Leaning out of Windows exhibition 2020


Leaning Out of Windows: In/visible Forces
February 28 – March 19, 2022

Emily Carr University of Art + Design, M. O’Brian Exhibition Commons + RBC Media Gallery


Leaning Out of Windows: In/visible Forces is the third of three exhibitions. Leaning Out of Windows/LOoW, a research creation project, explores how knowledge might be translated across the disciplinary communities of art and physics in order to develop a shared understanding of the cosmos. The project assesses methodologies of collaboration to develop ways to engage with the diverse languages employed by artists and physicists, namely between Emily Carr University and TRIUMF, Canada’s particle accelerator centre. What is shared is a space of mutual inspiration informing each other’s work in the search for new and emergent understanding of scientific phenomena.

Working with physicists at TRIUMF, Canada’s particle accelerator centre in Vancouver, we organized ten collaborative teams comprised of a physicist, two to three artists from diverse media, and in some cases a scholar from another discipline. The theme of Invisible Forces was launched with a science seminar in September 2021. From this point each team held a series of virtual meetings and worked collectively to respond to the science topic Invisible Forces and produced a network of artworks over a period of 6 months. The process was emergent, dependent on the individual team members and what they brought to the discussion.

“Invisible forces” references those physical properties that produce “exotic” phenomena such as weak and strong nuclear interactions, gravity, magnetism and the Higgs boson. Some “action-at-a-distance” or “non-contact” forces are thought to be mediated by virtual particles that may exhibit quantum entanglement. Such “hidden” forces used to be “invisible” but are now more or less understood. These forces allow remote parts of the environment (and the universe) to exert a force on an object without being in contact with it. What we do know is that such action-at-a-distance forces are very real and that we experience them every day.

Within the context of LOoW we understand In/visible Forces as fundamental physics properties. But we are also attracted to and invested in their metaphorical and social connotations as potential and probable influences on artistic practice. How is climate change an in/visible force on our daily lives? In what ways does herd mentality act as an in/visible force on human decision making? We hope to explore a network of ideas from physics as well as, social forces, force fields and fields of experience.

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Physicist: David Morrissey Scholar: Sanem Guvenc Artist: Scott Massey Artist: Ingrid Koenig

Scott Massey
BEACON, 2022
Baltic birch ply, regrind laminate, subwoofer driver, custom electronics.

The artist would like to thank Bobbi Kosinuk (Tech4Art) and Ken Massey (Ebony Architectural Woodwork) for their assistance in realizing this work.

We are and always have been surrounded by invisible forces; to “see” them is to detect them, directly though more often indirectly, by inference, reaction, or effect. This indirect evidence acts as a wayfinder towards the development of more comprehensive theories and accurate experiments.

The explanation of physics principles always inspires visualization, and the actual apparatus of physics experimentation look to me like artworks. Duality was one concept we considered, as equivalent but different ways of describing something. Phrases like: the fold, in-between-ness, askance view, mediators (as information carriers), sphere/bubble/void, and invisibility as simply information yet to be discovered – these drove our conversations. I particularly enjoyed witnessing how each of us from quite varied backgrounds and “occupations” could be contemplating similar ideas and questions, that this diversity of perspectives mirrored the different ways of explaining or attempting to understand different phenomena, like the concept of duality.

Ingrid Koenig
Local Timeline Expansion 2020 – 03 – 11 to 2021 – 12- 31, 2021-22
Print from drawing

Local Timeline Interaction – No Somewhere, Heading Everywhere, 2021-22
Call Asimov, 2021-22
Astronomical Interface, 2021-22
Figuring Over Time, 2021-22
Expansion – Clusters and Voids, 2021-22
Iterative response drawings – drawing/mixed media

Our focus has been on the evolution of dark matter and its forceful impact on structuring the cosmos. Our conversations were a generative “swirling” dance amongst us, with inspiring moments of co-thinking, neurons firing, head exploding moments, and then moving back into our separate orbs, but with those neurons sparking in new ways. As we moved through maps of the cosmos with voids and clusters, these elements transformed and coalesced into netting, holes, filaments and rhizomes that pushed their way into my very local experience of enfolded spacetime. The most immediate force of a global pandemic had unfolded out of an unknown place, seemingly a void, expanding with growing force. The many generous explications from our physicist about particle behaviors, the notion that forces talk to each other, kept me in a state of hyper awe, of surprise, and brought me to another place for uncovering complex interacting realities.

