thinking [physics] into art
Listening to a 1968 BBC interview of Marcel Duchamp I was struck by how long he had spent conceptualizing The Large Glass. Spanning 8 years (1915 - 1923) he made numerous notes thinking about this work. Eventually abandoning it after it became incredibly laborious for him to 're-plot' the work onto the 2.7 m tall glass panels (and him losing interest in it) he reached a point where he accepted it as abandoned, or as he puts it 'it came to an end.'
I find the stretched-out process around this work quite fascinating. It somehow reminds me of spacetime and the effects of an ever expanding universe. The work exists and has mass and in this way stretches out time and space until it becomes so warped that it collapses. To think of theoretical physics in relation to The Large Glass is not far-fetched as Duchamp himself invented the idea of 'playful physics' which were noted in his notebooks when thinking about this work. This certainly appeals to me as I have a persistent interest in physics, always tinkering with ideas and possibilities, often not understanding what it is that I am doing. Perhaps it is playful physics ... thinking physics into art.
Stephen Hawking thought his way around the universe, traveling extensively in gedanken experiments as he searched for the possibility of a Theory of Everything. This required thinking into space and it required time to do so: 'Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years." To think, to process, to play takes time ...
The sonic sketch below is of the 1968 BBC Interview, entirely of Duchamp's voice only where he speaks to Joan Bakewell (listen to it here)