Curated Cosmos: Michael Benson Revisited
April 6, 2018 – July 6, 2018
Michael Benson is an American writer, photographer and film-maker who has spent more than a decade painstakingly piecing together and processing raw image data collected by NASA and the European Space Agency over six decades of space exploration. Benson takes the raw data from planetary science archives and processes it, editing, compositing, and then “tiling” individual spacecraft frames, producing seamless large-format digital C prints of the landscapes. The result is breathtaking images representing a profound collaboration between science and art. As such, these images occupy an important place in the history of photography.
Special thanks to Michael Benson for his generous donation to the association of over 100 photos from his personal collection. View a video of Benson's exhibit Planetfall held at AAAS in 2013.
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators: 50th Anniversary Juried Exhibition
July 16 – October 15, 2018
The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators represents leading artists and visual communicators from diverse scientific disciplines around the world. Each year, in conjunction with the Guild’s annual conference, GNSI holds a juried exhibition of members’ works to celebrate the beauty and wonder of scientific illustration. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Guild. Its 2018 special exhibition, “Visualize: Art Revealing Science,” will guide visitors through the intertwined history and evolution of art and science, showcase the diversity of our natural world, explore how illustration and visualization helps convey complex science, and highlight the evolution of scientific illustration through innovative technologies.
The honored jurors for this exhibition are:
- Fernando Baptista: Senior Graphics Editor, National Geographic Magazine
- Edward Bell: Animator, designer, lecturer, former art director, Scientific American magazine
- Sarah Tanguy: Independent curator and arts writer
- Chris Bickle: Senior Scientific Illustrator, Science Magazine, AAAS
- Eliahu Dwek: Theoretical Astrophysicist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; Artist, Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum
S.T.E.A.M Within the Panels: Science Storytelling through Comic Books, Comic Strips and Graphic Books
April 15, 2017 - September 15, 2017
Space is massive, time is infinite, and the future is limitless. But, with comic books, the massive, the infinite, and the limitless are broken down into individual panels, discrete moments of time that readers ingest and process at their own pace. From the factual to the fantastic, comic books and graphic stories show the application of science in the modern world and well beyond, one panel at a time.
Since very early in their history, comics have been inspired by science, resulting in stories that range from hopeful to bleak, utopian to dystopian, and somewhere in between. In “S.T.E.A.M Within the Panels” we look at how science has been depicted in comics and narrative literature. Some of the pieces are explicitly connected to science, while others reflect reactions to science. Others still are, in the tradition of science fiction, springboards to speculation based on scientific ideas. In all, they show how comics project the complicated and often contradictory ways that the public perceives science.
Includes the work of the following artists and creators: Jordan Clark, Matt Dembiciki, Kata Kane, Sean Gorman, Jay Hosler, Vince Underwood, Paul Hoppe, Magret de Heer, Matteo Farinella, Katie McKisock, Rosemary Mosco, Damion Scott, James Harvey, Orion Zangara, Paul Sizer, Vasco Sobral, Roxanne Bee, D.M. Higgins, Kelly Phillips, Matthew R. McDaniel, and more!
Technovisual: Art in the Age of Code
May 28, 2015 - August 15, 2015 | July 9, 2015 "Coding and Creativity" panel discussion
Computing has transformed many aspects of our world, from how we communicate to how global markets function. Propelled by cheaper, faster, more capable microprocessors and the creativity of individuals and organizations to harness this processing power, computers have become a ubiquitous, empowering presence in our lives. Artists, as intellectual pioneers, have embraced the unique aesthetic and creative possibilities of computing since the dawn of the Information Age and increasingly apply digital tools with the same fluency as physical ones. Technovisual presents eight artists from across the U.S. who use computer programming and the science of computing to create new experiences and ask new questions.
Fossils of the Anthropocene
September 5, 2014 - November 19, 2014
Geologic time is punctuated by mass extinctions. Scientists debate whether a new era, "The Anthropocene," should be named for this age of human influence, defined by widespread extinctions caused by habitat destruction, disease, climate change, and other disasters wrought by humankind. The work presented in Fossils of the Anthropocene represents different facets of the modern era, examining what defines us as human beings through the lens of the artifacts—of communication, transportation, commerce, conflict, pollution, even human relationships—that might be found in millions of years. Through his portrayal of these contemporary fossils, artist Erik Hagen stimulates viewers to consider how our actions today will shape our legacy on the planet.
June 16, 2014 - August 22, 2014
Presented in conjunction with the Washington Sculptors Group and Juror Sarah Tanguy
Gedankenexperiment: Noun (German) A device of the imagination used to investigate the nature of things.
Thought experiments consider the effects of a hypothesis or theory that cannot easily be tested in the physical world. German-born physicist Albert Einstein used the term gedankenexperiment to describe his use of conceptual rather than actual experiments to create the theories of special and general relativity. Famous examples of thought experiments include Schrödinger's cat in quantum physics, a Turing machine in computer science, Maxwell's demon in thermodynamics, and the broken window fallacy in economics. Inspired by scientific and mathematical theories, hypotheses, and principles from Archimedes, the I Ching, geology, geometry, architecture, and more, the artists featured in GEDANKENEXPERIMENT have conducted their own thought experiments, resulting in the sculptural expressions—incorporating wood, metals, paper, computer parts, and limestone—featured in this show.
