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Eva Wilson
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The thing with Eva is, you wouldn’t know it to look at her – whatever exactly it is. Tall. Shy (but not as shy as her little brother Jack). A researcher and a curator (even if these days that is a dirty word).

Born in London, EW now claims Berlin (and sometimes Vienna) as her own. You could compare her to a summer’s day but if I was going to compare her to something, it would be the branch of a tree that you try and snap off as you pass by, which turns out to be so fresh and green inside, and strong, that it won’t break no matter how much you pull it.

She has informed me to mention her webbed toes, “for forensic evidence”.

Wilson Chamber

30.09.13
3 min
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Last night I came back to Berlin after a month of mundane travel — London, Rome, New York, and finally two days with my family in Westphalia (a location I mainly mention because Christopher described 60pages’ interests as seemingly gravitating toward West Germany). (His exact list of prevailing topics was: “Wien, Delhi, LA, Lichtenberg, Fußball (und auch Kochen) West-Deutschland, Musikschule“).

At 1:24 in the night I woke with a jolt and stereotypically had the urgent realisation that I didn’t know where I was. I searched the night-grey room for anchors of recognition, trying to fit a New York stencil over the sketchy abstract wispy grey forms I couldn’t quite interpret (which much later turned out to be the withering willow next to the bed and its shadows thrown onto the amorphous wall by the array of Berlin street-lights at eye-level outside the windows). The way my mind was flitting through the room trying to find its bearings reminded me in a sleepy epiphany of something I had seen a few weeks ago in Cambridge. After the shock of dislocation subsided, I dreamily fixated on this flash of an idea which solidified into a note I soporifically somnambulated into the ugly Notes app on my phone.

The Cavendish Laboratory owns the first and only so-called cloud chamber built by its inventor Charles Thomas Rees Wilson in 1911, subsequently known as the Wilson Chamber (an object I naturally adopted as my totem apparatus). The Wilson Chamber is a device to track the paths of flitting, flirting, unstable particles through supersaturated vapour, leaving trails of indecision, collision, pirouettes and nervous elopements. In the frenzied attempt to fill the nebulous void with charged forces, the particles ionise the hazy mixture.

Lightweight methanol vapour saturates the chamber, the alcohol falling as it cools down and the cold condenser providing a steep temperature gradient. Alcohol vapour condenses around ion trails left behind by the travelling ionizing particles. Clouds form, visible in the cloud chamber by the presence of droplets falling down to the condenser. As particles pass through all they leave behind are ionization trails.

My nocturnal self added behind this vaporous thought a quote by Ernst Jünger that I had heard on the radio the same day: “Mein Gegner ist die Sprache” / “My enemy is language”. I can’t retrace the logic behind this association — I think it had to do with leaving linguistic traces in the thick mist of a medium whose enmity you can only express within it, enclosed in the cloud chamber of language. When I woke up in the morning the sun was shining.

Wilson Chamber

30.09.13
3 min
People
Eva Wilson
by Iphgenia Baal