CSM X CMS: Entangled

CSM X CMS: Entangled | 14 – 17 June | MA Art and Science 2017


CSM X CMS: Entangled 

DATES: Wed 14 – Sat 17 June 2017

LOCATION: Four Corners Gallery, London, 121 Roman Road, E2 0QN, Bethnal Green

OPENING TIMES: Wed to Sat | 10.00 – 18.00

PRIVATE VIEW: Thurs 15 June | 18.00 – 20.30

A3-high res-CRN

Placing themselves firmly at the centre of contemporary Art and Science discourse, nineteen artists from Central Saint Martins respond to their December 2016 visit to CERN and the CMS detector in their exhibition at Four Corners Gallery, London, June 14-17, 2017. The striking array of work confirms that when creative minds grasp universal concepts, at the core of our material understanding of the universe, you can expect the unexpected.

About the Exhibition

Sculpture, film, printmaking, sound and art installations are just some of the outcomes from reflections on their surprising discoveries from the trip, including a rare look at the inside of the CMS detector experiment, particles in cloud chambers that may help us understand climate change, and the baffling quantity and randomness of data produced to confirm minute particle reactions.

Additionally, there is the memorable impression of the deeper social context of the institution itself. Often in parallel with what drives artists, scientists are striving to grasp the unknown and offer their discoveries to humanity in an ethos of sharing and openness. Artists recognise the exhilaration of new perspectives relating to what we are made of and, also seek to make fresh connections and intuitive leaps in understanding.

In preparation for the exhibition, between 8-11 May a number of the artists returned to CERN for further research and collaboration with the physicists. During the exhibition workshops, artist talks and other activities will take place in the gallery space. We are grateful to CMS and art@cms for making our visits possible.


Participating Artists

Allison Barclay-Michaels, Stephen Bennett, Joshua Bourke, Amy Knight, Reggy Liu, Maria Macc, Fiona Morf, Jill Mueller, Priya Odedra, Helen O’Donoghue, Yun Peng, Lisa Pettibone, Heather Scott, Hannah Scott, Nicolas Strappini, Olga Suchanova, Bekk Wells, Victoria Westerman and guest artist Andy Charalambous (CSM lecturer and CERN consultant in association with Imperial College, London)


MA Art and Science at Imperial College

Words and images by Neus Torres Tamarit, Nicolas Strappini, Stephen Bennett, Heather Scott, Hazel Chiang; edited by Stephen Bennett

April 2017 saw a collaboration between MA Art and Science and Imperial College, at the Centre for Doctoral Training Festival of Science and Art. Several artists from the course exhibited their works at the college, an interactive data visualisation was conducted, and other students engaged in the lively debate and discussion during the event’s seminars and lectures.

The Centres emphasise cross-disciplinary collaboration at their heart. Specific Centres focus on issues which do not have an obvious home in existing academic institutions or infrastructures, and include ‘Advanced Characterisation of Materials’, ‘Mathematics of Planet Earth’ and ‘Controlled Quantum Dynamics’.

The Centres are natural partners for Central Saint Martin’s MA Art and Science. The MA course also has cross-disciplinary collaboration at its core. For example, Neus Torres Tamarit is an artist with 10 years of experience exhibiting work at the national and international level. Ben Murray has 20 years’ experience including working in bioinformatics and genomics. The two collaborated to produce work which explores the idea that an organism is limited by the success of the mutations of its ancestors. Confined Mutations, on display at the Festival, shows three abstract entities that progress through a sequence of changes, eventually looping around to beginning. The forms are trapped in an endless cycle, representing evolved features that constrain future structural mutations and cannot be undone.

The project has resulted from a creative process involving risk taking, failure and uncertainty, with both the creators’ disciplinary backgrounds shaping the work at key points. Neus developed certain aesthetic forms through object oriented programing in Java code. Ben modified the code to create different shapes using random seeds. Neus then saw a strong connection between the shape and the diagram about the recurring laryngeal nerve in mammals that has evolved from fish, which, because of adaptation, has become entangled with the system of arteries.

