Paul Cullen Archive

Discovery of Oxygen


"Two constituents in Paul Cullen’s ‘Discovery of Oxygen’ are in constant motion. One is water, which is visible and audible, the other is electricity, which is not. The installation imitates experiment, a home-grown model of a closed system which elsewhere I have called ‘practical physics’. I want to look at other models in the history of science in which these constituents have played a role in the promulgation of knowledge. Some scientific discoveries became accepted through public displays, spectacle and even trickery, rather than being confined exclusively to the laboratory. Knowledge has advanced in conjunction with the means to disseminate it, which in its popular guise included education manuals, illustration, illusions and games in what Barbara Maria Stafford has called ‘artful science'."

Excerpt from Richard Dale's text: Fully Electrified: On Paul Cullen’s ‘Discovery of Oxygen’

Discovery of Oxygen, 2011
Discovery of Oxygen, 2011
Sketch, 1995