Touching, hearing, seeing science... in works of art

What does a quantum simulation or space time look or even sound like? Artists teamed up with EU-funded researchers to bring complex scientific and mathematical concepts to life in totally creative ways.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 19 July 2018  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Innovation
Research policyEconomic development and cohesion  |  Horizon 2020  |  Open innovation
Science in societyScience communication  |  Science communication
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Austria  |  Belgium  |  Netherlands
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Touching, hearing, seeing science... in works of art

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© grandfailure #188747757, source: fotolia.com 2018

From ancient Greece to the Renaissance era, science, philosophy and the arts shared a common goal of enlightenment. As technology has advanced, a knowledge gap has developed between the scientists and creators who develop innovations and the wider population who use or benefit from them.

The EU-funded FEAT project explored the role that art plays in science and innovation processes to help bridge that knowledge gap. Six leading international artists were hosted within future and emerging technology (FET) projects through fully funded embedded residencies to explore, engage and communicate these new areas of research. During this period, artists acquired new competencies in scientific techniques which they later used to create artworks able to demonstrate complex scientific concepts to lay audiences.

The works range from visual displays of quantum physics and demonstrations of gene regulation to underwater robotics, carbon capture, exascale computing and living ‘bio-art’ exhibits. They have been used as showcases during media campaigns, international events and workshops, culminating in a final exhibition and symposium on art, science and technology at Bozar in Brussels in September 2017.

The sounds of simulation

FEAT’s mission was to create fresh perspectives on how FET results can be used for social innovation and global development. The artworks act as a ‘creative’ conduit to communicate science to more diverse audiences and stakeholders in a meaningful way.

“Quite often science is complicated,” note Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, UK artists who participated in FEAT. “But art can provide a gateway for engaging people in scientific research and ideas.”

The duo spent nine months in Finland learning everything they could about quantum computing technology, a promising field in data security and other aspects of digital communication and encryption. The artists chose to graphically represent the sound waves produced by instruments during quantum simulations.

The art-science exchange brought two-way benefits, according to some of the scientists who took part in FEAT. The close contact with artists taught the scientists to view their own work from different perspectives and opened their eyes to the benefits of communicating their work to wider audiences. And by catching the imagination of the public and the media through tangible and thought-provoking artworks, FEAT also raised awareness and enhanced take-up of FET results in novel and visionary fields of research..

Project details

  • Project acronym: FEAT
  • Participants: Austria (Coordinator), Belgium, Netherlands
  • Project N°: 686527
  • Total costs: € 492 937
  • EU contribution: € 492 312
  • Duration: November 2015 to October 2017

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