New Authorities


By J.D. Talasek


15 April 2014

Science strives to answer the big questions. Art has a way of reframing questions from a different and often provocative perspective. By going beyond the borders of their disciplines, scientists and artists can inform each other, enrich knowledge, and solve challenging problems.

The dialogue created by these works inspects how knowledge production is structured within each discipline and questions the traditional boundaries between art and science. Brandon Ballengée’s Collapse uses the methodology of a scientist to bring visualizations of an endangered ecology to a gallery space. Steve Miller’s Protein challenges us to reconsider the movement of electrons across a cell’s membrane through evocative artistic renderings. Natalie Settles conveys the process of evolution in a way that is aesthetically rich, physically accessible, and grounded in Victorian history. The collaborative artist duo Semiconductor reimagines big data and makes tangible the movement of the Earth under our feet. Andrew Yang breaks down the barrier by appropriating the language of science through art.

The grand challenges – such as faced in areas of environment or health and society – can be approached by breaking down barriers between art and science in order to achieve fresh insight and to provide a platform for dialogue and contemplation. The works in this set question the traditional authorities of art and science by presenting innovative interdisciplinary collaborations and hybrids that bring new perspectives to complex problems and big ideas.