A ROW of beautiful silver pendulums that move up and down randomly could hold prime position in any exhibition of art. Such an installation did find place at the recent Serendipity Arts Festival, only the 40 silver pendulums represented various regions on the planet, and their seemingly random movement was seismic movement of the respective regions programmed into the artwork.
Now consider a closed enclosure, where you stand and just think hard. And it starts raining. That’s it! You make it rain just by thinking of something, which could be anything. As one person said, he thought of his annoying landlady, and it started raining in just five seconds. Ironically, a woman who said her mind never rests couldn’t make a drop fall. The simple science: an EEG monitor clipped to the forehead records neural activity in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. The neural activity is programmed to trigger thunder, lightning and showers in the enclosure. So if the rain drops are thoughts, the tank of water is memory. Of course, an umbrella is provided.
So is it art? “Every art has science behind it,” explains Abhiyan Humane, one of the curators of the exhibition, titled Entanglement, which aims to challenge and break the traditional barriers that separate the arts and science. ‘Experimental aesthetics’ is what they call it. “Every art medium needs science to come into being. A simple camera that clicks beautiful pictures is also based on ray optics and science. Without science, we are nothing.”
Exactly. So a project called TypoGrAphiC manifests the building blocks of life, the DNA. The four nucleotides present in our DNA and their endless combinations determine who we are and what we are. Called Cytosine, Guanine, Adenine and Thymine, represented by the letters C, G, A and T, respectively, these nucleotides and their endless combinations form the basis of any living being. Similarly, the artist uses just these four alphabets to express myriad possibilities. From using various type designs of the alphabets to symbols representing our traits because of their combinations, our genetic code becomes the artist’s creativity.
For fun, try out a jacket made of reflective material and click your picture. Nothing special, you would say. Now click the picture using a flash and be stunned with the result. You see only the jacket and nothing else. Like an object in an X-ray film, only the jacket stands out. The simple science: garments made from highly reflective glass nanospheres that come across as bright objects in an X-ray film.
Who is not familiar with magnets? That a magnet attracts iron is common knowledge. But stretch the idea so much so that it assumes the shape of an art installation with strings coated with magnetic ink. Take a magnet near, and watch the strings dance. Simple science and highly evolved art.