Confined Mutations, Neus Torres Tamarit and Ben Murray

Confined Mutations, Neus Torres Tamarit and Ben Murray

Nicolas Strappini produced work for the festival which explores the importance of creative processes in both art and science. He has investigated the use of electricity as an artistic tool, using a Wimshurst machine to charge up plastic surfaces with electricity then dusting toner powders on the surface. Through this, Nicolas has visualised the invisible Lichtenberg figures left in the plastics: the works are direct visual representations of electricity. Nicolas used the festival to engage with scientists about the processes at play in his work. For example, MRes student Jeevan Soor helped Nicolas discover how James Maxwell’s equations describe Lichtenberg figures. Nicolas also learnt more about how the toner dusting method he has used to make artworks is also used in forensic science. Not dissimilar to Nicolas’ process for the Festival, forensic scientists use a device that generates static charge, and the charge draws the dust from the print on to the black plastic.

Static, Nicolas Strappini

Static, Nicolas Strappini

Stephen Bennett took the concept of engagement and collaboration a step further. He presented an empty grid, showing only 10 degree intervals of longitude and latitude. He then asked Festival attendees at the Imperial Science Festival “Where are you from?” Upon deciding their answer, participants took a transparent red square and affixed it to a grid map of the world. Thus, the scientists at the festival were the people who created the artwork.

“But I don’t know where I am from!” – attendee at the Festival

As well as exploring questions of authorship and collaboration, the exercise probed at questions relating to identity, maps and statistics. One student mused “I was born in Mumbai, but feel British” – where do I stick the square?  A Chinese student assumed that the large cluster of dots in the middle of the map represented China, on the basis that “whenever I see a map of the world China is in the middle of it”. Her partner, from South Carolina, argued that the centre of the map was more likely to represent Britain. Another lady, from Cyprus, put her sticker in the far bottom right (near the coordinates for Australia), initially thinking the map showed Europe. Some individuals deliberately disrupted the data. One placed about seven of the transparent squares on China “to make it redder”. Another placed three stickers, representing three parts of the world he had spent time in during his early years (Chile, UK and the Middle East).

Interactive Data Visualisation of student identity: Imperial Science Festival 2017, Stephen Bennett

Interactive Data Visualisation of student identity: Imperial Science Festival 2017, Stephen Bennett

Interaction was also at the heart of Heather Scott’s installation for the Festival. The piece explored what is happening inside and beyond a Kerr-Newman solution to a black hole. Using spheres to house these manifestations, like the energy built up inside a black hole and dimensions cracking into ours, it creates an interactive piece where the viewer can walk around, see into and watch these different aspects. As with Stephen and Nicolas, Heather also used the opportunity to meet with scientists, some of whom worked on issues related to black holes. Heather asked audience about their own views on what is inside or beyond a black hole. She knew from previous experience that everyone appears to have very differing opinions. The Festival provided an opportunity to find out what scientists thought, why they have that idea, and exchanging what Heather has learnt about the different possibilities through her artistic practice.

Installation, Heather Scott

Installation, Heather Scott

Hazel Chiang uses art to push at the boundaries of what science can really tell us, and when science may break down. She based her work on the “liar paradox” (“this sentence is false”) which indicates the formal logic system may break down work when things are self-referential. The arrow in Hazel’s piece, shown below, can never reach its target since the target and bowstring are the same thing. As science is based on logic, limitations will show when trying to examine the system itself. However, we can spot this error because our mind is more than this tool. Hazel’s postulation is that the reality and the language of science might not fit as we always assume.

Liar Paradox, Hazel Chiang

Liar Paradox, Hazel Chiang

MA Art and Science Pathway Leader, Heather Barnett, also exhibited work from The Physarum Experiments, an ongoing ‘collaboration’ with an intelligent slime mould.

The Physarum Experiments Study No: 019 The Maze, by Heather Barnett

The Physarum Experiments Study No: 019 The Maze, by Heather Barnett

If you are inspired by these art and science collaborations, please follow us on Twitter or Instagram, share this blog and come and see our work! There are some good opportunities to see our work in forthcoming exhibitions:

  • The MA Art and Science 2017 degree show, Third Matter, takes place between Wed 24 – Sun 28 May at 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA (third floor). The opening times are Wed to Fri 12.00 – 20.00 | Sat to Sun 12.00 – 18.00.
  • CSM × CMS: Entangled, a show about MA Art and Science’s collaboration with CERN particle physics laboratory, takes place from June 14-17, 2017 at the Four Corners Gallery in London. Opening times are 10:00-6:00pm.
  • MA Art and Students are in the middle of a residency at THECUBE London, focused on Embodiment and Emotion. Attend one of the Em-Em events, visible here, to meet some interesting speakers and see their art.

