Steven Connor is Professor of English at the University of Cambridge. Since 2018 he has been Director of CRASSH. His areas of interest include magical thinking; the history of medicine; the cultural life of objects and the material imagination; the relations between culture and science; the philosophy of animals; and the body, sense and sexuality. He has also written on contemporary art for Cabinet, Tate Etc, Modern Painters and others. His essay, ‘Mutantis Mutandis’, is on the work of Annie Cattrell.
Frank Wilczek is an American theoretical physicist, mathematician and a winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics. His most recent book is A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design.
“Utilizing a dialectical approach in both my studio practice and research, my aim is to move beyond the contemporary paradigm of postmodernism towards an artistic discourse that oscillates between a ‘modern enthusiasm and postmodern irony,’ between unity and multiplicity, totality and fragmentation, clarity and ambiguity, and reason and romanticism.”
Jared Vaughan Davis often deals with topics ranging from epistemology, mythology, ancient and modern cosmology, and the science of ‘belief’.
“My work is an exploration of complex systems in nature, and the dynamic interplay of structure and contingency that makes up the universe. I begin with spirals as a basic unit of configuration. Using compressed air to create and move small currents of paint, I yield control to my materials so that these basic units become force fields, drawing energy within themselves like a vortex and radiating it outward. As they bump up against one another, and overlap, they create interference patterns and complex interstitial spaces. These vibrate in a dynamic interplay in which nothing is static, where “positive and “negative” spaces shift in relation to one another in the shifting light.”
“My work is an exploration between vision and sound and the power of this connection to generate compelling visual environments. The inquiry of this integration has also satisfied a strong interest in the ideas and methodology of science as a basis for the conceptual underpinning of the work. As such, the method of creating my work is scientifically inspired with a well thought out and tested process oriented to have optimal pragmatic results both for the quality of the work itself and the benefits of the process for me as the maker.”
Daniel Hill is a painter, sound artist, curator, educator, and writer whose work explores the relationship between visual art, sound, and science. His paintings employ a rules based system in which the notion of embodied cognition is an inquiry as well as the balance between the aesthetic and conceptual.
When celebrated neuropsychologist Paul Broks’s wife died of cancer, it sparked a journey of grief and reflection that traced a lifelong attempt to understand how the brain gives rise to the soul. The result of that journey. ‘The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars’, is a gorgeous, evocative meditation on fate, death, consciousness, and what it means to be human.
In this correspondence Paul Broks discusses the production of this book with Garry Kennard, its illustrator.
Christopher Henshilwood holds a 10 year South Africa National Research Foundation funded Research Chair and Professorship at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is also the Professor of African Prehistory in the Archaeology, History, Culture and Religion Institute at the University of Bergen, Norway.
Karen Loise van Niekerk is an archaeologist working on Middle Stone Age sites, specifically Blombos Cave and Klipdrift Shelter, in the southern Cape, South Africa.
“I am an emerging artist living in Cambridgeshire. Due to circumstances involving one of my children and a traumatic brain injury, I began my current practice as a way to cope with the neurological rehabilitation that has consumed family life. This experience feeds heavily into my artistic process.”
Katherine Gravett has worked in collaboration with neuroscientists in Cambridge and her work has been exhibited in artistic, scientific and therapeutic settings.
Simon Head is a typographer, a draughtsman and photographer.
His work as an artist combines these rigours; striking a balance between passivity and action; responding to time, image, and structure.
Artist and writer, Richard Bright, has addressed the relationship between art, science and consciousness for over 30 years. In his recent series of drawings he explores the impermanent and shifting process of time and waves.