Marie Kolbæk Iversen
n_body crash 


Digital work

n_body crash

n_body crash is a digital work by Marie Kølbæk Iversen, especially commissioned by Kvadrat and curated by South into North. The commission is inspired by the fascinating relationship between textiles and information technology. Both binary-based systems - textiles are structured around the grid of warp/theft just as computers use the 0/1 language - the early stages of computer science used the same technology of punch-hole cards underlying the automated weaving of the Jaquard loom.

n-body_crash represents a new iteration of Kølbæk Iversen’s long term project Io/I (2015-), which investigates the transversal entity Io; at once the innermost moon of Jupiter; a priestess from Greek-Roman mythology, and the unlikely namesake of binary coding: 0/1, O/I, IO, Io. In 1614, German astronomer Simon Marius named Jupiter's moon after the mythological character Io, a woman-turned-cow upon being raped by Jupiter. Through this naming, Io became symbolically locked in orbit around her assailant.

Through a collaboration with astrophysicist Ole Busborg Jensen, n-body_crash simulates lunar Io’s escape from the gravitational pull of Jupiter: hit by an asteroid cluster, the moon dissolves and is simultaneously released from her orbit. The python code that underlies the astrophysical simulation of Io’s liberation has been translated into binary code, resulting in a series of coloured digital renditions of the 0/1-language that fill the screen to run its script.

The simulation is accompanied by a text on the mythological story of Io and Jupiter, the cursing of the naming and the long-due liberation of Io, in a call to reassert female power in the patriarchal cosmography of modern science.

The website is developed in collaboration with design studio Alexis Mark.




Related projects

New Museum, New York

Pixel Forest
New Museum, New York

Kvadrat Art Projects
Various venues