Temporary home for coursework

10th April 2023.

Drawing on Cixin Liu’s reference to van Gogh, string theory, and the reduction of the solar system to two dimensions (Death’s End: Three Body Problem series audio book 2018), this is (hopefully) going to be an exploration of Van Gogh’s approach to a cosmology he could never have seen and, for the latter part, doesn’t actually exist. It’s also in oils which I found in the bottom drawer of a stack. Bit of a first for me.

Liu devotes an entire chapter to the dispassionate description of the process of becoming two dimensional. With no drama at all in the language, it’s shockingly convincing in its physics and solidly inevitable in its process. The Sun is first but instead of simply becoming a flat cut-out of itself, Lui makes clear that it retains its mass which has to go somewhere, and where it goes is outwards towards the flattening, orbiting worlds. Like a ball of dough, it rolls out flatter and wider, larger and thinner, as the process continues to its conclusion. The image I’m trying to paint is that early stage of expansion where a rolling carpet of fire begins to envelope the planets in our solar system. Van Gogh’s swirls lend themselves to the vortices of the solar surface, and oils lend themselves to being wiped and swiped in their own vortices as I figure out where this is going. The planets are strung out to the left in order and relative size.

This is clearly unfinished but, as I’d normally put it on my work-in-progress blog for tutorials, I will publish it now so that I can link to it. Updates will follow either here or on my new website when the domain name has been sorted out. Here is where it’s going for now, and this is where it should be, https://conboyhillpracticeandresearch.wordpress.com/, I’ll post the new address when WordPress has freed it from this one.

12th April.

Much simplified after being pointed at Sarah Longworth-West’s work by my tutor and finding myself very much taken by ‘Glint’ (2015) for its absolute stripped down but somehow full of depth appearance. I’ve taken the colour out of the planets, leaving them hovering in a plane of bright light, and now I’m going to let it settle while I decide what, if anything, needs doing to it.

Meanwhile, I’ve cut the other half of that piece of card into three pieces to see what I can do in refleciton, perhaps from a distance, with this story. And, in an effort to make my own black without the proper ingredients, I’ve covered them with a shade of dark green. Again, these can stew a little while I mull them over, but I’m thinking about postcards – what would the solar system send as a postcard just before it was absorbed by the sun?

13th April. Rather enjoying the oils despite the slight odour and their inconvenience when it comes to cleaning brushes. I’ve compromised with a jar of neat washing up liquid and another with water. So far that’s going well.

The video is made in MotionLeap and PowerDirector.

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