SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Artists, are you really inspired by science to create art from it?

Why Science themes?!

I asked this question some of my artist friends who are into science-art. And most of the replies I got were really disappointing. "Because it is "in". I am following the trend", was one reply. "Everybody is doing it now. So I am following my friends in the field", said another one. " Oh, I feel it is really fun!" added another artist. One artist even joked, " To help science and scientists!"

"Are those reasons enough", I asked myself, "to create art?". I have even heard and read some sort of artist feelings that gave me the impression that they are dealing with "alien field that they are not really interested in".

All these days I have been told by artists and the art world that because an artist "gets inspired by something", s/he thinks deeply about it and puts his/her thoughts into picture forms and create art. Unless you get inspiration to do a thing, you won't be able to do full justice to the subject. No wonder, these days most of what we see in science-art is artless! And if you have some art, the pictures lack real science! Doing one or two shows based on science doesn't make one a sci-artist. You got to be passionately get involved with it, make love to it to beget beautiful babies in science-art.

Different people will choose different subjects and themes to create art. It is natural for me and others who are from the field of science  to choose  themes based on the subject. I too create science based art. Write poems on science.Because I am truly inspired by science. I am passionate about it. I love science. I like the field and its culture very much. I eat science, sleep science, breathe science, think science and even paint science.  Science and scientific thinking influence pretty much everything I do. I live in science culture which forms the basis for my art. My work is based on what I strongly feel about science. The works  show how science is relevant to day to day human life and culture. My works convey messages. I want to tell the importance of science to the whole world. I want to communicate my work and that of others in my filed with the laymen in the language they can understand and try to popularize science in that manner.  I want to convey the messages science reveals to me to the whole world. I want to show the importance and beauty of science to the world around me. I want the world to feel the same way I feel about it and synchronize the music it plays to me with that of the world.  Scientists who do works based on their field are making an attempt by  themselves because they want to communicate with the world around them. It is different from the way artists can communicate science.

In case of artists  regardless of all the nice things they say about science, can they be inspired and influenced by it the way scientists who work in sci-art arena? I don't think they would be as inspired by the subject as scientists would.  The replies I got from artists tell a disappointing story. After interacting with artists, I felt they don't feel the way I do about science. No doubt, they respect the field, they are in awe of it but still the spark is missing. And in such a scenario, I don't think you would get good works from artists on science-related themes. If science is a part of human lives, it becomes a part of artists' life too. It touches their work here and there. But getting inspired by it and therefore creating work based on it is a different ball game altogether!

When I started creating science based art a few years ago, I searched internet through various search engines using the words associated with science-art but hardly found any websites that dealt with the subject. Most of the times  my website was the only thing that appeared during those searches! But now sci-art has become  ubiquitous and sci-artists are springing from every nook and corner of the world! Why this sudden interest in the subject is an intriguing  question I am searching answers for to write in my book.

Tell me honestly, artists, does science really interests you? Are you into sci-art because you feel science is important? Do you think you love science? Do you try to deeply understand science themes before you venture into sci-art projects? Please let me know.

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http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=1636727&type=me...

I have posted this here too and I am adding all the replies given there on this network.

Reply by GOPI KANTA GHOSH on Sunday

Science is truth...has to be base

Debra LePage • For me, the melding of my medical background and art practice came together about 4 years ago when I began experimenting with new materials. Using copious amounts of water on a slick surface with watercolor resulted in organic images that suggested microscopic and other various natural patterns. See here part of my artist statement: "The “Ebb and Flow” Series involves exploration of the flow of water to form organic images, shapes and textures. As in the natural world, water is the key element. The ebb and flow of the tides, patterns shared in nature and the human body are most intriguing and speak to the rhythm of life." http://www.debralepage.com
I have really enjoyed following these discussions-so unique!

Dear +Krishna Kumari Challa you are an inspirin and a positive motivator by your rich vision.! - Mona Youssef

Jadwiga B. Podowska • Because science is magic.

