We have been fortunate to receive an award from the college and EPSRC to create a new project - a convergence of ideas from this past year and some new ones. We will build a natural light 'pop up' cinema in a traditional yurt. Our aim is that it will be wholly powered by daylight and share with people the experiences of looking out at the world through physics. As well as showing little films in a camera obscura style, the dark room will be used to reveal the beautiful and deep characteristics of light. Once built, the little show will travel across the UK.
Lots of people in the department are involved and bringing their unique talents and knowledge to bear.
The name 'yurt' originated from a Turkic word meaning the imprint left when the structure is moved.
Here are a few early snaps from the first week of our project....
A trip to our yurt builder. An example structure - beautiful in its economy. Our's will be completely dark inside.
Peter Torok (physicist and electrical engineer) and I test to see if we can make an LCD from an old monitor work with an overhead projector. This is the basis for our system, except the electric bulb will be replaced by daylight gathered from outside - camera obscura style. Here in our proof of principle we are projecting onto the ceiling of Peter's office.
The roof will be made of flexible organic photovoltaic fabric. Jenny Nelson, physicist and expert in solid state and solar technologies has calculated that it will generate enough power to run the sound, video and LCD - even on a cloudy day.
Above, quantum information theorist, David Jennings, talks through some possible ideas for imagery that will decorate the outside. Here we draw schematics for quantum entanglement, quantum field theory and engineered quantum energy levels.
Here are two small art proofs. I have been exploring the expressive possibilities of lino printing - a new technique for me. Maybe this way of working will inform the final artwork designs for the exterior of the little cinema. Here is a version of "there is always the chance of an unexpected result that will shake the world" and "yellow interference pattern".
Finally - my current reading and book for life: "A Cultural History of Physics" - a great encyclopedic beautiful book, written by physicist Karoly Simonyi. First published in Hungarian in the late seventies - it has been updated and is now in English. Read Freeman Dyson here and get yourself a copy.