Hubble Bubble – the video

This movie features a collaborative sculpture, ‘Hubble Bubble’.

‘Hubble Bubble’ is the culmination of many ideas over the past few months, developed by myself and members of Exeter University.

The actual sculpture can be viewed at my exhibition currently running at the Forum Building, Exeter University. The Forum space is actually featured at the beginning and end of the video. Entitled ‘… the pattern is new in every moment’, the exhibition is on until 26th November, 2012.

The sculpture is a unique combination of light, bubbles and fluid. Organized and free flows of both water and air are juxtaposed and illuminated in a sequence of coloured patterns. From the scientific point of view, we have a complex dynamic system where several sets of bubbles and flow interact in separate environments, eventually descending, sometimes with stroboscopic effects, to interact with each other in the large area of water below.

From the artistic point of view, Hubble Bubble is a fascinating changing sculpture of light, bubbles, fluid and sound … a sequence of natural and organized fluidic patterning combined with subtle shifts of light and punctuated by the beautiful sound of bursting bubbles. As we look in from the side below the water level, we seem to enter another world where bubbles rise in sharp relief against glowing light, and shadowy spherical forms appear.

In the accompanying soundtrack, we hear some of the actual sounds of Hubble Bubble, which were recorded in the Fluids Lab at Exeter University. These sounds are woven into a graphic musical evocation of bubble flow, where a sequence of small short-lived sound events come and go, underpinned by an inexorably flowing rhythm.

The video explores the otherworldly quality of the sculpture and emphasises the physical similarities of its shape and parts within it, with objects found in space. I make several references throughout to one of my favourite films, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” – for instance, I include a dark floating monolithic shape.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all those involved with this project, whose hard work on the design and build of the sculpture made it into a reality. Many thanks also to the Leverhulme Trust for funding my residency at the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at Exeter University. What a great year it’s been!


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