top of page

Proximus, 2023.


Within the universe, there are no isolated systems. Each thing has some influence on each other, however small or indirect. Life can be overwhelming when we try to account for all our interactions.

The pull we feel from people and things, like the gravitational attraction from one planet to another, depends on their proximity to us. And like the motion of celestial bodies, so much as one additional entity changes – and often eliminates – the predictability of a system. Chaos.

        Love gives us access to moments where we feel only the gravity of our immediate surroundings. Moments that are insulated, like when I play music with my family. When I laugh with my friends. When I stand by the ocean with my partner, and when I see the stars. In these moments love dominates and disorder dims.

        Proximus shows how two loved ones would interact under only the force of their mutual gravity. The waves at Nauset beach are seen through the silhouettes of two spheres in a binary orbit.  The objects have masses and diameters proportional to the weights and heights of my partner and me. This is a simulation of an isolated system. It is an idealization of real life. It is also a simulation of love in the way I experience it. From this vantage point, I hope others are reminded that love can be accessed within any moment. The most difficult – and most necessary – thing is distinguishing these beautiful fragments amidst chaos.

© Shane Ackerley

bottom of page