Sanem Guvenc
Scattering Iterations, 2022
Graphite text

Through our team conversations, I came to see the limits of textual engagement.  This was quite a visceral realization because that is where most of my creative practice is located.  However, for the first time I noticed that that limit can be stretched for extra-textual engagements to emerge. After every meeting I had tons of ideas floating in my mind.  I can only describe it as ‘thoughts expanding to infinity’; its very hard to pinpoint them.  What remained was a specific word/concept/image that signified the meeting: relaying, sphere, explosion, and ghostly.  One of the ways to think about in/visibility is through the fold. Just like folding and unfolding are not binary opposites but concepts that define a non-linear process of events, in/visibilities are openings up and closings in, emergences and disappearances, or things signaling to infinity and the obscurities in between.

David Morrissey
Diagrams and text with QR codes

What we call “invisible” in physics really means things that we aren’t able to detect. In most cases, this is not directly related to actually seeing the phenomenon – just about everything we study in particle physics is much too small to observe with our eyes. Even for what we call “visible”, we often need to use very complex and specialized devices to detect it.

On our team, sometimes one language worked better than another for describing a specific concept. This brings to mind the mathematical concept of a manifold. For some manifolds, it is not possible to describe the whole of the object with a single set of coordinates, corresponding to a particular mathematical language. However, the full object can be specified using multiple sets of coordinates, each valid in their own part. In the same way, multiple languages are needed to explain the entirety of human knowledge, and each one is valuable and precious for its particular strengths.


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Physicist: Jess Brewer Artist/Scholar: Jamie Hilder Artist: Francisco-Fernando Granados
 Artist: Barbara Lounder

Francisco-Fernando Granados
Map for a correspondence, 2022
Printed work on transparent sheet

conceptual monochrome (expanding the field), lo impredecible (the unpredictable), el fallo suspendido (suspended judgement) – after Mecano, 2022
See Team folio

Disciplinary formation acts to create different bodies of knowledge that can sometimes share terminology. There is a richness that exists in seeing into different disciplinary formations and how that makes you reflect on your own. Sharing and exchange from a range of approaches has been the most exciting part of this experience. More than trying to understand physics itself, I was interested in understanding how physicists think, how they see the world, how they approach their work. I found through a scientist’s reflection that visual abstraction is a process of giving shape to the unnamed.

Barbara Lounder
Diagram, 2022
Painted wall diagram

Camo, Scattering, Scores and Scores Responses, 2022
See Team folio

The “invisibility” in invisible forces is in relation to our perceptions and comprehension. I am learning, or relearning in new ways, the importance of language and the parameters of discourses. How difficult it can be even among artists who all speak the same language. An effective strategy has been to work with scores (as in Fluxus-type event scores) which has been very fluid and generative. We also brought our collective attention to “abstraction” in art, particle physics and more generally, addressing that in a round of exercises.  I appreciate the place of ambiguity in the discourses of art and particle physics. Analogy, metaphor and associative thinking have been crucial and a very rich part of the process: and surprisingly accessible from one disciplinary framework to another.

Jamie Hilder
Emergent Abstractions, 2022
Printed work on transparent sheet

Scores and Scores, 2022
Team folio

I have learned less about what invisible forces mean in a scientific context than I have about how odd the invisible forces embedded in cultural exchange / understanding / communication are. Fairly early in our group’s conversation we linked “invisible forces” to desire, and subsequently to various grammars and communicative structures. We moved pretty quickly towards a fascination with abstraction, and our meetings were heavily geared towards art. We were also eager to experiment, so moved into material practices (via scores) and diagrams (the effect of an early reference to art critic and scholar Rosalind Krauss’s diagram of sculpture in the expanded field).

Jess Brewer
Irreproducible Results, 2022
Lucite frame, paper

Iterations, 2022
Printed work on transparent sheet

Irreproducible Results, 2022
Team folio

I have learned that I am a puppet on the strings of invisible forces like Logical Fallacies and Confirmation Bias unless I pay close attention to my own reasoning.  Regarding collaboration and collaborative strategies, I’ve learned mainly to just listen! Regarding the process of communication with my team members, I often have a hard time keeping up, whereas they calmly absorb whatever they need and relax about the rest.  Wise!

