RIXC Art Science Festival 2021

Energies in the Arts

28 July 2021

September 25, 2021. 11:00 (Riga, LV time)
Keynote Speech

On not seeing blue: energy and materialism in art and science
Douglas KAHN

Shimmer, a phenomenon in the paintings and rituals of the Yolngu, is now often used to describe paintings from other Aboriginal groups, and has been used in recent eco-feminist discourse. Although mostly positive, it can signal danger, “the flash of anger in the shark’s eye,” the eye-shine from reflective membrane (tapetum lucidum) behind the retina. This talk will focus on similar glints, flashes and fields at the liminality of luminosity, the energies held at thresholds, in two blues that cannot be seen, one in the sky, one in the retina. One occurs in the early days of quantum physics, surprisingly at the center art and science in European cultural theory, the other grows in significance now that seasons no longer synch with the circadian.

Douglas Kahn is author of Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts and Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts, editor of Energies in the Arts, among other books in histories of the arts, experimental music, and computation in the arts. He is Honorary Professor at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, and Professor Emeritus at University of California at Davis, and University of New South Wales.