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Matthew Tickle: Onboard Marlow 26–28 April 2013 | Hyper Passive, In Camera, Shock 7 September–2 October 2005 | What the eye can’t see the heart can’t grieve for 8 February–21 March 2004 | Idyll 15 September–14 November 1999 | Conversion (BACKSPACE) 18–22 November 1998 | Scrutiny 21 June–13 August 1995 | Publications | Artist’s Website



Matthew Tickle| What the eye can’t see the heart can’t grieve for, 2004 | a temporary public artwork visible during the hours of darkness

Matthew Tickle, What the eye..., 2004 (interior view)

Matthew Tickle, What the eye..., 2004 (exterior view)

Matthew Tickle, What the eye..., 2004 (exterior view)

Press Information
A collaborative venture that brought together artist Matthew Tickle and theoretical physicist, Dr Fay Dowker, produced a scintillating artwork that lit up the interior spaces of buildings, in time to the firing of Geiger counters triggered by background radiation. Funded by an EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) grant and supported by Matt’s Gallery and the Queen Mary Physics Department, the piece provokes debate about the relationship between art and science.

One hundred Geiger counters will be involved in the project, each placed in a room on the Queen Mary campus on Mile End Road in the East End of London. Each counter is linked to a photographer’s flash lamp and will be triggered by each particle of radiation detected, causing the lamp to flash and briefly illuminate the interior of the room. The piece will be visible from the street during the hours of darkness.

One view of the work is that it will reveal the presence of the otherwise invisible background radiation that surrounds us. But another scientific view is that it is only where and when a Geiger counter registers a particle that the particle can be said to exist at all. According to that view, the artwork is not revealing but actually creating reality. This so-called ‘Copenhagen Interpretation’ of quantum mechanics is the subject of intense and continuing scientific debate. Dowker says, ‘Artists welcome different interpretations of their work but for physicists not to have reached consensus on the meaning of our most successful theory is a crisis.’

The pattern of flashes produced by the counters will be entirely random, apparently an attribute of the quantum world, and the artwork explores the idea that events can occur without deterministic cause. The work also touches on the nature of time: What the eye… can only be experienced in time and cannot be captured by a single still image being built up as an accumulation of separate events. Playing on the statement, ‘the opposite of a deep truth is also a deep truth’ by Niels Bohr, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, Tickle says of the title of the work: ‘It is both a platitude and a great truth ­ we cannot know what we do not know, and yet we know there are things that we do not know.’

Editors Notes A Geiger counter is in essence a form of amplifier. The Geiger-Muller tube within it detects and magnifies the energy from each particle so that the counter can register it. Often the Geiger counter is connected to a speaker, producing the familiar click each time a particle of radiation is detected. In this project the speaker is replaced by a flash bulb to produce a visible sign that radiation has been detected. The background radiation that will be detected during the project is part of our environment. It is always present but may vary in intensity from place to place and over time. The two main sources of this radiation are naturally radioactive materials around us and cosmic rays.

This exhibition has been funded by EPRSC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and supported by Matt’s Gallery and the Queen Mary Physics Department. For further information and visual material please contact the gallery.

