Get to see the Light Show at the Hayward Gallery in London before it closes on May 6th. There, you’ll become involved with the interaction of science and art, and, if you’re anything like me and the others I went with, it’ll make you want to think more about the ambiguous views we have on our everyday worlds.
The show takes you into mysterious dark spaces, each with a different artist’s demonstration of the physics of light. If Newton’s prismatic demonstration of the coloured constituents of white light is familiar to most of us, the tricks being performed in the Light Show are relatively shocking. Carlo Cruz-Diez’s perception of bright colours made me light-headed, wondering what tricks normal light plays on me every day. You’ll get a good idea of the range of artworks and sculptures from the web-site.
The show recalled my sympathies for Isaac Newton, of how he felt nearly four hundred years ago about the magic of myth, the tricks that our ignorance of material things can play.Then, the hope was that science and mathematics would go on to explain religious and heavenly forces. Instead, scientific experiments have falsified some of the weird theories of Newton’s times but still leave us with plenty of questions – not least about how we humans feel about the light we actually see. The artists at this exhibition show how little we usually notice.