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Posted inArt

Wasted Wonder: Picturing Science, but Not Explaining It

Winding my way past the American Museum of Natural History’s giant elephants and intricate dioramas, toward the exhibition Picturing Science, my fantasies bloomed. I prepared to be awed by the beautiful miracle of biology and by the power of the technology that lets us see it.

But, upon reaching the show and moving from image to image, it quickly became clear that my fantasy was, well, just that.

Posted inOpinion

What Happens When You Cross Banking with Physics

If you were to apply the principles of quantum physics to banking, could you generate billions of dollars and fix the world’s economy? That’s the premise of a new project by artist Jonathon Keats called the Quantum Bank. It opened by way of a prototype quantum ATM installed at the Engineer’s Office Gallery, 24-by-72-by-24.5-inch cubby in the basement of Rockefeller Center, and will remain there through Friday.

Posted inBooks

The Hidden Beauty of Disease Under Our Skin

Beneath our sheath of skin is an internal world both vast and complex. While most of us rarely get to see it, these workings of our systems and organs are the daily viewing of pathologists, particularly when it comes to disease. A new book of photography takes us into our own interiors, and shows that even with their horrid ravaging of our bodies, there is some beauty in these afflictions.

Posted inArt

The Relationship Between Science and Art, Explored Through Laboratory Architecture

BRIGHTON, UK — Tucked behind an aging mews of terraced houses in the historic city of Cambridge is a hidden modernist science facility. Negotiating tight security and an immaculate grey gravel drive, expectations climb as you approach an understated entrance in a warm yet sleek façade. The straight lines inspire; a horizontal accent calms. The building has also been sunk a little to root the botanical research lab in the present. If you ever held childhood aspirations toward being a scientist, this structure is designed to revive those dreams before you even cross the threshold.

Posted inArt

Documenta 13’s Art Laboratory

There’s been much talk in the art world during the past decade about the rise of the curator as artist, a figure who in her or his most overweening moments seeks to render artist and artwork secondary to the vision — or, at worst, predetermined program — for a particular exhibition. MFAs in curatorial studies are proliferating, and celebrity curators have become as powerful, influential, and famous as artists always have been, as collectors have become, and as critics once were. However fashionable of late, the curator as artist existed decades earlier in the figure of Harald Szeemann, partly as a result of his radical approach to Documenta 5 in 1972, where he initiated a multi- and inter-disciplinary format that continues to this day.

Posted inArt

Are Artists the Best Curators?

The most galvanizing room, hands down, in the current Whitney Biennial is the Forrest Bess micro-retrospective put together by sculptor Robert Gober. And on Tuesday, in what could be a trend, another museum-quality exhibition opened, organized by another sculptor — Matthew Day Jackson’s “Science on the back end” at Hauser & Wirth.

Posted inArt

Art and Science Get Intimate

A lot has changed since novelist and physicist C.P. Snow’s assertion in the 1960s that Western intellectual life was split between two irreconcilable cultures: the arts and the sciences. Around that time, Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) was just beginning its efforts to bridge those two spheres. Fifty years later, Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery has made a significant contribution to representing and documenting where the relationship between art, science, and technology stands with the exhibition Intimate Science and the related book New Art/Science Affinities.