LORRAINE WALSH
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STRING THEORY: Superstrings

Digital prints, animation, installation, 2004
-2006

String theory merges two theories of modern physics: quantum mechanics and general relativity, which are mathematically incompatible, into a common framework. A fundamental premise of string theory is that the basic objects in nature are not point-like, but string-like. It suggests that there are as many as ten, plus time, for a total of 11 space-time dimensions. Visualizing extra dimensions was quite a challenge and one I endeavored to unravel in this series. My Superstring work interprets how these string objects, which loop, may appear in space. My initial task was researching string theory. I then selected and scanned relevant equations into the computer. These scans evolved into my own drawings of the theorems. The sketches of formulas developed alongside visual elements such as color, form, line, and eventually motion. I worked back and forth between to prints and motion media. Drawn images were incorporated into Flash animations, and animation stills were combined in the prints. In a review of this work, the art critic Nancy Princenthal wrote, “Lorraine Walsh’s Superstrings is … buoyant, it vibrates with the microcosmic activity of particles in motion, oscillating between energy and matter.”