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Accidental beauty of science: photographs by Alastair Philip Wiper.

Photo credits: Alastair Philip Wiper.

A recent exhibition at the Copenhagen Photo Festival of Alastair Philip Wiper's work, explored the accidental beauty of scientific and research installations. SOLAR / ANECHOIC concentrated on the anechoic chambers at the technical university of Denmark, and four solar furnaces found in the French Pyrenees.

The photographs reveal an architectural and sculptural beauty that perhaps says more about the nature of human aesthetic appreciation than of the beauty of the objects photographed.

The anechoic chamber is a room in which the surfaces are covered with cones of acoustically absorbent material. The effect when in the room is more surprising than even the photographs suggest, as only direct sound can be heard. If a person talking to you in the room turns away then their words are lost as they will not be reflected off other surfaces. It makes one understand just how much of our perceived space is made-up of acoustic reflection. However, the apparent infinite repetition of the acoustic reflector, somehow appears to satisfy at a deep level, our aesthetic sensibilities.

With the solar furnaces another aspect of our sensibilities, that of scale, is triggered. Here the size and human endeavour of creating such a large installation also seems to affect us at a deep level.


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