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.

Gallery from our Art and Science fundraising workshops

MA Art and Science fundraising workshops, March 2016


In March 2016, MA Art and Science staff and students ran a range of creative workshops exploring observations and experimentations in art and science at Central Saint Martins.

With many sessions selling out, participants gained some knowledge and hands-on experience with a range of techniques, including slime mould problem solving, microbial image making, nebula bottling, water mapping, microscopy inspired glass sculpting and chemigram making. The creative art and science workshops were designed for adults and young people.

All proceeds went towards the MA Art and Science Degree Show, Unfolding Realities which opens to the public 25-29 May 2016.


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To see details of each individual workshop see them listed here.


Graduate Profile: Melanie King (2013)

Name: Melanie King

Year of graduation: 2013

Lumen Studios, Crypt Space

Lumen Studios, Crypt Space

What are you doing now?

I am doing a lot of things! I have begun an MPhil at the Royal College of Art, where I’m focusing on what I call “celestography”, which means “to draw from the heavens”. In my practice, I am working on many different ways of interacting with celestial objects through the use of film, photography and sound. 

After graduating myself, fellow MA Art and Science graduate Louise Beer, and Raymond Hemson set up a collective called Lumen. In 2013, Lumen began holding exhibitions about astronomy in churches to raise a dialogue about how humanity understands existence. Since then we have begun a Lumen residency in Atina, Italy, which has been an amazing experience. We provide artists with accommodation and a studio, organise trips to observatoriesand arrange exhibitions in Italian churches. Last year was absolutely fantastic, and we’re really looking forward to the next residency in September. 

Coming up in May, we are also organising an open call for projections and light installations themed on the subject of “astronomical light” at Stour Space in Hackney. 

We are also holding regular exhibitions and events at our studio, which is based in The Crypt of St John on Bethnal Green. Our next event is 5 May, and involves a number of performances and sound installations around the theme of delay.

Myself and Louise Beer run a curatorial project Aether, which began at the University of the Arts London Showroom Gallery. Since then we have organised an exhibition with the Jarvis Dooney Galerie in Berlin and on 29th April, we’ll be opening another Aether exhibition at Imperial College London.

Aether UAL Install Shot

Aether UAL Install Shot

What have you done since graduation?

In 2015, myself and fellow MA Art and Science graduate Jaden Hastings collaborated on a world record sized cyanotype in Goa, India at The Story of Light festival. This was a fantastic experience, as we got to live and work in India for three weeks, meet lots of people from around the world and had some opportunities to hang out on beautiful Goa beaches! 

Following this, myself, Constanza Isaza Martinez and Andres Pantoja collaborated on another world record cyanotype which was 15 metres by 7 metres across. This was part of the On Light series of events organised by The Wellcome Trust and University College London.

In 2015, I was also lucky enough to undertake a residency at Four Corners Film in Bethnal Green, who helped me to create a new body of work on the subject of astronomy. This residency led to the development of my research towards the MPhil I am now studying. 

World record cyanotype

World record cyanotype

What did you work on whilst undertaking the MA Art and Science?

My research on the MA Art and Science was focused on the subject of the bubble as a metaphor for the brevity of life, in both the history of art and science. I compared 17th Century Dutch Vanitas paintings to inflation theory and multiverse theory. This is a body of research I am still developing, as I’m now interested in how scientists explain theories which are unrepresentable.

The MA also gave me an opportunity to develop my darkroom skills. On the MA, I made a cyanotype a day for 250 days as I wanted to capture light from the Sun on to photosensitive material, as the Earth spun on its axis. I also did the Alternative Photography short course with Guy Paterson at CSM, which taught me how to use liquid light, gum bichromate and Van Dyck Brown in a very short amount of time.

For the CSM degree show piece, I created daguerreotypes of soap bubbles and worked with the Aaronson Noon glass-blowing studios to capture the shape of my breath in 3 dimensions.

Bubble aether

Bubble aether

What did you gain from doing the MA Art and Science?

