March 13, 2011

Artist Connie Anthes and physicist Julian Berengut have teamed up to create science-fictional landscapes and futuristic effects, using light alone. The examples staged for ‘Collisions’ are Tantalum (East wall) and Plato’s Dream #1 (South wall).

The genre of science fiction is widely attributed to humble beginnings in the 18th Century with two stories by French philosopher/satirist Voltaire: Micromégas which describes an alien visit to Earth and Plato’s Dream, which describes godlike superbeings imagining perfect worlds and then creating imperfect ones.


The basic premise of modern science fiction is about imagining possible histories and impossible futures; putting humanity in an experimental box with a scientific idea and simply describing the results.

Science Fictions 2011 is the artists’ experimental box. Using only LEDs and basic lab equipment (lenses, retort stands, clamps), a reductive image-making framework has enabled the artist/scientist collaboration to produce vivid effects. During the day, Connie and Julian would ‘play’ inside the black box, documenting the results of these light experiments. At night, they would work together to recreate some of the more magical effects of this play. Critically, the ‘image’ was reduced to its simplest scientific idea (pure light) and the ‘scientific impulse’ was reduced to pure image. The final work evokes a now-familiar form of science-meets-art: science fiction.


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