|Authors||Triscott, N., Crisp, F., Sebastian, S., Shears, T., Malina, R., Nahum, Neyrinck, M., Saraceno, T., Cipcigan, F., Kukula, M., Lawson, H., Coy, P., Bello, M. and Thomson. J.|
The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: Physics in Culture is a collection of texts, images and conversations that present fundamental physics and the physics of the universe as human activities and cultural endeavours.
Cosmology and particle physics probe the furthest limits of the knowable and have the potential to provide transcendental aesthetic and conceptual experiences, enriching our everyday lives. These explorations of the otherworldly and the ethereal are undertaken by human beings in real world laboratories and observatories. Yet in our Western European culture, physics tends to be represented as factual, abstract, “hard”, and removed from our lived human experience. This lack of a sense of how physics unfolds through its processes, personalities and places leads to a gap in the cultural imaginary and social understanding of physics, which also impacts on those who might choose to study this complex subject or go into it as a profession.
Featuring texts, images and conversations by physicists, artists and curators, the book examines the role of personality, power and culture in physics and discusses the value of cross-pollination between the practices of contemporary art and physics. These reflections shed light on the people and material practices of physics: from the vast underground particle physics laboratory at CERN, Geneva, used by half of the world’s particle physicists, and deep underground neutrino observatories in the UK, Italy and Antarctica, to super-computers that construct astonishing visualisations of the evolution of the universe.