SKY is an exhibition, curated by Stephen Nowlin, that invites visitors to ponder both the provincial and universal elements of space above and around the Earth’s surface. This group exhibition demonstrates how the unfolding realities exposed by new science are affecting change in the understanding of ourselves, our planet and beyond. The SKY exhibition features works of contemporary art, science artifacts and historical objects displayed equally and side-by-side, blurring boundaries and distinctions between domains usually separated by convention and differing periods of history.
Visual art as a parallel practice to science research offers opportunities for communicating the complexities of many ecological systems to non-experts. Immersive and interactive artworks provide a means to complexity, perceived distance, and opaqueness of language surrounding ecological systems. This paper describes the use of printmaking and print installations as analogues that engage audiences in complex soil systems. The three projects discussed here trace the journey of artist observer to field collaborator and examine printmaking’s capacity to facilitate the communication of both explicit and experiential knowledge of soil systems.
Keywords: field research, practices of arts and sciences, soil science, tacit knowledge, fine arts, printmaking
Dr Tony Matthews is an award-winning Urban and Environmental Planner, with portfolios in academia, practice and the media. He is a faculty member at Griffith University, where he is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment & Science and the Cities Research Institute.
His research and practice interests include adapting cities to climate change impacts; the role and function of green infrastructure; sustainable and low carbon design; the interplay between built environments and human health; and achieving high quality urban design outcomes. He is also an active public writer and commentator with hundreds of national and international print, radio and television media appearances. He founded the Urban Broadcast Collective (@urbanpodcasts), a curated network of podcasts dedicated to cities and urban life. Tony also co-developed and co-presented ‘The Urban Squeeze’ radio program on ABC Radio, which ran for two seasons and won three Awards for Excellence from the Planning Institute of Australia.
While mainstream physics continues its detailed Hadron Collider investigations of the smallest particles and astrophysics investigates the origin of the universe, the most important problem of who and what we conscious human beings actually are has been eliminated from physics and thereby from the foundations of science. This has led to a world view of humans as pointless creations of probability whose lives are without purpose beyond immediate material gratification. That the foundations of science has eliminated the subjective experience is its greatest failure and rectifying this situation is its greatest challenge. This paper illuminates this challenge.
Clare Jonas is a Lecturer in Psychology and works as a research assistant on projects relating to synaesthesia at the University of East London with Dr Mary Spiller.
Josie Malinowski is a Lecturer in Psychology, University of East London. “My academic research interests are primarily within the fields of sleep and dreaming; more broadly, I am interested in consciousness, altered states of reality, the default mode of thinking, embodied cognition, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, and much more.”
Ajay Pandey is a Senior Lecturer in Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He completed his PhD in Physics on Organic Optoelectronics with mention tres honourable from University of Angers, France. His research interest has the interdisciplinary mix of Photonics, Chemical Physics, Molecular Electronics, Neuroscience and Robotics. He leads an interdisciplinary research group at QUT that specialises in technological implementation of advanced materials for applications in Neuroscience, Intelligent Bionics, Medical Robotics, Soft Robotics, Energy conversion and Night Vision.
Jonathan Roberts is Professor in Robotics at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). His main research interest is in the area of Field Robotics and in particular making machines operate autonomously in unstructured environments. Jonathan is the co-inventor, and current head judge of the UAV Challenge Outback Rescue, an international flying robot competition in which teams search for a lost bushwalker using autonomous robotic aircraft. In 2013 Jonathan made international news by being the first person to 3D map the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa using his team’s Zebedee 3D laser scanning mobile mapping system. He continues to have an interest in the use of robotics technology for the use in documenting and protecting important cultural heritage sites.
Sean R Mills is a psycho-physicist and sensory neuroscientist at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton.
“I am working on a PhD on the diagnosis of impaired touch perception. I’m also part of the Electro-Haptics Project (www.electrohaptics.co.uk), a multi-disciplinary team working to improve the hearing of Cochlear Implant (CI) users by providing missing information through small vibrations on the skin”.
Mark Fletcher is a Senior Research Fellow within the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service. He leads the electro-haptics research project (https://www.electrohaptics.co.uk/).
Chris Woolgar is Professor of History and Archival Studies at the University of Southampton.
“I have a long-standing interest in the history of the everyday, especially in the medieval period, in patterns of documentation and in editorial work. Publications on medieval social and economic history include two volumes of household accounts edited for the British Academy’s Records of Social and Economic History series, an edition of the testamentary records of the bishops of England and Wales for the Canterbury and York Society, and three books with Yale University Press: The Great Household in Late Medieval England, The Senses in Late Medieval England, and The Culture of Food in England, 1200‒1500.”
“This visual article is based on my acoustic condition of bilateral Hyperacusis (both pain and vestibular type) with also its related levels of hearing impairments (i.e.hidden and fluctuating hearing loss, bilateral tinnitus, vertigo) as well as Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD). The combination of hyperacusis and PPPD creates a sensory disability.” This article and the following article will look at the inner and outer response to the disability with a different lens.
Luca M Damiani is a Media Artist and a Lecturer on BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Luca practices internationally in the fields of art, digital media, and visual culture. He works and experiments with creative techniques such as digital technology, animation, photography, coding, and mixed media.
Since the early 1990s, Paul Vanouse’s artwork has addressed complex issues raised by varied new techno-sciences using these very techno-sciences as a medium. His artworks have included data collection devices that examine the ramifications of polling and categorization, genetic experiments that undermine scientific constructions of race and identity, and temporary organizations that playfully critique institutionalization and corporatization. These “Operational Fictions” are hybrid entities–simultaneously real things and fanciful representations–intended to resonate in the equally hyper-real context of the contemporary electronic landscape.