Superposition: physicists and artists in conversation

A momentous weekend

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This weekend saw me reach the half-way point with the discs, yeah! The blue ones are all finished and as of this moning I've completed 201 discs, only 184 to go! Ben and Emily visited on Saturday, to help make, it was great to see them. Here's a selection of the blue ones; I'm now on green.

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Iced beads!

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Alongside the disc installation I'm making a series of light boxes, which will be shown in one of the two ice wells. To create the images I made a work from glass beads, froze it in a tub of water and then photographed it whilst melting; lots of fun! Below is a glimpse of what was frozen. The photograph was taken by Caroline Claisse, a student from the Royal College of Art, who visited me last week to talk about my practice and Superposition. The light boxes are made from hot rolled steel; an image of them being welded is below.

 

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Packing, transporting and installing!

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Pretty much re the packing of discs; each will be labeled and packed in order, so they’ll be easy to find in sequence when installing. There’ll be a lot of boxes; about 35 roughly the size of an archival box. By the time I finish they’ll form a rather large wall running down the middle of my small office! It’ll take a day to install the framework, a day, possibly two to hang the discs and up to two days to do the lighting.

Yes re catching up with Dale and Michael from M&M Welding Fabrication Ltd; they’ve been great to work with. The metal frame, which consists of 6 concentric circles attached to a cross section will be made from aluminium and powder coated a gun-metal grey, will be suspended from the ceiling of the ice well. The discs will be linked to each other and the framework with brass rods. The outer concentric circle is 3 metres in diameter, the inner 1 metre.

 

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Grids and concentric circles

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I’m doing most of the work myself, producing about 6 discs a day. I’ll have occasional help from Grace, another artist. She had her first day on Wednesday, cleaning brass rods with eucalyptus oil and cutting them into the necessary lengths, then sticking on numerous clear diamantes – I think she enjoyed herself!

The colours are blue (sky and turquoise), green (emerald), orange (bright and topaz) and red (ruby). The discs decorated with clear beads and diamantes are in concentric circle patterns, to represent the physical structure and aesthetic appearance of particle detectors; the colour discs will have grid patterns, to reflect one of the ways Ben analyses his research data. The rainbow colour spectrum is university employed to symbolize particle detection and activity in detectors – red being the highest intensity; blue the lowest. Here’s a photo of some of the materials I’m using, which gives a good sense of the colours.

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Clear discs underway!

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Yes, it's a relief to have the first 20 clear ones done. I'm hoping to complete the multiples of these by the end of the week - fingers crossed! The discs with clear beads and diamantes will form the outer section of the work; there are 80 in total, 4 each of the 20 different designs. The total number of discs in the installation is 385. The first one I made, which was all glass beads, took an afternoon, but I'm getting quicker! It's hard to say exactly how long per disc, as the complexity of each varies, but I'm pretty sure I'll need every hour I can get between now and the beginning of August to finish them!  

 

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