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Caltech

Artist:  Jennifer Steinkamp
Title:
Einstein's Dilemma
Date: 
2003
Dimensions: 
14 x 7 feet, room 29 x 16 feet
Equipment: 2 Sharp XGC50 3000 lumen projectors, 2 PC computers, 2 Ezios, 10 sensors.
Photo credit: 
Steve Heller, courtesy ACME, Los Angeles and greengrassi, London.
Exhibition History:

  1. NEURO, Athenaeum, Caltech, Pasadena, California, curated by Stephen Nowlin, April 15 - July 6, 2003.
  2. Ulrich Museum of Art/Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, curated by Elizabeth Dunbar, March 12 - April 24, 2005.
  3. Jennifer Steinkamp, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California, curated by JoAnne Northrup, July 1 - October 1, 2006.

Description: Einstein's Dilemma was an interactive video installation located in the lobby of the Athenaeum, Caltech, Pasadena, California, a faculty club where the world's most eminent scientists gather. As visitors proceeded through the lobby, layers of exploding cloud images would appear overhead on the ends of the barreled ceiling. Ten motion sensors were placed around the perimeter of the lobby, sensing whenever somebody passed through; as a result, layers of explosions would be triggered. As a viewer detonated explosions, he or she might have considered their own implication in the process.

The work was made as a response to the world situation between Iraq, the United States and England.  An extremely high percentage of scientific research is supported by the military, with funding for over 50% of research at some institutions, thus having a significantly overwhelming effect on the nature of scientific knowledge and product. Albert Einstein, a pacifist and great humanitarian, was tormented by this issue his entire life. He spent a great deal of his time writing to government officials around the world about the incredible dangers of military interventions into science. 
Part of the Collection: Ulrich Museum of Art/Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas

Movie

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Ulrich Museum