Life wouldn’t exist without light, that much we know. But light has also shaped so much of our lives and culture. It is a common symbol in religion and philosophy, it is found in our myths and rituals, and it is central to art and architecture. Light is a universal symbol of life, and we also speak of death as “going toward the light”.
This theme explores light and its hidden role in shaping our evolution and our humanity.
Seeing is a tricky affair. It’s more like a dance between the object we are seeing, the light reflecting off it, and our brain perceiving it. To complicate matters, not all beings see the same way. You and I see a bit differently, and what do we find when we look at the world through the eyes of a mantis shrimp or a butterfly?
This theme explores light and vision and its myriad connections to our perception of reality.
Right now, you are surrounded by a chaotic but invisible symphony of different kinds of light waves passing through you like ghosts or interacting with you in subtle ways. Every time you send a text message, for instance, you are in fact sending out waves of light. Most of our day-to-day technology we take for granted is based on the very wide spectrum of light, visible and invisible, high energy and low energy.
This theme explores how humans have exploited light, from radio waves to gamma rays, and the directions we could move in in the future.
Light seems to play outside the rules of time and space as we understand them. It can travel infinitely, it can be everywhere, and we can still see the light of stars long gone. And if light is everywhere, where do we go to search for the dark, the absence of light?
Following the journey of light, this theme gives us a direct glimpse of abstract notions like “infinity” and “inter-connectedness”.