Voyage of Discovery
January 21, 2014 - May 31, 2014
The artwork in Voyage of Discovery has its roots in the idea of a journey of scientific exploration, in the tradition of Darwin, Wallace, and the thousands of scientists who constantly travel the globe in search of new findings. This imaginary voyage takes viewers to a polar region where the iconic, seemingly eternal, landscape of ice and snow is in profound and rapid transition due to climate change. The pieces in this show, created by Michele Banks, Jessica Beels and Ellyn Weiss in a wide variety of media, are not strictly based on scientific data. They reflect the artists’ responses to the transformation of land and sea - the melting of glaciers and the thawing of permafrost, the movement of previously unknown species and microbes into the region, the dramatic shift of the color of the land from white to green to black. The artwork takes a broad view of these changes: the artists are deeply aware of the damage done by climate change, yet intrigued by the possibilities of what lies below the ice and snow.
Beauty & the Brain Revealed
October 28, 2013 - January 3, 2014
Why do we find some works of art so appealing? The exhibition Beauty and the Brain Revealed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science builds on a 2010 collaboration between the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at the Johns Hopkins University and the Walters Art Museum to examine how the brain perceives abstract sculpture. Put on a pair of 3D glasses to explore digitally morphed versions of sculpture and learn how 3D shape characteristics relate to your own aesthetic preferences!
Through the generosity of collectors Drs. Susan and James Weiss, the AAAS Gallery has the very special opportunity to display Conscient de sa beauté (Conscious of her beauty), 1957, a bronze sculpture by Jean (Hans) Arp, against the backdrop of this exciting research, which draws upon Arp’s work.
Special thanks to our Exhibition PI, Dr. Charles “Ed” Connor, Director, Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at the Johns Hopkins University; and our Guest Curator, Dr. Gary Vikan, Vikan Consulting LLC, former Director of the Walters Art Museum.
The original project was initiated and funded by the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute.
The Art of Science Policy: 40 years of Science Impacting Policy
July 15, 2013 - September 27, 2013
Author C.P. Snow famously described a gap between scientists and “literary intellectuals,” igniting a debate over whether the “two cultures” could work in tandem – or even relate to each other – for the improvement of society. This exhibit will examine a similar dichotomy: can art, especially visual expression, enhance our understanding of the policy dimensions of science? The practitioners and scholars of the growing field that is generally called “science policy” see their realm both as a science, as well as an art in which experience and judgment are as essential as modeling and analysis. In honor of the 40th Anniversary of AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships, the exhibit hopes to engage scientists and engineers serving in policy roles and policy administrators impacting the conduct of science. Featuring sixteen artists from across the United States, the art of The Art of Science Policy is as diverse as the science policy issues from the past forty years.
Exhibiting Artists: Mia Bromwell, Aliza Waxman, Nancer Lemoins, Ellyn Weiss, Tara Cronin, Michael Glenwood, Ben Grasso, Danny Bowman, Lisa Hiatt, Kyle Warren, Ellen Weinstein, Christopher Locke, Pop-Atomic Studios, Ron Miller, Gwenn Seemel, Mary Edna Fraser, Ryan Murphy, Al Teich, and Samantha Dempsey
With special thanks to: Kavita M. Berger, Sara Spizzirri, Erin Heath, Shirley Malcom, and Al Teich
March 20, 2013 – June 28, 2013
In the span of a single lifetime, a momentous transformation in human consciousness has quietly taken hold: We are beginning to think of our place in the universe not as Earth but as the Solar System. We owe this insight in part to the photographic output of a small squadron of interplanetary spacecraft that is gradually opening our minds to the visual splendor and variety of other worlds. Each of these far-flung machines is following the traditions blazed by the great Earthbound explorers, but when its destination comes into view, we can no longer call that dramatic moment “landfall.” Hence “planetfall”- the moment of arrival at other worlds.
All images processed by Michael Benson from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) raw or calibrated image data.
Malaria: Blood, Sweat, and Tears
March 12, 2012 - June 1, 2012
Conceived by the Malaria Consortium and photographer/curator Adam Nadel, Malaria: Blood, Sweat, and Tears discusses the historical, scientific, and global impact of malaria. The exhibit displays photographs, posters, illustrations, and objects that draw connections between the unseen science behind malaria and the devastating effects its transmission has on personal lives.
Beneath the Surface: Rediscovering a World Worth Conserving
October 31, 2011- March 2, 2012
The American Association for the Advancement of Science presents Beneath the Surface: Rediscovering a World Worth Conserving. Featuring seven artists from across the United States, Beneath the Surface explores the use of art as a medium to advocate for the preservation of one of Earth's most beautifully complex compositions, its oceans. What lies beneath the surface of the sea has always fascinated and frightened man with its mystery. In recent times, this has developed into a tenuous relationship in which the sea has suffered. Beneath the Surface seeks to remind us of the once magically captivating hold the sea has had on our imaginations and encourages us to protect its beauty and bounty.