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Curtin University
Collaborative Research in Art, Science and Humanity


Nano Arts Lab

Dr Paul Thomas and Kevin Raxworthy

Atomism: Quantum's Mirror from Paul Thomas on Vimeo.

Residual images within silver.

burnished silver
burnished silver captured with an Atomic Force Microscope 2010

Atomism is a collaborative Installation with Kevin Raxworthy that investigates silver, the mirror, and quantum theories of light. Richard Feynman in his 1979 lectures tells that light hits a mirror at all points not just at the point of reflection. All points on the surface of the mirror receive and reflect light based on the spin of the photon which is not visible to the viewer. Atomism explores what happens to the reflected image along the surface of the mirror making what is invisible visible.

Atomism @ John Curtin Gallery
Atomism @ John Curtin GalleryAtomism @ John Curtin GalleryAtomism @ John Curtin Gallery
Atomism at the John Curtin Gallery, October 2011.

Screen Capture
Screen capture from the project Atomism

This particular work uses data from an AFM scans of the silver substrate to act as a filter for a live camera feed image of the viewer. Thousands of these images are processed via the visualization of photons paths across the screen of the metaphorical mirror. Each viewer’s portrait is spun representing the movement of a single photon’s frequency in relation to its angle of incidence The work will create a visual data cloud from which emerging forms can be glimpsed.

Kevin Raxworthy is senior technician in the Studio of Electronic Arts (SEA) at Curtin University of Technology. Kevin has been working in the area of media art since 1983. He was the technical support officer for the Biennale of Electronic Art Perth 2002 and 2004. Raxworthy has been working in collaboration with Paul Thomas on the Midas Project that was exhibited at Enter 3 Prague in 2007. In their current project Nanoessence he is writing an algorithm based on cellular automaton. The algorithm is affected and stimulated by using the different information gained from sensors that read the user's breath. Kevin's work looks at the nexus between artificial life, code space and art. He is currently completing his masters in electronic Art. Raxworthy has recently completed a Master of Art (Electronic Art)

Associate Professor Paul Thomas, currently holds a joint position as Head of Painting at the College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales and Head of Creative Technologies, Centre for Culture and Technology, Curtin University of Technology. In 2009 he established Collaborative Research in Art Science and Humanity (CRASH) at Curtin. Paul is a practicing electronic artist whose work has exhibited internationally and can be seen on his website