Archives for posts with tag: Olafur Eliasson

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.

1908 clock.jpg

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.

1908 crystal growing
Filming slowing down time with a Go Pro set at 240 frames per second to record smashing rocks.

1908 stone smash

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

1908 earth meteorites

1908 earth collision.JPG

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

1908 tree rings

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

1908 time is up


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.

1908 projection test

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.

1908 rock candidate

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.’

1908 unbound

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.

The bliss of ignorance. Those lovely few weeks when the future still held the possibility that I would be accepted on the printmaking course at the RCA.
I was expecting a letter so was unprepared to suddenly come across an email while at the studio idly checking my phone. It took at least 10 minutes before I could open it.
Scrolling down the tiny screen until I came to the numbing – very sorry…
Now I know how much I wanted it. No sense of relief about avoiding all the stress it will entail just a complete deflation.
I have however been put on the reserve list and am apparently very high up the list – now I just need a victim of circumstance – would that it could be someone who has decided to study elsewhere.
So there is still a tiny whiff of opportunity which could hang over me all summer.

But the important thing is to keep on making work.

Enjoyed my visit to see This Me of Mine at A.P.T especially as I got to chat with the curator Jane Boyer about the show.
It was one of those conversations where you end up in a silence of contemplation, wondering what the future holds and knowing it goes on regardless. Jane is concerned about the impact the digital age will have on our sense of identity. The exhibition is designed to creat a dialogue about the changes we might face in the future trying to maintain our identity and looks to personal stories, family connections and memories that anchor us to past and place. Leaving or creating an impression of ourselves and how that impression can be manipulated or misread.

Kate Murdoch - It's the little things

Kate Murdoch – It’s the little things

Kate Murdoch’s work ‘It’s the little things’ – a portrait of  her grandmother described by an assemblage of personal paraphernalia from her life caused a strong physical reaction in me – nostalgia is such a powerful emotion especially when it comes unexpectedly. Being confronted with a hair curler like my Mum used to wear and an ornament with cut glass coloured eyes like one I had when I was small was such a stomach lurching reel back through time. A younger person who doesn’t have those memories to evoke would have a very different experience of Kate’s work.

Anthony Boswell - Time Box

Anthony Boswell – Time Box

Anthony Boswell’s Time Box was clever and unexpected. Like a set from a film noir it draws you in and then catches you unawares turning the world upside-down as you come face to face with time.

Dahlstrom and Fattal showing at Beers Lambert was a stylish show. Culturally though I felt I seemed to miss something in the viewing.

Amir Fattal

Amir Fattal

Amir Fattal creates sculptures in a mid-century modern style. Clean and beautiful lines with fashionably retro light fittings.

Elevated, toppling trapped illuminated crystals like brains from a science fiction scenario.

Oystein Dahlstrom

Oystein Dahlstrom

Oystein Dahlstrom makes ‘digital renderings of the natural world that masquerade as truth’ We are to view these images not as photographs but as simulacra. They are fascinating works showing heightened detail as a celebration of materiality while giving the material no context.

Carlos Cruz Diez

Carlos Cruz Diez

Light Show at the Hayward Gallery was pure spectacle. A fairground of pulsating, flashing, glowing colours, clever illusions and optical trickery.

Leo Villareal and David Batchelor

Leo Villareal and David Batchelor

The subtle work of Katie Paterson was a calm moment allowing us to experience standing in the moonlight but indoors.

Lightbulb to simulate moonlight gives us a rare opportunity in the city.

1304 Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson

Olafur Eliasson’s model for a timeless garden drew an audible WOW on entry – it was a theatrical moment of pure joy.

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

Rows of water fountains are frozen in unison under strobe lighting creating constantly changing sculptures. Natural phenomena captured. You enter this space after contemplating scenes of soldiers under fire and in combat, the matter of fact disclosure of horrific events on an ever rotating Reuters style news feed so the contrast of emotion is marked.

Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer brought some serious reflection in her revolving towers of words of the accounts from declassified US government documents from the ‘war on terror’.

More illusions, time travel and identity crisis in Cloud Atlas.  Our lives are not our own. Through the ages our actions either good or evil count and carry events forward.

1304 Cloud Atlas
The film was bold and exciting. Clever use of film genres mimicked the varied literary styles of the novel and you didn’t have to wait till the end to make all connections as the eras were spliced together so it was easy to follow each plot line and still see parallels across time. It was worth seeing just to witness the amazing makeover each actor received when playing a different character in another age.

What is the ocean but a multitude of drops.