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Cornering the Universe

Carolyne Zinko | March 12, 2019 | Story Galleries and Performance

Who among us hasn’t thought about how the universe was created? It’s Stanford physics professor Andrei Linde who co-authored the inflationary universe theory, or the big-bang theory, but it’s Josiah McElheny who describes it in sculpture with Island Universe, on display through Aug. 18. McElheny was a resident at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts when the school commissioned the work; his collaborator on calculations and conceptualization of the installation’s forms was astronomy department chair David Weinberg. In 1965, physical evidence of the big bang became public and soared into the public imagination, the same year that Viennese artisans created chandeliers at New York’s Metropolitan Opera resembling exploding galaxies. Both informed McElheny’s work. Museum director Susan Dackerman says she hopes the show, exhibited for the first time on the West Coast, “encourages conversations among faculty, students and the wider community about how art and science can be linked in visually stimulating and surprising ways.” 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford

Originally published in the March issue of Silicon Valley

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