No Such Thing As Gravity opens your mind with a range of artists collaborating to explore the nature of scientific truth. I bring my focus to Nick Laessing’s Water Gas Car (2013-present), exhibiting thought provoking ideas by challenging some concrete beliefs of both science and society.
The exploration of free energy is something we turn our attention to more as climate change continues to affect us. Immediately, walking into Laessing's space in FACT's Gallery 1, I begin to think about my own experience with renewable energy. I see the complex issue of energy consumption as a vicious circle. Yes, I care about the future of the planet and talk passionately about global warming and the importance of everyone doing their bit. But, I also need energy to survive and no matter how eco-friendly I try to be, I feel like it is never enough. But what is enough? What must we do to control this consumption universally?
When it comes to the environment, we are often left in doubt. We tend to rely on what we are told from scientists, but are constantly being bombarded with information, much of which we don’t know if we should believe. This is where I see the importance of bringing art and science together: exploring science through art allows people to gather more understanding of different concepts and forms.
Approaching his work as an artist, Laessing neither accepts or rejects that his experiments might work. I find this an interesting approach as both art and science develop through experimentation, often take long periods of time to plan and reach an outcome, and both are ever-changing. Throughout the exhibition, curator Rob La Frenais highlights the complexities behind science experimentation and the doubt that comes along with it. Again, this demonstrates the similarities in a process of understanding.
To me, the strongest part of Water Gas Car is the outcome. Laessing embraces the maker culture, having spent a decade visiting backyard inventors; and the modern world of innovation is pioneered by this type of people. The ability and drive to discover new ideas and turn them into reality like Laessing does, is something that will continue to push our future forward.
A car that runs on water may seem somewhat of an unthinkable project to many, but exploring the exhibition and seeing it built, along with the video of its journey, enables me to envision a world where one day this will be normal. No Such Thing As Gravity brings a range of scientific research to the art world, and this is something we need to continue to focus on.
No Such Thing As Gravity is showing at FACT until 5 February.