Saturday, 29 April 2017


What is it to learn? 
I had this idea that the articulated structures I had created in response to the lab choreography if miniaturised to a nano scale could in some way inform an understanding of the movement of electrons around atoms, thus bringing knowledge to ideas around dark matter and the gaps between things. The wonderful thing about this job is that I don't mind not knowing in fact I think I revel in it and when realising that things I have conceived of aren't even possible ideas or that my language is not just wrong but the hypothesis underpinning my idea/revelation isn't even a thing in the first place. The conversations that ensue are a joy. This has been my day today. 
 I have been gently engaging with concepts which appear to be central to quantum physics. Who knew. I love the idea, as was pointed out to me, that my pieces are classical structures and just reducing them in scale does not get you to quantum scale as there is no translatable or transactional model. Its as if everything one knew is untrue and the basic building blocks are not what you thought. I have on my reading list the Heisenberg Principle, The Casimr effect, the concept of zero point energy.
It was interesting to realise that the structures can be used to explore a visualisation of an energy metastable state. This was understood through my understanding of kinetic and potential energy from GCSE physics, possibly the only concept I ever understood - this was by the throwing of a ball in the air 
I have put forward four proposals which today have been shaped with a rigour I hope that I bring to my own students practice. Meaning has been brought into the equation and a clarity of intention that was not their previously is now embedded within the work and the hang.. 
The first is to show work within a huge glass cabinet - this work will be the mainly static objects which examine the idea of negative space and the space objects inhabit internally, they are an attempt to halt time. These objects will be accompanied by large scale printed photographic images of laboratories where the ideas were conceived and stills of hands working the objects. The second idea is to present a form of visual diary using material that I have amassed within the drawers of The Maxwell Laboratory. The work would consist of notes, initial drawings and laser cut pieces that informed the thinking behind or were the tools for the films created during the residency. They would act as a form of cabinet of curiosity, the piece would provide a very physical experience of revelation as the work would be revealing only when the audience engages with the act of intrigue by pulling open a drawer. (really pleased with that).
I am going to hang large-scale images from my archive of the whole process within the shared spaces in the Maxwell and some form of performance piece engaging with the projection issue I have been working with.
I have also managed to negotiate to show a suite of 'prints' informed by crystallography within the corridors of the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy building. Met with Duncan and came away with a long list of starting points for more research, yes more of them including quasicrystals and mode coupling but also a richer and deeper knowledge of Penrose tiling and its relationship to the golden section alongside the realisation that through the structures I have been making I have been creating a visualisation of a energy metastable state - who knew but if I think about it - it's all about potential and kinetic energy - forces. You cannot measure a thing you measure the forces on it. The gaps between things determine what they are.

Rounded the day off with more filming within the Museum - filming Maxwell having Maxwell projected onto him Meta Maxwell or Maxwell squared....
The day was rounded off with a really nice encounter with a friendly student face from NanoDTC who was positive and encouraging of the project - a great day in Cambridge.

Friday, 21 April 2017


I've been creating the base material for the clean-room wear that I want to make. Whilst explaining the process to a student I realised that the work had an underlying political reading - the material is made by lazer cutting and heat bonding an American dust sheet with an emergency blanket from China. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017


The idea that we don't actually touch anything, that we have to think about what we mean by touch has been in my head today. One of the main ideas I have encountered within the residency is that at a nano level our world is concerned with, in fact defined by forces. If we think about making sense of the world in this way, of defining our relationship between things within the context of forces it is mind altering. The 'space between', the 'negative space' is something that I have been working with but my thinking has been concerned with trying to map the space within an articulated object which can be changed. I've been considering this concept at a smaller structural level - this video is really helpful to gain an understanding of close packed structures I've been thinking about this idea within the context of electron microscopy and in turn I have been making links with the idea of the 'empty space' between atoms within material. Although not actually empty - as it appears to be about flow, the constant exchange of forces, plasmonics.  Which links back to the initial structures I've made - could the functionality of the structures, with their specific movements, determined by their structure, be a way of looking at the mapping of this flow?

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


Today has all been about the idea of projection, an idea taken from crystallography - this is primarily concerned with attempting to use a system to make sense of something that starts off as an unknown. The material that is being examined is then defined through categorising its possible symmetry(s). I have taken this idea and using the known, the forms I have been making, created a number of images that are now unknown but have a sense of having to be remade or reconstructed in the mind. is a great site that presents a way of understanding the shapes with the resulting stereographic projections which connects to Peter Paul Rubens Six vignettes from Opticorum Libri Sex.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


I've been working on a collection of double page spreads that have become a form of visual note book. They act as a repository for some of the pieces or 'props' that were created for and used within finished film pieces. The spreads are full of ideas, possible starting points and contain many elements of the finished works, they are in effect a sort 'look book' or 'mood board' of the project. The latest piece has scaled up the idea of negative space and is a solid block of very heavy herculite plaster.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


a quick idea - I've been working with some of the folding ideas connected with the idea of crystal structures, repetition and the glove box - I wanted to explore the structure by observing how printed repeat patterns are affected by the 3D forms.