Photographing Quantum Physicists' Chalkboards

Photographing Quantum Physicists' Chalkboards

There is something really beautiful about Alejandro Guijarro's ongoing Momentum series. It is not big and bold and in your face, it's quite simple and surreal.

At first the photographs present themselves to be mundane classroom blackboards with scribbles across the surface, resembling notes left behind from a previous class. The difference is that these chalkboards house the notes to some of the biggest brains in quantum physics from around the globe.

Guijarro had spent time creating this body of work at many distinguished institutions including Stanford & Berkeley here in the United States, Cambridge & Oxford in England and CERN in Switzerland.

Being unable to calculate and process the information on the chalkboards detaches the viewer and turns the writing into forms rather than presenting information. The chalkboards are less about content and more about visually capturing the scientific ideas that have happened in the space.

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[Via itsnicethat.com]

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7 Comments

Sean Shimmel's picture

Bresson and his love of visual geometry (purity of composition) would be proud. All this math inside of math.

Tam Nguyen's picture

Mathemaception.

Yo daw we herd u like maf.

"Being unable to calculate and process the information on the chalkboards detaches the viewer and turns the writing into forms rather than presenting information. The chalkboards are less about content and more about visually capturing the scientific ideas that have happened in the space."

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That's correct. If I recall correctly, Barthes wrote about something similar in his essay called "The Photographic Message." Most viewers of these photographs will not know what is denoted by the symbols on the chalkboards. But they will respond to the connotation of symbols as representing "smart-ness" or "science-ness" or "quantum-ness" etc

Why are pictures like this so important for photographers to understand? It's important because their success is based on sociological interpretation instead of photographic craftsmanship or abstract artistic form.

This would make the most beautiful backdrop- the one with the fusion and quantum physics equations.

Berkeley*

Fascinating stuff, though.

Aaron Lindberg's picture

Thanks for pointing out the spelling error, I missed that one.