Monday, July 31, 2006

Cauleen Smith's Dark Matter @ The Bungalow Project in San Antonio

At left is a still from artist Cauleen Smith's new project Dark Matter, which was showing as a part of The Bungalow Project in San Antonio, organized by Anjali Gupta and Robert Tatum, until today when the show closed.

Review and Interview
Below is an excerpt from a review of the installation exhibit project by Ursula Davila-Villa in ...might be good, a project of Fluent~Collaborative. If you keep reading on the publication site you'll see the interview Smith conducted for her research on dark matter with Dr. Frank Bash, the Frank N. Edmonds Regents Professor of Astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin’s Astronomy Department:

"Since my first visit to San Antonio, the city has struck me as somehow stopped in time. The landscape is full of empty lots, abandoned structures and magnificent historical buildings. San Antonio appears to be a place waiting for interesting art projects that embrace the city’s character, architecture and spirit. “The Bungalow Project,” organized by Contemporary Art Month San Antonio’s Anjali Gupta and Robert Tatum, is a good example on how a site can serve as catalyst for the production of interesting and stimulating artwork. The project is based at the Johnson Courts/Motel 3, a complex of small recently renovated bungalows that all face a green courtyard. Eight independent galleries from around the country were invited to present a project at each bungalow. A variety of responses were offered, many in relation to the context of the site.

"Among the various interventions, the work of three artists from Austin stood out for embracing the context of the motel in different and stimulating ways. Cauleen Smith’s project Dark Matter (presented by testsite [*]) was an engaging multimedia installation that felt like it was set in a different place in time. The installation included a TV-set which played a short video, another film projected onto one of the walls, a staged bedroom (including some objects that appeared in the short film), and an olfactory component—the sweet scent of Ivory soap—that took over the whole room. Working together, these elements created an artificial environment in a real place; one that drew attention to an imagined past or future life of the motel in which it was situated."

Excerpt from Cauleen Smith's interview with Dr. Frank Bash:

CS: So, this dark energy is "pushing" in on galaxies? Is it pushing in on our galaxy? Is this why, after the big bang, we haven't just expended into nothingness? Is this stuff like a glue that keeps things in space together and coherent?

Dr.B: The dark energy is pushing on us and on all galaxies except that it appears that the effect is appreciable only over large distances. For example, we can measure no effect of the dark energy in our solar system. The dark energy is the anti-glue and some theories suggest that tens of billions of years in the future the universe will expand explosively.

CS: Wow. For the time being, I’m glad that’s just a theory. If we can't see this stuff, how do we know it's there?

Dr.B: The evidence that Dark Energy and Dark Matter are there is that, although we can't see them directly, we can see the influence of each of them on [the] things we can see. There has been all kinds of suggestions for Dark Matter—dead stars, neutrinos, black holes etc.—and we know that each of these are present- but not in sufficient quantities to explain what we see.

Check it out!

[*] testsite is a project of Fluent~Collaborative
502 West 33rd. St.
Austin, Texas


At 2:12 PM, Blogger John K said...

This is utterly fascinating, Audiologo. Thanks for posting the excerpt and bringing her to our attention.

At 6:58 AM, Blogger kelly gabron said...

Hi. Thanks for the coverage on your blog. Just wanted to add an addendum that will no doubt show up in a future film. Check out the July issue of Discover magazine, the one with Einstein on the cover. Apparently there's an Isreali scientist who has tweaked Newton's gravity equation in such a way that basically makes the Dark Matter theory look clumsy and childlike. Dr. bash actually hints at this hen he says that the effects of Dark Matter on the universe are appeciable over distance. That Newton's gravity experiments explain perfectly how gravity behaves here but cannot anticipate the effect of gravity way "out there". I'm over simplifying this, but it's deep. I mean gravity is the one thing we think we understand very well. Gravity dictates out entire understanding of life, death, and our movemen from one to the other. If gravity is understood differently in other parts of the universe, then no wonder, our little blue marble seems so alone! Thinking about doing podcasts about this stuff. I'll keep you posted.

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