Physicist: Sakshi Kakkar Artist/Scholar: Risa Horowitz Artist: RA Arti Struyanskiy (Research Assistant) Artist: RA Gwenyth Chao  (Research Assistant)

Risa Horowitz
Homage to Gwenyth Chao, 2022
Homage to Sakshi Kakkar, 2022
Homage to Arti Struyanskiy, 2022
Homage to Francisco-Fernando Granados, 2022
Homage to Ingrid Koenig, 2022
embroidered cotton floss on linen

Spheres of influence are made up of invisible forces. The knowledges shared by our scientist colleagues are esoteric and highly specialized – I felt little choice but to leverage analogy, metaphor, and associative thinking into my process of Leaning Out of Windows. This translated into my mining of team notes and the small visual sketches my collaborators made, translating and internalizing those through the slow and reflective action of embroidery. Those sketches ranged from very loosely drawn mind maps, made whimsically or in the moment, in personal languages only the note-taker might find useful, to highly structured and strategized drawings that express relationships and interactions through colour, shape, direction, etc. Our group found small nuggets of connection and appreciation with and for one another – and maybe this is exactly right, for the theme of invisible forces taken metaphorically and internalized individually, is an oddly gravitational pull and push of different minds coming into orbit around each other.

Gwenyth Chao
a star died for us to live ‘til dust, 2022
Dust particles of dead skin cells, bacteria, mites, dirt and debris; yupo paper; cardboard; linen; cotton embroidery floss

Conceptually, invisible forces are a rich metaphor to understand different relations in the world. I keep returning to how visuality is a dominant way to know in the West, yet invisible forces challenge us since we cannot see the forces. I’m fascinated with how invisible forces are sensed in the science world, such as through its after effects, and it makes me think of embodied ways of knowing. I’ve been physically collecting dust while learning about invisible forces, thinking about how dust blankets us in the home, the land and the galaxy. The scattering of dust allows us to see space phenomena; we are made from dust and we will become dust. For our team, collaboration and conversation were like threads; they could be woven into big picture tapestries or spun to create strong fibers. As such, our work each involved needlework or sewing in some form or another.

Arti Struyanskiy
Invisible forces, 2022
Monitors, projector, ubc e-waste, wires, gravity impact, ink, paper, speakers, sound

Д, 2022
Ц, 2022
Ю, 2022
Ё, 2022
Ink on paper

Invisible forces are indirectly observed forces which are yet to manifest through our perception; speculative forces; forces on the verge of transition from non-concept into an indirect concept which in turn can eventually be labeled as a concept. It is a conspiracy of non-existence against an observer. The fundamental forces (gravitational, electromagnetic, weak nuclear and strong nuclear) are already invisible. Yet we are talking about the invisibility amongst fundamental forces. Invisible forces perform a double invisibility. Collaboration is a commitment, a carefully trimmed swarm consciousness. Our team’s process was a playful exchange, an explorative open letter. We agreed to keep our system open-ended without a precise goal in mind – a free flowing exchange with a naturally occurring individualisation at a tipping point of our collaborative fluctuation.

Sakshi Kakkar
Meditation Workshop, 2022

Held March 5, 2022 at 1 pm.

Physicist: Ewan Hill Scholar: Andrew Martindale Artist: Otoniya J Okot Bitek Artist: Christine Howard Sandoval

Otoniya J Okot Bitek
Invisible to who?, 2022
Book, mixed media

“Invisible Forces” makes me think about visible forces – forces of power that direct our lives, especially those of us who are racialized, gendered beyond the binary, and differently abled. The ability  to turn our attention to “invisible forces” is a kind of privilege, or demands from us a moment or time to forget or turn away from those forces that we cannot deny. This means that “invisible forces” requires a sensing beyond the visible, even though the effects of those forces are always present. For a poet, for whom words are the tool and the practice, “invisible forces” draws my attention to the power of words and the legacies of colonialism, racism, ableism, sexism and other discriminations. What is my role as a poet when I use the same words and language as those of the power brokers? “Invisible forces” is a container as well as a threat. They contain so many possibilities, and at the same time, remind of what we cannot see but must remain aware of.



Christine Howard Sandoval
Untitled, 2022

Invisible forces are tied to every aspect of our existence. The concept of visibility is a construct created by humans and dominant language. Perceptibility is something we became collectively very interested in.  We all have our biases, which operate as individual forces, regarding what a field of study or knowledge is. From our very long team discussion of the topic of invisible forces, which felt open enough to be far reaching in our ideas, it seems that we are all really grappling with the same issues that feel emblematic of our current political and societal moment. Each discourse, or field of thinking (writing/ poetry, art, anthropology, and physics), is experiencing a deep process of unlearning what has been handed down. We all recognized a need to reach outside of our fields of knowledge and practice in order to do this work within our fields.

