Work from MA Art and Science recently published in Interalia Magazine

Interalia Magazine is an online platform dedicated to the interactions between the arts, sciences and consciousness. Several staff, students and graduates from MA Art and Science have published work in the interdisciplinary magazine in the three years since it began. 

Recent publications include two contributions for Emerging Ideas from current students, Stephen Bennett and Tere Chad

Stephen’s article, available here, considers the role that art can play in the gap between science and public decision-making. Data visualisation and maps are central to his analysis, as evidenced by recent works such as Data stained glass showing projected impact of climate change on Middle East, and Transparent data maps, Bristol Channel (both pictured). Stephen’s work is particularly relevant to this month’s edition of Interalia magazine which is entitled Earth, and explores the Arts and Sciences relating to Climate Change, Ecology and Ecosystems, Geology, Soil Culture, and the Anthropocene Era.

Data stained glass showing projected impact of climate change on Middle East (stained glass, chalk, light). Data originally sourced from http://www.climatewizard.org

Stephen Bennett (2017) Data stained glass showing projected impact of climate change on Middle East (stained glass, chalk, light). Data originally sourced from http://www.climatewizard.org

Transparent data maps, Bristol Channel (glass paint on glass, wooden stand)

Stephen Bennett (2016) Transparent data maps, Bristol Channel (glass paint on glass, wooden stand)

In the February 2017 issue, Tere Chad was the subject of an article relating to Fusion – Haka Piri. The article, available here, describes Tere Chad’s goldsmith collection which has been inspired by Easter Island archaeology and culture. Examples of Tere Chad’s jewellery are pictured below.

Fusion - Haka Piri

Tere Chad (2016) Fusion – Haka Piri

Fusion- Haka Piri

Tere Chad (2016) Fusion- Haka Piri

Future editions of Interalia magazine involving MA Art and Science include the September 2017 issue which will be co-edited by Heather Barnett (Pathway Leader for MA Art and Science). The issue, The Subjective Lives of Others, will bring together essays and art works exploring nonhuman subjectivity and collective behaviour.

Tracing Wastelands Exhibition

The exhibition ‘Tracing Wastelands’ at The Depot in Clapton celebrated the work that students on MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins produced in collaboration with the Government Office of Science. 

Text by Ellie Armstrong

Not one to turn down a novel set of collaborators, students on the MA Art and Science course enthusiastically greeted the chance to work with the Government Office of Science on their Annual Report. Every year the Government Office of Science call on experts to work on an overarching, scientific issue that will impact on cross-party policy. Previously the reports have addressed Forensics and Risks in Innovation.

For 2016 the report focused on Waste and Resource Productivity. A small group of students on the course embarked on the collaborative enterprise. The groups’ individual practices already touched on waste and it’s impacts, so from the first strong harmonies were found between our work and the research areas that the Government Office of Science were planning on researching for their report. After initial introductory meetings with Fay Kenworthy and Mike Edbury to cover the scope of their project we were invited to a kick off meeting at the Government Office of Science, where we were introduced to a long list of researchers who might be involved in the report. The conference covered a diversity of themes, which we each took notes on at our tables, which fed into Julius’ later work. Over the course of the year, we met up with Fay and Ian, discussed our individual projects and progress and worked to understand what was being researched for the report. Initially the report was scheduled to be released in November, and as we worked towards this date, we found a venue to host an exhibition of works produced in the Wastelands collaboration.

We were fortunate to be able to use The Depot Clapton for the exhibition, which was an intimate setting for the six artists exhibiting. As co-curator, I was excited that the works were able to feed into a narrative that looped around the gallery space. The cross-referencing between the works was incredibly interesting as a spectator and brought the idea of the Waste Cycle that the report had been discussing into heightened relief. The report’s release was unfortunately delayed, but it has given us all time to reflect on the works produced and on the direction of the collaboration as a whole. It’s hoped that we’ll be able to host another exhibition of the works in London detailing the progress and continued critique of ideas around waste, and that eventually we’ll be able to take the works around the country to the institutions that contributed to the Government Office of Science report to highlight the research work publically in their own community.

Exhibiting artists were Julius Colwyn | Silvia Krupinska | Beckie Leach | Hannah Scott | Stephanie Wong | Jennifer Crouch

Tracing Wastelands was curated by Ellie Armstrong and Julius Colwyn and was shown at The Depot, London, 18-20 November 2016.

