Matthew Daniels

Non-duality

matt

ABOUT THE INSTALLATION

“As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror by dust and as the embryo is covered by the womb, so knowledge (edam) is covered by [desire] (kāma).” (Bhagavad Gita 3.38)

How can we perceive the unchanging in a world of changing forms?

This is the central problem addressed in the Bhagavad Gita, the most widely revered of Indian scriptures. The Gita elaborates a philosophy of advaita (“non-duality”) that unites all observable phenomena as an elaborate dance of forms and qualities supported by an unchanging substrate.

As in the shloka above, the Gita sets metaphors against one another to create an elaborate pattern of interference and superposition.

Light is often described as having a dual nature.

Sometimes it behaves as tiny packets of energy, which we call photons. At other times it behaves like a wave, whose vibration can be subtracted from itself (as in noise-cancelling headphones). These two ways of talking about light are are convenient when making certain kinds of calculations.

But these descriptions obscure something more fundamental: light is both, which is to say that it is neither. It is one.

Non-Duality lets visitors explore light’s wave nature through play. Spin its wheels to create a dazzling array of colourful laser patterns. A chamber filled with diffracted beams captures the variety and multiplicity of light’s manifestations—interfering and superimposing like the Gita’s metaphors—while hinting at its underlying unity.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Matt is a graphic designer, storyteller, teacher, writer, and mapmaker based in Mumbai. He runs the studio HNH!digital along with students from local community centres trained with a unique DTP curriculum. He studied physics and analytic philosophy at Harvard and vedanta in a Chinmaya Satsang.

Contact: matt@hnhdigital.com

KNOW MORE

Imagine a tennis ball that would be in several different places at the same time. But when you try to locate it with measuring instruments, the quantum object is suddenly reduced to one spot. This means that electrons, atoms, molecules, and even photons (light particles), are small particles and waves, both at the same time! This is the basic property of the quantum world. This great site explains it.

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