Evolving Wallpaper by Natalie Settles and Stephen J. Tonsor
The collaboration between Settles and Tonsor is a “social sculpture,” based on Joseph Beuy’s idea of art as revolutionary tool that crosses spheres of human activity. Tonsor’s work deals with evolutionary diversification and plant ecology.
The collaboration between Settles and Tonsor is a “social sculpture,” based on Joseph Beuy’s idea of art as revolutionary tool that crosses spheres of human activity. Tonsor’s work deals with evolutionary diversification and plant ecology. Settles is the artist-in-residence at Tonsor’s lab, and her art deals with site-specific wall drawings. Their collaboration integrates the languages of science and art to advance investigation in both fields.
It is not always an easy conversation. In art/science collaborations, you're talking about methodologies, goals and structures of thought that are very different. Because art does not always have a clearly defined agenda such as what one might expect in a science lab, the artist constantly has to articulate: what is art practice? What are the goals and objectives of the art? It’s easy for the artist to get lost. In every multidisciplinary collaboration, the dialogue is as messy and painful as the process of evolution itself.
The EvoWallpaper Project is an interactive project developing as a result of this collaboration and is based on the principles of evolution and the aesthetics of Victorian motifs in the form of projected wallpaper. Projected in areas of repeated, high traffic—such as an airport or a college campus—the wallpaper’s motifs responds to people who reach out and touch it. Over time, the pieces that people are most attracted to evolve to become more prominent, allowing for an investigation of the evolutionary process.
- Watch Tonsor and Settles talk about this work at the National Academy of Sciences' DASER forum - http://www.youtube.com/user/CPNAS#p/a/u/0/qwYNmn1UY4c