James Turrell - Intuition
0 comment Wednesday, May 7, 2014 |

The Guardian's Art & Design section is a great resource for Art & Science news.
Today I was alerted to the existence of the artist James Turrell.
The article today explains what the "Higgs Boson" is, a hypothetical massive elementary particle named after the British physicist Peter Higgs.
In Higgs' theory, the Higgs Boson is said to have turned the matter that shot out of the Big Bang, in to the universe that we see today.
Scientists are currently trying to find the Higgs Boson using The Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
The scientists do not know that this particle exists, but they are using a process of experimentation to find it. The scientists are using only their own intuition to move forward in their research.
In this piece by James Turrell, the flashing red screen mimicks the screens that the Higgs Boson researchers use.
In this article, Jonathan Jones explains that the recent art work of James Turrell plays on intuition. Jones compares this intuition to modern artists such as Kandinsky, who famously had synaesthesia. When a person has synaesthesia, they are able to see sound and hear colour.
If we can translate sound waves and light waves in this way, who says we can't pick up other information?
Perhaps our intuition is hinting to knowledge that we can not perceive yet.
As Jones says, James Turrells work forces us to view the world in abstract terms, just as the Cubists did at the advent of modern physics.
The idea of viewing the universe in an abstract manner is not exclusive to art.
In "Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes", Michio Kaku eloquently describes dimensions and Superstring theory. Kaku explains that as we travel outside each dimension, the inner dimensions seem simpler. If you could view the Superstrings for example, from an outside perspective, you would see tiny vibrating strings or loops of energy, which is why superstrings are analogous to music (another form of art).
The relationship between intuition in both art and science is a fascinating one, and worth thinking about.

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