Another Day in Futile Battle against the 2nd Law: Solo exhibition MCAC

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The Second Law of Thermodynamics States that whenever energy is transformed from one form to another, entropy increases and energy decreases. This work falls under the 2nd law.Another Day in Futile Battle Against the 2nd Law was commissioned for a solo show in MCAC (2016). Developed over 2-year period through ongoing dialogue with astronomers from Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. O’Beirn used sculpture and animation arising from discussions attempting to understand spatial relationships and physical properties of stars whilst coming to grips with the universal but inevitable slide from order to chaos. (Hall, N. 1991) The immersive installation, exploring lay persons struggle to understand scientific concepts (Barrow, J., 1992), explores stellar distances and timescales in a spatial manner by constructing The Great Bear constellation as a walk-through environment, using precariously balanced and placed found objects. O’Beirn embraces questioning, misunderstanding and failure as integral to her research process. The animation Vastness (Meteor Showers) tracks the predictability of annual meteor showers as witnesses of history, reflecting on time and the nature of predictable and unpredictable events (Hawkins, S., 1998). Slices of Time (some questions), tracks conversations on subjects ranging from infinity, inflation, (Guth, A. H., 1997) the big bang and stellar distributions between the artist and astronomer Simon Jeffery. (Schlesinger, F.,1930). The research is in keeping with STEAM ambitions, to foster productive dialogical relationships between the sciences and arts, opening contemporary artwork to new audiences in the scientific community as well engaging art audiences of all ages with creative forms of scientific enquiry. A series of events and workshops aimed at schools, colleges and the interested public, were developed around this show. Special thanks to Emeritus Prof. Mark Bailey and Dr. Simon Jeffery of Armagh Observatory. Soundtrack for Vastness (Meteor Showers) Boris Völt, courtesy TONN Recordings.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMillennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown
PublisherMCAC Millennium Court Arts Centre
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Oct 2016
EventANOTHER DAY IN FUTILE BATTLE AGAINST THE 2nd LAW - Millennium Court Arts Centre / Portadown
Duration: 7 Oct 201623 Nov 2016


  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • stargazing
  • installation
  • animations


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