Organized by Rutgers University professors, the Fourth International Symposium of Science and Art will examine how scientific images, such as microscopic views of molecules, natural and computer displays of fluid motion, and glimpses of far-off galaxies, become the subjects of paintings, photographs, animation and sculpture. The conference also will look at how new materials, computer software and other technical advances lead to new forms of artistic expression.
"Examples abound of artists being inspired by science and drawing on technology to portray their ideas in classical and modern media," said Norman Zabusky, mechanical engineering professor of computational fluid dynamics and conference director. "We're bringing together scientists who appreciate the artistic merit in the subjects they're exploring with artists who see beauty in the latest scientific discoveries. Together, they'll share ideas and draw inspiration in venues ranging from scholarly talks to gallery presentations and museum visits."
The symposium, to be held June 9-12 at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in downtown New Brunswick, is accepting advance registrations through May 15. Applications to exhibit art work or present conference papers are due Feb. 21. These can be made at the meeting web site, www.mechanical.rutgers.edu/scart4.
As an expert in fluid physics, Zabusky long ago noticed how the images he created to grasp scientific principles had a certain kind of beauty. Contrary to the stereotype that scientific and artistic personalities don't mix, he shared his work with artists and developed a strong rapport. At the last symposium, Zabusky delivered the keynote address on fluid and wave imagery, noting its early influence on da Vinci and, later, on Japanese wood block print artists. He also provided an overview of contemporary work in artistic aspects of scientific visualization, including computer animation.
Speakers at the upcoming symposium will include Rob Fisher, sculptor; Peter Galison, Harvard professor and science historian; Ned Kahn, artist; and Michael Norman, professor and astrophysicist from the University of California, San Diego. Panels led by invited speakers will include a discussion of venues in the digital and Internet age for art, entertainment and science/technology outreach. A group visit to the New Jersey Grounds for Sculpture and the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture's digital facilities in Mercerville is also on the agenda.
The symposium is organized and run by volunteers; it is not affiliated with a professional society or art institute. This is the first time the event is being held in the United States. Previous gatherings took place in Hong Kong, in 1994; Berlin, 1997; and Zurich in 2000. The organizers expect about 200 people to attend.