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Alistair McClymont, The Limitations of Logic and the Absence of Absolute CertaintyAlistair McClymont, The Limitations of Logic and the Absence of Absolute Certainty

Alistair McClymont, Beam Time - artist’s research residency

Alistair McClymont

Central Laser Facility
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX


Making a Universe

An evening event with Alistair McClymont and Ceri Brenner explores artistic and scientific practices that deal with contained and extreme environments
3 December 2014, book here

Alistair McClymont selected blogs about his visits to Oxfordshire’s Central Laser Facility for his three-month research residency

Alistair McClymont's blog


Together with Artquest and the Central Laser Facility we are pleased to announce that Alistair McClymont has been selected from a field of over 60 high quality applications for this new three-month artist's residency based at Oxfordshire’s Central Laser Facility.  He will make his first visit to the centre in February 2014.  The £3000 residency is funded by The Arts Catalyst and Artquest.

The Beam Time residency will give McClymont a unique opportunity to develop his practice (and potentially a new body of work), through a period of intense research and engagement with leading scientists and the frontier science that they conduct at the Central Laser Facility.

McClymont's previous work such as The Limitations of Logic and the Absence of Absolute Certainty, a 10ft high man-made tornado, impressed the selection panel. He describes his investigations into various phenomena and ambitions to expand this practice:

“It has become clear to me that my practice is closely entangled with the methodology of scientists. I see a close link with the way artists and scientists view the world, the process of engagement and discovery that drives their work. It is important to me to continue to seek out and talk to scientific institutions and scientists themselves to drive my own personal investigation into phenomena that has become a key part of my practice.”

McClymont often creates artworks through collaboration with scientists, for example he worked with a meteorologist at Manchester University to develop Raindrop, with a nuclear physicist at Kings College Hospital using their MRI scanners, and worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Washington using their ocean weather data and sunlight data.

The Central Laser Facility produces some of the world’s most powerful light beams, providing scientists with an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology. These high powered lasers are used to recreate the extreme conditions inside stars and planets, others can reveal intricate detail on a microscopic scale enabling scientists to build up a complex picture of the exact molecular interactions that lead to disease.  The CLF also uses laser beam 'tweezers' capable of holding individual micro-droplets that make up clouds helping scientists gain an insight into climate change.


Alistair's McClymont

Partners and Funders

Artquest is an organisation dedicated to supporting artists at all stages in their careers. It does this by connecting them to the resources, networks and opportunities they need to develop their practices and creating projects and events for the benefit of artists and their work.

Beam Time is a part of KiiCS (Knowledge Incubation in Innovation and Creation for Science) - a 3-year European Commission-funded project which is supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme.

Central Laser Facility STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, Oxfordshire