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Alan Turing Tribute Suspends 47 Glass Bubbles from a Ceiling

Michael Petry remembers the momentous mathematician with installation 'AT the Core of the Algorithm' at Houston's Hiram Butler Gallery.

47 glass globes hang in clusters from the ceiling of Houston's Hiram Butler Gallery as artist Michael Petry's homage to British mathematician Alan Turing. Up close, each “bubble” has a piece bitten out of it—the spherical shape is a reference to the cyanide-coated apple with which Turing is suspected to have taken his own life.

To create the forms that make up AT the Core of the Algorithm, Petry developed an algorithm using only sets of prime numbers. "Each of the bubbles represents a multiverse,” the artist explains to the Houston Chronicle. “Current science imagines that our universe is like a soap bubble that attaches to another one, and the points where they intersect is where things can go from one universe to the other." Last year, the work was on display inside a spiral staircase at GLAZENHUIS, Lommel, Belgium.

In an artist's statement, Petry explains that mathematicians predict there will be a universe “where all the prime numbers, all the glass, all the apples, all the algorithms, all the spheres, all the lovers will collide." And, he concludes, "Mr. Turing will be there smiling, waiting, loving.”

Michael Petry, AT the core of the Algorithm, 2015, blown glass; Courtesy of Hiram Butler Gallery.

Michael Petry, AT the core of the Algorithm, 2015, blown glass; Courtesy of Hiram Butler Gallery.

Michael Petry, AT the core of the Algorithm, 2015, blown glass; Courtesy of Hiram Butler Gallery.

Michael Petry, AT the core of the Algorithm, 2015, blown glass; Courtesy of Hiram Butler Gallery.

Michael Petry, AT the core of the Algorithm, Glazenhuis, Lommel, Belgium, 2014. Courtesy of Hiram Butler Gallery.

Michael Petry: AT the Core of the Algorithm from Hiram Butler Gallery on Vimeo.

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