By Aimee Lusty
Last week, Pioneer Works held a lecture discussing Dava Sobel’s new book The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, as part of a series of events bridging the arts and sciences. In a collaborative conversation with artist Lia Halloran and the center’s director of science Janna Levin, Sobel took to introduce the audience to the untold story of Harvard’s first female computers.
SPOTLIGHT: SciArt Center Member Dr. Scott Chimileski accepts 2016 Passion in Science Award in Arts and Creativity
Dr. Scott Chimileski, a SciArt member and microbiologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, accepted a 2016 Passion in Science Award in Arts and Creativity from New England Biolabs (NEB). Scott was presented with the award for his microbe photography and for his work to spearhead the Microbial Life exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, set to open in the fall of 2017. Scott also recently received a 2016 BioArt Award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and his time-lapse video of cheese mites on a rind of cheddar cheese was chosen as one of the top videos of the 2016 Nikon Small World in Motion competition.
By Joe Ferguson
One day in grad school, I sat nose deep in a spinal radiograph trying to figure out what was wrong. My radiology professor sat down next to me, took out her pen, and traced a small circle over an empty patch of gray—she then tapped her pen over a circular radiopacity a couple of centimeters to the left. “There should be two circles,” she said. “It’s called winking owl and it’s a sign of metastasis. To be good at radiology, you have to have a good imagination.”
We rarely use the term imagination in the hard sciences. It seems particularly paradoxical in the black-and-white world of radiology, but the truth is that radiographs aren’t really black and white. They present as abstract images—surrealistic osteological clouds floating in a sky of varying shades of gray. We sometimes need imagination to make sense of what we see. In radiology, it may mean constructing a meaningful picture out of abstract imagery by linking it to mental references—in the case above, a winking owl.
The Future of the Past: Mummies and Medicine is a new exhibit at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor. Scientists, Egyptologists, physicians, museum curators and conservators worked together to merge “science and technology, archaeology and history, medicine, culture and art with Egyptian religion and magic.”
CITY SIGHTS: Finding the science-art in New York area exhibitions
By Julia Buntaine
"Interference," a group exhibition curated by Steven Salzman, includes artists Johnny Abrahams, John Aslanidis, Daniel Hill, Gilbert Hasiao, Julie Opperman, and Jessica Rosner.
Open now through January 8th.
Curatorial statement: "Interference" explores the physical phenomena of the superposition of two or more waves resulting in a new wave pattern. Waves of air, sound and electro-magnetism—and their subsequent interference patterns—permeate our environment. These phenomena surround, bombard and penetrate our bodies continuously. The artists in this exhibit explore these omnipresent patterns as a visual motifs, including hard-edge geometry, gestural improvisation, and handwriting. Inspirational sources include optics, physics, music and meditation. The ensemble of works on view grasp the pervasive hum of interference radiation to capture and re-present it as analysis visually and poetically.
This year's New England BioLabs "Passion in Science" award was presented to Dana Simmons, an alumna of SciArt Center's cross-disciplinary collaborative residency program. Simmons, a University of Chicago neuroscience PhD student, presented the work created during and inspired by her residency in collaboration with mixed-media artist Richelle Gribble. As a scientist, Simmons aims to raise comprehensive awareness of current brain and autism research, and began creating art from her science as a means to connect the research with the public.