Proposal: Applied Pure @ The Mathematical Institute

Project concept and artwork: Katharine Beaugié

Harpsichordist: Medea Bindwald

MI Arts Consultant and Applied Pure Project Manager: Balazs Szendroi

Music & Light Symbiosis | Piece no. 3

A proposal to curate an art exhibition of my photograms of water and natural phenomena combined with a music and light event at The Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, November 2019.

The Art Exhibition of Photograms

A photo-montage proposal image of a ‘blown-up’ photogram “God | Drop” 2018 in the gallery space of the MI with the Maths students working.
A photo-montage proposal image of a ‘blown-up’ photogram “Shadow of Gold Cube and Blossom Triptych” 2018 in the gallery space of the MI with the Maths Students working.
A photo-montage proposal image of ‘blown-up’ photogram “Washing Hands Triptych” 2012 in the gallery space of the MI

The Photograms

(New work will be developed for this project as well as digitally enlarging already existing artworks)

Shadow of a Gold Cube and Blossom Triptych 2018 photogram
God | Drop 2012 photogram

click on image below to see full scale image slideshow

How the Photograms are made

The Photograms are made by making a flash of light over light-sensitive photographic paper in a darkroom environment. The objects in the way, eg. the gold cube or my hands or water, refract/prevent the light from reaching the paper, so it remains white. The shadows therefore appear inverted; shadow remains white/grey and the light is seen as black.

Washing Hands Triptych, 2012 photogram
Shadow of a Gold Cube, 2017 Photogram

Music & Light Event: Music | Maths | Water

Like in previous Music & Light Symbiotic events, there will be a music performance curated to entwine with the artwork and the environment. I propose a concert of music played by the international concert harpsichordist Medea Bindwald.

Medea Bindwald photographed by Stuart Hollis, 2019

The concert will include pieces by the composer JS Bach (1685-1750), Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667) and Enno Kastens (geb. 1967) . The music has been chosen the theme of water as well as pieces connected with Maths, like JS Bach.

Medea Bindwald playing JS Bach in All Saints’ Boughton Aluph Church in 2016
Lecture theatre L2

The concert would take place in the lecture theatre L2. I am researching ways how to introduce a small pool of water to the space and to film the patterns and re-project them instantly over the whole area of the stage/whiteboards and Medea Bindewald playing the harpsichord.

Katharine moving the water of a larger pool with the refraction of light off the pool projected on the back wall. Project: Requiem 2016 Photograph by Louisa Love

Three examples of patterns off the water’s surface form Music & Light Symbiotic Event River Song, Oct 2018

Reflections off water pool during live performance of Music & Light Symbiosis | Piece no. 2 | River Song | JS Bach Prelude No. 1 in C major (BWV 846) | Rachel Hamilton – harp | Katharine Beaugié – water

Reflections off water pool during live performance of Music & Light Symbiosis | Piece no. 2 | River Song | Irish Folk Tune | My Lagan Love arranged by Hamilton Harry for harp, with cello improvisation | Rachel Hamilton – harp, Mike Bacon – cello | Joseph Black (left) and Miranda Carter (right) – water
Reflections off water pool during live performance of Music & Light Symbiosis | Piece no. 2 | River Song | JS Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, Sarrabande | Mike Bacon – cello | Joseph Black – water

Music & Maths

Music and maths have been integral to each other since Pythagoras, (570-493 BCE) the Greek philosopher and mathematician developed numeric ratios between notes and developed theories on how these affected the harmony of the music.

Pythagoras then went on to connect a possible mathematical relationship between music and the ‘heavenly bodies’; the Earth, the Moon, planets and fixed stars. He called this relationship “Music of the Spheres”.

Plato (427-348 BCE) was quoted of saying that music should not be judged by how much pleasure it gave, but whether it allowed harmony and order into the soul.

Links to articles connecting Maths (and Physics) with Music (and water)

Possible Music Choices for the MI Event

Schattenreise · Penelope Cave Shadow Journey (21st Century Harpsichord Music) ℗ Prima Facie Released on: 2015-05-18 Composer: Enno Kastens
J S Bach: Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Variation 25. Robert Hill, harpsichord 18 Oct 2014

Domenico Scarlatti | Adagio e cantabile en A Major K 208 | Scott Ross harpsichord
Chaconne from Partita No.2 for violin BWV 1004, transcribed for piano by Johannes Brahms, and played by Jean Rondeau with two hands on harpsichord

So the projected conclusion:

The entire music & light symbiotic experience with the huge black and white, close-up images of the direct shadows of natural phenomena combined with the sound of the harpsichord playing beatifically and rhythmically, with patterns of a similar natural phenomena of the reflection off water projected over the music player and instrument, will lull the Maths students, professors and visitors into a psychological and perhaps emotional space between logic and magic; where the profound patterns found in nature and disclosed during this event are free to be interpreted individually.

experimenting with live-feed of the water pool in the studio