|Chapter title||The Live Creature and Ethereal Things|
|Editors||Triscott, N. and Crisp, F.|
Astrophysics and particle physics probe the limits of the known, the limits of language and concept, and present a kind of abstraction or transcendence that can free us from commonsensical thinking. Yet they are undertaken by human beings in real world laboratories and observatories, driven, shaped and influenced by those people’s cultural backgrounds, education, funding requirements, teaching obligations, family commitments, societal norms, aspirations, rivalries and dreams. How do these human beings co-create knowledge about the structure and mechanics of the universe, and how is this process and knowledge put forth into the world?
In this essay, which forms the introduction to the edited book 'The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: Physics in Culture' (eds. Triscott, N., and Crisp, F.), I approach the subject of bringing the physics into the human experience - or bringing the human back to the centre of physics - from two angles, one a discussion of the culture of physics, questioning the notion of a ‘no culture’ of physics, the other a consideration of the expression of physics as a human, material activity into wider society. These two perspectives broadly parallel those of the artist and physicist contributors to the book. In addition, I interweave some thoughts on the value of artistic practice to physics itself and the wider cultural expression and societal role of physics.
|Keywords||art, contemporary art, particle physics, astrophysics, intimate science|
|Book title||The Live Creature and Ethereal Things|
|Publisher||Arts Catalyst (Publisher)|
|Published||22 May 2018|
|Place of publication||London|
|Web address (URL)||https://www.artscatalyst.org/live-creature-and-ethereal-things-physics-culture|
|License||CC BY-NC-ND 4.0|