOND forest

It never got dark. The earth orbits the sun in about 365.25 days. Up 31 octaves this is 69.05Hz, a slightly flat C sharp. This midsummer the earth will rotate on its own axis in 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59.9998932 seconds. Up 21 octaves this is 24.269Hz, a slightly flat G.

Open Weekend Events up at the school house included seeing comic particle trails in my cloud chamber.

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Also a little hologram film I made of the trails set in a dodecahedron (motif for the universe)

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Exoplanet exploration

1806 ACA exoplanet explorers

The gallery in the village with work from other BEYOND residency artists

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Earlier visit to Allenheads – circling ideas, segmenting, focusing

1806 Allendale walkabout

The density of the forest is overwhelming – no space to enter – yet imagine being able to pass unheeded through this entanglement

1806 Allendale Impenetrable forest

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Had a preview screening of edited soft borders (video with dance artist Paola Napolitano) and installation of Duodecimens (etched aluminium. screen print) in my studio space for the annual Open Weekend at Thames-side Studios.

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Using the dodecahedron as motif, the boundaries of the universe are brought within reach; pliant and permeable as the body bathed in cosmic particles that do not recognise borders but pass unseen through spacetime and matter. 1806 soft borders still.jpg

There was some interesting use of materials in New Relics sculpture show in Thames- side Gallery.

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The Echoing Space exhibition is a sensitive response to the history of Leith Hill Place from artists Julie Hoyle, Mary Branson and Penny Green. Combining traditional and contemporary materials and processes the past and present are drawn together reigniting the passions of past inhabitants for a new generation.

1806 Leith Hill Place Mary Branson

1806 Leith Hill Place Julie Hoyle

The austere façade and darkened windows can give an initial impression of a sinister past and ghosts best left to rest but inside reveals a palimpsest of family life steeped in the arts and scientific discovery.

1806 Leith Hill Place

In 1847 it became the home of Josiah Wedgwood III who was married to Caroline Darwin. Her brother Charles Darwin often visited and the wormstone he used for research into how stones and ancient ruins become buried over time is still in the grounds. He studied the action of earthworms excavating soil from beneath the stone and depositing it above the surface. It has been estimated that a 25cm thick stone might take approximately 250 years to fall to the level of the ground. What was under becomes surface.

Vibrant Matter: a political ecology of things by Jane Bennett has an interesting chapter on the earthworm and Darwin’s studies which conclude that earthworms ‘make history’ and augment human culture through the accumulated effects of ‘small agencies’.

Darwin’s niece Margaret married Arthur Vaughan Williams and their youngest son, Ralph went on to become the composer best known for The Lark Ascending. He was also an avid collector of folk songs hoping to save them from being buried in time.

1806 Joan Jonas (3)

I didn’t get to see any of the live performances but did go to the Joan Jonas ‘in conversation’ with Marina Warner.  Denying any pretentions of being a shaman herself Joan denotes how the shaman enters an unconscious state and makes clear her performances are highly structured, rehearsed conscious episodes though both performances may appear to invoke the use of objects in ritual the intention is quite different. She draws on influences such as the documentation of Aby Warburg who was captivated by the rituals, masks, architecture, art and culture of native Americans he met on his travels in 1895. She has been to experience remote cultures for herself drawing on both real events and mythologies to feed her performances, creating an alternative space to preside in.1806 Joan Jonas (1)

The viewer watches. We are gathered at the fire.

1806 Joan Jonas (2)

To follow the tale

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1806 Joan Jonas (6)

1806 Joan Jonas (4)

saw this pattern recently in Valencia on a 15th century floor

1805 Valencia escher floor

Flooring Consulat del Mar at La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia (The Silk Exchange)

 

Communication between trees came up during the talk as discussed in The Hidden Life of Trees a book by Peter Wohlleben who describes a forest as a superorganism of unique individuals. He is writing about processes going on unseen beneath the soil, chemical languages, networks and relationships. We fail to understand trees because “they live on a different time scale” from us.

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In Material Sight at Arts Catalyst Fiona Crisp presents a series of photographs and films within a structure of scaffolding and invasive noise echoing the utilitarian sites from which the images are taken. She has spent the last few years stalking spaces of scientific research deep underground and beyond public accessibility to pluck out small nuggets of suggestibility that bring a sense of these remote locations to an audience who will never physically experience these unique spaces. We are not invited to comprehend the activities and processes of the laboratories shown any more than we can grasp the mysteries of the universe that these sites are endeavouring to solve.  The images aim to engage through a visual intimacy to counteract the distances crossed in bringing the images to the surface.

1806 Fiona Crisp Material Sight

The programme of events continued with Kosmica Ethereal Things at Iklectik which turned out to be in ‘Old Paradise Yard’ (one I have missed on my paradise trail.) Chamkaur Ghag was speaking about dark matter, current research, what we don’t know, physics in culture and the need for a more holistic approach to scientific investigations. Annie Carpenter who is also participating in the BEYOND residency was there to demonstrate black hole accretion using dry ice and household items to create a spinning contraption with a hobbyist aesthetic bringing scientific endeavour into the everyday.

Coming up is the final weekend of events for BEYOND at ACA when I will be screening soft borders video. A research trip to Grizedale Forest as prelude to making new work for an exhibition there. Further research for the weather balloon project – in the meantime having fun running the tracking predictor to see how likely it might be to retrieve any video footage depending on where the camera might land.

1806 weather balloon tracking

Today would have been a good day for a flight.