On the floor of the Silk Mill I am working on a plastic metaphor for the Atlas Detector in the Large Hadron Collider which began operation on Wednesday 10th September at CERN in central Europe. This 17 mile long circular race track can accelerate nuclear particles up to 99.999% the speed of light; it is the nearest mankind has come to beginning to understand the origins of the universe.
The Black & White Detector is designed to harness a few elements of the long and littered history of cultural and social ideas, as they pass through my mind. We are to imagine that this 9.7 metre canvas is the focusing detector to a 17 mile circumference ring around the Silk Mill Gallery. The ring contains millions of fragments of cultural and social ideas which have been around since the beginning of human existence upon earth, in random motion.
I am treating my mental processes as a Chaotic system which is governed by “Sensitive dependence on initial conditions”, i.e. genes and the experience of nearly 63 years on this planet! As is the case with the nuclear detector in CERN, I am looking for the unexpected. During the collisions of Black & White particles, the individual brushstrokes, new layers will emerge which reflect some of my thoughts and those of visitors to the Silk Mill during the two weeks of Somerset Art Week.
Barry Cooper – 12th September 2008.