#TROS (The Representation Of Space, July 18, 2015):

What comes first – matter or space or time? What is the structure of space? Why did Paul Cezanne go ‘flat’? How did Picasso turn the artistic conception of space on its head with cubism? Is there a link between colour and space? What is it like to be in Matisse’s The Red Studio? What happens when you walk into a room that you have not been in before? Are there specific neurons in your brain for every space that you have ever been to? How do place cells within the hippocampus represent the physical space as a cognitive map? Is space the same everywhere in the universe? Is it possible to represent empty space? How does an artist create the pictorial space on a 2-dimensional canvas? Is the perception of space always relative to matter (& objects)? Is episodic memory anchored in space (the ‘where’)? What is space like at sub atomic scales? Does nature really have more than 3 dimensions? Has theoretical physics completely missed incorporating gravity of all the matter in the universe? Is matter essentially primary, time derived, and space essentially relational? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions, about the manifested space around and within us, using concepts from physics (Prof. C.S. Unnikrishnan, TIFR, Mumbai), art (Atul Dodiya, Mumbai), and neuroscience (Dr. Sachin Deshmukh, IISc, Bangalore).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TROS show.

Dr. Sachin Deshmukh (neuroscience)  is a Wellcome/DBT intermediate fellow at the Centre for Neuroscience at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. Dr. Deshmukh did his M.Sc. in Biotechnology from MS University, Baroda and obtained his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore. He did his postdoctoral work at University of California, Berkeley, University of Texas Health Sciences Centre at Houston, and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He is a perpetually lost wanderer who is amazed by the navigational abilities of fellow animals: humans, rats, mice, bats, ants, and bees. He studies how rodents create representations of space in the hippocampus, and how they use this spatial framework to organize memory. He is interested in understanding how (and if) the hippocampus synthesizes a coherent representation of space from parallel, sensory derived and internally generated, information about space it receives from the entorhinal cortex. Dr. Deshmukh studies how the hippocampus, together with its inputs, selectively processes only significant sensory information – a function critical for separating important events from daily chores, to store as episodic memory.

Atul Dodiya (art, aesthetics)  is an artist with a wide artistic range and skills across mediums. He began exhibiting and selling his work in the early 1980s following his graduation from Sir J. J. School of Art in Mumbai where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He furthered his training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1991-92) subsequent to a scholarship awarded by the French Government. He has shown extensively both in India and overseas with galleries such as Gallery Chemould, Mumbai (1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001), Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai (2007), CIMA Gallery, Kolkata (1997), Bodhi Art, Singapore and New York (2003, 2005), Bose Pacia, New York (2003, 2005) and Nature Morte, Berlin (2010). Solo exhibitions of Atul’s works have also been held and curated in cultural centres such as New York, Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Chicago, & Singapore. He has also participated in the Yokohama Triennale (2001), Venice Biennale (2005), Gwangju Biennale (2008), and the Moscow Biennale (2009), among others. Atul combines influences and images from Bollywood, popular cultural materials like calendars and posters, studio photographs, newspapers, and from the works of a range of Indian and international artists. He is also an active participant in the world of contemporary Gujarati literature. He lives in Mumbai.

Prof. C. S. Unnikrishnan (gravitational physics)  is Professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. He is also avisiting professor at Raman Research Institute, Bangalore and has held visiting researcher positions at Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris and University of Paris Nord. Originally from Kalady in Kerala, he completed schooling and undergraduate education in Kerala and M.Sc. in Physics from IIT, Madras (1984). His doctoral thesis (from TIFR) was on experimental search for a fifth force in nature. Prof. Unnikrishnan’s research interests have been experimental and theoretical studies of foundational aspects of gravity, quantum mechanics, and the quantum vacuum, and studies of atom-light interactions employing laser-cooled atoms. He has been researching on certain core issues in the foundational philosophy and framework of physics, especially on issues of causality, realism and locality in quantum physics, unobservables in physical theories, and the relation between dynamics and the larger universe. Prof. Unnikrishnan is also a key member of the LIGO-India national megascience project, the IndIGO consortium, and the global LIGO Scientific Collaboration for gravitational wave research. His major interests outside physics research are music and films, especially the process of their creation and structure. He has worked in films as an actor and as an assistant director. He has also been a columnist, expressing views on science and society, for Malayalam magazines.

ŸNote: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TROS mentions: Newton, Gauss, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Einstein, Rainer Maria Rilke, Barnett Newman, Satyajit Ray, & John O’Keefe, among others.