i n d i v i s i b l e
June 5 - August 14, 2022
Bookings are no longer required
Masks are required inside the gallery
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.  (Rachel Carson)
The full complexity of the universe is invisible to human perception, filled with nearly undetectable matter that follows astonishing rules and patterns. Questioning these invisible or hidden dimensions has long been the pursuit and occupation of all cultures, the sciences and the humanities. The artists in this exhibition use science + technology, to show us four invisible landscapes.
Ancient cosmology was rooted in our meticulous observation of natural patterns. Hundreds of thousands of years in the making, the most sensitive, sophisticated, and flexible instrument of observation may still be us; our frail bodies and creative minds. Science and technology allow us to extend our crude biologies; creating prosthetics and strategies that help us reach beyond human perception... into the dark reaches of space and through time. To this end we have developed x-rays and radio waves, devised ways to capture invisible cosmic particles and discovered theories of dark energy and dark matter.
Through extraordinary installations, the five award-winning, international artists in this exhibition imagine, capture and reveal something embodied and captivating…recalling the indivisible nature of our invisible and visible world, and the potential of creative minds to suggest new ways of seeing.
Installation with Projection: aluminium profile, custom electronics, muscle wires, line laser module, flux-gate magnetometer
Mirage is a projection apparatus that makes uses of principles from optics and artificial neural network research. Mirage generates a synthesised landscape based on its perception through a fluxgate magnetometer (Förster Sonde). It registers the magnetic field of the earth, which is dependent on the earth geodynamo and its interactions with the activity of the sun, and feeds it into a unsupervised learning algorithm for analyzation. At the same time the algorithm, that is inspired by the principle of a Helmholz Machine, “dreams” variations of the previously analyzed signal. These variations are translated into a two dimensional matrix that physically transforms a thin mirror sheet by 48 muscle wire actors. The surface of the mirror sheet changes analog to the systems state. A thin laser line is directed on the mirror surface in a acute angle to generate a depth landscape like projection on the wall. Through the constant shifting signals the projection resembles a subliminal wandering through a landscape. In 2013 Geoff Hinton, one of the leading researchers in the area of artificial neural networks and deep learning, joined Google to support them on various products that use AI and learning algorithms. He introduced back-propagation algorithms for training multi-layerd neural networks. One of his contributions to the field of unsupervised learning algorithms is the so called “Helmholtz Machine”, a machine that uses the principle of a wake-sleep-algorithm to consolidate its neural network. The alogrithm is trained during the wake phase by its sensory input. In the sleep-phase it cuts-off its sensory input and feeds the network backwards with random patterns. On its input layer (retina) it generates versions of is previously perceived images of the world.
Working at the intersection of art, science and technology, through installation, autonomous machines and performances, Baecker explores the underlying mechanisms of new media and technology. His objects perform physical realizations of thought experiments that act as subjective epistemological objects to pose fundamental questions about the digital, technology and complex systems and their entanglements with the socio-political sphere. His projects seek to provoke new imaginaries of the machinic, the artificial and the real. A radical form of engineering that bridges traditionally discreet machine thinking with alternative technological perspectives and a new material understanding that makes use of self-organizing principles. Baecker has been awarded multiple prizes and grants for his artistic work, including the grand prize of the Japan Media Art Festival in 2017, an honorary mention at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2012 and 2014, the second prize at the VIDA 14.0 Art & Artificial Life Award in Madrid, a working grant of the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, the Stiftung Niedersachsen work stipend for Media Art 2010 and the stipend of the Graduate School for the Arts from the University of the Arts in Berlin and the Einstein Foundation. His work has been presented in international festivals and exhibitions, such as the International Triennial of New Media Art 2014 in Beijing, Künstlerhaus Wien, ZKM | Center for Art and New Media in Karlsruhe, Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, WINZAVOD Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Laboral Centro de Arte in Gijón, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), NTT InterCommunication Center in Tokyo, Kasseler Kunstverein and Malmö Konsthall. Since 2016 he has been teaching at the University of the Arts Bremen as Professor for Experimental Design of New Technologies in the Digital Media program.
Produced with support of LEAP Gallery, Berlin
Gelger Müller tubes, glass, aluminium, micro controller
Commissioned as part of an Arts at CERN residency and consists of geiger muller tubes, glass, aluminium and micro-controllers. It is a glittering cosmic ray or particle detector. Muons are cosmic particles similar to electrons but with 200 times the mass. They are created when cosmic rays slam into atoms in the earth’s atmosphere. Travelling at close to the speed of light, they shower the earth from all angles. Of all the particles that exist around us, muons are the only ones from space that make it to earth. When the invisible muon particles collide with the two Argosian heads, lights flash and signals are transmitted, allowing us to perceive elements of an invisible landscape. https://yunchulkim.net/
Yunchul Kim is an artist, an electroacoustic music composer, and the founder of Studio Locus Solus in Seoul. His works have been shown internationally including: FACT, Liverpool; ZKM, Germany; Ars Electronica, Austria; International Triennial of New media art, China; VIDA15.0, Spain; Transmediale, Germany; ISEA, Germany; and New York Digital Salon, amongst others. Kim was the winner of the Collide International Award 2016, CERN, and was awarded the third prize at VIDA 15.0, Vida Foundation in 2013. He has received grants from renowned institutions and organizations such as Ernst Schering Foundation, Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art. Having taught in several academic institutions, Kim was chief researcher of the research group Mattereality at the Transdisciplinary Research Program at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study. He is a member of the art and science project group Fluid Skies as well as Liquid Things, an artistic research project at the Art and Science Department of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria. He represents Korea at the 2022 Venice Biennale in an exhibition entitled Gyre. Recent works are focused on the artistic potential of fluid mechanics, metamaterials (photonic crystal), and the context of magnetohydrodynamics.
