Olga Alexander creates delicate installations balancing materials into scientific objects in order to initiate empirical observation usually saved for the laboratory. We are all used to dissecting art’s imagery in order to reach a personal conclusion of its meaning. Alexander's “Synaptic Incubations of Another Kind” are clever gestures about scientific empiricism: Science is empirical truth through observation, and Art is personal creation one later observes. This is an age old aporia and a discontent of Art and artists working within the realm of SciArt.
Existing as a time capsule, we realize our love and intrigue for these curiosity cases are because we cannot enter its world and are always set at a distance, allowing our thoughts to reach a space of nostalgic reflection. Nostalgia is a romantic pathos almost lost to contemporary society’s instant cyberworld, where we no longer have to remember or reflect because in a second we can visualize our thoughts through social media posts or internet image searches. Alexander creates nostalgia by placing emphasis on the power of objects-in-the-flesh, because her mementos act according to the power of empirical observation through first-person experience.
Read on for an interview with the artist that expounds on her scientific inspirations, what she thinks is so "Un-Natural" about nature today, and what "SciArt" means in regards to her work.
By Danielle Kalamaras
DK: What most inspires you about the natural-and artificial-world?
OA: As art and science commingle in practice and theory, I am inspired by both disciplines and the possibilities they present in redefining our environment and our identity.
What is so 'Un-Natural' about nature today?
I am not sure how "un-natural" is defined here but if by un-natural you mean going against nature, I don't think this is an issue since these definitions evolve as our knowledge expands and we adapt. This is one of the reasons I am interested in hybrids.
What does "SciArt" mean to you?
As an artists I find art has no perimeters and can comment on issues of the day. The combination of science and art or any discipline and art offers up new perspectives that can benefit everyone. As art and science commingle in practice and theory, I am inspired by both disciplines and the possibilities they present in redefining our environment and our identity.
Visit Olga Alexander's website to learn more about her artwork.
Click here to view the online exhibition "Un-Natural Nature" which features the artwork of 30 SciArt Center Members.