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.