Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Bulas’ Particles break the universe down
Bulas was fascinated with mysterious charts and figures of quantum mechanics and satellite images of the farthest reaches of the universe. At first, he just looked at the pictures: the intricacy of the lines, the Rembrantesque light of outer space, the spectacular collisions of galaxies. It was these images more than any painting that gave him inspiration for his art. But gradually Bulas began to read the inscriptions below the images. He then realized that the world of astrophysics that he had just entered was stranger than science fiction. It was a world that transported him to a universe beyond our imagination: where stars like Arcturus flew towards us at two miles a second and where our entire solar system appears as a speck of dust. On the microscopic scale things got even weirder; here a colliding atom once split (in a process called quantum entanglement) could affect an atom thousands of miles away. Science, the bastion of reason, layered mystery upon mystery and uncovered more questions than answers. By now Bulas was captivated. From now on his art turned this new science into poetry. Bulas began his prints by surrounding himself with anything from models of valence electrons, to photos of plasma jets, to atomic dust halos. Then—working from several images at once—he crafted each print for hours using the oldest and most labourious printmaking techniques. To him it became a type of meditation: the stellar dust, distant galaxies that emerged from under his hands became intimate, private subjects of contemplation.