Art & Science at ScienceOnline'09

The ScienceOnline'09 conference is coming up fast, so here are possible starting points I may use for the discussion I'll be moderating.

Do any of my regular or irregular readers have thoughts, suggestions or other examples? 5 types of science-related art

Here are some rough categories of science-related art for use as starting points. (My bias is showing: many are biology related.)

1. Scientific Illustration - Examples: Carl Buell, Michael Skrepnick, Albrecht Durer, James Gurney, many artists’ work at the Guild of Natural Scientific Illustrators.

2. Science Fine Art & Design - Examples: Felice Frankel, Wim Delvoye (Cloaca), Marc Quinn (blood portrait sculpture).

3. Art inspired by scientific subjects - Examples: Dali’s Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus), my own work, Archimboldo.

4. Art inspired by scientific technique - Examples: op art, trompe l’oeil, Man Ray, Holbein

5. Speculative science art & science fiction - Examples: Nemo Ramjet, Speculative Dinosaur Project, some Dougal Dixon books, Wayne Barlowe.

Discussion questions:

-Is art parasitic on science? Does art ever inspire science or lead science to new areas of inquiry?

-Is art about science beneficial to the public or confusing issues in science?

-Art is often based on allegory and symbols, by their nature inaccurate; science often strives for accuracy and precision. Is it possible to make wholly accurate art?

-Should it be possible to inject more skepticism into the often ‘New Agey’ art world of artistic subjects? Technique often relies on innovative technologies, media and materials; should this be a starting point?

-How much scientific content is there in your local art gallery? Is science obviously intended as villain, savior, or inspiration?

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