Ars et Scientia: Intersections of Science and the Visual Arts
Despite the semantic divide that seems to separate art and science in modern culture, the boundaries between the two disciplines have always been fluid and permeable. From the earliest recorded botanical illustrations, painted on papyrus scrolls in Egypt in the 2nd century AD, to contemporary artist Josh Kline’s use of 3D printing in his work, art and science have long been used in tandem to make sense of the world and explore our place within it. The working notes of printers like Louis-Marin Bonnet as they experimented with the technique of chalk-manner engraving resemble nothing so much as a scientist recording data and observations for his experiments. Representations of the scientist at work in his laboratory also abound, from Pieter Bruegel’s Alchemist to Joseph Wright of Derby’s An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, and serve as social commentaries on the role of the scientist in society. More recently, scientific technologies have proven to be invaluable tools for the modern art historian and museum curator, allowing us to better understand artists’ working methods and materials through the use of imaging technology and chemical analysis. This symposium seeks to foster a re-examination of the complex interactions between artistic and scientific disciplines that are more interdependent than they first appear.
We welcome innovative research papers from graduate students of all disciplines that challenge the divide between humanities and STEM fields. Papers may explore aspects of this topic across any time period, medium, or geographical region.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
● depictions of scientists, doctors, astronomers, engineers, etc. at work
● visual evidence for the transmission of scientific knowledge between cultures
● scientific diagrams: anatomical, botanical, astronomical, alchemical, etc.
● technical art history
● art that incorporates the use of novel technologies: for example early printing or photography, video art, 3D printing
● aestheticized technology, such as astrolabes and globes
● microphotography or photographs of patients/specimens
● descriptions of artistic methodologies in terms of scientific experimentation
For consideration, please submit a 350-word abstract and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 16, 2017. Selected participants will be notified by early August. Paper presentations will be 20 minutes in length, and participants will be invited to author a blog post about their research to be published at clevelandsymposium.tumblr.com.
Please direct all questions to Aimee Caya and Erin Hein at email@example.com.
(Image: Clarence van Duzer, Mural Study for Cancer, 1948, tempera on panel. Cleveland Museum of Art, 2011.5)
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