Here’s a fun tidbit I learned today: Harvard Medical School has its own artist-in-residence. The current resident is Brian Knepp, and since 2005 he has used the School’s facilities to create cutting-edge pieces that marry art and science. Currently, he is finishing up work on a piece called “Aging,” a digital animation that shows swimming tadpoles growing into frogs. It will debut at the Boston CyberArts Festival, which begins tomorrow, April 20 and continues through May 6.
The Festival will take place all over the city and include all sorts of media, so if animation isn’t your thing you can also check out concerts or dance performances or public art. In an interview with the Boston Globe, event organizer George Fifeld had this to say about CyberArt:
Now we have more technology than any time in history, and artists are always the first people to get their hands on technology after the engineers and scientists … [Artists] show how we live with it, how to stop it from hitting us over the head. New technology and new media radically alter the way we see and think about the world. And artists explain it to us.
That’s a wonderful description of how artists can work hand-in-hand with scientists to create something that is both beautiful and also educational, satisfying our need to appreciate and understand the world around us. It reminds me of two of my favorite statues in the city, in front of the Boston Public Library — on the left sits Science, who gazes at a globe in her hand. On the right sits Art, who holds her palette and looks over to Science for inspiration.
So, if you’re near the city and want to get inspired, check out the Festival (details here). I’ll miss the opening weekend, since I’ll be attending the Humanist Conference at Harvard. It’s too late to register now, but there are some free events Saturday if you’re interested. Go here to see the schedule of events.