Not long ago, the Arts and Sciences shared the same breathing space. Then an inexplicable gulf widened between them. That doesn’t change the fact that da Vinci and Durer had obvious talents for science the same way Copernicus and Pasteur possessed obvious artistic gifts. The technology and knowledge necessary to erect Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence was cutting edge. According to Jacobus van t’Hoff, who won the inaugural Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1901, “The most innovative scientists are almost always artists, musicians, or poets.”
Left Brain/Right Brain is our attempt at seeing Art through Science and Science through Art.
1. A Guided Journey Into the Living Forest – The engagement between Nature and human expression stretches back millenia. From Timpuseng cave to Walden, the relationship between the two has borne substantial fruit. The Living Forest (Timber Press), a collaboration between Joan Maloof and Robert Llewellyn belongs to this rich tradition.
2. Real and Irrational: Evan Daniel and the art of π – Evan Daniel is an artist and he is obsessed with π (pi). He’s memorized that famous, non-repeating constant up to digits most people wouldn’t even dream of.
3. Come Together: Julia Buntaine and the SciArt Center – Through her inspired efforts at the SciArt Center, Buntaine has provided artists and scientists with a venue to explore, question, and discover.
4. Brigitte Caramanna: The Patterned Landscape – Caramanna’s etchings range from intimate cellular landscapes to vast, otherworldly stretches of rocky terrain.
5. Darwin Comes to Town: Menno Schilthuizen Discusses Urban Evolution – Menno Schilthuizen’s new book, Darwin Comes to Town (Picador, $27.00), dives into the phenomenon of urban evolution.
6. The Space Barrons (Review) – Christian Davenport’s highly accessible though slightly uncritical book, The Space Barons (PublicAffairs) recounts the charismatic charge of three and a half self-made billionaires who share the vision, courage, and audacity to challenge the existing paradigm of space travel, namely that it occurs under government dime and direction.
7. A Glimpse of the Technological Apocalypse (Review) – The Feed, Nick Clark Windo’s debut novel, deals with what humanity will become in the future should a catastrophic event wipe out all forms of technology.
8. Fraternizing with the Enemy in Michael Mammay’s Planetside (Review)- How will we interact with them is perhaps the most difficult to predict? One possible answer to that nagging question lies at the heart of debut author Michael Mammay’s novel, Planetside(Harper Voyager).
9. Say You Want a Revolution: Jared Vaughn Davis, Karl Popper, and the Irreconcilable – Karl Popper’s influence pervades Jared Vaughan Davis’ work. It provides the framework for his exploration of a variety of topics ranging from cosmology and physics to mythology and metaphysics.
10. China Blue: Painting with brain waves, sculpting with sound, recording Saturn’s rings – China Blue’s work involves making the intangibile manifest. It’s no sleight of hand either. To various degrees she somehow allows her audience to experience an unseen world that surrounds us every moment of our lives.
11. Astounding: Alec Nevala-Lee’s unflinching look at Sci-Fi’s Golden Era and it’s hopeless misogyny– For Sci-Fi neophytes and old-timers alike, Astounding offers a detailed, unflinching, and critical look at a few of the personalities that helped shape modern science fiction.
12. Marie Munk: Commodifying intimacy in a virtual world – Marie Munk’s work relies on the body as a launch point in which to explore the many ways we relate to our bodies whether it be through body modifications or plastic surgery.
13. Ellen Hanauer: Deciphering the power and the glory of the human body – The lines in her work curve and turn and bulge into organic forms. Nothing is rigid. Rather, her forms are malleable and flexible, versatile in a distinctly feminine way.
14. Out There: Michael Wall offers a layman’s guide to the hunt for alien life – Ironically enough, modern science has assumed the stargazing mantle but have shifted their focus to exploring the universe for even the faintest indication of organic life forms.
15. Doing Darwin Proud: Sneed B. Collard III introduces evolution to a young audience – Sneed B. Collard III’s latest children’s science book, One Iguana, Two Iguanas: A story of accident, natural selection, and evolution, goes a long way toward addressing the fundamental illiteracy plaguing public understanding.
16. Mania Efstathiou: Isolation and the loss of self in healthcare settings – Mania Efstathiou draws on her work as a doctor to create works that not only confronts age old questions about Life and Death, but also the inadvertent isolation sick patients are subjected to from the moment they are admitted into a hospital.
17. Polaris Rising: Genetically enhances humans and the normalization of the grotesque – Polaris Rising, the first installment of a space opera trilogy by novelist Jessie Mihalik, throws its hat into the larger discourse about Science’s increasing influence over nature, albeit indirectly.