100 Billion Suns, 2011
Confetti cannon, 3,216 pieces of paper
Courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai
Photography by Jerry L. Thompson
3,216 pieces of confetti are released with every explosion of Katie Paterson's confetti cannon, 100 Billion Suns. Each piece is color-matched to a different gamma-ray burst — the brightest and hottest type of explosion in the universe, as luminous as 100 billion suns, of which 3,216 have been photographed since their discovery in the 1960s. Paterson appreciates the small gesture of her cannon: "I like to think of the cannon as being a one-second burst, a tiny explosion that which contains all of these enormously vast universal explosions."