Karel Nel is the only artist on a team of 100 astrophysicists involved in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (Cosmos).
Karel Nel, The Collapse Of Time, 2008, sprayed pigment on bonded fibre fabric, 240 x 360cm(3-part screen Karel Nel is the only artist on a team of 100 astrophysicists involved in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (Cosmos). As humankind’s largest and most ambitious investigation into the outer realms of space, Cosmos’s goals are deceptively humble: to map two square degrees of the sky. “The two square degrees in the sky are basically three moons by three moons, or three thumbprints by thumbprints,” explained Nel in an interview. “So it seems relatively small, but we are looking into infinity.” Within these two degrees, more than a million galaxies have been identified through radio, x-ray, infrared and optical applications of the Hubble Space Telescope. Indeed, the mind boggles trying to comprehend the complexity of this pinch or three of infinity. For instance, consider deep time, which refers to the fact that as we look out into space, we are looking at the past – it takes eight minutes just for the sun’s rays to hit earth, so what we see of the sun actually happened eight minutes ago. In the Cosmos project, the galaxies being mapped are sometimes eight million years old…READ FULL REVIEW IN PRINT EDITION