The MA in Art and Science is completely unique, as we were given regular lectures and workshops with artists and scientists. We had the opportunity to participate in a project with the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit at Oxford University, which then gave me the confidence to approach other scientific institutions to work with.

The location of the MA in London is crucial, as London benefits from a wealth of scientific institutions, lectures, workshops and events that aren’t really found elsewhere. The optional MRes Theory and Philosophy lectures by Chris Kul Want were offered to us, and these lectures were fundamental for the development of my research to MPhil. Overall, the MA Art and Science helped me to understand the value of practice based research, and is something that will be of value for the rest of my life. During the course, I worked as a (paid!) intern for The Arts Catalyst which gave me an insight into working in the field of art and science.

Practically, I also found a great part-time job in 2013 with the Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) based at London College of Communication with the UAL agency ArtsTemps. This job supported me through the difficult post-graduation period but I have also learned a lot about contemporary photography during my time there. 

In May 2015, I organised the Shadows symposium on traditional photography processes at Camberwell College of Art alongside PARC, and they have been very supportive about my creative endeavours outside of working for them as an administrator. 

Planet Mercury Daguerreotype

Planet Mercury Daguerreotype

What did you do before joining the course?

I moved out of my home at 17, so my journey to the MA course wasn’t completely smooth. I worked full time in depressing office jobs in my home city of Manchester until I was about 20, and completed an Access Course to HE in Art and Design at Stockport College during this time. In retrospect this time was great, as it taught me that a full time soulless job in an office is my idea of hell and that I should do everything in my power to avoid it! Instead, I try to spend as much time as I can on my passions.

After my Access Course, I then went to study a BA in Fine Art at Leeds College of ArtDuring my BA, I experimented with lots of processes such as printmaking, casting, darkroom photography, drawing, painting, collage and sculpture. As a result of this BA, the multi-disciplinary approach to art is now quite natural to me. 

I’m glad that I did not focus on one specific practice, as I now feel that I have freedom to approach artistic concepts in a number of different ways!


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.



Stephanie Wong Tate interview – Art School Advice

MA Art and Science student, Stephanie Wong, recently answered some questions for the Tate website student advice page. Here’s an excerpt…

What was your background before going to art college (education, work experience etc…)?

Prior to the MA I did a degree in neuroscience. Although art was my favourite subject at school I also enjoyed science and was able to study both at A level, taking biology, physics and art. However, going into university I felt I had to choose one route and didn’t feel ready for the flexibility and openness of art school. Wanting a more structured environment and also following one strand of my interests I ended up studying neuroscience at the University of Bristol. Following on from my degree I did a bit of science communication, volunteering then interning at a science centre. Over this time I found myself constantly drawn to the more creative jobs on offer and felt sad that I hadn’t pursued my interest in art. Despite having enjoyed my science degree there was always the question in the back of my mind what if I’d gone into art school instead?

Tate Collectives art school resource, artwork by Stephanie Wong

What made you want to study that subject?

When I found out the MA Art and Science course existed I couldn’t believe it. I thought I wouldn’t go back into education, so it took me a good year to decide to apply. In the end I couldn’t resist the possibility of studying a subject that seemed to blend both of my interests perfectly. Also, I felt that unless I studied art at university level I would never be able to consider it as a career.

Read the full interview here, covering the inspirations, activities and aspirations of a student on MA Art and Science: 


Bottle your own nebulae by Carla Mancillas Serna

Art and Science Creative Workshops – now booking

MA Art and Science staff and students are offering a range of creative workshops exploring observations and experimentations in art and science on Saturday 5 and 12 March, at Central Saint Martins.

Come along and get hands on with slime mould problem solving, microbial image making, nebula bottling, water mapping, microscopy inspired glass sculpting and chemigram making. Creative art and science workshops are designed for adults and young people. Young people must be 12+ and accompanied by an adult.

All proceeds go towards the MA Art and Science Degree Show (open to the public 25-29 May 2016).