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‘Side Effects’ and ‘Why Make it Simple, When You Can Make It Complex?’

‘Side Effects’ and ‘Why Make it Simple, When You Can Make It Complex?’
a collaboration between Arts Catalyst, Robert Whitman, The Performance Studio and MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins
 
Text by Nicolas Strappini, Virginie Serneels and Monika Dorniak (MA Art and Science)
Phase 1:
Collaboration with Robert Whitman, ‘Side Effects’ 07/10/2016

Phase 2:
Arts Catalyst 29/10/2016
A show at the Performance Studio, Peckham, Why Make it Simple When You Can Make It Complex?’ 09/11/2016

‘Why Make it Simple, When You Can Make it Complex?’ came into being as a result of a two month collaboration between Central Saint Martins and Arts Catalyst. Our temporary artist group consisted of students Monika Dorniak, Virginie Serneels and Nicolas Strappini from MA Art & Science, and external alumni Verena Hermann and Mary Simmons, MA Fine Art at UCA Farnham. The initial reason for the project was as a development of Arts Catalyst’s exhibition about the revolutionary ‘9 Evenings’ project presented in New York (1966), involving artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Yvonne Rainer and John Cage. 

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Photographs by Christopher Fernandez of Side Effects performance at Central Saint Martins, 7 October 2016

In the first stage of our project we worked together with one of the original participants, Robert Whitman, helping to develop his performance presented on the 7th of October. The performance re-invented the rules of theatre and performance by including engineering elements, and integrating off-stage activities with live video footage. You can view the full performance here.

In the second stage of the project we were asked to develop new works that questioned the idea of performance in the 21st century. Marita Solberg, a visual artist and musician based in Tromsø and Manndalen, Northern-Norway, developed a workshop with us to help facilitate the generation of ideas. For our group show we worked with David Thorne, the founder of The Performance Studio in Peckham. In response to the performance we presented our artistic interpretations at Arts Catalyst (29th of October) and The Performance Studio (9th of November).

The title ‘Why Make It Simple When It Can Be Made Complex?’ was decided during our group conversations about life in the Anthropocene, considering the loss and gain of control through technological developments. With the diversity of our backgrounds the presentations developed individually and included elements of robotics, chemistry, neurology, theatre design, dance, engineering and fine art. While some of the works invited the audience to interact and participate in artistic debates, others were classically designed to be observed by the viewer.

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More Information on our individual projects:

Monika Dorniak ‘The Metacognitive Tool’
Performer: Alice Weber 

Virginie Serneels ‘9 Evenings & Side Effects reload’

Nicolas Strappini ‘Wimshurst, Powder’
 

Sarah Craske wins this year’s NOVA Award with Biological Hermeneutics

Sarah Craske, recent graduate from MA Art and Science, takes top prize at the prestigious MullenLowe Nova Awards. We asked her about the award winning project and what she’s going to do next…

The NOVA Award received by Sarah Craske & collaborator Dr Simon Park, from Jose Miguel Sokoloff - President of MullenLowe Group Creative Council

The NOVA Award received by Sarah Craske & collaborator Dr Simon Park, from Jose Miguel Sokoloff – President of MullenLowe Group Creative Council

 

What is Biological Hermeneutics?

The work Biological Hermeneutics explores what a transdiscipline can look like, through the speculative presentation of a collaborative approach to knowledge and data, practice and space, language and method, equipment and materials.

The translation of an historical text – a 1735 copy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses – was presented through artistic and scientific enquiry. Our Bacterial Printing methodologies were demonstrated by the inclusion of the microbiology still growing in bioassay dishes, cultured directly from the book’s pages and installed on shelves similar to those found in walk in incubators. Our developing archive of book bacteria was also installed alongside The Metamorphoses Chapter; digital and silk screen prints that accurately located the bacterial colonies back onto the original pages themselves. These results, interpreted by myself, reinforce the contextual view, which is so important to me as an artist – human interaction with Ovid’s tales having been brought back to life.

The work, which has taken over two years to develop, was created in collaboration with microbiologist Dr Simon Park and historian of science Professor Charlotte Sleigh. 

