M-Theory (2010)

Acrylic on plywood, string, wooden blocks, masonite
Approximately 2,000 components, dimensions variable

M –Theory is an installation that was first exhibited in the artist’s studio in May 2010. Two different configurations were assembled. The components were laser cut from boards painted on both sides. The components were then used to create the work Circular Keys commissioned for Quay Restaurant, Sydney.

The title was inspired by a schematic drawing of M-Theory in Brian Greene’s book The Fabric of the Cosmos (2005)

The fundamental constituents of matter have been pondered since scientific thought began. The Greeks believed it was the atom, which sufficed for over 200 years, until smaller building blocks – protons, electrons etc. – were discovered, and in 1964, the quark was proposed. In the 1980’s, string theory, a mathematical representation where particles are thought of as strings of vibrating energy, led to five different, seemingly unconnected theories, until the 1990’s when M-Theory unified them. Edward Whitten, who first suggested M-Theory in 1995 did not specify what the M stood for, himself suggesting ‘magic’, ‘mystery’, or ‘matrix’, and others have suggested ‘membrane’, ‘mother’ or ‘master’, even ‘missing’ or ‘murky’. M-Theory is not complete, and is still controversial.

In 2011 approximately 2,000 new components were laser cut from boards painted on one side only to make the permanent installation M-Theory. M-Theory was exhibited at Langford120 in Melbourne from 14 April – 6 May 2012, and Benalla Art Gallery in 2013.

A section of M-Theory was installed in Melbourne for the filming of the Paul Cox film Force of Destiny in 2015