Azize Harvey "Ripples from a Hazy Source"

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Azize Altay Harvey is an undergraduate senior in the studio arts program at the University of Pittsburgh with a minor in Japanese. She is interested in exploring the ways in which visual art can support and give new perspectives to other disciplines, ranging from physics to ancient mythology. While doing that, she attempts to connect to the inspirations that drive her and the people working with the subjects she is exploring. Her work prominently incorporates the use of patterns, stories and mix media.

For her piece, Altay Harvey worked with Dr. Arthur Kosowsky to create an artist book that explores the work he does with the theoretical. And interesting question arose when entering this sphere of cosmology as an artist: how do you visualize the unobservable? The properties of the universe seem to more often be described by what they are not rather than what they are; as an example, discoveries of objects like dark matter are made by observing what happens to the light around it rather than from the matter itself. Whether it is gauging what might be pushing the increasing velocity of the universe by studying redshift or using gravitational lensing to predict the distribution dark matter, there seems to be a reliance on making discoveries by observing actions rather than reactions, along with a willingness to imagine what could be given the data available. Harvey’s work latches on to this and seeks to play with the idea of light, imagined patterns and the process found in both theoretical cosmology and art of trying to make clarity from the abstract.