Exhibition - The Image Gallery
The human nervous system evolved in an environment where seeing change - the slightest difference in the surroundings - could mean the difference between life and death. So it is not surprising that our most developed cultural forms are practices of the visual. But we didn’t stop there. So much of life occurs outside the range of visible light. Through scientific tools and methods we have reached far beyond this narrow slice of the electromagnetic spectrum to colonize its full range, from radio waves and infrared to x-rays, gamma radiation and cosmic rays.
The Image gallery provides a glimpse into a world foreign to our naked eye, showcasing photographs from an atomic scale to a universal scale.
An overall view (left). A visitor reinforces the idea of the widening accessibility and usage of cameras (right). Photos courtesy of Institute without Boundaries and Vancouver Art Gallery
The room is set up like a three-dimensional electromagnetic spectrum. The images made from low frequency waves (radio waves) are near the entrance, images made with visible light (red, orange, yellow…) are in the middle of the room, and images made using high frequency waves (gamma waves) are near the exit of the room.
Captions explaining different imaging techniques encouraged active engagement with the room. Photos courtesy of Institute without Boundaries and Vancouver Art Gallery
Most of the images made with techniques not involving visible light are naturally black and white, and any color is false color. We chose to keep them this way to emphasize the dichotomy of invisible and visible. The colorful visible images are more numerous, alluding to the recent democratization of the means for making and sharing images. All visible images are displayed in categories, with similar, somewhat mundane images repeating over and over again. The categories include pictures that we all take such as people posed in front of landmarks, pets, birthdays, weddings, etc.
We would like to thank all of the wonderful people who contributed images to this room. Over 125 scientists, companies, organizations and people who answered our online image call made generous contributions. See their names on the exhibition contributors list.
Explore the Exhibition: