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Hope for Humanity 

Wednesday, Nov 12 2008
If an artist’s job is to create, then God would just edge out the digestive system in terms of tonnage produced. In "Universes Unlimited,” conceptual artist Jonathon Keats now springs to the top of the pack. He developed, and is selling, do-it-yourself universe kits. How does it work? Physicist Hugh Everett III explained it all years ago when he bent over to look at a subatomic particle that had been appearing in two places at once. He noticed that when he observed it, the second location vanished. The universe, he deduced, musta cleaved in two. (Everett then went to work as a defense analyst and died a multimillionaire in 1982). Mulling over Everett, Keats decided to get a supply of subatomic particles, look at them, and cleave universes. "I figured the easiest approach would be to measure radioactive decay," he explains in his press release, not really explaining anything. "So I assembled a prototype out of uranium-doped glass and a sliver of scintillating crystal." He rigged it together with a drinking straw and chewing gum, and universes spilled from it like maggots. At today’s opening, Keats offers $20 D.I.Y. universe kits, consisting of uranium-doped glass and scintillating crystal; users must procure their own gum, blind faith, jar, and straw.
Thu., Nov. 20, 5:30 p.m., 2008

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Michael Leaverton


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