Physicist: Sarah Dunsiger Scholar: PJ Rayner Artist: Mark Johnsen Artist: Woojae Kim

Mark Johnsen
Asking for Directions, 2022
Monotype collage

Tension, 2022
Friction, 2022
Traction, 2022
Monotype, Lithograph, and cut out

Giving Directions I, 2022
Giving Directions II, 2022
Monotype, Lithograph and cut out

I have learned to build an appreciation for everyday or common place forces such as magnetism and surface tension. Though a lot of the concepts are abstract and hard to grasp, reappropriating and translating some of those directional patterns into my printed work has inspired me to dig deeper into how I develop imagery. And playing with what is not visible but what can be made visible through various modes of looking or activation has been powerful. While learning about magnet field array, I was able to expand these diagrams more broadly into ideas of attraction, bonds, and opposing forces. Our physicist’s contributions encouraged playful explorations with different simulator patterns of magnet array from the Wolfram player. And a studio visit with an artist on my team propelled me to conceptualize ways to make my work that are more tactile and interactive.

Woojae Kim
Untitled, 2022
Jars of must (honey fermenting with wild yeast), yeast samples, speakers, Banana oil, Banana candies

I am inspired by the fact that at the most foundational level, we are all made of undulating fields. We are intrinsically connected. My entry into invisible force was through Karen Barad’s essay “On Touching: The Inhuman that Therefore I Am”. I have been thinking about quantum field theory and how it has expanded my perspective on topics of relationship (intra-action in Karen Barad’s term).  I have learned that it is not crucial to find commonalities in each individual’s toolkit. It is more important to find a common goal to work toward. In a collaborative relationship, differences can become diversity.

Sarah Dunsiger

In the current climate, the idea of connectedness through different quantum fields is oddly reassuring. Interacting with people outside physics and seeing it through their eyes (or trying to), has reminded me of its wonder. My strongest impression is that effective collaboration needs a shared language, including the non-verbal and a relationship with the other people involved. I found I could more quickly find common ground with people who expressed themselves through visual forms, since that is a more familiar scenario for me.  It was a new and refreshing experience to be asked to consider communication through scent, taste or the other senses.

Physicist: David McKeen Scholar: Ernesto Pena Artist: Brenda Crabtree Artist: Hyung-Min Yoon Artist: Sidi Chen (Research Assistant)

Brenda Crabtree
Matter of Fact, 2022
Acrylic paint, acrylic ink, beadwork, text, tanned beaver tail, tanned salmon skin, linen canvas

Uncharted Conversations, 2022
Ink on raw canvas

I am fascinated that dark matter is invisible and makes up approximately 85% of matter in our universe. The hypothetical understanding of dark matter remains a puzzle to me in the way science explores the implied presence of dark matter. It is compelling and captivating to think about undiscovered particles and the ongoing research of dark matter. The communication that our team shared of a group of very different artists, scientists and scholars created a common lexicon that not only facilitated increased awareness of cross cultural meaning but also became a vehicle for shared insights and understanding of both visible and invisible forces. Our team has been intrigued with the scientific language and formulas including how matter, visible and invisible forces are part of our existence.  Mostly I am grateful to have a better understanding  of the “unknown” forces that became an accepted reality through formulas, equations and language.

Hyung-Min Yoon
Plywood, plexiglass, LED

Uncharted Conversations, 2022
Ink on raw canvas

Collaboration is never an easy process. It’s more productive to avoid wondering whether it will succeed, and just focus on listening to each other. The various backgrounds and experiences of our team made the process interesting. What’s clear is that we all share a drive to communicate beyond our disciplinary customs. In particular, we found ourselves invested in language and signs, such as the word “matter” and the concept “hyperobject”. One of the most intriguing things has been to learn about the non-conservation of parity in the weak force and the suggestion that our universe ‘violates’ parity was particularly mind-opening. It invokes a sense of emergence, and recontextualizes my work with reflections.


