To be here and there: general relativity and quantum physics
The first volume of [Plastik] on line brings together and confronts
the experiences of artists who illustrate, complete and enrich one of
the most important ongoing debates in physics today, i.e. the
incompatibility of quantum theory with general relativity. General
relativity is a geometric theory of gravitation, now part of numerous
applications. Amongst these, the GPS has a temporal correction
algorithm which is based on the general theory of relativity. Although
the theory of relativity is able to describe the Universe to a large
extent, it does not, however, fit in with the Standard Model (and its
extensions) of particle physics. Quantum physics, on the other hand,
can describe the Universe on a microscopic level, and depends on the
notion of wave-particule duality (quantum particles behave as waves
and as particles). The fundamental forces are transmitted by particles
called "interacting quanta". The applications of quantum physics are
omnipresent in post-industrial society, most notably through the
transistor, the fundamental device on which all computers and
electronic systems are based, but also through LASERs and
Some innovative theories, such as the quantum theory of gravitation,
string theory and their extensions, mark a new way of thinking of a
complete description of the Universe. The utopian goal consists of
unifying these two pillars of modern science which are the most
evolved and the most apt to explain the Universe. In this view it
would indeed be possible to bring about every physicist's dream of
unifying in a single theory the ultimate equation that could explain
Just like physicists, some artists attempt to interpret what is
infinitely large, while others base their artworks on the infinitely
small. The epistemological approaches and visual means used by artists
to obtain such objectives are radically different.
Artists of today are concerned by the applications of locative media,
as well as questions of energy, electromagnetic fields and the
consequences of time-space curvature. Independently of any direct
collaboration with scientists, avant-garde artists of every era have
been confronted to the progress of science and its techniques, as well
as that of languages that are inevitably created for their use.
Nowadays the same kind of artist continues to search for the artistic
specificity of scientific discovery, and the possibilities of
combinations and hybridisation between art and science. The sciences
have an active influence on art, but are also decrypted, explored,
diverted and influenced by artists. The relationship between art and
science, which we aim to analyse through this publication, can take
the form of: a collaboration between artists and scientists –
appropriation and exploration of scientific procedures by artists –
visual propositions echoing the scientific problems – scientific
research based on a hypothesis formulated through a work of art.
Deadline for articles:
Please send your articles by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
before the 15th of June, 2009.
CERAP – Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
47 rue des Bergers 75015 Paris - France
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