Artist in Residence Programme


Art and scientific research have several things in common. Artists and researchers investigate the nature of our being in the world, push boundaries in knowledge and technology, and venture into the unexplored. The questions our researchers study naturally provide inspiration for artistic inquiry, which in turn can offer a fresh perspective on the scientific endeavour. Both disciplines require creativity, curiosity, imagination, combined with scrutiny, technique and vigor.

IRB Barcelona's Artist in Residency programme, launched in 2017, aims to connect artists with an interest in interdisciplinary science to the wide range of research, scientists, data and infrastructure available at the Institute. It provides a unique opportunity for artists to immerse themselves in the IRB Barcelona community for a free exchange of ideas in order to explore, learn, and form direct relationships with our scientists and stakeholders. Its goal is to provide time and space for reflection and inspiration from both sides.


Through the programme, IRB Barcelona offers:

  • Coordination of direct access to our scientists, at all levels, to learn about their research and methodologies, and to learn how their work connects to society
  • Coordination of direct access to core facility staff for demonstrations and explanations of the technologies they use to gather, interpret and visualize data.
  • Access to images created in the laboratory
  • Facilitation of contact with our network of collaborating institutes
  • Free access to all scientific lectures, conferences and workshops
  • Possibility to apply for funding for specific activities based on the collaboration
  • Full IRB Barcelona member status for the duration of the residency
  • Visibility for the artist and his or her work as well the programme through its communication channels (print and online publications, digital platforms and social media)


Through the programme, the Artist may offer:

  • Participation and input into the organization of seminars, round tables or workshops on themes such as the role of art in science, visualizing science, creativity, etc.
  • Participation in public engagement activities such as Open House day, Science and Art events, etc.
  • Visibility of IRB Barcelona and the programme through art shows, exhibitions, networks, as well as on professional websites and social media channels


Anna Rierola


My work is a response to what I experience when diving into the world of scientifically-made images. These visions awake my innate concerns about how and why the universe works and the final sense of it. This kind of perception challenges, inspiring an aesthetic response that lights up new mental paths.

The close and generous collaboration with Research Institutes and scientists has provided me with a fertile field for creativity and knowledge, and the possibility to select and collect images captured by different types of devices: Tomography, X-Ray, Confocal Microscope, SEM, TEM, MRI, Telescopes, and Satellites, that all serve as a starting point for my works. It is within this very context that I begin my personal process of deconstructing atoms, nanoparticles, cellular nuclei, stem cells, neurons, and far-away star constellations.

Thus, an internal syntactic and semantic process of reconstruction and reorganization of those traces begins, which results in a new image that gives a different global perception.

The scientific image connects me with the beauty, complexity and mystery of the universe but also places me at the heart of a cosmic silence and a personal precariousness.

The access to new visibilities ranging from the infinite (beyond the observable universe) to the infinitesimal (closer than the tiniest particles), pushes me to think about the existence and sense of a global order, where all the parts embrace and unify until they merge, one into the other.

I would like my work to be an expression of that bonding, of the tiny connecting to the whole, and therefore able to illustrate that the most elemental particle and the vast immensity are closely related.

There is intertextuality between the initial scientific images and their final aesthetic representation, in which the original traits disappear only to reappear later on in a new sense, either evoking new landscapes, worlds and galaxies, or bringing unknown structures to the surface: thus revealing that the real texture of reality is infinitely more complex than our minds can comprehend, and that we are ruled by laws with a fascinating internal logic.


Artist in Residence 2017
Meet the Artist in Residence 2017
“Scientific discoveries have always had a profound impact on art,” says artist Anna Rierola.












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