Thursday, 30 July 2015


what a most excellent day at Cavendish Lab in Cambridge -  everybody was so generous with their time and dedicated to sharing their experience - totally engaged in the process of knowledge exchange. it was a very full day of experiencing and challenging spaces within which to consider many new activities. Although invisible there is an obvious flow diagram of decision making within each specific activity and the process as a whole.  This is made apparent by the seriousness of the approach to the activity. self assembly is I now know a key component to what I do or at least how I think - but maybe not in a straightforward 'science ' way - I am interested in creating objects with multiple possible outcomes or systematic structures or non-linear narratives for others to work with or within or 'play' with. That there is no right or wrong way is very important to me but just components to enable. Thinking tools. Tools for thinking. Obviously one is struck by the ritual of work - the oppressive otherness of the clean room brings with it a heightened awareness of one's activity, can the wearing of a garment alter ones perception of the activity that is been undertaken? This could be something to explore with my students - art uniforms, creative capes! The pace of working is also something to consider - I was very taken by the methodical process of evidencing activity; cleaning, counting, arranging, monitoring, calculating, noting. Even the act of looking takes time and energy. The day's activity sparked many thoughts about art/science parallels and often the actual activity was the same, although often at a smaller scale. From the spin painting promoted by Damien Hurst, fixing and photography 'developing' work, the many types of printmaking, the resists and opposites, the silkscreen with its mesh and layers, etching working with positive and negative 2D spaces. So far this whole process has given me a new way of thinking and therefore supported my writing about my creativity. Ideas have been sparked while searching for parallels or taking my world into the world of science and testing out common knowledge, for example thinking about Duchamp and Duchampian thinking - becoming art, and the world of topography, definitions and categories - it is art if an artist says so - can intention define activity? Everything comes under the umbrella of science but could the same activity be redefined by what you are trying to do, or actually focusing on? - be it physics, chemistry, engineering or is it a combination of some or all or is it at a certain level all physics? What is the purpose of the/an experiment? the concept of the experiment - that even though something hasn't worked knowledge is gained and so it is useful - so does the concept of a failed experiment actually exist as knowledge always occurs (if you look for it). Can this be used with students or actively in my studio? Coming into contact with science language and thinking has introduced new phrases or enabled me to rethink ones I thought I understood - the concept of structural colour - weak interaction forces shape - the basis for self assembly - materials form wrinkles to relieve stress - release and stick - crease and stress - graphene origami - self folded closed form structures - at the fold properties are more reactive - folding along preferred directions - the use of paper grain - self folding