Fridays practical, solar cell construction, was a demonstration of the repetitive actions involved in the world of science. spin coating.....clean, clean, dry, drop coating, spin, drop coating, spin, drop coating, spin, drop coating, spin... the speed of which determines the curvature..... the hand eye coordination required to undertake these tasks does not appear to be supported by visual clues on any of the apparatus within the process. It really does rely on practice and experience - each action supporting the development of one's knowledge - feeling the way forward towards an understanding - a practice.
Light transfers into power but then light is power. making modelling measuring - more tools to enable chemists working in a physics department thinking like an engineer. There were so many 'distractions' - or maybe they will become the project. The main one is the paraphernalia that enables the experiment - pipettes, lab coats, gloves, goggles, lint free plastic paper all of which I have encountered before. But arm protectors used in conjunction with the enclosed safe places that are glove boxes were new to me - the fetishisation of all this is something to consider but I am wary of falling into a science version of the archive ‘trap’ written about by Victoria Lane of becoming ‘fascinated with what might seem to the outsider to be the esoteric props of the archivist's trade: the white cotton gloves, the cushion........?’ The Artist in the Archive. All this stuff. Archiving the Artist (2013).
But I was fascinated by the choreography undertaken by users of the glove boxes and thought that it would be exciting to try and use it to manipulate my tools for the imagination, structural bookworks.
Protecting the specimen within the experiment from us rather than us from it is an intriguing idea - these spaces that are created where objects are manipulated. Often within vacuums - contained, clean, dry (a non-space) (yes I realise that it's not 'non') and within this extraordinary space specific materials and situations are monitored - ready to be recreated, controlled to repeat. This repeatable idea butts up neatly with the concept of 'air' being problematic (I love that phrase) and I was reminded of Heraclitus not being able to step into the same river twice 'No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.' It appears that science is constantly trying to create a time and space where the river is still.