My mission is to inspire where art and science meet. I have had parallel careers in science (as a professor at Harvard and now Tufts) and art for 30 years. In the mid-1980’s I was elected a junior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows to do both science and art provided with both a laboratory and an art studio. I believe that there is rich ore to be mined at the interface between fields. As a society we have segregated art and science such that fields have become overly specialized and do not speak to the vast majority of society. This was not always so and I seek to catalyze a reunification of knowledge or at least an appreciation that disciplines can inform each other in novel ways. My own deep understanding of art and science may provide a route to this taking advantage of the rare combination of a scientists mind and an artist's eye. I am comfortable in both worlds and may at as a conduit between the two.
My current work, ARCHEMY are mixed media pieces that use unusual chemicals and chemical reactions to create startling art works. Each series uses new media derieved from science to explore what inspried me at different stages of my life. For example, I used liquid nitrogen combined with charcoal powder or acrylic paint to capture the explosive effect of supercooling and rapid rewarming. A second series used iron filings and rust to visualize the invisible magnetic fields. Other ARCHEMY series have addressed the periodic table, chemical dyes and gunpowder. These works have been exhibited widely and led to lectures and workshops aligned with my mission.
photo: Kelvin Ma
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