Produced through Collide, an Arts at CERN International Artist Residency.
HD single channel installation / silent / 16:34
* Antihydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEgIS)
Through the AEgIS* is a space-time-lapse which explores how we make sense of nature through the language of science. Captured by the AEgIS experiment at CERN, which looks at how antimatter responds to gravity, you see pions, protons and nuclear fragments flying out from ‘annihilation sites’; these particles ionize a photographic plate which when developed reveals their trajectories as varying sized tracks. Using a special microscope with a very shallow depth of field, the photographic image is re-captured in several stages; by shifting the focal plane in 2 micron steps, and by scanning across each layer in 1000’s of sections, this reveals a depth to the emulsion of forty layers and details that would otherwise remain unseen to the naked eye. Working with around 100,000 scans, Semiconductor have re-constructed the photographic image to produce an animation which re-introduces time back into the data, revealing the rhythms and artefacts of the capturing process. It gradually zooms out from one scan, whilst moving through the layers, to reveal all of the data.
Semiconductor is UK artist duo Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. Recipients of numerous awards internationally, including the Collide at CERN they were awarded an Arts at Cern residency in 2015. Over twenty years this artistic collaboration have created a body of work which explores the material nature of our world and how we experience it through the lenses of science and technology. They blend experimental moving image techniques, scientific research and digital technologies. By examining the techniques and processes that each discipline employs to understand the physical matter of the world, Semiconductor reveal the flaws and ruptures within scientific data, exposing the human signature which is ascribed within scientific findings and emphasizes the presence of the observer. Through making visible the tools and materials used by scientists Semiconductor observes the work of the observers, drawing attention to the ways in which science mediates our experiences of nature. Their works often evolve from intensive periods of research spent in science laboratories, including CERN, Geneva (2015); NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California (2005); Mineral Sciences Laboratory, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (2010); and the Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos (2010). Semiconductor have exhibited their work internationally including The 14th Media Art Biennale Santiago, National Center of Contemporary Arts, (CNAC), Santiago, CCCB, Barcelona, Art Basel, Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, 21st Biennale of Sydney, Australia, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, ArtScience Museum, Singapore, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, FACT, Liverpool, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington. Centre Pompidou, Paris, Sorigué Foundation, Spain; Audemars Piguet, Switzerland
Produced through Collide, an Arts at CERN International Artist Residency. Special thanks to Dr. Michael Doser, research physicist at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva. https://semiconductorfilms.com/
Hertzian Landscapes is a live visualization of the radio spectrum. Unlike visible light, waves in the radio spectrum cannot be perceived by us directly yet this space is teeming with human activity. Hertzian Landscapes employs a digital receiver to scan large swaths of radio spectrum in near real-time and visualizes thousands of signals into a panoramic electromagnetic landscape. Users can zoom in to specific frequencies by positioning themselves in front of the panorama as if controlling a radio tuner with their body, giving them a sense of walking through the spectrum. From radio broadcasts to weather satellites and from medical implants to aeronautical navigation, the radio spectrum is divided into hundreds of designated slices each tied to a specific application. Based on a localized frequency database that describes these slices, signals are annotated to provide information about their theoretical type and application.
Hertzian Landscapes is supported by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the Netherlands Creative Industries Fund.
Richard Vijgen (1982) is an artist and designer whose work focuses on artistic data visualization. He creates multi-sensorial data experiences that visualize the invisible technological dimensions of reality. His work provides poetical interpretations of data and proposes a dialog between the human perspective and the disembodied world of digital networks, algorithms and wireless communication. Founded in 2009, Studio Richard Vijgen has been evolving into an experimental practice that explores new technologies, interactions and esthetics to visualize the invisible. Richard Vijgen’s work has been exhibited in and collected by museums and art institutions across the world including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Barbican Gallery, ZKM, Ars Electronica, Vitra Design Museum and Manifesta 12. Through his work, Richard Vijgen has collaborated with filmmakers, artists, scientists, academic and commercial organizations to visualize and explore datasets on many topics. Richard Vijgen has lectured at the department of Art Design and Technology at ArtEZ school of Art and Design from 2007 to 2019 and frequently serves as a guest lecturer at art schools and universities across Europe and North America. He has received a number of awards and prizes including the Dutch Design Awards, Prix Ars Electronica, European Design Award and S+T+ARTS. Richard Vijgen writes about data visualization and digital culture and has published articles in the Yale Architectural Journal, Volume Magazine, New Challenges for Data Design and the Parsons Journal for Information Mapping.
Studio Richard Vijgen is based in the Netherlands
Hertzian Landscapes is supported by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the Netherlands Creative Industries Fund.
Lumen Prize 2020
Interactive 2021 S+T+ARTS STS Award
We recognise and respect that New Westminster is on the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Halkomelem speaking peoples.
We acknowledge that colonialism has made invisible their histories and connections to the land.
As a City, we are learning and building relationships with the people whose lands we are on.