Artists and scientists can create art – this trend is called art & science. We tell you how art helps to popularize science and what you need to be able to do it.
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What is a science artist?
A science artist creates art based on scientific research using modern technology. For example, microbiologist Tashi Sturm made a palm print of her son on the surface of a petri dish. The lab vessel was filled with a nutrient medium, so the bacteria on his palm’s surface reacted with it – resulting in a distinctive pattern. With this work, the scientist showed how many bacteria and microorganisms live on the surface of the hands if they are not washed.
Science art is a developing area of contemporary art combining scientific and artistic fields. Both are actively developing and feeding off each other, creating new knowledge.
What does a Science-artist do?
The science artist helps people understand modern reality based on scientific knowledge and technological advances. In addition, they promote science through works of art and draw attention to socially relevant issues.
Such specialists use unconventional methods to attract attention and open science and technical possibilities to a broad audience. For example, Singapore opened its first Museum of Art and Science, which develops themes of art, science, culture, and technology and explores how they affect human activity.
A science artist does not have to be a scientist. It is possible to create art based on research results that are already available, and the main thing is to understand the direction they are popularizing.
Basic Science Artist Skills
A science artist needs to have an in-depth understanding of the area of science he is working with. For example, if the work is based on the results of black hole research, then the artist should know astrophysics or consult with scientists.
Media artist Rafael Lozano Hemmer has a bachelor’s degree in physical chemistry. In 2008, he brought the Pulsating installation Spiral to the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. This installation is a surface of 400 lighted bulbs that repeats the Archimedean spiral. In nature, the stems and leaves of plants grow in this spiral.
Visitors to the exhibition could control the hammer’s work. For example, a sensor located under the spiral responded to their heartbeat.
Like any art professional, the Science artist must develop the creativity and imagination to see the unusual in ordinary things. Another critical skill is cross-cultural communication. Without it, it won’t be easy to find a suitable curator for an exhibition or fund a significant project, especially in another country.
Here are a few other essential skills for a Science artist:
- Analytical thinking;
- logical thinking;
- project management;
- learning skills;
- Artistic creativity skills.
Where did the profession come from
One of the prototypes of the science artist can be considered Leonardo da Vinci. He was both an artist, an inventor, and a scientist. For example, to better study human anatomy and make the necessary notes, da Vinci dissected the bodies of dead people. Thus appeared the famous work “Vitruvian Man” appeared, which was initially scientific notes and sketches, “Proportions of the human body according to Vitruvius.”
Art & science is relatively new, but like other professions of the future, the science artist will become the norm – like an online therapist or a media policeman. The emphasis in art & science is on the unity of several worlds – biological and technological. Artists in such projects seek to eliminate the opposition of living and inanimate, natural and unnatural, delving into the essence of each category.
The closest trend to art & science is media art, in which installations and works of art are created with the help of information and communication technologies. At the same time, science art is not just the domain of enthusiasts. For example, MIT has a Center for Science, Art, and Technology, and the New York School of Visual Arts opened a bio-art program in 2019.
Features of the profession
A science artist must have an in-depth knowledge of the field in which he works, creative thinking, and the ability to fantasize, allowing him to create versions of an alternative reality. The projects developed by science-art artists illustrate the interaction of science, technology, and art. A striking example is molecular cuisine, in which the basics of physics, chemistry, and aesthetics are intertwined.
Today this profession is a novelty for the market, but it will become commonplace in just a few years. Artists working in the science-art style can earn a good income only if significant science and technology corporations become interested in this field. The infusion of the sponsorship money will breathe life into science art. Otherwise, it won’t be easy to get income from selling art objects.
This popularization of science and art is connected with the fact that in the future, the work processes will be automated to the maximum, and machines will replace manual labor, so more and more people will be able to devote their lives to creativity. Already today, this field of contemporary art is taken seriously by the international community. Some domestic and foreign educational institutions have opened training programs and pilot projects. For example, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Polytechnic Museum.
Pros and cons
- Opportunity to connect with the arts for people who do research.
- The job is suitable for women and men.
- A science artist specializes in creativity, so he does not need to test experimental vaccines, risk his life in the name of science or prepare a project on his own. The last job will be handled successfully by assistants and machines in the long run.
- The profession is already gaining support; in a few years, it will rise to the peak of popularity, which will entail an increase in funding for the field of science and art.
- The work of science artists popularizes science and allows us to look at complex issues from the perspective of art.
- The style can become fashionable so that the art objects will be shown at exhibitions and used for interior design.
- Unstable earnings.
- Fuzzy prospects.
- Not all science artists will achieve success and worldwide popularity.
- The profession is not in great demand in the labor market yet.
- The absence of a straightforward educational program.
- Possible criticism from experts.
Important personal qualities
Science-artist must have multifaceted and versatile personalities. His character is dominated by creativity, superbly developed imagination, and the ability to see what is hidden from the eyes of materialists. The profession is creative but, at the same time, technical, so artists must have logical and analytical thinking, perseverance, and the ability to handle criticism with a smile.
In the future, there will be art colleges or open specialized departments where future science artists will begin to study creativity in its various forms. To date, few programs have been opened, and most are experimental. To learn about this profession, you should inquire about open admission in Europe.