* PNAS is The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences
Brandon Ballangee’s work is at once good art and good science. This review draws out both the credibility and context of the work as science as well as the works’ existence as art. It also highlights some of the anxieties for artists if their work is understood as just “science communication”. This anxiety is most notable when the artist is brought in and handed ‘finished’ science with which to work (obviously this doesnt apply when you are both scientist and artist).
The curious legacy of CP Snow is that artists and scientists appear to be in opposition when both are in fact seeking to understand the world, albeit through different means and with different values. If there is a common opposition it might be more rightly understood to be with those who seek to obscure the truth. Not all scientists or artists’ work is involved in contentious areas like pollution (and many artists are providing a feel good escape from the everyday) but the artists we value the most are involved in truth just as the scientists are.
Given that Ballangee isn’t the only artist working with science and scientists it would be good to see more reviews of this sort.
ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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