Claire williams

Visual and sound installation

Six shapes rest in the center of a big flat disc. One recalls the amorphous pieces of silicon produced by the impact of lightning strike on sand, while the others may resemble tojellyfishes, corals or seaweedsliving in thedepths of unknown seas. Each one is filled of a matter-energy which shades and structure are unique.

These six shapes are all different but they no doubt belong to the same class of objects, the same category of things. To physicists they recall the tubes used by Heinrich Geissler to experiment on the behavior of certain gases when electrical current flows through them. To those who visit shops in science museums they remind the luminous globes that react to touch. To explorers of the northern latitudes, they recall the aurora borealis. They are at once all of these and at the same time neither of them. They are filled with noble gases that compose the interstellar environment: argon, neon, krypton, xenon, nitrogen.

They are made of the same matter of the sun: plasma. Plasma is the fourth state of matter, it composes 99 % of our visible universe but none of the 100 % of the one we evolve in. What is strange is to hear its activity as if it came from inside our bodies, when we place our elbows on the ring that surrounds the disc. The entire installation pulses to the rhythm of the sun’s electromagnetic activity.

© Pierre Gondard
© Pierre Gondard
© Pierre Gondard

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Claire Williams (BEL)

The artworks of Claire Williams take the form of woven antennas, glass sculptures filled with plasma or devices that sense the invisible.

Data of radio telescopes and scanners materialise themselves in knitted stitches, sound vibrations or through luminous plasma. She sculpts her electronic components to make visible the electromagnetic movements from the cosmos, through our magnetosphere, to radio waves that cross our terrestrial environment or the ones emanating from our bodies.

She is currently working on the exploration of ether, at the cross roads of experimental and occult science practices. In this way she explores our relationship to the world of the invisible and their instruments by reviving abandoned leads of certain scientific and researches of the mid 19th century.

Credits & mentions

Production:  Production Le Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains 2018-2019

Supported by Wallonie-Bruxelles International and Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles I Paris (Saison Parallèle / Marseille 2020 and Hors les Murs – Constellations program)

Stéphane LOUIS
Baptiste De La Gorce
Observatoire Royal de Belgique – E-Callisto Network