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBrP3-Ep3ww

The Wonderful Caddis Worm
http://www.leonardo.info/gallery/gallery314/duprat.html

Vacuum
http://www.jadwiga-art.com/Vacuum.html

My English feels like a phantom. I "listen" to you in silence, and take pleasure in knowing that there are people like me wondering of reality. Language is a form of life (Wittgenstein). It separates us from direct access to reality. And when this form is only a phantom, we have no chance to be heard. But I try. :o)

My reply to her:

Thank you Ms. Podowska. "Magic" is a musical word that warmed my heart. Your English is extremely good to communicate your thoughts. I am in your league too - struggling to convey my thoughts in a language that is foreign to me yet close to my heart. But I try to do my best because that is the only way to improve myself. So please go ahead and express yourself more frequently.
Sometimes silence conveys more messages than words do. But words brings people more close.
I enjoyed the videos in your links. Seen your work.
It is very reassuring to find artists who are so intensely into science like we do. People like you are true ambassadors of great confluences. Look forward to seeing your work more. I wish you all success in your endeavour.

Regarding my creative work, I'm relatively new to the marriage of art and science, although it has been a topic of interest to me since the late 1990's.   I am much more an artist than a person of science, and I suppose it might be the rare person who is equally deft at both!  

What I most like about science having a presence in art, is that it's often a positive portrayal of where humanity is at.  When it is negative, it's only because there is a lesson to be learned and implemented.  I think that we can see these two qualities exhibited in Dr. Challa's paintings.    There is a gentle hand in science-art that leads us, rather than punishes us with force.  

Another attractive aspect of science-art is the richness of its meaning.  The imagery immediately invites questions and probing thoughts.  More than merely a still life, or the work of many abstract artists (whom often insist that their paintings mean nothing in particular), science-art almost demands accompaniment by the written word.  We want to interpret science-art and understand the artist's message.  Art is not truly created "for no reason", and science-art appreciates this.  

Although it's a marriage of two different fields, I do think it's important that one field takes precedence over the other, depending on the project.  In the same way that a scientific study of art should adhere to the scientific method, so too should a painting, at its core, be about art technique and its non-tangible aesthetics.  Art should not be subordinated to its depicted subject matter.  For this reason, I feel it's acceptable that a particular person be more practiced in one field (science or art), than the other.  Of course we strive to do well in both.  

(I'm merely writing in theory here.  I fully appreciate that art is created by persons of all skill levels and intentions….  by children and learned adults… as it should be!  I also understand that it's okay for the layperson to make inquiries of his environment, regardless of his skill at research).

Great topic!  

Thank you Mr. Ricketson, for your nice reply. Science-art is actually mere copying from specimens and text books like children do in schools. You see this type most of the times in today's world. Artists who don't have much experience in science subjects go for it. And even scientists are doing this taking cues from the art world! Mine is science-based art. It is different and thought-induced and science-culture-based. And there is science and technology assisted art where you merely use science as tool to create art.

In my work, I try to balance both art and science.

I discussed all these things in science-art group. We have closed it for a few days because I am writing a book now. As soon as the book is published we will open it again.

I appreciate your interest in science-art.

I’m not a scientist and my aim is not to necessarily contribute to science, but I’m interested in contributing to a discussion around some issues that relate very much to scientific methods and scientific practice as it moves into the cultural world . Although the manipulation of cells, tissue and other material is an activity often attributed to scientists, most BioArt practitioners would neither call themselves scientists nor have a scientific background. Therein lies the appeal. I think the interest in BioArt stems from the mystique of the lab and allowing laypeople to come into an area that is very specialized . “It’s something you only see on TV or in the odd news report.” That is why I am into Bio-art! - An artist

Gary LaSasso • Hi Dr. Challa; (because silence is Golden, ? just kidding.!), As mentioned in Earlier posts, and in Conversation with Dr. Avi Friedlich, and Dr. Don Ambrose; I find, (found), it Amazing that Science Fiction Art, (scientific speculation), has almost no place in Science, and absolutely No place in the "Art World"..
You will not See a Sci Fi Painting in Any Gallery, or Museum, unless it is one of the rare & few Galleries devoted to this Genre'.. (unless it is 3 or 4 Hundred years old).

..In fact Illustration in General, is the only Discipline not consider'd an "Art Form". ..Culinary Arts, Literary Arts, Music as art, Medical Arts, and all manner of "Fine Art", and so on, but very little if any Illustration as Art. And the irony is that a few short centuries ago, (pre-photographic), it was consider'd the Only Art. In fact All Art was Illustration, as there was not yet Many, if any Abstract forms of Expression in Art, Until the introduction of Camera's, Projectors, and Copying devices, invalidating that profession as simple replication of images, unless a distortion of sorts, is introduced, say in figurative renderings, which elevates the work in Value, to Fine Art, as in Expressionism...

