Angelica Frey at JSTOR Daily:
What do the roof of the Munich Olympic Stadium, Glinda the Good Witch, Disney’s Cinderella, the art series “Unweave a Rainbow” by neo-surrealist painter Ariana Papademetropoulos, Sir Isaac Newton, the first “viral” ad campaign of the late Victorian era, and morose Dutch still-life paintings have in common? They all reflect a preoccupation with soap bubbles, with shiny, shimmery, and iridescent spheres that we tend to associate with children and play.
Far from being objects that just feed our natural proclivities toward shiny and shimmering surfaces, bubbles are a recurring trope in the history of philosophy, literature, the arts, and science. “Make a soap bubble and observe it; you could spend a whole life studying it,” Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, allegedly said in the late nineteenth century.