Cost: £14 adult | £12 UAL staff/student | £9 child/senior/unemployed
(discounts available when you book two or more workshops, applied at checkout)

See details and booking links below…

Looking Glass by Jenny Walsh

Looking Glass by Jenny Walsh


Through the Looking Glass & Microbial Me

5 March 2016, 11:00 – 13:00

Through the Looking Glass (with Jenny Walsh)
Glass played a crucial role in enabling man to see beyond the visual eye. In this workshop discover how skilled craftsmen learned to grind glass and change its composition to revolutionise the way we investigate the microscopic world. Inspired by microscopic images each participant will be invited to create their own microscope slide using glass confetti and stringers.


Microbial Me (with Mellissa Fisher)
Learn about the invisible world on your skin, think about your own microbes and design your own microbial portrait using a painting technique and collage. Each person will have their own microbial face to take home along with knowledge about bacteria!


Attentive Topologies and Water Mapping by Beckie Leach & Silvia Krupinska

Attentive Topologies and Water Mapping by Beckie Leach & Silvia Krupinska


Attentive Topologies & Water Mapping

5 March 2016, 14:00 – 16:00

Attentive Topologies and Water Mapping (with Beckie Leach & Silvia Krupinska)
Focusing on the canal area next to Granary Square in Kings Cross (in front of Central Saint Martins), this workshop will guide you through a series of attentiveness exercises exploring sound and water. You will find out about phenomenological approaches to artistic practice and water/sound quality, and create expressive maps capturing the movement of water and sound.


Slime mould problem solving a maze by Heather Barnett

Slime mould problem solving a maze by Heather Barnett


Slime Mould Boot Camp

12 March 2016, 11:00 – 13:00

Slime Mould Boot Camp (with Heather Barnett)
The slime mould, Physarum polycephalum, is a small brainless protozoa with surprising intelligence. Used as a model organism in many areas of scientific research it also makes for a great creative collaborator. In this workshop you will discover the fascinating role this single celled organism has to play in the cultures of science and art, and design a practical experiment to test its capabilities and problem-solving skills. Each participant will take home a new microbial pet to observe and experiment with.


Chemigram Magic by Don Li and Mira Varg

Chemigram Magic by Don Li and Mira Varg


The Chemigram Spell & Bottle Your Own Nebula

12 March 2016, 14:00 – 16:00

The Chemigram Spell (with Don Li & Mira Varg)
Offering some fresh air in the midst of a digital age, the workshop explores the potential of analogue photographic processes through a hands-on session, working with tools and materials that are unconventionally related to photographic processes – including paint brushes, syringes, honey and varnish. Come and experience the magic of an alternative image making process.


Bottle Your Own Nebula (with Carla Mancillas Serna)
Nebulas are massive clouds of interstellar dust in space, mainly composed of helium and hydrogen and other chemical elements. They are also known as “stellar nurseries”. These clouds of different shapes, sizes and colours coalesce in space, collapse and give birth to stars and planetary systems, like our own solar system. Learn about how nebulae form and create your own bottled cloud inspired by the colours and textures of cosmic dust.


Jared Vaughan Davis 2015

MA Art and Science graduate activity

Since completing their studies in June our recent graduates have been busy. Here is just a flavour of some of the things they’ve been up to…


Jared Vaughan Davis has been published in 3 international magazines:

INTERALIA MAGAZINE: On the Greek Gematria series and Metamodern experiments

SCIART IN AMERICA: Thoughts on the limitations of art and science – pg 8

ABOON MAGAZINE: Interview with Jared Vaughan Davis


Daniel Simon Ayat is guest critic on the AAVS Lyngør Workshop taking place in August on Lyngør Island in the North Sea. The workshop will explore the fundamental properties of Nordic architecture and formulate site-specific speculations in the context of a small island community. Daniel will contextualise the 1812 Battle of Lyngør with reference to naval technology, navigation, and astronomical instrumentation.


Vivienne Wen Du has been Artist in Residence at The Lab Project – an experimental month long residency exploring interactions between art and science, along with another graduate from 2013, Rose Pickles.


Sivan Lavie curated an exhibition, Human Nature, in London featuring many fellow artists from MA Art and Science.


Alice Cazenave, Jing Hu and Crow Dillon-Parkin exhibited in Fluorescent Open House Festival in Soho in July.


Several students have moved into new studios to be able to continue their practice post-graduation, including Libby Heaney, Morfydd Ransom Hall and Crow Dillon-Parkin


No doubt much to follow in future…