The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: Physics in Culture – edited by curator Nicola Triscott and artist Fiona Crisp, published by Arts Catalyst – is a collection of texts, images and conversations that present fundamental physics and the physics of the universe as human activities and cultural endeavours.
I’ve been back in the UK for the opening of Arts Catalyst’s new Centre for Art, Science and Technology in King’s Cross London, an exciting initiative for Arts Catalyst after more than twenty years pioneering art that engages with science and technology in society. In those two decades, we have commissioned over 13o artists’ projects and many exhibitions, presented in partnership with galleries, museums and other spaces across the UK and internationally. So what has driven us to set up our own Centre now?
At Arts Catalyst we remain committed, since our very first projects in 1994, to enabling and promoting artists who are investigating topics relating to contemporary science and technology and its interplay with society and the environment. Our mission is to commission and exhibit artworks that challenge our contemporary science and technology saturated society to reflect…
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Interesting article about a way that professional sculptors can bring extra revenue for their labours.
15 October – 20 December 2015 . Rommelaere Building, University of Ghent, Belgium.
Fabrica Vitae highlighted and explored the perception of the human body by scientists and artists. In Post Mortem thirty of the artists made new work in dialogue with the spaces, theme and scientific artefacts from the collections of the University of Ghent.
A team of curators led by Pascale Pollier developed the concept of Post Mortem as a fitting ending to the Fabrica Vitae tour.
The photographs show The Space Between sculpture in the autopsy room in the Post Mortem exhibition. The sculpture is in two parts with the anchor on the autopsy table and the pair of crow wings in the corner.
In tribute to an extraordinary collaboration between art and science this booklet has been compiled. Scan the pages to glimpse into a world where the dead body relives through reexamination, analysis, creativity and documentation.
I felt deeply privileged to join the collaboration.
New sculpture for Post Mortem exhibition, University of Ghent, Belgium
15 October – 20 December 2015 Post Mortem.
A new sculpture, The Space Between, will be unveiled at this prestigious exhibition in the Rommelaere Building, University of Ghent, Belgium.
Alongside more than 25 national and international contemporary artists, including the new honorary doctor of the University of Ghent, Berlinde De Bruyckere, establish new work shown in a scientific habitat and between scientific artefacts from which they drew inspiration.
The University Museum works for Post Mortem with Fabrica Vitae, a traveling art exhibition that includes Copenhagen, Basel, Athens, New York, Berlin, Geneva, Moscow, … reproach.
Fabrica Vitae highlights and explores the perception of the human body by scientists and artists. For Post Mortem 30 of these artists, almost all have made new work in dialogue with the spaces, theme and scientific artefacts from the collections of the University of Ghent.
A Space Between By Jac Scott
The lack of knowledge of both the mental and physical dimensions of death provides a plethora of unanswerable questions. Those who are left behind meditate upon the concept of the divergence of the corporeal existence and spirit – the human condition reflects an emotive response that leads to yet more uncertainties. Yes we come from nature and are all homeward bound, but where do our minds go or are they buried/burned too? What happens – is there a departure? Death seen and unseen. “A thing is not seen because it is visible, but conversely visible because it is seen.” Socrates How do we comprehend the inevitable end in our conscious being whilst spiked with the knowledge that our unconscious self has a part to play? This duality of being nurtures a quest for expansion to the physical and metaphysical worlds that we inhabit, but how to move forward? John Berger, in his dispatch on survival and resistance, Hold Everything Dear, (2007) writes, “Man is the only creature who lives within at least two time scales: the biological one of his body and the one of his consciousness.” The paradox of coexistence purported by Berger, against a more holistic way of being, reflects our propensity to dissect life and extricate our corporeal from our spiritual selves. The notion of gaps as an essential part of life is a common thread in philosophical doctrine; “…as the thought process slows you will be able to see gaps. Between two thoughts there is an interval – in that interval is consciousness.” Hsin, Hsin, Ming; The Book of Nothing: Discourses on Sosan’s Verses on the Faith-Mind, Osho (1996)
Imagining the visual quality of a gap is appealing. Can a gap between two voids be emptiness? Does this eulogised space, possibly a refuge, where we reside when the mind and body release their hold on each other, have passage or is it suspended animation of our sense of being? What kind of definition can we assign this space, this gap – is it nothingness or something more profound? Believing, as in science that nothingness does not exist, that there is always something, then is it another room for dwelling? The familiarity of a notion of a room, instead of space, provides valuable comfort, as there is little insight into this transition station. Is a room projected by the mind defined by walls – a mausoleum as departure lounge – or does it possess a diaphanous dominion? “The chiasm of the body and of the world exposes exposure to itself—and with it, the impossibility to finally bring the world to the spirit, and bring meaning to significance. The body is a strangeness which is not preceded by familiarity.” Jean Luc Nancy, “Strange Foreign Bodies.” 2008 (translated by Liz Wendelbo) Inevitably, this leads to the concept of death being a journey – mode of transportation and destination unknown – but always movement. A transition period evokes enquiry into altered states and metamorphosis. The dust may settle in the wake, but the decaying of the flesh does not reveal the ticket for the spirit. Neither does the contemplation of a life lived and mourned – the anthropocentric compass is devoid of direction. The gulf in our understanding presents a conundrum – could the unknown process of departure counterbalance the known fear of death? And what of deliverance? So, refuge is sought in wrestling with the inevitable, it will happen, but cradled by the ignorance of when. The enigma of our existence and hence our death is an opportunity for adventure. There are no absolutes, except death, and whilst theorists and theologians present their speculations, there is also space for the individual to dance in the gap. This solace, invites a celebration of the space and its shadows and hence an acceptance of the uncertainty of what happens next, means that we are liberated in life. “Death is no more than passing from one room into another”. Helen Keller
15 October – 20 December 2015
A new sculpture will be unveiled at this prestigious exhibition in the Rommelaere Building, University of Ghent, Belgium.
The Post Mortem exhibition is part of the Fabrica Vitae tour.
Extraordinary petal structures made by a rare species of bees. Although numbers of bees are still declining the insight into these vital creatures still grows.
There is death in the air…always.
Death seen and unseen.
How do we reach the inevitable end in our conscious being whilst being spiked with the knowledge that our unconscious self has a part to play? This duality of being nurtures a quest for expansion to the physical and metaphysical worlds that we inhabit, but how? This initial impulse is where a new piece of work for the Fabrica Vitae exhibition in Ghent, Belgium is evolving.
“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.” Marcel Proust
“I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind — and that of the minds who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.” William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
“Death is no more than passing from one room into another.” Helen Keller
A beautifully shot film trailer for the exhibition Fabrica Vitae http://www.interaliamag.org/audiovisual/fabrica-vitae-film-trailer/
‘Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again.’ Jean Luc Picard
I am using a Mac to write, there is an iPhone on my desk, a Samsung screen looms above my head – a familiar scene to most of us.
As I witnessed first hand during a research visit, China is an incredible country, this extraordinary article highlights our combined responsibility for the impact on the earth that our lust for technology engenders. Its insightful and non-judgemental and therefore worth taking five minutes between texting to read.
If you’re interested in the melding of art and science and how this dynamic enhances our understanding of the world, then visit the exhibition Fabrica Vitae at Stradins University in Riga, Latvia – ends 31 May.
Discover my work Alternative Perspectives; Genius Loci – a digital photomontage that takes the image of a fly’s compound eye magnified 150 times, photographed using a scanning electron microscope, as its foundation. Inserted ‘inside’ the eye is a window of an old farm building that, intrigued by its dark interior and a small rectangle of light on the opposite wall, insinuated an image of hope – but what do you see?