Bright visions from the ancient past and into our future

Three new art shows in Melbourne explore the Venn diagram where art meets science.

If you gasp out loud at the BOM BOM BOM BOM of Richard Strauss’ ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’ booming over Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, have you ever wondered what it would sound like if that flabbergasting film’s spiralling starscapes spoke back? If they could create music from the very building blocks of reality?

Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist and avowed speculative sci-fi fan Jon Butt has. His far-out practice is concerned with harnessing quantum realities and the bendiness of deep time, figuring out ways human creativity can bridge seemingly insurmountable knowledge gaps. His trippy work µ Muography, part of Science Gallery Melbourne’s awe-inspiring new exhibition Dark Matters, is cosmic art writ large.

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Stephen A Russell is a Melbourne-based arts writer. His writing regularly appears in Fairfax publications, SBS online, Flicks, Time Out, The Saturday Paper, The Big Issue and Metro magazine. You can hear him on Joy FM.