Measuring Infinity

2014

Commissioned work for the publication Grain Vapor Ray
HKW BERLIN, MIT Press
with Stratagrids

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From the range of phenomena addressed by the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges in his wealth of short stories, one central element is his fascination with the infinite, with “the world in small,” and humankind’s various attempts to capture, measure, and make sense of it. In “The Aleph,” Borges takes the peculiar existence of a point in space, hidden underneath the stairwell of a house in Buenos Aires, from which the entirety of the universe—all that was, is, and will be— can be viewed as one overwhelming, indescribable vision. Is it a black hole, storing all mass and information, whose pull is inescapable? No, on the contrary—it is a vision machine. Yet, such a vision of all spaces and all times leads to a poignant consideration: that which is seen can never be spoken of, for vision is simultaneous whilst speech is consecutive. How, then, can we attempt to explain reality, when our language incapacitates us to truly express the immanence of all physical happening? This question is one that not only inspires philosophy and literature, but also drives the most experimental research in particle physics taking place today at the Large Hadron Collider located at the laboratory CERN near Geneva in Switzerland. This fortuitous conjunction of art and science, fixated on measuring the infinitesimal scale of the smallest entity, is the point of departure for a diagrammatic intervention prepared by the artistic research collective STRATAGRIDS.

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Organized by HKW Berlin

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