*aleatory (ey-lee-uh-tawr-ee); depending on an uncertain event or contingency

of filaments, nodes and voids

A Project by Ulrike Kuchner and Paul Malone

Inspired by games such as 'Chinese Whispers' and the 'Exquisite Corpse', this interdisciplinary collaboration sees astronomer-artist Ulrike and artist-astronomer Paul pass images back and forth. With each cycle they will be manipulating this source material according to the methodologies that they are familiar with - according to their practices in art (Paul) and astronomy (Ulrike). Each iteration is reacting to the changes the other made and contributes a further layer of building a bridge between the arts and the sciences.

The title (alea, meaning "dice") refers to the fact that some element of the composition is left to chance. Centred around a common theme of the web-like distribution of matter in the Universe, where large-scale filaments connect at nodes leaving massive empty voids behind. Starting points include Paul's photographs of spider webs or Ulrike's simulations from dark matter in dense regions of the Universe. Treated equally, Ulrike and Paul are free to explore methods detached from the context of their intended disciplines.

Ulrike and Paul thus explore the way that patterns and models interact stripped from their disciplinary context. Proposing by example and inviting reciprocation, leaves open the door to the potential for error and misunderstanding. This in the playful spirit of the aleatory. With willful intent Ulrike and Paul plan to get things wrong and proceed outside of the usual definition of conventional logic. As such they are hoping to mirror yet subvert the processes of Nature and its ability to confound the human imagination.

Dr Ulrike Kuchner  is an astrophysicist (PhD) and artist (MFA) who researches the evolution of galaxies and structure formation such as cosmic filaments and galaxy clusters and is creating and curating art at the intersection of art and science.

Website: www.ulrikekuchner.com

Paul Malone is an artist (B.A., MFA) and astronomer with practices ranging from movies to digital prints and installations. He curates internationally and researches lost and forgotten theories of astronomy. 

Website: www.paulmalone.co.uk

Catalogues of Interaction




gas sphere inferno