William Basinski / Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand: 10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid
A vacuum or semi-vacuum encased within a gravity and temperature sensitive elastic skin – the scenario of an early universe, a soap bubble, and later, that of a biological membrane. By researching the behavior of soap films, a vast variety of optical, mathematical, thermodynamic and electrochemical discoveries have been made since the time of the Renaissance. One of the earliest means of analogue computing was the 19th century soap film calculator, which tackled geometric problems of minimal surface area. Soap film soft drives are currently being used for black hole and superstring modeling.
In “10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid”, Domnitch and Gelfand with William Basinski use laser light to scan the surfaces of nucleating and dissipating soap bubble clusters. Unlike ordinary light, the laser’s focused beam is capable of crawling through the micro and nano structures within a bubble’s skin. When aimed at specific angles, this penetrating light generates a large-scale projection of molecular interactions as well as mind-boggling phenomena of non-linear optics. Bubble behavior viewed in such proximity evokes the dynamics of living cells – the lipid membranes of which are direct chemical descendants of soap films.