Gravitational Waves – Seeing Art in Science

Science and art are colliding like never before. Whereas once seen as distinct and separate disciplines, they are now forming a symbiotic alliance and generating immense creative possibilities for us to enjoy. Like all good trends, this is popping up everywhere on the Melbourne cultural circuit. Case in point: Particle/Wave, an immersive multimedia exploration of gravitational waves through art, music, poetry and science showcased under the incredible Planetarium dome. Particle/Waveexplores the recent discovery of gravitational waves through the intersection of art and science. Poets, musicians, sound and video artists – alongside renowned scientists – collaborate to present a creative glimpse of the incredible story of gravitational waves. And boy is there a story to tell.

There have been a lot of scientific breakthroughs lately. None, however, can come even close to the recent discovery of gravitational waves, a phenomenon first predicted by Mr Albert Einstein himself over one hundred years ago. Gravitational waves are the ripples in the fabric of space-time, created by the most incredible of cosmological phenomena: exploding stars, collisions between neutron stars, merging black holes or a single star rotating briskly and irregularly. These waves are washing over Earth all the time, but our instruments have not been sensitive enough to detect them until recently.As Stephen Hawking said, ‘Gravitational waves provide a completely new way of looking at the universe.’ What better way to showcase this brilliant breakthrough than through art?

In doing so, the event is dazzling, with beautiful visual graphics interspersed with poetry, sound art and scientific theory. The ‘story’ is broken down into 11 chapters, each starting with the scientific foundation and then leading into a creative interpretation – both visual and auditory. It effortlessly demonstrates the beauty in science.

The event also features entry to the brand new Scienceworks exhibition Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen. This is an absolute highlight and allows you to physically immerse yourself in the science behind gravitational waves – there’s even a component where you can bend space-time yourself. If that’s not the ultimate in the art-science duality, I don’t know what is.

– Dotti
Dotti (Nicole) Mazga is a law graduate currently learning how to make the world a better place in Melbourne. When she’s not hard at work crafting legal arguments, you can find her consuming any theatre, dance, or space-related event she can get her hands on.

Particle/Wave runs 6-20 October 2018 at Melbourne Planetarium, 7.00 & 9.00pm (90mins). Buy tickets now.
The venue is accessible.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Image credit: Cara Bradley