ARTIST IN RESIDENCE 2020
Jo Milne has a PhD in Fine Art from the Universitat de Barcelona and an MA in Printmaking from the The London Institute and an MA in Fine Art from Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art. She currently combines her artistic practice with her work as a researcher and lecturer at EINA (Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art de Barcelona).
“A specific element in my artistic practice investigates the underlying structures of codes, languages, communication and materials. In previous projects, I have considered the visual resonance of different forms of sequencing, such as the musical scrolls of Pianola’s and fractal structures, in different forms of artistic representation, and more recently theoretical speculations in the field of contemporary physics. These representations juxtaposed the digital with the material, fusing the precision of binary codes with the physical properties of paint. My research is currently focussed on developing new ways to respond to the microcellular landscape.
The research into visualisation practices for my doctoral thesis “Invisible Structures”, presented at the Universitat de Barcelona in 2016, considered the methods and methodologies used by scientists and artists to visualise what can’t be seen by the naked eye. These were translated into a series of paintings and installations that responded specifically to cosmological propositions associated with string theory explored in current theoretical physics. This research also highlighted the need for a practical or hands-on methodology in my search to understand the processes or methodologies employed in scientific research. As a result, I collaborated with groups of scientists at the Faculty of Chemistry (University of Barcelona) and the Department of Life Sciences (University of Dundee) and with computer programmers at the Citilab Citizen’s Laboratory in Cornellà. The resulting dialogues raised questions regarding our fields of knowledge and created an exchange of knowledge and know-how. These collaborations evidenced the possibilities of thinking through doing and at the same time enabled me to begin to penetrate the semiotics specific to each ambit.”
Art and scientific research have several things in common. Artists and researchers investigate the nature of our presence 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 of the scientific endeavour. Both disciplines require creativity, curiosity, and imagination, combined with scrutiny, technique and determination.
IRB Barcelona's Artist in Residency Programme aims to connect artists with an interest in interdisciplinary science with 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 and to explore, learn, and form relationships with our scientists and stakeholders. The programme seeks to provide time and space for reflection and inspiration for artists and scientists alike.
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ARTIST IN RESIDENCE 2019
“My objective at the IRB Barcelona is for the increasing convergence of art and science to consider how each area impacts the other and how, together, they shed light on who we are and where we’re heading. Ultimately this project turns the spotlight on how designer/artist/scientist collaborations can explore what it means to be a human in the 21st Century and the cellular nature of our being and ways in which we understand and experience it through the lens of science and technology.
At the IRB Barcelona residency my aim is to explore ways of bringing together microscopy techniques, rich data about cell mutation and creative uses of light, audio and other forms of creative technology to create a series of hybrid, immersive and beguiling experiences.”
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE 2018
Ayşe Gül Süter
I believe science and art are very similar in that they both involve an endless cycle of attempts and failures, yet scientists and artists passionately continue to seek answers about life. They both approach problems with a similar open-mindedness, fearfulness and in an intuitive way. New scientific concepts have the capacity to enlarge the imagination and the artistic vocabulary of an artist. Many artists today have a close relationship with technology and science. Collaboration between art and science has the potential to move society forward. Artists serve as great partners in the communication of scientific research, thereby making discoveries more compelling and more approachable.
My art practice integrates the traditional art-making techniques with new media technologies. By synthesizing the real and the imaginary, I am heightening awareness of the unimaginable beauty and diversity of our world.
I see scientific imaging as an observation of my surroundings. I take a sample, observe its behavior, form and colors and transfer these characteristic features into other mediums, giving life to other platforms. I use various techniques, such as painting on glass, printing on silk, glass blowing, and digital collaging, to invite the audience to experience the microscope slides of the cell structures on a large scale. Even though these “imaginary landscapes” seem to be highly graphical, they are in fact very real natural formations. My art has always been inspired by nature and life itself, but looking at life forms at different magnifications has helped me to develop distinct insights into life. My fascination lies in the interrelation between the micro and macro worlds, in particular where their components overlap and unify until they finally come together as one.
Artist Ayşe Gül Süter's residency is supported by the Turkish Cultural Foundation.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE 2017
Anna Rierola is a Barcelona-based digital artist whose interests lie in science and investigation. She uses scientific images obtained during research projects to compose pictures and murals. She had the oppotunity to spend a year at the Institute and was the first IRB Barcelona Artist in Residence.
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.