1 October - 15 November 2005

Samantha Clark was in-residence at Wysing throughout 2004 during which time she researched various ideas relating to the common ground between Romanticism and scientific enquiry. The resulting work, The Subtle Ether, was a 22 minute long video that was projected in Wysing's gallery.

The Subtle Ether is an invention of nineteenth century Physics; conceived as a substance that fills the space between ‘things’ and helps explain how light behaves. Its existence has never been proven and, since the early 20th century, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics has replaced the subtle ether with another putative gap-filler, ‘dark matter’.

Samantha Clark researched The Subtle Ether and aimed "to create a state of waiting and watching, opening up a quiet space between things, where meaning can evolve suggestively through relationships between sound and image."

The resulting video was formed of six sections, each relating image and sound from widely divergent sources, including an iteration of the Koch Curve against the music of Bach; a ‘squeezed’ Cambridgeshire sunset against ‘stretched’ traffic sounds in a Swiss city; floating jellyfish against NASA recordings of the sound made by meteor showers; an explanation of the chemical composition of common salt against a Dolly Parton love song; swarming midges and short-wave radio transmissions; gloves drying on a line and more Bach, but this time played haltingly by an amateur pianist.