Universal Loom

Video Photo Info
As part of the Lumiere Festival, Daniel Canogar created a generative animation projected on the façade of the Ogden Center for Fundamental Physics at Durham University. Universal Loom uses a custom-made pixel-weaver software, a program that algorithmically applies the mechanics of textile looms to the digital realm, to evoke the sense of a dynamic fabric. The textile-like animation was inspired by astronomical research led by Professor Carlos Frenk, director of the Odgen Center. The project is an artistic interpretation of the string theory of the universe. Designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, the Ogden Center became a unique surface to receive Universal Loom, projected three evenings of November 2023 in Durham.
String theory is based on the idea that reality is made up of infinitesimal vibrating strings, smaller than atoms, electrons or quarks. According to this theory of quantum gravity used in early universe cosmology, as the strings vibrate, twist and fold, they produce effects in many tiny dimensions that humans interpret as everything from particle physics to large-scale phenomena like gravity.
String theory turns the page on the standard description of the universe by replacing all matter and force particles with these vibrating strings. Though this theory has not been fully explained or understood, it serves as an interesting model to think of the universe as an interconnected web or fabric. Einstein’s general theory of relativity spoke about the woven nature of space and time into a single fabric that is continuous, smooth and gets curved and deformed by the presence of matter and energy. Many string theorists who dare to go beyond Einstein’s classical theory have wondered if the spatial fabric of the universe can indeed be ripped and torn. The discovery that quantum physics is a realm of violent turbulence has led many to think that perhaps the spatial fabric rips on a regular basis. Universal Loom attempts to capture this cosmological activity on the projected fabric that wraps around the Ogden Center. Black holes, gravitational disturbances and other astronomical activity pulls and tugs on the fabric, creating an artistic interpretation of the research that happens within the building.  
Generative video projection.