A Measurement at the Queen Victoria Building

Together with Matt, an experimental physicist, I set up The Evolver – a hopeful measuring device which detects things – such as our longing – that must surely sit in the underlying architecture – at, or near the edge of measurement.


Here is a short video of The Measurement in progress


The measurement was made by placing The Evolver Machine (see Figure 1.) outside the entrance to The Queen Victoria Building in the Sydney CBD.

Can we measure the universe from there?

There were no protestors on the street that day.

The paper – the recording surface – sat in direct contact with the ground. The Scientists observed, and the humans passed by. It was noticeable that unlike atoms – humans can have complex behaviour which can be said to be determined by this hopeful measuring device. It changes the behaviour of what it is hoping to measure like all devices that try to measure.

Some people are indifferent to this particular

Gravitational effect

Some pass by

Some stop

Some return

Suggesting that humans have extremities that snag differently.


The recording of the machine. Its lines and curves.. are in tension with me – The Measurer – and like with all scientific enquiry we come to an agreement.. me and the measuring device.. as to what the measurement means.

Measurement made by the peripheral aspect of The Evolver


I am a scientist but at times – like this – I am baffled by being human..

let down by all the thinking we do.. all the rationality –

that, behind the grey curtain, inverts itself..

the axioms don’t hold

the centre frays.

I am trying to detect angels..

so even if things can’t be made sense of – they can be carefully navigated

over the sharp edges we are constantly creating.


That is what I am measuring.


“The way I like to see it…. It’s as if an interplanetary scientist comes down and has no way of measuring it (this planet).. and had to do whatever they could to try and get a handle on it. This (points to the Evolver) being the only way to measure and what can it tell us about this Universe in terms of the


of this machine and does this machine trick it; does the machine change its


or what it is doing? What is its


Is it changing the researcher’s


The scientists, Sid and Matt : setting up to measure
some measurements made by Matt


Sid Measuring humans interacting with The Evolver

These are the questions I am interested in. How does it effect


How is


affected by it?

Right now I am recording / mapping


Like this couple here (points to couple), they are not changing their speed at all; they are moving straight past it. Another couple over there moving straight past it. This one – look – changed her


and glanced in. Almost like a planet. It’s like gravity. This thing is like gravity. Somethings are not affected by gravity apparently. So what is it that is actually affecting their


So some people are actually indifferent to this gravitational effect and some people are affected by it. It’s really interesting. So what’s the difference.. if you are from another planet then we are all essentially the same.. right. We might as well be – the same.. if you are from another planet or universe you would have no way to distinguish one human from another.. but sometimes there


is not the same. Atoms. There


is always exactly the same. So there is something weird about people.. that is one of the things becoming clear through these measurements.

So maybe the basic assumption we can make is that whatever these people are.. they move in a straight line.. unless some force acts upon them to change direction.. and maybe this is such a force.. and maybe there are other forces out there but this is the force we are putting at the centre of our experiment so we unreasonably] favour this experimental apparatus.  It’s a very unreasonable proposition but that’s kind of what you do in science : you make an unreasonable propositions and then you set about measuring  / testing it.. and then you’ve got to have faith that you are then going to understand something about the world by doing something which at first seems to (maybe) not make sense.

Angel in the Substructure: Image negotiated between the measurement and the Measurer


Angel in the Substructure
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