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Esferas II – La constante cosmológica. by José Ignacio Díaz de Rábago. 07/03/19 @19h30

Tennis balls = spheres = stars that distance themselves at exponential speed in a universe that expands driven by a mysterious force: dark energy.

Scientists Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for their work on the accelerated expansion of the universe. Expansion which they demonstrated by observing and analysing the light emitted by distant supernovas.

I had the good fortune to meet Saul Perlmutter – astrophysicist and physics professor at the University of California, Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Head of the Supernova Cosmology Project – at the University of Berkeley in 2005. He was looking for funds to finance, if I recall well, a telescope, for his research program; this program would lead him to win the Nobel Prize a few years later. At that time I was also in Berkeley assembling the “Esferas I” installation for the Hearst Memorial Mining Building, an installation that I subtitled in an intuitive way and without knowing very well why Anti-Gravitational Field.

It came out as a coincidence that when Saul Perlmutter saw the installation, it looked like an obvious visual analogy to the model of the universe in which he worked and he asked me for a couple of photos of it to publish them in a scientific magazine on the subject, a magazine that I still keep somewhere between my papers.

In “Esferas I”, to occupy the empty space I was inspired by one of the elements of the furniture of the Hearst Memorial Mining Building: its light bulbs. On the present occasion, I am starting from – if not for an object that is characteristic of the place where the installation will be installed – but one found in its surroundings: tennis balls. The CEM Olimpia tennis club, close to the Espronceda Center, has so kindly provided us with hundreds of tennis balls.

Then and now the impulse is the same: from nowhere, from the center of time and space, time and space expand until it dissolves themselves…. Until the dissolving process returns to the beginning: to nothingness, to the heart of space and time, where everything can be again.

José Ignacio Díaz de Rábago

About the artist

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