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A Portrait of the Universe: Past and Future


Nathan Norland (Mathematics Department)

Performances were held in week 10 of the spring term.

The aim of the project is to explore the huge scale and
indifferent hostility of time, with particular focus on the one physical law which treats time as something that can only flow in one direction: the 2nd law of thermodynamics. We will use visual and sound based metaphors to explore our
relationship to entropy and the way that things inevitably degrade and decay. This will in particular involve a long form piece of audio degrading from information rich white noise all the way down to a simple sine wave. Hopefully there will be emergent harmonies that crop up during the sound, somewhere in the middle, paralleling how information cannot be meaningfully understood in extreme states of high or low entropy, but rather emerges at some almost arbitrary point within. In a series of workshops leading up to the performance
as well as in the performance itself, we will work with ideas about the creation and destruction of value, and under what circumstances an object can contain decodable and meaningful information.