Ernesto Peña
Invisualizations, 2022

Uncharted Conversations, 2022
Ink on raw canvas

Our team’s interactions often led to speculation. This was very positive because speculative thinking is in itself a wonderful and naturally collaborative tool for problem-solving. We leaned heavily on metaphors and analogies which were fundamental to bridge not just potential gaps of knowledge in terms of the scientific convention but also the way those conventions are explained. We also leveraged our own experiences and worldviews. A good part of my thinking process consists in translating not just language but cultural conventions and ideas. More than disciplinary languages, we opened ourselves to human experience and listened to our own individual perspectives with an open heart and mind. Having our meetings at the Aboriginal Gathering Place at Emily Carr played a huge role in us connecting as individuals, as opposed to scholars.

Sidi Chen (with Anthony Minichilli) 
With/Holding, 2022
Contact sound composition with video and audio

Uncharted Conversations, 2022
Ink on raw canvas

Coming from diverse backgrounds and practices, I found that sharing our team members’ respective interpretations, confusions, and curiosities became the bridge that connected us with each other. We met at the Aboriginal Gathering Place and had long, intriguing conversations which played a strategic role in our creative process. Many physics theories offer analogies to the creative process and it was wonderful to see alignment between science findings and traditional knowledge across cultures. In fact, our different disciplines seemed to share a common strategy of inquiry that bypassed language and knowledge barriers. The interdisciplinary approach connected deeply with my artistic practice and the opportunity to embody this in a research process was a remarkable experience and gift.


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Physicist: Nirmal Raj Artist: Haley Bassett Artist: Ranu Mukherjee Artist: Kyla Gilbert (Research Assistant)

Haley Bassett
tumble in the semi-dark, 2022
UV inkjet print on cotton and silk, fabric paint, text, seed beads and thread

Invisible forces are in many ways more tangible, varied and consequential than one might expect.  Instead of staying “on topic” in the realm of science, our team discussions were quite agile and free-flowing as connections were made between seemingly disparate topics. We spoke largely in analogy and metaphor. We spoke about art as a side door to discovery. Each disciplinary language acts as a lens through which we perceive the world. It made me realize how bringing in other perspectives is a balm to dogmatic thinking. And working with others has helped me to separate my own ego from the work and let the work develop more organically.


Ranu Mukherjee
tumble in the semi-dark, 2022
UV inkjet print on cotton and silk, fabric paint, text, seed beads and thread

Invisible forces are illuminated by their impacts on the visible. It is exciting to consider this aspect of the natural world because it is so related to the way I think about making images. I found the conversations to be liberating in the sense of being immersed in thinking on an epic scale. Our conversations about invisible forces moving in time have been very important— and the ideas about how dark matter impacts the things around it, how evidence of it is found much later in fossils in the earth. The concept that we are living in a rare moment of illumination if we look at the time frame of the universe, has been a fascinating idea which also has emotional impact -in the sense that it is easy to think of this as a dark time- but really, we are in a time of light. It is good to remember that.

Kyla Gilbert
Holding, 2022
Rubber tubing and foam

Holding, 2022
Rock, plaster, steel rod, spray paint, mortar

tumble in the semi-dark, 2022
UV inkjet print on cotton and silk, fabric paint, text, seed beads and thread

At the “beginning” of the universe, there was so much light that it was impossible for anything to be differentiated visually, and that over time, we have been losing light and moving towards darkness. The discussions with my team have reinforced the idea that we are acted on and acting on our surroundings in ways that we can’t comprehend. What I took from our discussions was mostly a sense of grounded stillness, of being in space and time with a group of people in different spaces and allowing a sense of soft wonder to pervade our conversations. We have been working materially with fabric and text, thinking about the idea of being bound and the space between objects. It was great to have a space for “big thoughts” about the universe and time which could also be grounded in some kind of science, but also in our felt experience as makers.                                                                         

Nirmal Raj
tumble in the semi-dark, 2022
UV inkjet print on cotton and silk, fabric paint, text, seed beads and thread

tumble in the semi-dark: handout, 2022

Invisible forces are the binding glue of sociology and history, and not just a phenomenon ubiquitous in physics. As a scientist I tend more toward communicating knowledge engagingly and accurately, but my teammates were drawn toward some concepts and phenomena more than others. Each had their personal parallelism or interpretation of these, which made for an exciting pool of ideas that shaped our project. We were open about our ignorances right from the start, subtly resulting in each of us modifying our specialized language in order to reach out. Analogy and metaphor, at the heart of physics work, naturally emerged from the team’s constant — and mostly unconscious — use of them in our communication. An example of metaphor in our finished product is the reflection of cosmological epochs, depicted in my writing and in the fabric layers connected with beads.  Diversity of perspectives was key to our collaboration: everyone brought something unique, personal, and essential to the project.

