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wednesday :: march 5, 2003
neuro: at the intersection of art and science

A collaboration between California Institute of Technology and Art Center College of Design is investigating new aesthetic possibilities at the intersection of art, science, and engineering. The Caltech/Art Center NEURO project seeks common ground, and is motivated by the belief that a spark of unexpected creativity can result when each discipline is encouraged to ignite the other.

Organized by Caltech's National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering (CNSE) and Art Center's Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, the project connects six contemporary artists with the knowledge and technology resources of CNSE. The results of this year-long collaboration will be documented in NEURO exhibition, from April 15 to June 29, 2003.

At CNSE, scientists and engineers are working to translate our understanding of biologic systems into a new class of electronic devices that imitate the ways humans and animals sense and make sense of the world. According to CNSE director Pietro Perona, "Through the work of talented artists we can reach people who may feel intimidated by our scientific lingo. We also hope to be able to look at our work with new eyes: artists can provide us with fresh insight into the meaning of what we do."

"Science and technology are undermining many of our established social and intellectual conventions, and as a result human culture is moving toward new definitions and opportunities, as well as dilemmas. Such a nexus of change always beckons artists, and the collaborative nature of this project will combine contemporary science and art into works that are uniquely about and of this new century," says Art Center director Stephen Nowlin.

One NEURO project' example; Infiltrate: Through a fish's eye by Ken Goldberg, that reconstructs a fish's view. In the exhibition, a tank containing fish will be installed at eye level in the center of one gallery. Three cameras will track the movement of all the fish; at the same time, a computer will digitally reconstruct the images of what one of the fish sees. Those moving images will be projected on a wall. When you come in, you become the fish. "I had been struggling with the idea of art after 9/11, and I was thinking about how two cultures can view the same events completely differently. So the new technique of tracking motion, then digitally reconstructing the viewpoint, was compelling," said Goldberg. >from*NEURO site*.

related context
ArtSci2002: new dimensions in collaboration. december 9, 2002
> information arts: intersections of art, science, and technology.. january 15, 2002

art-science ignition graph celebration

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