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Celestial:Bodies

“…there are moments when one feels free from one’s own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny, only being.”
– Albert Einstein [1]

Exploring the often-invisible inner workings of the human body, and outward to the distant reaches of the known universe, this proposal is for a series of works on paper and sculptural objects. Found and open-source audio recordings of the body, and NASA’s recordings of space, will accompany the works to draw connections between – and patterns within – the celestial and the bodily. Combining physics and creative practices, this body of work is inspired by the Eames Office film Powers of 10 (1977), and Einstein’s Unified Field Theory (1905) [2]. The limitless potential presented by each of these influential ideas deeply affects my own understanding of embodiment and is complimentary to a collage and assemblage-based practice.

Through this project, the universe, filled with particles, planetary systems and nebulae, is linked to the body, filled with bacterial and viral particles, cells and organs. The drawings and objects paired with audio recordings aim to explore both microscopic and macroscopic elements within a field [3] that gives rise to the forces of nature, full of embodied potential. Extending previous dichotomies of inside/outside, real/surreal, science/fiction, these works consider the deep time of media (finding new ideas in the old) [4], and sympoiesis (a boundary-less system of cooperative, amorphous qualities that produce patterns of complex interactions) [5].

[1] Albert Einstein, letter to Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, 1939.

[2] The preferred contemporary model for a Unified Field Theory, String Theory, offers 10500 potential explanations for the myriad dualities, limitations, and possibilities governing the known (and unknown) forces of the universe.

[3] In physics, a field occupies space and contains energy affecting forces of the universe, as well as human behavior and capacities. It is equally a space on which something is drawn or projected. For this project, the drawing represents the energies contained in and by the field created by the paper.

[4] Zielinski, Seigfried. “Introduction,” in Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006), 3.

[4] Dempster, Beth “Sympoietic and autopoietic systems: A new distinction for self-organizing systems,” in Proceedings of the World Congress of the Systems Sciences and ISSS 2000, eds. J.K. Allen and J. Wilby. (Presented at the International Society for Systems Studies Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada, July 2000), 3.

Published in PROJECTS RESEARCH