Landscape & kinetic sculpture

“It seems to me that Nola’s kinetic sculpture with its triangular fragments hanging together in the air like pieces from the collision of a massive flock of white cockatoos, has something of Cezanne’s idea of landscape and the goemetric which is said to have enabled the passage of Cubist thought into the Fine Art lexicon!” Permangelo E. Regularis

Works-In-progress: the vernissage

tea and cakes will be served
MODEL AND META PHOR – works in progress
Professor Paul Dastoor and Miranda Lawry invite you to view works in progress by artist Nola
Farman, recipient of the 2012 Synapse7 Grant (Aus tralian Networ k for Art & Technology )
hosted by the Priority Centre of Organic Electronics & the school of drama fine art and music

An Early Scale Model

” Early days! So much has happened with concepts and ideas. Nola has asked me to try to keep up and to put my reading on science and aesthetics on hold. I have written a draft of an abstract for her in preparation for a publication with the Physicists.” Permangelo E. Regularis

The workshop bench is still alive

“This afternoon I wrote quite a long post on the aesthetics of art & science but being a bit of a 17th century man (my field of scholarship is the History of Humour from the Late Greek Period to the French Revolution) I lost the whole text. Nola was a little miffed although quite good natured in the end. Especially when I suggested we retreat to her hotel for a G & T. I did promise to try to re-create the lost post (in truth the last post but not the Last Post if you see what I mean) – tomorrow morning.” Permangelo E. Regularis

Another Show and Tell

“Every second Friday a meeting is held with staff and students to talk about and review the works in progress. This way, Nola Farman can gradually develop her work as it relates to a science perspective. To contribute to the work of science is difficult for her to see. perhaps this is because she might be blinded by the proximity. I have tried to draw her out on this topic. It is not that she is unwilling to talk about it but it seems that words fail her. She has said she expects to find it easier with hind-sight and I can see she is on the case really – but its not always easy to see. There she is on the right of the photo. Pencil in hand with it poised as usual. The fellow in red is one of the scientists – whose comments are always useful. A sounding board and true collaborator.” Permangelo E. Regularis

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar on Beauty

“Nola Farman has so little time to read these days – so while she was working. I read out loud to her most of this article from Physics Today, December 2010. At first she objected saying,’ I have rarely seen anything on the topic that engages me’. To which I replied, ‘Aha! But this is different, it was written by a scientist. You remember how much you enjoyed reading Pierre Bordieu’s The Rules of Art – you said because of the way as an anthropologist, he carefully constructed his argument. This piece is not as complex or contemporary, but he does work up his thesis rather well. Some of his ideas might seem somewhat dated but….’ ‘OK! OK!’ she replied, ‘you’re an old fashioned kind of a guy Permangelo. Hit me with it but take the brick out of your handbag first!’ (I could see she thought that was very funny – I let it pass) and read on … ‘All of us are sensitive to Nature’s beauty. It is not unreasonable that some aspects of this beauty are shared by the natural sciences. But one may ask the question as to the extent to which the quest for beauty is an aim in the pursuit of science….’ (I could see that this had not really caught her attention – so I skipped a few passages). He quotes J.W.N Sullivan, ‘Since the primary object of the scientific theory is to express the harmonies which are found to exist in nature …’ ‘Good Grief!’ (from Nola). ‘….we see at once that these theories must have aesthetic value. The measure of the success of scientific theory is, in fact, a measure of its aesthetic value …’ ‘… since facts without laws would be of no interest, and laws without theories would have, at most, only a practical utility, we see that the motives which guide the scientific man are, from the beginning, manifestations of the aesthetic impulse … the measure in which science falls short of art is the measure in which it is incomplete in science…’ I put the journal down, because I wanted to think about it at my leisure. ‘More tomorrow if you like’. I could see that she was fast asleep sitting upright at her workbench.” Permngelo E. Regularis

Not sleeping, just thinking

“Nola Farman has been mostly making scale models at 1:20 but now has upped the scale to 1:10. I can see now why she has done that. It must be much easy to make stronger models with dowelling and screws instead of just glue. She has also told me that now she can test some of the parts of the work that will move. I must say I don’t like all that Balsa wood dust that she seems to tolerate quite well but it does make me sneeze. I can tell there is some excitement brewing in the anticipation of some kinetic materials that have been ordered via high priority post. Meanwhile she is making some alternative forms that might better utilize the solar materials being developed in this department. One of the young researchers gave an excellent explanation of three principles of motion ratio. I quite suddenly better understood the difference between a seesaw, a wheelbarrow and the counter balance in a lever. I could see how Nola caught onto the idea too, because she immediately began some modifications of the 1:10 scale model. I promise to soon post some more of her work bench snaps. Nola is very patient with me in this regard.” Permangelo E. Regularis

Character Building

“One of the first things I noticed as I watched the scientists and research students making the solar devices, was theirĀ  impressive patience. There are so many variables to encounter along with accidents such as dropping the tiny glass sides, or having them flip away into a corner, trembling hands, solutions clotting and not spinning evenly and so forth. If a person is in a fragile state of mind, or too preoccupied, in too much of a hurry then things will go wrong. Nola Farman laughed appreciatively when I said there could be a paperĀ  written called ‘Zen and the Art of Solar Device Making’. She said that when she made a solar device, she was aware that she had not been patient enough.” Permangelo E. Regularis

What language!

“The other day I couldn’t help looking over Nola Farman’s shoulder while she was doing some research. I as struck by the use of language in an article she was reading about Shape Memory materials. Having recently met a poet with a background in Physics I was alert to how words when taken from one context and dropped into another might ‘change their shape’ in a manner of speaking – just as the found object can move from a mundane sense to something containing surprise. For example if I talk about ‘creep strain’ in physics what implications might it carry ‘out in the street’? There is a ‘dependence on maximum strain’, ‘dependence on stress’, ‘creep recovery’, ‘recovery by heating’, ‘stress relaxation’ – a ‘stress-strain-temperature relationship’. For a day I reeled about in the Department wondering what might happen next. I was brought down to earth only when I found that some under-graduates had stolen all the milk from the lunchroom fridge and I had no hope of coffee for the moment. Meanwhile Nola was deeply engrossed in her research. When I mentioned the state of the milk situation she grumbled at me and said, ‘Just get over it Permangelo!”. I realised that as her agent, I had not been paying enough attention to her affairs lately. I was particularly aware of this when Nola said to me, ‘Permangelo, why is it you think, that we are not getting many responses to this blog? ” ‘Well,’ I said, ‘the pictures are pretty enough.” At this, without blinking an eye, she looked at me over the top of her glasses , as if to say, ‘Go figure.’ At that, I decided to at least make an announcement on Facebook.” Permangelo E. Regularis

Those maquettes!

‘Each day when she has left her workshop I take a photo of what’s on her workbench and some of the things she has made out of found objects and cardboard. She has told me that she is working on a number of scale models that could possibly become full scale kinetic sculptures or installations. It seems to me that all the pieces have considerable potential.However its probably just as well they won’t all be constructed full scale (even though I would not dare tell Nola this to her face)’. Permangelo E. Regularis