Biological Hermeneutics installed in Degree Show One. From left to right, The Metamorphoses Chapter, Biological Hermeneutic Printing, The Biological Hermeneutic Archive, The Metamorphoses Chapter.

Biological Hermeneutics installed in Degree Show One. From left to right, The Metamorphoses Chapter, Biological Hermeneutic Printing, The Biological Hermeneutic Archive, The Metamorphoses Chapter.

 

How do you feel about winning the top prize of the Nova Awards?

Surprised. It’s really wonderful to win. It is reassuring that what we have been so intently pursuing over the past two years is recognised to have some cultural value. The work has felt risky, uncomfortable and difficult at times, so it is rewarding that it is being recognised for the risk and innovation we have been trying so hard to apply and achieve. Also personally as an artist, I am seeking recognition that the work contributes and furthers debate within creative practice, which I believe this award endorses.

A detail from The Metamorphoses Chapter

A detail from The Metamorphoses Chapter

 

What will the prize enable you to do?

I will be reinvesting the money into continued transdisciplinary practice. We haven’t decided yet what this will exactly mean – I didn’t expect Biological Hermeneutics to win, so no plans had been made! However, the award now enables further risk taking to take place, which I hope will lead to further innovation. It provides the space to enable experimentation, which is invaluable and a rare opportunity. Usually with money comes required outcomes and targets, this award genuinely allows for creative freedom. We have talked about developing a printing process using bacterial inks developed from the bacteria found on the book … we could do more scientific testing to see where that leads. 

A detail from the Biological Hermeneutic Library.

A detail from the Biological Hermeneutic Library.

 

Why was it important to work in a transdisciplinary way?

I personally believe the collaboration of disciplines is extremely important. My MA Art & Science research focused on the importance and role of creativity in solving what are philosophically named ‘wicked problems’. Issues of knowledge, data, sustainability, global warming, etc… I believe can only really be solved if the disciplines are able to work together, whilst retaining their expertise and specialism. This is reinforced by the funding councils also recognising this potential in collaboration, who are now encouraging interdisciplinary practice. Therefore, trying to create a truly collaborative and inclusive practice role model is extremely important to me. Biological Hermeneutics was a speculative proposal of what a transdiscipline could look like.

I think more genuine art and science collaboration is occurring, however there are still challenges to overcome to enable Art & Science practice to become easier. These disciplines have been developing and establishing themselves for hundreds of years, and some of the results of that are the institutional mechanisms that now have difficulty in adapting to new ways of working, which breakdown these established boundaries. To put this into context, the MA Art & Science is the only Masters programme of its kind currently in the UK. 

A detail of the biological hermeneutic printing methodology.

A detail of the biological hermeneutic printing methodology.

All photography by Vic Phillips


 

Congratulations to all other winners of the Nova and to those shortlisted from a pool of 1300 graduating Central Saint Martins art and design students – especially to MA Art and Science graduate Julius Colwyn, shortlisted for his work In the Midst of Things.

In the Midst of Things, Julius Colwyn

In the Midst of Things, Julius Colwyn


 

Read more about the Nova Awards in the press

Creative Review

The Creators Project

MullenLowe: About the Nova Awards

 

Mundus Subterraneous – Friday 18th March

Final year MA Art and Science student, Sarah Craske, will be screening a new work on 18th March 2016, commissioned by the University of Kent… 

ARTIST Sarah Craske
WHERE Templeman Library Lecture Theatre, Canterbury Campus, University of Kent, CT2 7NZ
WHEN Friday 12:30-13:30 Panel discussion followed by film screening

The premiere of a new, permanent film installation by artist Sarah Craske for the Templeman Library, Mundus Subterranous explores the concept of books as centres of microbial data, and data transfer, and reflects on tensions in the relationship between digital and physical knowledge.

Over the last decade, libraries and archives have been through a huge process of change. As technology develops at an increasing speed, so does our relationship with knowledge. Knowledge itself is continually being redefined and accessed more immediately whilst acquisition and storage of knowledge is moving from the real to the virtual world. Mundus Subterraneous explores the idea that the physical archive is not just objects holding data within the text printed on their pages; the objects can also contain knowledge and data embedded within their physical form.

The film will be introduced by Sarah Craske, who will talk about the development of the work. She will be joined by a panel including including Assistant Director Information Services (Library Collections) Trudy Turner.

www.kent.ac.uk