Next week, Friday 10th February is the opening of the Bouygues UK e-Luminate Cambridge Festival 2017. The Festival runs until the 15th, and features a wide variety of artworks, projections and related events. It is particularly exciting for the Ordered Universe project: one of the featured projects is part of the continued collaboration between the project and Ross Ashton and Karen Monid of the Projection Studio. Forming part of the Project Cosmos the new projection is entitled Spiritus – Light and Darkness, and well feature on the facades of Senate House and the Old School in Cambridge for the duration of the Festival.
Taking inspiration from Isaiah 45:7 “…I form the light, and create darkness…”, Ross and Karen have based the show around Grosseteste’s astronomical, cosmological and optical treatises. The new projection compares and contrast the works on Cosmology and Light by Grosseteste with the most up to date interpretations of the Universe and its formation. Ordered Universe work on the De sphera – On the Sphere, De sex differentiis – On the Six Differences, De luce – On Light provide the foundation for the exploration, with a captivating array of medieval images, from Hildegard of Bingen, to scientific diagrams, and angel carvings and statues form the Berlin Nikolaikirche. Alongside these the projection features three-dimensional ‘maps’ of real and dark matter which attempt to explain how dark matter must be distributed to create the universe that we see. These ‘maps’ have been produced in collaboration with the Institute of Computational Cosmology at Durham University.
Spiritus – Light and Darkness brings together, then, the latest research from Ordered Universe, on Grosseteste’s astronomical works. Ross and Karen were able to attend our last symposium, in September 2016, to share with us, and and their own insights on, and interaction with, the text. Together with the dark matter modelling at the ICC, led by Richard Bower, these very different projects have opened up fascinating areas of similarity, and artistic development. From World Machine at the Durham Lumiere Festival in 2015, our engagement with Ross and Karen has provoked challenging thoughts about scientific investigations in the past and the present day. How these ideas are expressed, harnessed and their significance explored and presented, is an important element in modern discourse on science and its place in culture. To see the strangeness of the phenomena discussed, to experience the cascade of imagery and sound, is, we hope, to invoke wonder and curiosity.
(Image used: from https://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/e-luminate/2017-theme)