Can Art Divulge Secrets Of Science?

I am intrigued with the notion that somehow art can help us to understand hidden concepts that math and science cannot.
I was first introduced to this idea when I happened upon weaver Nathalie Miebach in my first semester graduate studies at Goddard College. In this presentation of “Weaving Science Into Sculpture” for the Cambridge Science Festival, Nathalie talks about how she takes data that she has collected and weaves the data. The results are somewhat strange, but I cannot help but look at the artwork more closely, differently than I do just ordinary art. I feel Nathalie unknowingly weaved some secret here.

I wonder, can art be an additional source of exploration for things such as math and science? Then of course, still in my first semester at Goddard, I was introduced to the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). There are several videos on this site. They explore this very concept or art depicting science and math. Together MOMA, artists and scientists found through SEED magazine, worked together to create this exhibit. Again I am intrigued. What does the artwork say, that until the point of viewing the “data” in this way, could not be understood?

Design and the Elastic Mind Videos

Design and the Elastic Mind Videos

This semester my intrigue continues as my professor sends me this link and the work of “Margaret Wertheim and her sister Christine on the beautiful math of coral.”
She explores the hyperbolic geometry involved in creating coral reefs and the idea that up until this expressive form of art- crochet, mathematicians have not had a way to model the structure.

“Through this sort of modality, crochet, other plastic forms of play, people can be engaged with the most abstract, high powered theoretical ideas. The kind of ideas that normally you have to go to universities departments to study in higher mathematics.” “ But you can do it through playing with material objects.” States, Margaret. Surprisingly there has been an evolution of crochet species created by deviating from the algorithmic code.

In the video Margaret talks about how Chicago Cultural Center was filled with a crochet version of coral reef. The crocheting of coral reefs has become a movement of people spanning 3 continents. It is not only a way to link art and science but also a link between, “marine biology, feminine handicraft and environmental activism,” states Margaret Margaret and Christine have developed The Institute For Figuring. “The Institute For Figuring is an organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science, mathematics and the technical arts.”

My fascination and research continue. It is a bit different than what my original study is. Although I am studying art and technology, I am also extremely intrigued with how math and science plays into arts. The study has been, up to this point, about bridging the gap between technology and the traditional art studio. I’m focusing on digital printing and milling and scanning, and the creation of my new book, Digital Sculpting in Mudbox.” Though I must say, this off shoot of my study has me enthralled. I’m not sure what I will do with it besides, look at the artwork and the marriage of science, math and art a bit closer, but then, my study is just beginning, who knows where this will lead. At a College like Goddard you are free to explore, and encouraged to engage in things that you might never have seen yourself explore and engage. For me, it is the best fit and an adventure in education.

As part of my study, this semester I have committed to interviewing others on art and technology in an online podcast. I look forward to beginning this creative endeavor. My initial thought was that perhaps it would be interviews with those who deal with digital sculpting, 3d printing, milling and 3d scanning, but I can see the possibilities for the podcast growing. More on this in up-and-coming posts, our first podcasts are scheduled for recording this month and available online soon.


“Weaving Science into Sculpture.” Forum-Network. Web. 22 Oct 2009. .

“Weaving Science into Sculpture.” Forum-Network. Web. 22 Oct 2009. .

“Design and the Elastic Mind: Introduction.” Museum of Modern Art. 10 Nov 2009. .

“Design and the Elastic Mind: Nanodesign.” Museum of Modern Art. 10 Nov 2009. .

“Design and the Elastic Mind:Organic Design.” Museum of Modern Art. 10 Nov 2009.

“Design and the elastic mind: 3d-Sketch.” Museum of Modern Art. 10 Nov 2009.

“Design and the elastic mind: visualization.” Museum of Modern Art. 10 Nov 2009.

“- The Institute For Figuring -.” Web. 4 Mar. 2010 .

“Margaret Wertheim on the beautiful math of coral. “ TED. Web. 4 Mar. 2010 

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