Surfing the Gravitational Waves

“Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world. ”— Leonardo DaVinci

Surfing the Gravitational Waves Limited Edition Poster

To commemorate the detection of Gravitational Waves at LIGO, Jackson Boelts has created “Surfing the Gravitational Waves”

For as long as anyone now alive can remember, there has been erected, an invisible wall between “art” and “science”. The dreamers of dreams and painters and sculptors who depicted the world and the world in their imaginations were thought to be different somehow from the concrete, materialist, rational scientists seeking their proofs.

We are tearing down that invisible and, frankly, illusory wall from both sides now. The arts and sciences are once again happily married in a quantum world where the proofs aren’t so hard and the imagination isn’t so soft after all. Quantum uncertainty makes science look more and more like magic every day. And, our artistic visions of what science will bring in our futures becomes a framework for new inventions and discoveries.

While enjoying dinner recently with dear friends, Jackson and Alison were visualizing the nature of gravity and the fabric of space-time, using a kitchen towel and a lemon. “See how the fabric bulges? The massive object is causing a well to develop around it in the fabric which draws other objects to it. Even tiny objects with mass generate a small amount if gravity, even you, me… everything!” The visual “picture drawn” was simple and concrete enough to express a mathematical concept so rarefied that only very erudite individuals grasp it on paper.

Not everyone is fascinated by science. More and more people recently though, seem to be paying attention to science and realizing that every single interaction they have with the world around them involves some kind or level of scientific experience. Science is just play with notes! Jackson is addicted to Science Fiction novels, partly because he envisions the next step in human evolution necessitates a journey into space. Alison is just plain nerdy and loves science like a kid loves cake. Between them, there is a dialogue involving imagination, illustration, experimentation, current events, Philosophy of Science, and never ending curiosity.

When the news broke from the scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravity-Wave Observatory (LIGO), detectors in Washington state and Louisiana, Jackson and Alison spent a good night of thinking and talking about the fascinating discovery and its implications. The idea for “Where Art and Science Collides” sprang from the thought that science art both reflects and predicts science breakthroughs. Just think— Captain Kirk carried a flip phone in the Enterprise 50 years before the real thing was invented!

As a celebration of the extraordinary detection of waves in the fabric of space time from a collision of two Black Holes, 1.2 billion years ago, Jackson has created a limited edition art poster, Surfing the Gravitational Waves. There will only be 25 of these posters created. Visit Jackson’s site to view this tribute to the LIGO Scientists.