Physicist: Carla Babcock Artist: Jay White Artist: Scotty Alveberg (Research Assistant) Artist: Claudia Fernandez (Research Assistant)

Jay White
Archive of the Friends of TOI -1338 Society (Selected Extracts)
Drawings, objects, photographs, mixed media, painting, video

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry #2459538
Image Reduction Processes 2 – Ancestral Space-Time Compression
Digital video of digitized photo of great-grandfather’s eye

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry ##2459512
Archived Notes from FOTOI1338S Formal Gathering #2459527

Aware of invisible forces from a theoretical side, I have been learning more about the materials, equipment and processes used to measure and validate the existence of theoretical phenomena. As a way of connecting our research, we developed a ‘research ritual’ that we would individually undertake every 2 weeks at a specific time. The meetings became a place to report back on our shared findings. So the work always felt collaborative, because of this foundational commonality in the way we were thinking about invisible forces.

Scotty Alveberg
Archive of the Friends of TOI -1338 Society (Selected Extracts)
Drawings, objects, photographs, mixed media, painting, video:

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry # 2459491 and #2459512
Mow Lines Like Waveforms
Graphite on Paper

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry #2459491 and #2459512
Who’s Higgs?
Quark or Anti-quark?
Coloured Pencil on Paper

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry #2459491 and #2459512
Let it Cool
Graphite on Paper

What is seemingly invisible connects us more than what is visible. Through a kind of psychic tethering with a binary star named TOI-1338, our team was able to share experiences with each other and this star. Our “Ritual Research Inquiries” became a strategy to hold one another, a kind of invisible force linking us across time and space through love, friendship, kinship, and the unknown. The diversity of disciplinary languages never seemed to inhibit the process of our collective research. Indigenous land practice met theoretical astrophysics, sound engineering met contemporary painting practice, and throughout the experience of this research project each discipline seemed to observe and react to the other.  What resulted is much more than tangible objects, or written research;  it was more experiential and intangible. Our collaboration was as much about what was shared as what was made.

Claudia Fernandez
Archive of the Friends of TOI -1338 Society (Selected Extracts)
Drawings, objects, photographs, mixed media, painting, video

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry #2459527
Gatekeeper I
Acrylic on Fabric

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry #2459527
Gatekeeper II
Acrylic on Fabric

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry #2459527
Test Stand Being Goofy/Trashy Travelers
Ink on paper

There are many unseen things that go on in our lives ranging from our microbiome to classified files and mystical beliefs. To test the power of invisible forces my team decided to hold telepathic meetings on certain days which aligned to the orbital movement of a binary star called TOI 1338. There was a great element of surprise discovering alternative ways in which to communicate and combine our creativity while learning about our different approaches to art making. This piece is inspired by Carl Sagan’s story “The Dragon in My Garage” in his book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. In this famous story, notable for its absurdity, Sagan writes about ways to convince a skeptic of the existence of an invisible dragon that lives in a garage.

Carla Babcock
Archive of the Friends of TOI -1338 Society (Selected Extracts)
Drawings, objects, mixed media, painting, photography, video:

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry #2459512
Top down approach to gravitational formations
Melted Crayons, Log

FOTOI1338S Ritual Research Inquiry #2459491
Crayola on invisible forces
Crayon on paper

Invisible forces are tricky to pin down. The idea of an invisible force that connects us, and maybe connects everything in existence, has been central for our team. We tried several different ways to tap into this invisible force. And we touched frequently on the potential for indirect communication through some unknown process, or through the process of having similar experiences at the same time but in different places. It is interesting to see how the conversation evolves when there is no set agenda. This way of collaborating leads to a lot of creative outcomes that result from one person’s interpretation of another’s ideas. It could be fun to try to collaborate in the same way for a scientific purpose; it is not often that we sit down to discuss something without a goal in mind.

