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Durham University

Durham University News


Play with time at Oriental Museum exhibition

(19 October 2018)

Yasmin and Florence Bird experiment with the When the Dust Settles artwork

Visitors to the Oriental Museum can explore the physics and philosophy of time at a new interactive exhibition.

The Museum is hosting Playing with Time from Saturday 20 October to Sunday 11 November 2018.

Visitors can encounter three interactive sculptures and three videos, informed by a booklet and a website explaining the art and the physics.

Physics and philosophy, art and science

The aim of the project is to engage families and adults with complex ideas relating to the physics and philosophy of time, through an exhibition of playful and accessible artworks.

Durham-based artist Alice Highet has worked alongside Dr Beth Bromley, from the Department of Physics, to explore how fundamental theories of physics such as relativity and thermodynamics describe the nature of time and how this relates to our experience of lived time.

Funded by the Institute of Physics, the project coincides with the Institute’s 2018 theme of ‘time’.

What you can see and do

  • When the dust settles’ – A cylindrical ‘snow globe’ where glitter is suspended in water
  • There’s no time like the present’ – A kaleidoscope that uses images of microscopic house dust to create shifting patterns
  • Don’t cry over spilled milk’ – A mechanised flip book, which can be turned using a handle. A succession of pencil drawn stills make a film of milk spilling out of a cup and then returning into the cup
  • Watch three video pieces relating to the sculptures
  • Additionally, read Beth’s notes on heat and the arrow of time – exploring some of the physics behind the project

While you’re there…

While at the Oriental Museum, don’t miss: Scaling the Heights – an exhibition to recreate heroic Himalayan mountain climbs in miniature.

Events at Durham University

Check out our new What's On guide to keep up-to-date with dance, drama, lectures, exhibitions, family activities and much more.