The R Matrix

Vivien Atkinson

21 November - 16 December 2018

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A performance/installation work made in response to Mami Kataoka’s curatorial theme of the 2018 Sydney Biennale.

The R matrix is the probability per unit of time for the particle to make the transition from x to y.

This performance work lasted 100 days. Each day an unused vintage silver-plated teapot was polished using a new cloth, the weight of the teapot was noted and documented in a diary. The weight of the silver removed through each cleaning was noted on the tag sewn into the cloths. At the beginning of the project the teapot weighed 511.26 grams and after the final cleaning was 507.86 grams, total amount of silver removed from the teapot was 3.4 grams. Details of the thoughts (if any) which occurred during the cleaning process are also recorded in the diary.

As an artist not a highly trained physicist, I have understood the concept of Superposition in a non-scientific and simplistic way. Working with vintage silver-plate over some years I have acquired objects with many surfaces –tarnish, dust and grime, nicotine, patchy and worn to the base metal from repeated polishing. These vessels carry potent histories and are the starting point for ideas about the changes that occur over time that underpin this work.

Superposition references the shifting and layering on a sub-atomic scale. Artist’s works shift and layer in a similar way, but on a human scale.

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