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Biography
Born London 1964, British. Lives and works in London Studied 1989–90 Slade School of Fine Art, London (Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Sculpture) and 1987–89 West Surrey College of Art and Design (BA (Hons) Sculpture) Solo Exhibitions 2006 Punctum and Nebula, Hull Art Lab, Hull 2004 Nothing will come of nothing, Wolsey Art Gallery, Ipswich; Semi-Rhythm, Whitechapel Project Space, London; What the eye can’t see the heart can’t grieve for, a temporary public artwork at Queen Mary, University of London 1999 Idyll, Matt’s Gallery, London 1995 Scrutiny, Matt’s Gallery, London Group Exhibitions 2005 Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle, Phillip Warnell, Matt’s Gallery, London 2003 Revision, Pitfield Street, London; Don’t start from the good old things but the bad new ones, Whitechapel Project Space, London 2002 The Green Room, Percy Miller Gallery, London 2001 Dead-wall Reverie, Five Years, London, curated by Valerie Sutton 2000 Tourist, site-specific project commissioned by Space Explorations, London [catalogue] 1998/99 Furniture, Richard Salmon Gallery, London, John Hansard, Southampton and Bluecoat Art Centre, Liverpool [catalogue] 1998 BACKSPACE, Matt’s Gallery, London 1997 In Residence, In Transit, The Stanley Picker Gallery for the Arts, Kingston University 1996/7 Plastic, Richard Salmon Gallery, London; Arnolfini, Bristol; Walsall Museum & Art Gallery, Walsall [catalogue] 1996 High Rise, Space Explorations at 110 Euston Road, London [catalogue] 1995 Animale Domestici, Hollandstraat 20, Antwerp 1994 Tight, The Tannery, London; 1 million cubic feet, Space Explorations, Holborn Old Town Hall 1993 Mehr Licht (with Marcus Eisenmann), Goethe Institute, London; Hull Town Dock Museum as part of the Hull Sculpture Symposium 1992 Public installation at the Electric Light Station, presented by Space Explorations 1990 Work commissioned by the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London as part of ‘Whitechapel Artists Awards 1990’; Public installation at the Old Royal Observatory, London, presented by Space Explorations; Public installation at the British Rail Arch, Beck Road, London, presented by Space Explorations Scholarships, awards and residencies 2004 Cocheme Fellowship, Byam Shaw 2002 ESPRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Grant 2001 Calouste Gulbenkien Foundation Research Grant 2000 LAB Visual Arts Fund: Artists 1995 Arts Foundation Fellowship 1994 Rachel Whiteread / K Foundation Award 1991 Whitechapel Artists’ Award 1989/90 The Picker Fellowship in Sculpture at Kingston Polytechnic 1989 Boise Travel Scholarship Teaching (part-time) since 1993 includes MA Art & Architecture, University of East London; MFA Sculpture, Slade, University College London; BA Fine Art, Middlesex University; BA Fine Art, Ruskin School, University of Oxford; BA Fine Art, Norwich School of Art; Wimbledon School of Art, University of the Arts, London



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Bibliography
2005 Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle, Phillip Warnell, Helen Sumpter, Time Out, issue 1831, 21-28 December; Fiona Crisp/Matthew Tickle/Phillip Warnell, Sarah James, Art Monthly, issue 290, October; Lighting up the background, Colin Martin, nature magazine, issue 437, 6 October 2005 Matthew Tickle, Sally O’Reilly, Art Monthly, Issue 274, March; Just sugaring the pill?, Miria Swain, Mute, issue 27, Winter/ Spring 2000 Matthew Tickle/ Matt’s Gallery, Catherine O’Shea, What’s On, 3 November ; Matthew Tickle at Matt’s Gallery, James Hall, Artforum, January; Matthew Tickle at Matt’s, Janet Koplos, Art in America, February; Art of the Luminous, Roy Exley, CVA, Issue 25, 1999 Matthew Tickle: Idyll, London Zok, Issue No. 17, November; Matthew Tickle, Evening Standard, 5 November; Matthew Tickle, Laura Moffat, Art Monthly, No 231, November; London Art Notices, Sacha Craddock, londonart.co.uk.magazine, November; Matthew Tickle, Martin Herbert, Time Out, No.1523, 27 October; Idyll, The Independent, 3 October; Idyll, Space, The Guardian, 16 September; Choice of the Week, The Guide, The Guardian, 11 September; High-Rise, David Barrett, Art Monthly, No.226, May; High-Rise, Mark Currah, Time Out, 15 May; Furniture I and II, Lisa Panting, Contemporary Visual Arts, Issue 23; Furniture, Deborah Schultz, Art Monthly, No. 225, April; 1996 Plastic, Jonathan Jones, Untitled, No. 12, Winter; ARTS, The Times, 10 September; Visual Arts , Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 27 August; Plastic, Sarah Kent, Time Out, Volume 1358, 28 August Publications 2005 What The Eye Can’t See The Heart Can’t Grieve For, a DVD documenting the temporary public artwork, with accompanying booklet of essays by Dr Fay Dowker and Sally O’Reily, published by Matt’s Gallery, London 2001 Idyll, a book-work with accompanying essay: ‘Installation and Photography: Matthew Tickle’s Idyll’ by Michael Newman, published by Matt’s Gallery, London, ISBN 0 907623 36 0 2000 Tourist, text by Steven Spier, published by Space Explorations, ISBN 0 9531 68913 1999 Furniture, texts by Martin Herbert, Joan Key, and Paul Heber-Percy, published by Richard Salmon Gallery, London, ISBN 1 873550 11 1; Space Explorations, texts by Penelope Curtis, Mel Gooding, Mark Currah and David Barrett, published by Space Explorations, London, ISBN 0 9531689 0 5 1996 Plastic, text by Neil Cummings, with foreword by Joan Key & Paul Heber-Percy, published by Richard Salmon Gallery, London, ISBN 1 873550 01

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