Feeds

Art and engineering: do they mix? Yes they do!

Scientific award for outstanding artwork

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Physicist and engineer Colin Tregenza Dancer has been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal for his contribution to British engineering.

Colin helps leading contemporary artist Paul Fryer to create works that bridge the gap between art and science.

Perpetual Study in Defeat

Perpetual Study in Defeat, 2006. Alternatively known as Star in a Jar, the plasma ball in the middle gently pulsates

Paul, who had been trying to make a lightning structure using Tesla coils, tracked Colin down online after finding he had previously built such coils as a hobby. Together they created Deus Ex Machina, which was subsequently bought by Damien Hirst for £27,000.

Since then they have continued their partnership, creating a broad range of work, ranging from the "red hot, cast iron skulls of The Pit and The Pendulum’ to the inertial electrostatic confinement or mini fusion reactor nicknamed Star in a Jar".

This work, formally called Perpetual Study in Defeat, posed huge engineering challenges, says Colin, not least how to spot weld a grid of tantalum wires to enclose a white-hot ball of plasma. But the effort was worth it, according to Colin who is a director of architecture in his day job at Metaswitch Networks.

“The slow breathing motion of the star, and the way its appearance evolves as the pressure changes, unfailingly draws people in to the work. In fact the first time I got the prototype working I stood and stared at it for over an hour myself! And when people finally break away, it’s often with a desire to understand more about both the engineering and science behind what they’ve just seen.”

You can read more about Paul and Colin's art here (pdf).

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.