For more than 10 years, Simon Park, an internationally recognised molecular microbiologist, has worked at the fertile intersection between art and science. As well as collaborating with artists, he also produces his own work, his practice being inspired by the aesthetics and processes of the usually invisible microbiological world. In 2015 he won the Peter Wildy Prize for his outstanding outreach work in microbiology.
Featuring – Zaria Forman: Drawings that show the beauty and fragility of Earth ; Al Gore: The Case for Optimism on Climate Change ; Satish Kumar: Soil, Soul and Society ; Sam ‘Ohu Gon III: Lessons from a thousand years of island sustainability ; Tega Brain: Eccentric Engineering: Thoughts for the Anthropocene ; and Francesco Sauro: Deep Under the Earth’s Surface, Discovering Beauty and Science.
Solveig Settemsdal is a Norwegian multi-disciplinary artist working across mediums including sculpture, video, photography and drawing. Her practice investigates fluidity and the potential and transience of materials, be it sculptural, geological or cognitive. She is interested in how ephemeral objects can reveal processes otherwise hidden, such as how geological time can be compressed into an observable time frame. She recently won the Jerwood Drawing Prize for her video piece Singularity (2016) and is currently studying for an MFA in Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.
This essay introduces two recent exhibitions and examines the origins of ArtScience in relation to the nineteenth century’s transition from representation to abstraction. While that progression was a seminal step in art history, the author proposes that a no less seismic impact resulted from its spatial reorientation – from expressions structured in pictorial imaginary space to those structured in actual, real space. That realignmnt echoed what science had been incrementally doing for four hundred years, by replacing fabricated comprehensions of reality with concrete ones – and in the process, shifting ontological and epistemological dispositions away from the supernatural and toward the natural.
Andy Thomas creates a visual fusion between Nature and Technology, by taking photos and sound recordings of flora and fauna and producing audio responsive animations that visually represent the subject matter in beautiful and abstract ways. By using 3D software to digitize nature, he creates familiar looking structures such as insects and plants that move in a rhythmical dance to corresponding sounds. His work seeks to explore ideas such as self similarity in nature and how evolution and technology co-exist on this planet we call Earth.
Hunter Cole creates Living Drawings with bioluminescent bacteria. These Living Drawings depict the cycle of life and death calling attention to our own mortality. She creates controlled line drawings using bioluminescent bacteria. The bacteria then grow on Petri dishes. Bacteria become collaborators in the art as it grows and dies. First appearing with bright light, bacteria in the drawing are photographed as it uses up available nutrients, gradually dying-off over a two-week period. She created a movie of bacterial drawings growing and dying with music based on protein sequence in the bacteria. Hunter Cole is also creating a new series called Living Light where people and objects are photographed by the light of bioluminescent bacteria. Her most recent series is called Bioluminescent Weddings where people are posed for wedding photographs by the light of bioluminescent bacteria. One of the functions of bioluminescence in nature is to attract a mate.
Asier Marzo works as a Research Assistant at Bristol University, UK. His research interests are to achieve individual acoustic manipulation of thousands of objects for tissue engineering or novel displays as well as to bring acoustic levitation to the general public.
As well as being a former academic in the field of politics, David Lewis-Baker is an experienced street photographer and an artist with a keen interest in the relationship between art and science. “As far as I am concerned, when working together, art can add wisdom to scientific knowledge, while science can add knowledge to artistic wisdom.”
“Betwixt brain and mind is a beguiling if bewildering masquerade. The interplay, between brain and mind, matter and metaphysics, our inner ‘self’ and our public visage, has been a recurring interest in my practice for over a decade.”
Karen Ingham is an interdisciplinary artist-designer and filmmaker, whose primary art form is lens-based arts and hybrid craft. Her approach incorporates theory and practice, and she often works site-specifically, with major themes exploring biomedical discourse and museology
Eran Gilat is a neuroscientist and avid fine art photographer. His scientific research focuses on the study of the mechanisms underlying epilepsy, as well as on the development of an innovative cure for this illness. His latest book, ‘Life Science’, reflects his long lasting confrontation with biological tissues, contemplating issues of materialism, erotica, and mortality, corresponding with the complicated and intriguing category of “animal reminder” in the visual arts.