Periastra is a hybrid exhibition where artists and astrophysicists are invited to share each others' modes of exploring the world of celestial phenomena. Often thought of as mutually exclusive, there are sometimes surprising similarities in terms of the aspiration and expression of curiosity. The participants in this show have been identified through their interest in crossing this boundary and the result is an intriguing and visually rich interpretation of each others' fields of research.
The sky is a half of our environment and yet its nature remains elusive and a source of mysteric inspiration. The very distance of its population removes our enquiry from direct interaction and launches out into the realms of speculation with barely adequate tools. Recent exploration by spacecraft and improvements in the operation of telescopes have returned vast quantities of data that require interpretation. This, in turn has required the adoption of models of increasing complexity and assumption. The advent of computing has accelerated this process but at the risk of losing that immediate contact with astrophysical ontology.
The greatest telescope we posses is our ability to think imaginatively. What could the nature of this Universe be and how can we experiment in this grandest of laboratories? Is it at all possible to bring this realm into an Earthly laboratory let alone the enthusiast's shed? Little more than a century ago observational endeavours would result in, at best, the interpretation of a few grains of photographic emulsion. With every advance in technology, and the subsequent resolution in signal reception, has come an ever growing appreciation of the complexity we experience above our heads.
This is a journey that has barely begun.
Curated by: Paul Malone
Alistair McClymont - multimedia art
David Bloor - sound art
Els van Riel - structural film
FRIPON - fireball recovery
Herouni Antenna, Armenia - optical radio
Jazmin Morris - computational artist
John Berman - muon detection
Miles Mathis - maths, charge field theory
LPPFusion - focus fusion research
Nicola Rae - multimedia art
Paul Malone - multimedia art
Richard Lawrence - sculptor
Rupinder Khaira - multimedia art
SAFIRE - electric sun experiments
Steven Scott - multimedia art
UKMON - meteor detection