Tandem Stream

3 streams, Two 6 week production periods

The Tandem Stream takes up group work and iteration. There are four separate relays each comprised of two artists all of whom attend the Science Seminar. The first artist in the pairing has 6 weeks to work on their response. They then transfer their work to the second artist. This second artist has 6 weeks to produce their response to the first artist’s work. Each artist pairing can communicate with each other and discuss the science topic, their general thoughts and creative process. Between April 21 – May 12 the two artists and two scientists in this stream come together for a face to face conversation where they collectively discuss the science topic, the artistic process and works in progress. The two physicists then have the opportunity to re-phrase the original science topic whether in the form of a conversation, a story, a drawing, etc. The artists then have another 6 weeks for a second iteration of their artistic response and continue to communicate with each other.

Stream 1







Genevieve Robertson in collaboration with Ron Luther
Schematics for (Anti-)Understanding, 2017
Six pencil and pen on collaged tracing paper drawings and transparency, 22.5 x 30 inches

Working with her physicists to understand Antimatter, Robertson brought specific questions into the dialogue. How would Antimatter behave in regards to time? What would the border between an Antimatter region and a matter region look like? Would Antimatter look different to the human eye? She then asked her partner scientists to draw their answers, and eventually they decided to steer away from using numbers and equations, relying only on visual representations. The resulting layered images are a combination of both the artists’ and scientists’ drawings. Metaphor was used as a way of creating humour and bonding in the artist/scientist relationship and became yet another tool toward making the intangible tangible. “The felt understanding that to collaborate – and simply communicate – across widely different disciplines requires mutual respect, openness to difference and a real effort to understand the goals, or questions, of the other person.”

SCIENTISTS Alex Wijangco / Research Area: Theoretical Physics
Edward Thoeng / Research Area: SRF Cavities

Interaction Log






Works by Tandem artists Jeff Derksen (left) and Genevieve Robertson (right)














Jeff Derksen
From One to Another, 2017
Print Vinyl, 60 x 60 inches

In the scientific discourse of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, the intersection of key terms around matter and Antimatter is striking. Marx’s famous dictum that “capitalism annihilates space by time” is echoed in the process of annihilation in the matter-antimatter symmetry problem. With this opening generated by this intersection of concepts, Derksen noticed what seemed to be a dialectical movement at the heart of matter-antimatter processes. “For my contribution to Leaning Out of Windows, I have tried to combine the scientific aspect of dialectical thinking with the poetic aspect of matter-antimatter thought and experimentation. To do this, I have taken the diagrammatic rendering of Carl Anderson’s experiment which resulted in his 1932 paper, “Apparent Existence of Easily Deflectable Positives” as a model for dialectical thought. Anderson’s discovery echoes uncannily with a phrase from Adorno, ‘the sensuousness of unswerving negation’.” In their relationship of negation and change, Anderson and Adorno reflect the dialectical thought at the heart of Marxism and matter-antimatter thought.

SCIENTISTS Alex Wijangco / Research Area: Theoretical Physics
Edward Thoeng / Research Area: SRF Cavities

From Two to Another







Stream 2


Etienne Zack Frequency, 2017 Collage and acrylic on water colour paper, 22 x 30 inches This collage was made of images from science books published between 1950 and 1980 on the subjects of astronomy, physics and geology. Zack found that cutting and gluing the material made their history and social context both more accessible and poetic. Simultaneously he learned that new data generated by physicists sometimes in the form of images could transform how physics concepts of the universe are understood – a telescope image carries weight and stature that can disrupt existing concepts, theories and understandings. “Opening up my projects to astronomy, physics, geology and the social sciences loosened and re-tangled a web of ideas and an ecosystem more conducive to making art, a work that looked at ways of perceiving the world around us, all on the same surface.” SCIENTISTS Jēkabs Romans / Research Area: Ion Guide-Lazer Ion Source Torben Ferber / Research Area: Belle II      

Works by Tandem artists Etienne Zack (left) and Vanessa Kwan (right)

Vanessa Kwan Lesser Universe (Bullet Cluster), 2017 100 matches, vellum, 36 x 100 inches Kwan was intrigued with how her physicists were quick to adapt to artistic ways of looking at things in any given moment. Often, the way that physicists work can challenge us intellectually to resist the way dominant forms of culture-making builds knowledge and structures of legitimacy and legibility. In response to the concept of Antimatter she became interested in the idea of ‘recording annihilations’ rather than accessing the thing itself and that knowledge is built on the confirmation of absence. “I was most taken with the idea that many researchers spend huge parts of their professional lives chasing staggeringly rare phenomena – i.e.: one particle in however many billion displayed a certain characteristic that was evidence of the existence of a certain particle or phenomenon, and they might spend years or decades looking for definitive proof.” SCIENTISTS Jēkabs Romans / Research Area: Ion Guide-Lazer Ion Source Torben Ferber / Research Area: Belle II

Stream 3

Diana Hanitzsch Status, 2017 Steel and Fabric, 18 x 18 x 18 inches Intuitive ways of working and the creative process were immediately evident in Hanitzsch’s conversations with her physicists. Learning about the ALPHA experiment with its focus on Antimatter afforded the opportunity to work on the physics concept through a bodily engagement with materials and the artistic process. Encouraged to learn that the ALPHA experiment can be understood in relation to the process of fertilization, Hanitzsch adapted this metaphor to make associations between the body and sculptural form. The magnetic chamber used to “hold” Antimatter was likened to an egg attaching to the walls of the uterus. Specific terms that were important to her process included annihilation, space, Antimatter, decay as well as more general language employed by physicists such as beauty and symmetry. “This project has provided some fascinating insights on how conversation and collaboration can happen between representatives from two completely different fields.” SCIENTISTS Brad Barquest / Research Area: CANREB / TITAN Nathan Evetts / Research Area: ALPHA



Olivia de Fleuriot Untitled (umbilical cord), 2017 Cheesecloth, LED rope lights, thread, and textile stiffening medium, dimensions variable Working in her TANDEM group de Fleuriot developed an interest in the ALPHA machine experiment where matter and Antimatter collide producing energy/light. Conversations about this phenomenon then informed the possibilities of relating Antimatter to the body. As she was pregnant during her production phase, de Fleuriot connected to metaphors of the human reproductive process as well as how energy is produced by matter and Antimatter collisions. In her book Meeting the Universe Halfway, Karen Barad introduces the concept of intra-action and the fluidity of materialization through our bodily entanglements – through intra-action our bodies remain entangled with those around us. A key component in this process was learning to keep the ideas broad and let experimentation take the lead. “It was a fruitful experience thinking about science in a creative way and I appreciated the bridge between disciplines.” SCIENTISTS Brad Barquest / Research Area: CANREB / TITAN Nathan Evetts / Research Area: ALPHA Interaction Log