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Beyond Transparency: Artists in residence in the Department of Materials

About this event

Artists Phoebe Collings-James, Richard Paul and Rachel Pimm undertook artist’s residencies at Loughborough University’s Department of Materials in early 2019, during which time each artist worked closely with a research staff member to explore aspects of material science relevant to their artistic practices.

Interested in thinking about materials beyond the metrics of use and exchange value, and in playing with the subject/object binary in order to question the political underpinning of that construction, Phoebe Collings-James explored materials with the potential to auto-erode. Focussed primarily on observing and recording the decay of an agar polymer, Collings-James monitored and recorded the colour, matrix and temperament of the various growing bacteria under the microscope. In response to her research, Collings-James has produced a sound piece.

Richard Paul made use of the Department’s imaging equipment, finding techniques to produce 3D lenticular prints and gathering information and images for a 3D video. Paul is fascinated by how important images are for almost infinitesimally accurate measurement, and also by his own impulse to attempt to grasp microscopic images as analogues to things and landscapes he already understands. Paul has produced a series of lenticular prints from images captured using the microscopes. A type of print produced using stereo pair images, lenticular prints give the illusion of three dimensionality.

Rachel Pimm conducted lab-based experiments designed to try and simulate conditions which might have led to the ‘origin of life’ or Ool; the events that occurred during the transition from non-living to living systems on Earth. Pimm’s research is structured around learning from - and with - other types of life, by exploring biomimicry and creating experiments in which materials are ‘co-authors’. Pimm has responded to the residency with graphic print, which they present alongside sound and video work incorporating footage produced during the residency, which is co-produced with Lori E Allen.

For more information on this Radar project go to the Radar website:

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