Author: Content Team Blog Posting
Saturday 18th September 2021 12:01 AM
Combining the Arts with Science and Technology
The courses of sciences and the courses of arts and humanities have always had a strong divide in academic institutions around the world. The two sides are as different as night and day, with some theories about how that artistic processes use the right side of the brain the most, with the opposite being true for scientific processes, such as mathematics and engineering.
There are also some fantastic stories of persons that have been able to bridge the gap, like Hideo Mabuchi, professor of applied physics and how it applies to ceramics and its creative process. Susan McConnell, professor of biology and aspiring animal photographer. Vivian Wang, BS ’17, electrical engineer and featured sculptor of the Bridge Conference 2015 and 2016.
Even though science and art are sometimes regarded as distinct, with elitists swearing fealty to one side or the other, it is just as true that both sides do intersect, much like a Venn diagram of colours and combinations.
The power it has afforded to others
Once there was a weaver by the name of Janice Lourie. She designed and made doll clothes at the age of 7, and had a business selling them to gift stores and fairs by the age of 14.
She also had an intrepid interest in computer science software. Bringing her art of weaving into computer science software, this had also partially inspired Shirley Willett, author of the same article, to bring her love for fashion sculpture into 2D, 3D, and 4D engineering design, forming cardboard bodices that could determine XYZ coordinates.
It is also true that the great scientists are also artists as well.
Lia Halloran is an artist and astrologist, setting her telescopic sights on nearby galaxies and the unknown above us. Creating the Deep Sky Companion, a catalogue of 110 paintings and photographs of the great giants in the night sky, she dictates how her artistic background had helped her find the passion in documenting the celestial bodies above, making use of scientific concepts as a starting point for her artistic perception.
“These works are about discovery and all the things we find when we are not seeking them. It relates to my own challenging first stabs at observing the night sky, with a small Celestron telescope given to me for Christmas.”
How did he do that? This is Steve Giralt.
As a professional photographer and self-professed generalist, Giralt is known for taking some stunning photos.
One of his prior techniques is mastering the art of light.
"I’m obsessed with light," he says, "and very often I’m the one creating all the light in my photographs. My greatest obsession for years has been mastering the creation of the feeling of daylight.”
Another obsession that he has is with robotics. A lot of it.
From slow motion donuts to splashing shoes to one of his most recognisable works, a fully dissected burger falling in place, Giralt has not been shy about how the scope of robotics has largely influenced his works, inventing hulking mechanical robots that spin at mach speeds to achieve the stunning quality of this Jack Daniels advertisement.
This process is known as visual engineering. With computers and robots getting better and better at doing repetitive tasks with incredible accuracy, visual engineering is the new hybrid technique for advertising agencies to integrate robotic automation into human imagination.
Speaking about his infamous burger advertisement, he says: “If I put all the layers on these high tension rubber bands and I had little RC car servo motors that could cut the rubber bands all at the exact moment, millisecond accuracy, as the camera moved by the layers, I could get that landing at the end where it all kind of magically bounces together.”
“So, yeah,” he says simply, “we did it.”
Victor Tyler says it better: “Visuals created by someone like Steve Giralt take you through the process of how a cheeseburger is made, thus visually engineering an experience we didn’t know we needed until we watch it 10 times in a row on loop thinking, ‘How did they do that?’
The weird and the wonderful
An art project was set up in Hong Kong by companies Art Basel and Google way back in March 2017. By using one of Google’s newer technologies, the Tilt Brush, artists were able to create works of art, painting in three-dimensional virtual space.
This created a surreal experience. Viewers could experience and interact with avatars, art, and planets, disorientating themselves in a world that was both “abstract yet uncomfortably familiar”.
Virtual reality is achieved by artificially stimulating one or more of the human senses, in order to create an illusion of reality. Through feel, smell, and most notably, sight, virtual reality designers have to be careful and certain of their craft to ensure that nothing is even a little bit off, as the human brain can usually tell.
There is some merit to virtual reality art. One could be anywhere in the world and could see the works of the Louvre, or the Acropolis, or the Vatican. There are those who are critical about the authenticity of paintings that are made of pixels and digits compared to oil and canvas, but for artists, they could see benefits in the elimination of the risk of shipping their art overseas, or hosting art exhibitions at pricey venues.
As Picasso once said: “Art is a lie, but it is a lie in which we find the truth.”
The Materials Research Society, or MRS, continue to hold the “Science as Art” challenge twice a year, attracting hundreds of scientists to showcase their scientific endeavours as masterpieces. It is now possible to create paintings and music using our brainwaves, a feat that one could have shelved away as science fiction.
One can find a plethora of gorgeous creations, made out of nothing but the watchful eye of a thoughtful scientist.
There is nothing to lose from innovative exploration. With the marriage of two concepts divided from ages past, society can do some extraordinary things.