Feeds

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

Scientific award for outstanding artwork

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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).

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
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?