Open Studio event and performances from Kyoto Saga University of the Arts; Olfactory art

Olfactory art is somewhat uncommon. However, there is something intoxicating about the idea – humans have become fascinated by searching for heady scents – from ambergris to musk. Quite often, the most intoxicating smells seem to come from the most unsavoury sources – whale vomit (ambergris) and musk – secretions from mammalian scent glands.

It seems we value our visual and auditory senses more highly when considering art – during the performances, an artist from Kyoto Saga mentions how smell is acknowledged, then dropped immediately. We don’t really consider how subjective our experience of scent may be. According to this Ted talk, 75% of people can’t detect an unusual smell in urine after the consumption of asparagus.

There seems to be a whole world of untapped potential in the specific world of smells.

I very much enjoyed smelling the sandalwood incense and learning about Kōdō – the specific ceremony. The whole experience was intoxicating. The performance piece and interactive elements involved in the artwork documented below contained a sense of tension – spectators watched as they waited for the participants to drop pink or white flowers. Dropping a red flower would signal that the participant found a certain aroma sexually exciting. It turned out that nobody dropped a red flower. During conversation with people about the performance, one spectator noted that the interpretation of pink or red as sexual and white as pure was somewhat outdated, and that for perfume adverts, this dichotomy was almost always echoed. It is reminiscent of the blue for a boy and pink for a girl gender myth.

The Open Studio was a worthwhile event. I had many interesting conversations and have a lot of reading to do.

I was spoken to about SQUIDS (are the basis of MEG

SQUID is a very sensitive magnetometer used to measure extremely subtle magnetic fields… I want to see how I can incorporate this idea into my work.

Dr Adam Taylor Tierney — Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London

I also want to research Adam Taylor Tierney a bit more:

Dr Adam Taylor Tierney specialises in the human auditory and motor systems that provide the foundation for abilities such as language and music in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck, University of London.

Journal of Pedagogic Development:

I also found out about stochastic processes in relation to my work, and the matter of Monte Carlo models and statistical corrections for gyroscopic motion.

Curving charged particle tracks, fluid dynamics etc.

I have been able to change the direction of the flow of particles using a magnet to ‘curve’ them. I’ve been thinking about the work of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot and Linda Sanchez.

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

Boursier-Mougenot’s work was presented at the Abbatoirs in 2014 in an exhibition called ‘Disturbances’. The exhibition focussed on that which is immaterial, in particular information and data flow. I was interested in Celeste Boursier-Mougenot’s piece that audibly and visually represented cosmic radiation.  When these rays were detected, a cascade of water was triggered that fell onto an acoustic drum. The imperceptible was made tangible, and the audio, visuals and subatomic world were melded into something singular and elegant. This is the sort of thing I’d want to produce for my postgraduate degree show.


My documentation of the curvature of particle tracks in a Wilson chamber using a magnet, today.

How to make this into an art piece?

At the moment I’m documenting experiments, but need to make sure the visual choices made make sense in an art context.

Is there a way of lighting the experiment with UV?

I have an idea to trace the movement of particles while photographing the screen… I might do this tomorrow…

My brief chaotic pendulum animation with sounds


Above: an exchange on Twitter, Kepes, CERN



ALCOHOL WORKS BEST. Rubbing alcohol is ineffective, as is methylated spirit. I was surprised at the inefficacy of methylated spirit as it was recommended in the Griffin and George laboratory equipment manual.  

FLUID DYNAMICS -STARRY NIGHT.  Hair curvature, Da Vinci. 




Blade Runner

Linda Sanchez

Linda Sanchez’s piece ‘Chronographie: A Teardrop Dress‘ (pictured below) is spread over 8 meters against a wall. The fine black lines in the work appear like contour lines in cartography, perhaps particularly an ordinance survey map. Sanchez explores the properties of materials. This work investigates the processes behind particle movement, in particular the movement of drops of water, the result becoming simultaneously poetic and scientific. Sanchez  observed droplets of water moving down large slides that she built over a long period of time. The video that opens her exhibition invites the audience to contemplate minute movements of water – the reflection of natural light on it’s surface, the way it rolls and accelerates when it swallows other drops, or being held back in it’s ‘race’, it’s behaviour when meeting an insect and the way it consumes dust … quite fascinating. Then the artist was interested in the traces left (like snail mucous left by a trail)… by the water when it withdrew from a space. She drew the frames of ‘water memory’ one at a time, creating graceful monochrome strips.

I’m hoping to track the movement of some of my pieces to evoke this sort of elegance. I’m already quite pleased with the subtlety of the wispy curves.

Chronographie: A Teardrop Dress