Physicist: Andrea Capra Artist: Miruna Dragan Artist: Alan Poma Artist: Xinwei Che (Research Assistant)

Miruna Dragan
clay stealing clay: ghost particle pithos, 2022
Coloured pencil and graphite on hand-drawn grid paper

I am interested in the potentialities and limitations of translation, and how the words used in physics might relate to, or conflate, meaning-making. As reflected in its title, this work combines three mythologies and their challenging inferences: an anecdote concerning Lazarus (who, after he was resurrected, never laughed again, except when he saw a man stealing a clay pot and said: “ha! clay stealing clay.”); the elusive neutrinos and their exquisite observatories (a.k.a. ghost particles, captured by grids of photomultiplier tubes in gigantic underground water-filled chambers), and Pandora’s pithos (ancient clay alimentary storage vessels, also used ritually to hold bodies for burial). In the tangle of knowledge I gleaned in this process… on matter, light and optics, on cherenkov radiation detectors, on trilayer graphene and kinetic energy, on the slowness of drawing vs speed of computer imaging… is an interwoven awareness of tools as artifacts of human entanglement with material.

Alan Poma
To be or not to be invisible in the Central Andes, 2022
8 min video

Science seeks to make invisible forces visible, in order to study and use them. But there are invisible entities who want to remain invisible because that gives them freedom from a society of control. A concept that was significant for my process was that of Ayni, pre-Columbian reciprocal cooperation and Cyber Ayni, a concept applied to the development of reciprocities in the digital world for the generation of egalitarian and respectful of differences (racial, gender, etc) communities. From the Andean culture point of view, one invisible force could be translated as Camac (the vital halo), for them, all objects, architecture, as well as nature have their own Camac.  It is the function of the Andean artist (Camayoc) to propose a way to activate that Camac. That is, first to feel the invisible force, generate a dialogue with it and serve as a medium between the measurable and the non-measurable.                                                                                           

Xinwei Che
Time Wells, 2022
Traditional Chinese medicine, paper, beeswax, wood

Most of the universe consists of dark matter, visible only through its effects on other matter. As a team we wanted to create a space for this unknowing. We have to observe attentively because we do not yet know. Last year, I held time for forty hours in a performance by tending to beeswax candles. As the wicks were consumed by heat and beeswax pooled on paper, I applied layer upon layer of traditional Chinese medicine to record the shapes of time that had passed. Invisible forces are too small, too blurry, too fast or too weird for us to see. Still, I wanted to try, to glimpse the layers of time we inhabit, beyond the quick capitalist consumption of the hours. As my team and I met, I started to melt away the beeswax residue from my performance to reveal these time wells that had accumulated underneath.

Physicist: Patrick de Perio Artist: Kieran Muller Artist: Loretta Todd
 Artist: David McGregor (Research Assistant)

Kieran Muller
Invisible forces, 2022

Untitled (map legend for invisible forces), 2022
Drawings, notes, small photographs

Neutrinos are elusive, diverse, and mysterious. They are abundant throughout the universe, and speed right through us every day. They interact weakly with regular matter, so they are very difficult to detect. Most of the neutrinos that can be detected are high-energy neutrinos from the sun. The Super-Kamiokande Observatory is a giant tank full of ultrapure water that catches a glimpse of neutrinos by measuring their interaction with electrons: high energy neutrinos come shooting out of the sun and collide with the electrons in the tank which creates Cherenkov radiation. The neutrino may be “invisible” but its effects are not. My creative process here involved a loose structure of making photographs every day while listening to and reading information related to invisible forces. And I found myself wandering up the same mountain or photographing things in ways similar to neutrino detection, through interaction or effects.

Loretta Todd
My Book of Ghosts, 2022
Image and text iteration

I am driven by thoughts about how physics exists in the unseen, the invisible. This, in many ways, has parallels with Indigenous ways of being. I am also conjected to the fact that neutrinos are called ghost particles. This iteration is the beginning of a treatment for a script about the loneliness of a physicist or the mind of a physicist or living with ghosts…

David McGregor
Branches – Feb 12, 2022
Photographs (rabbit-chewed poplar branches, poplar bark, and ice)

The broad concepts of the physics discussed in our group are echoed in so many everyday processes. And the concept of invisible forces in particular are present in any experience of time and space which give shape to abstract concepts and themes. The poetic processes behind the Super K detector have been especially important in our team discussions: the deep searching, and the high level of precision with which it is carried out is arresting and perhaps haunting. In my own work, I started using branches that had the bark chewed off of them by wild rabbits as part of a sculptural project. The rabbits became a metaphor for the physicists choosing different paths to “chew.” I bundled groups of these branches and placed them on rare ice formations in the forest. Conditions can be perfect for revelation – one of the beliefs supporting the search for dark matter.