The Intersection of Art and Science

This project has opened my eyes to the utility of art as a way to teach about science.  I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and from my point of view from being a full time scientist to being a full time artist to finally straddling the two, it seems as though research in art is not as easily respected compared to scientific research. I've had more than one disappointing reaction by some old colleagues when they discovered me performing, on stilts, in full circus getup. There are some big differences between art and science, but there are also some really big similarities. Research in either one can take you on a journey into deep space, learning so much more than you ever thought possible and opening doors to creativity that cause you to change your whole story. For Exist, we have spent so much time researching even just one line in the narration. So much research went into the Orionness Panel, by Stéphanie Juneau, in the different representations of Orion from different cultures, the different ways that the hunter held weapons, the different stars that are sometimes included in the constellation. We found creative freedom to birth our very own version of Orion, and create our own story around it. Natalie, our narrator,  has blown my mind. She went from really not knowing much about the universe to understanding more about the history of astronomy than I do and knowing a lot of the major concepts that a student of astronomy would know.  She deserves lots of recognition (and money!) for her hours upon hours of research and writing for Exist.  Research in art is important, and it is an excellent vehicle for people to learn more about....anything that inspires them.  It's a cool thing, we need more of that in the world.  What kind of research are you excited about?  Can you think of an art project that would you like to use as a vehicle to learn?

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