String Theory Landscapes

“The theory of strings predicts that the universe might occupy one random "valley" out of a virtually infinite selection of valleys in a vast landscape of possibilities.”
  -- Raphael Bousso & Joseph Polchinski, Scientific American, September 2004
String Theory posits that the smallest elements from which everything in the universe is made are not particles, but are actually vibrating loops or strings of energy. The precise way each string vibrates or oscillates determines which of a vast variety of things in the universe it becomes. This concept that the smallest element of the universe is an oscillating piece of energy has far-reaching consequences. One theory predicts the existence of multiple dimensions beyond space and time as we know them. It goes on to postulate the existence of a massive landscape of valleys, each occupied by a different universe with its own laws of physics.
The idea that an entire universe may be created from variations of a single element is the concept underpinning the series of paintings I call String Theory Landscapes.
In the world of painting, the equivalent basic element to the string in physics is the dot. When dots are placed next to each other they create lines; lines then form into shapes, and shapes combine to become paintings. This process remains true no matter the subject of a painting and regardless of whether it is representational, abstract, or somewhere in between. Dots, in effect, are the building blocks of paintings.
Analogously, the String Theory Landscapes are two-dimensional parallels to imaginary multi-dimensional universes. They are created from dots, which vibrate differently depending on their color. The dots then combine to form multiple possible lines, which echo in some way the basic shape or format of the square in which they are contained. They are abstract paintings that embody the methodology of their creation within an enclosed universe.
For me, the fact that some physicists use the term “landscape” to describe this new multi-dimensional universe–a term also used, of course, to denote paintings of the visible world–invigorates the poetic license required to draw parallels between the fundamentals of art and science. Fortifying this notion further are the colors used in these paintings, which are culled from my physical surroundings and then allowed to journey into realms of the imagination.