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Photos of Quantum Physicists’ Chalkboards

scribbles on a blackboard

A blackboard is an indelible part of our collective school memories. From pre-school to college, and beyond, the blackboard has been, and still is the educator’s primary teaching instrument. Even in today’s high-tech, gadget-driven world, the blackboard maintains a strong foothold in that bastion of learning we call the classroom. Alejandro Guijarro draws our attention towards these huge canvases of learning, in a no frills, no gimmicks photo series called Momentum that shows the blackboard, quietly in action.

blackboard scribbles

Momentum connects on two essential levels. It is a collection of images that brings out our memories of blackboards scribbled, full of equations, words, and phrases meant to be copied into our notebooks. On a more profound level, it is a series of photographs offering a glimpse into the most brilliant minds of quantum physics in the world today. What you see first off is a matter of personal appreciation and perception.

quantum physics notes on blackboard

The silent, mental monologue of minds probing themselves for answers and solutions is obvious and apparent in the chalk-smeared surfaces of the various blackboards. Viewers of the series must be made aware of the efforts Guijarro put into assembling this series. These are blackboards from some of the most distinguished learning institutions in the United States and Europe, including Stanford, Berkeley, Cambridge and Oxford. Momentum is a work in progress. A profile of the artist/photographer is offered on his website:

“Alejandro Guijarro is an artist based in London and Madrid who works primarily in photography. He recently graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010.
His work examines spatial relations in photographic representation, exploring what photography is still allowed and able to do. He makes contradictory and paradoxical images, where the boundaries of the photographic image break down. The images imply a tension that goes back and forth between what can be seen and what can be understood, creating a simultaneous sense of appearance and disappearance. By undermining our recognizable modes of perception, he questions the solidity and the authority of the photographic image and its ability to refer to reality and to truth.”

writing on chalkboard

erased scribbles on blackboard

Click here to visit Guijarro’s website.

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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