The exhibit consists of both still images and video of artistic merit created during the course of scientific research. Forty-four still images were chosen from more than 250 submissions from undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff, and alumni representing more than 25 different University departments. Twelve videos were chosen from more than 50 submissions.
Zach Donnell, a graduate student in molecular biology and one of the 2014 organizers, noted that the exhibit highlights the interplay between art and science. "While the scientific methods behind the exhibit strive for objectivity and consensus, everyone's individual response to the images is subjective and highly personal," he said.
The top three image entrants as chosen by a distinguished jury received cash prizes in amounts calculated by the golden ratio (whose proportions have since antiquity been considered to be aesthetically pleasing): first prize, $250; second prize, $154.51; and third prize, $95.49.
1st – Sara Sadri, postdoc, Civil and Environmental Engineering, "Watermarks"
2nd – James S. Waters, postdoc, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, "Fungus among us"
3rd – Yasmin Afsar, graduate student, Electrical Engineering, "Portrait of the artist in the air shower"
This is the seventh Princeton University Art of Science competition but the first to include a category of video. The top video award was a GoPro camera, awarded to Sabine Petry, assistant professor of molecular biology, for "Microtubules branch out."
"So much of science and engineering involves video or animation these days that it was inevitable we would include it in Art of Science," said Dan Quinn, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering who is one of the 2014 exhibit organizers.
The jury for the print images included David Dobkin, Dean of the Faculty; Katherine Bussard, Peter C. Bunnell curator of photography at the Princeton Art Museum; and Naomi Ehrich Leonard, Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of the Council on Science and Technology.
The jury for the videos included Renee Hlozek, postdoctoral research associate in astrophysical sciences; Sam Wang, associate professor of molecular biology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute; and filmmaker Michael E. Wood '08.
Those attending the opening reception for the physical gallery in May were asked to fill out a paper "People's Choice" ballot. Of 185 ballots cast, 1st place for the still image went to "Fruit fly factory" by Yogesh Goyal (graduate student), Bomyi Lim (graduate student), Miriam Osterfield (postdoctoral researcher), Stas Shvartsman (faculty), of Chemical and Biological Engineering. The People's Choice award for video went to "Plenty of Fish" by Colin Twomey (graduate student) and Haishan Wu (postdoctoral researcher) of Ecology and Evolutionary
The physical gallery of the 2014 exhibit will be on view in the Friend Center on the Princeton University campus through the end of April 2015. The gallery is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, excluding major holidays. Directions to the Friend Center may be found here.
About Princeton Art of Science:
Art of Science spurs debate among artists about the nature of art, opens scientists to new ways of "seeing" their own research, and serves as a democratic window through which the general public can appreciate both art and science — two fields that for different reasons can feel threatening to the non-expert. Art of Science imagery has universal appeal, across cultures, languages, and age groups.
Powerful imaging tools can now capture our world in ways never before contemplated and unintentionally produce aesthetically interesting visual artifacts. When viewed through the lens of art, these images can further man's concept of what it means to be human, enhance our appreciation of the natural world, and enrich our cultural heritage by expanding the definition of what we call art and who we call artists. Ultimately, the aim of the AoS enterprise is to create a new symbiosis of the two fields long considered irreconcilable ever since C.P. Snow's pronouncement in the 1950s of the great cultural divide that exists between science and the humanities.
A 'best of' Princeton Art of Science traveling is currently on display at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, through September 2014.
The Princeton University Art of Science 2014 exhibit galleries are now online: