Friday, 15 March 2013

New Exhibition: The Artificial Standard

The Artificial Standard, part of Oxfordshire Science Festival, opened last Friday. Thanks to those who braved the elements and made it a special night. A good time was had by all. (We did a survey.)

The exhibition looks at our understanding of nature, and how it has expanded to take on greater and greater depths and dimensions. So much of nature is now perceptible in some way, and as we peel back its layers we measure and record each part, producing reams of data.

We know now that the world as it appears is not the world as it physically is.

The Artificial Standard takes it title from systems of measurement - systems created to describe the world. These units were locally and arbitrarily defined; the metre was one of the first units in an attempt at a objective and universal system. It was literally defined by the world as the ten millionth part of a quarter of the Earth's meridian. The ridiculousness of this as a daily referent meant it had to be calibrated and standardised by a 'specially made object', an international prototype of the metre bar, which was kept in regulated conditions in an underground vault in Paris. 

The exhibition comprises specially made objects that describe the world, and our recording of it; objects that  monumentalise, in an environment that is oddly artificial. 

Audiences should look out for the details.

Lunch time talk by the artists Krystle Shard and Catherine Watson on the 26th March. Details to be confirmed.

Exhibition ends on the 29th March.

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