..But the point is that, ironically, "Sci Fi in Art, & Film" seams to be the Closest Collaboration between Science & Art, and Most Solid Science started out as Illustration of a Scientific Speculation/s, whether simple Feynman Diagrams, or Copernican Extrapolations.. ..."Just saying"..? (lol)...

...Your Thoughts..?

My reply:

Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa • Thank you, Mr. La Sasso. In fact 'art' in the field of science has its origins in science illustrations. Now that science art is becoming cool, science illustrations are being claimed as 'science art' by several people working in this area! So now science illustrations are slowly getting the art tag too ( if several people repeats it over and over again, the media says it is true! )
My personal opinion is real art is something that has some thinking went into its creation. Mere copying from modals, nature and specimens doesn't fit into artists' "definition" that art needs intelligence to create and needs as much effort as the scientific research does. Does science illustration fits into this "creative" frame? Now you tell me.
Is silence golden in forum discussions?!

Jadwiga B. Podowska • I think that we live in times where the intellectual processes of art production are visible as never before. Thanks to conceptual art (?). I remember from my primary school how often it was boring in art classes. My last year at school I wrote a letter to the principal, suggesting that something was wrong and that art lessons looks like hobby activity. My letter did not change anything. Instrumental teaching continued. Today I can see that it was something I missed in the art class; I think it was intellectual challenges, but then, I did not understand and could not find arguments. This instrumental teaching has probably prevented many capable students to choose art.
As I see class can be very rough divided to students who have some kind of talent for sensual expression, but they are not as good at verbal. Another group - those who are very verbal, but their work is "cold" in expression –“very intellectual”. There are also those who have talent in both places. It may be that art must include all the intelligences, but intelligence has to be intelligent. Contemporary art stimulate for intellectual challenging approaches. For me art is research (Science) as long it just stands on the shoulders of Giants, but not copying them. Just like in science you have obligation to find something new. I found what I was searching for - in science – a space for understanding of life - in action.

There is great discussion about the art as research and new PhD for art.


http://www.ahk.nl/fileadmin/download/ahk/Lectoraten/Borgdorff_publi...
http://www.sharenetwork.eu/artistic-research-overview/bibliography
http://www.artandresearch.org.uk/

My reply to her:

Jadwiga, thank you for your thought provoking reply and the link to a beautifully created video. Coming from the field of science, I have a different set of standards and definitions for art and sometimes they are too high to the liking of some artists. Some, like you, understand, analyse and follow and some don't. I bring "Inventing or discovering something new " to the art field too and "creating something new" is my motive in art. Am I looking at art through the glass of science? Maybe I am. And I am happy with this approach because it enriches art and makes my work stand out. And I listen to art critics' views regarding science-art and think about them. And what is important to me is they all agree that my work is different from those of others in the arena and it is acceptable to them as art. That makes all the difference. Making people from the art field accept my work as real art is the success I cherish as I am not from the field.
I am not comfortable with the idea of 'standing on somebody's shoulders'. I want to stand on my own and offer my shoulders, if possible, for others to stand on.
The articles to whom you provided links are thought provoking too. Thank you very much. Your words - "I found what I was searching for - in science – a space for understanding of life - in action" are very heart warming. Now some sci-artists are understanding the true spirit of science and this understanding and deep respect for science will what make a world of difference to science-art. I am so happy with people like you.

Reply by an artist: In my country (USA) most scientific literacy ends at 10th grade if a student is not good at science or math … Our institutional and educational systems fail us as a citizenry when the wealth of our collective knowledge is cryptically removed because of lack of access, language and practice. One of my roles as an artist is to use culture and creativity to bring people into a more informed and critical relationship to technological and scientific environments.

Chris Bathgate: If you ask me "why science" I would say it is because I am uncomfortable leaving my decision making entirely up to whimsy, I enjoy having a frame work that is grounded in something "real and measurable" surround my work. It I think is what connects my imagination to the real world and creates a common entry point for other people to access and understand me and my work.

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