BERLIN.- In Small Survey on Nothingness, the artist Christoph Keller investigates the relationship of nothingness to the ambivalent medium of ether, thus continuing his exploration of Ether: From Cosmology to Consciousness, presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2011. While ether has been examined by scientists as a medium for the transmission of light since the late seventeenth century, in philosophy it represents the absence of absencethat is, the impossibility to think nothingness or absolute emptiness.
Christoph Keller reflects on the changing significance of ether in the history of science by focusing on the first experiment to prove the existence of light-ether, conducted by Albert A. Michelson at the Astrophysical Observatory in Potsdam in 1881. The experiment "failed," thus laying one of the foundations for the development of Einstein's theory of relativity. Exposed as a scientific fallacy, ether was banished from scientific research at the same time that the substance and its properties were discovered by the artistic avant-garde.
In two new video productions and an open experiment for visitors, Christoph Keller explores the traces of nothingness and ether across the humanities and sciencesfrom Michelson's experimentum crucis to the recent discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN.
As one of those outstanding contemporary artists who engage with scientific phenomena and utopias, Christoph Keller artistically translates scientific methods, processes, and images into spaces that can be experienced emotionally and physically. He lives and works in Berlin.