We are a few days out from a showing of Void Love, and emerging from a blur of editing suites, format wrangling, insomnia, swine flu, midnight carpark adventures and the usual panic about whether the art is good enough.
The video art, web art, sound art, text art, astronomy art, Kamahl art and music are all finally comingling in the one art. Working across this many genres certainly has its own challenges, not the least of which (logistics aside) is allowing enough Space.
Still struggling with making too many astronomy dad jokes.
Visit www.voidlove.tv to receive alerts when the art is released.
Our attempt at simulating the Big Bang.
We can’t work the supercomputers, so instead we went to a vacant lot in Broadmeadows. with Jonnie Leahy’s Mums 1994 Toyota Camry painted a hostile shade of pink known as Kathleens Ribbon.
8 people dressed in Zapatista style masks, goggles, helmets and gloves armed with golf clubs, sledge hammers, bricks. Destroyed the Camry, bashed, smashed, hit the Camry and then festooned it solemly with ribbon.
The Lord of the Flies glorious excitement that comes from violence. The wooping simple heaven of destruction.
It went from a suburban shopping mall image to a war zone. From David Willimson to Antigone.
Can the work go beyond merely representing science. Maybe if the metaphor is complex or subtle enough. I’m not sure if the Camry will achieve this, whether the resonance of meaning will be too simple or too obscure. Which simply means I’ve spent too long thinking about it.
Regardless I feel it was a worthwhile and blood thirsty experiment.
The shoot for the website went delightfully well, and delightfully pink.
Lure hairdressers remarkably gave us the keys to their salmon palace. Art director Cat Sewell filled it with magnificently creepy floral ‘get well soon’ arrangements and medical equipment. Our actors Matthew and Zoe were suitably translucent, translating ‘casual jerking’ and ‘majestic soap opera bitch’ with great acuity. The pair of white mice huddled appropriately.
And so we have a hospital room for our comatose protagonist, and some very luscious footage for the website.
With enormous thanks to Rino Pontini at Lure, Cat Sewell, Christie Stott, Andy Lane, Matthew Kneale, Zoe Meager, Jonnie Leahy, Robbie Kohl, Matthew Gingold and Michael Baggot for their patience and talent.
We are conducting some action research into Uncertainty, now that we are more comfortable with its centrality. Cliff hangers, dark matter, comas. Even the Fundamental Constant is under question.
Thanks to our recent interviews with N-Body Simulation programmers, we have focused our minds on “decomposing the problem: working out what must be done first, which tasks may be done independently of each other, and which must be done in parallel, in order to complete the tasks with the highest efficiency”.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The script is nonetheless emerging - in a kind of furious symbiosis with the astronomical interviews - while we wrestle with our fear of quasars and affection for categories of collision.
And lunch with Kamahl.
‘A group of astonomers is a CLUSTER.’
- Dr. Christopher Fluke
‘Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to , while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.’
- Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Have started to write the art. Which involves joy and paranoia and endlessly lamenting the inadequacy of words as a thin veiled attempt to disguise the fact I cant find the right ones.
Amazing interviews by Nicky proving inspirational. A huge array of accents and personalities and astounding eloquence.
Things about the final form are emerging namely the importance of Kamahl and donuts.
Have WONDERFUL web producer and designer and builder on board CHRISTIE STOTT. Hail Christie. Worship Christie. She speaks fluent nerd of an incomprehensible dialect.
And WONDEFUL videographer of everything ANDY LANE. Who is dedicated to making my Corolla part of the Art. So of course he has my vote.
Astronomers can talk. There is no doubt that once you get them going, they aren’t shy. Swinburne is blessed with some eloquent speakers of fluent astronomy.
The first round of audio interviews have proven a bounty of material featuring:
-frozen sound waves that emanated from the big bang
-how to be insulted by dark energy
-the enigmatic millisecond pulsar
-giggling about ripples in space and time
-falling in love with PSRJ0437 minus 47′15″
-baryonic supremacy and ptolemaic epicycles
-the politics of collisionless matter
-the opaque veil of reionisation
-fragile discs and cluster neighbourhoods
Dealing with the extreme richness of detail, and the colliding imperative to streamline.
Delighted to find that a coma is a dust cloud around the head of a comet.
Big questions this week. How to concurrently develop fact and fiction. How to create strong structure and leave room for ambiguity and surprise.
Doing some scythe- like discarding of previous ideas. Becoming aware how dependent we are on department participation. Making some friends in the centre, everyone nice and potentially a bit scared of artists.
Interviews and writing both about to start.
CRASH course in Astrophysics continues. The actual brain is hurting. Conclusions are that the universe must hurt because of all the expanding.
Comas. Comas. Yes to comas. The Glasgow Coma Scale. Degeneracy and degeneracy pressure are everywhere in space. Germaine Greer replies. Finding locations that are pink pink pink. Being told we cant use them. In Chinese.
Cataclysmic variables. Young relativistic binary pulsar. Most eccentric millisecond pulsar. Permanent superhumpers. Stellar exotica.
Our residency at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing (Swinburne) has just begun, and we are attacking the Square Kilometre Array project and its five key science directives.
Getting to know the astronomers and their areas (”my first love is binary and millisecond pulsars”), and beginning to broadly map their obsessions against soap opera narrative formulas. Casting and interferometry.
1. The Cradle of Life;
2. Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Magnetism;
3. Strong Field Tests of Gravity using Pulsars and Black Holes;
4. Probing the Dark Ages; and
5. Evolution of Galaxies and Cosmic Large Scale Structure.
Faint spectral lines. Minihaloes and musk lollies. Dusty disks. Mesmerism and magnetism. Kamahl. Supermassive black holes. Binary pairs and evil twins. Voyeurism. Lighthouses. Banana lounges and gravity. Nearly empty spaces and dark energy. Administration. Comas. Void. Love. Unification of the Ultimate Theory of the Universe.
Having no background in physics makes it much easier to confuse the ridiculous astronomical vocabulary for poetry or pop lyrics. “We are looking for a pulsar orbiting the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre”.
Nicky + Willoh