A photomicrograph of the chalk marks on the blackboard used by Einstein in his 1931 Oxford lecture on the Theory of Relativity by Cornelia Parker, 1999. Made while Parker was an artist in residence at the Science Museum. This is part 2 of 3 photomicrographs, made by Parker in the series 'Einstein's Abstracts'. 'Three Clumps' written on reverse.
Contemporary artist Cornelia Parker has often drawn on ideas in physics, collaborating directly with researchers or taking inspiration from popular accounts of science. In Einstein’s Abstracts, made when Parker was artist in residence at the Science Museum, she took high-magnification photographs of chalked letters from a blackboard that had been preserved in the History of Science Museum in Oxford. These letters were written by Einstein, who gave a series of lectures at the university on 16 May 1931. Seen close up the dusty chalk grains on a black background resemble images of space. For Parker this process gave her a greater understanding of Einstein’s work, explaining that ‘looking so closely at his chalk marks ... helped me comprehend what was previously unintelligible’.