2018. Re-used upholstery fabric, thread, bowling ball. 50” x 50” x 48”.
“Spacetime Curvature for Bowling” is a model of the gravitational field surrounding a Schwarzschild black hole with an event horizon the size of a bowling ball. If you are familiar with astrophysics, you know that once you cross the event horizon, there is no coming back out. You won’t notice any physical change at first–it’s a purely mathematical definition–but soon you start getting ripped apart by tidal forces. So once you pick up this bowling ball, you can never put it back down–your fingers have crossed the event horizon (the surface of the ball), and will never come back out.
The piece was created using discarded upholstery fabric. Someone had attempted to recover an easy chair with it, but gave up halfway through and got rid of it. I use found domestic materials like this to represent the home, the societal idea of tradition and family. This fabric could be on a chair in your grandmother’s living room, but instead I’m using it to create a precise mathematical model. I am interested in exploring how we are held in place by the ideas of family, society, or tradition. Once we pick up a responsibility, it can be difficult or impossible to set it back down–we can feel stuck, just as one would be stuck in my Schwarzschild bowling ball.
Science note: The Schwarzschild black hole is described by the Schwarzschild metric, which is the solution to Einstein’s field equations describing the gravitational field outside a non-rotating, spherically symmetric mass with no electric charge and assuming the cosmological constant is zero.