SPEKTRUM Exhibition #6: STATES OF MATTER
curated by Alfredo Ciannameo
23-26 June, SPEKTRUM | art science community, Bürknerstr. 12, Berlin
The "States of Matter" exhibition seeks dimensions of meaning and beauty by unfolding nature's innermost secrets. Visual concepts such as light, color, materiality and movement are reinvented through plasma physics, fluid dynamics, low temperature crystallisation, and experiments testing the chemical origins of life. The four classical states of matter (solid, liquid, gas and plasma) are the subjects of the artworks selected for this exhibition, each redefining the interrelation between phenomenon and observer through the integration of a new artistic language within the context of a scientific experiment.
- Thursday 23 June, 18:00: Opening
- Exhibition 24-26 June from 15:00 - 22:00
- Saturday 25 June: 16:00 conference: lecture by Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
- Sunday 26 June: 20:00 conference: talk by Chris Salter 'Alien Agency or How Do Artists Work with Responsive Matter'
Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand [RUS/NL]
Alfredo Ciannameo & Doron Sadja [IT-US/DE]
Jean-Marc Chomaz & Laurent Karst (Labofactory) [FR]
Nicky Assmann & Joris Strijbos [NL]
Akitoshi Honda [JP/DE]
Philip Silva & Felix E. Klee [DE]
Byrke Lou [DE]
HYDROGENY - EVELINA DOMNITCH & DMITRY GELFAND - Nature's simplest atom and mother of all matter, hydrogen feeds the stars as well as interlaces the molecules of their biological descendants – to whom it ultimately whispers the secrets of quantum reality. Hydrogen's most prevalent earthly guise lies within the composition of water. Slight electrical perturbation splits water into hydrogen and oxygen gas, resulting in diaphanous bubble clouds slowly rising towards the liquid's surface. Emanating from an array of electrodes at the bottom of a water-filled chamber, strings and strata of hydrogen bubbles meticulously trace their emergent surroundings. A white laser sheet scans and illuminates the hydrogen bubble trajectories. Each quivering bubble-lens divides the white light into its constituent spectrum of colors, thereby inciting enhanced, prismatic depth perception.
ALFREDO CIANNAMEO presents his plasma organ IONESIS, with the sound contribution of the artist DORON SADJA and the engineering implementation of AHMAD TALEB, for the creation of a new piece by using three multi-electrode discharge tubes, originally invented by Nikola Tesla. This instrument transforms six electronic audio channels into twelve high voltage sources, initiating an electro-sonic reaction in light plasma as a result. The focus of the work lies in investigating the discharging qualities of plasma. When an electrode discharges the electric field generated by this (electrode) interacts with other electric fields also discharging electrodes within the tube. This result visually into a complex configuration of light cells that are intertwined with one another. The conduction of light is synchronized with the sound in the space. Based on the synaesthetic relation between light and acoustics, Ionesis conjures up an immersive cosmological experience.
JEAN-MARC CHOMAZ, LAURENT KARST & JULIE LAFAURIE-JAVORE, LABOFACTORY: EXOPLANET
The Exoplanet installation questions the new materiality of science, which, by discovering extra solar planets, has revived the fantasy of other islands, of other us. Exoplanet is an intimate inverted cosmos inhabited by the bioluminescence of living phytoplankton Pyrocistis Noctiluca. The room is plunged into darkness; the spectator tames the night and awakens. Pale blue pulses draw a vortex, an evanescence of spirals and stripes. The sparks are produced by the oxidation of the luciferin, a protein photosynthesized during the day by the living cells. These ephemeral and erratic bursts are microperformed by the plankton interpreting a score stimulated by a spinning glass sphere. Exoplanet evokes the origins of our planet when photosynthesis in the oceans starts painting in blue the sky. Nowadays, the phytoplankton still produces the oxygen of the air by absorbing CO2. At the new moon, its bioluminescence is visible from space and traces eddies in the ocean.
Exoplanet was made possible with the support of the fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso, the Laboratoire LaSIPS of the University Paris-Saclay and the École Polytechnique.
/// LIQUID SOLID
NICKY ASSMANN & JORIS STRIJBOS - LIQUID SOLIDis a collaborative project in which the duo researches the cinematic qualities of a freezing soap film. During their Ars BioArctica residency at the Biological Research Center in the Arctic Region of Finland (December 2014) they shot the footage of the freezing process of soap films which functions as the basis for their video installation: an eighteen-minute-long, practically unedited registration of the freezing process of soap liquid. Soap only freezes at very low temperatures, because the water remains protected by the soap acids for a very long time. Within a number of minutes, the colourful soap slowly sinks down in the film of soap, until a vacuum of a very thin layer of water remains, in which frozen crystals whirl round. Only at a very low temperature, an accelerated freezing process occurs, during which ice crystals transform into fractal-like patterns. The video is accompanied by a soundtrack composed by Assmann and Strijbos, with a mixture of soundscapes and recordings of self-made instruments which they developed in earlier collaborations. Liquid Solid was made possible with the generous support of the Creative Industries Fund NL, Gemeente Rotterdam and The Finnish Society of Bioart.
AKITOSHI HONDA - CRYSTAL STUDY is an installation which turns the non-perceivable process of crystallisation into an artistic light installation. The earth is developed in decade and is even still developing every minute, every second: we can say it is crystallisation. For a human being it is difficult to sense phenomena such as global warming in real time, because the timescale is too long and the change too small. Since long ago humans have tried to observe such intangible environmental phenomena., for example Stormglass (aka FitzRoy glass, which developed in 19th century for the weather forecast. This device reacts with chronological change from temperature, atmospheric electromagnetic noise, which changes in a long time scale that humans can't observe or feel clearly. In this project, the crystallisation process in Stromglass is translated to a human perceivable phenomenon in an aesthetic way with help with modern technology. A glass tube is filled with a special liquid which reacts with temperature, the electronic magnetic field, etc. This reaction happens on a molecular level and is impossible to observe with the human eye, but laser light makes this process visible. Light scattering and absorption is represented as a light pattern. Such phenomena are also applied in the scientific analytic method known as spectroscopy.
PHILIP SILVA & FELIX E. KLEE - STM – scanning tunneling microscope – is a device with subatomic resolution. A needle, just one atom wide at its end, is moved very close to a sample. It is then scanned over the sample's surface. For determining the distance between needle and surface at each point, a tunneling current is measured, a quantum mechanical effect. The result is an image of the surface. Each spot in the image corresponds to one atom. In the context of the installation, the microscope is used as a realtime video generator. It outputs the superposition of two states. Graphite is a crystalline state of carbon with hexagonal symmetry. Superimposed on the scan of graphite is disturbance caused by the presence of observers of the measuring process. The device is very sensitive. Only when quiet it is possible to see a clear image of the crystal. For building the microscope, Philip Silva and Felix E. Klee collaborate with Luka Karoli, an electrical engineer and Ana Bulović, a biophysicist. The team's mission is to provide a cheap device for home use and trigger the nanotech maker revolution.
BYRKE LOU - CTU-ISBTM is a series of representations and clippings of the milky way. The objects are produced from glass as glass is what we usually look through in scientific processes. The qualities of glass thereby become an intrinsic feature of the technologies we develop and also of what we observe and understand as existing. When and how does a myth become a scientific fact?