Creative Reactions - Where Science meets Art - 23rd-26th May, London
From the Monday to Thursday evening, 23rd-26th May 2016, the Pint of Science festival will be coming to Number 90 Bar & Restaurant in Hackney Wick in the form of the Creative Reactions event sponsored by Overleaf.
What is Pint of Science? As the name suggests, it is a disentanglement of the brilliant scientist from their academic setting into a local pub to give a talk, where the following things tend to happen. Firstly, the scientist is given space for individuality and creativity outside of the more formal lecture structure, and, sometimes after a few drinks, begins to use that space. Then, fascinating and important scientific ideas are put forward for learning and debate to a non-scientific public in a personal, enjoyable and direct manner.
What is Creative Reactions? Bringing scientific disciplines to the ‘real world’ in this way inevitably builds bridges between different professions. In this event, we explore the connections that can be made between science and art. Six extremely talented scientists meet with two extremely talented artists each and become involved in an epic collaboration that culminates in presentations of art and science that influence each other. The first Creative Reactions event to take place in London will end with a final, art-science fusion talk by the charismatic philosopher of science Chiara Ambrosio, and – we envisage – a joyous party in which all will share ideas of art, science and life through sheer joie de vivre. But first, a brief summary of each scientist, artist and theme involved!
Giovanna Tinetti specialises in astrophysics and will kick us off with a talk entitled ‘The Planets Around Our Stars’, concerning exoplanets: planets that orbit stars other than our own. She is collaborating with Becky Allen, whose past works include using scientific data relating to human bodily processes during sleep to produce ‘Dreamscapes’, a visual representation of the dream process, and Zanny Mellor, who specializes in abstract painting and photography to explore how place affects the body; for example, through comparing urban and geological systems and the speeds at which they go.
Becky Allen, Nuclei, Dreamscapes
Continuing the theme of alternate worlds for the evening, Billy Wu, our second speaker on the Monday, brings his engineering and energy storage background to his talk ‘It’s not easy being green. Cleaner transport for tomorrow’. Joining him on the ecological issue, few of which can be said to be more urgent in our world, is sculptor and musician George Rae, who also brings his dromophilic sculptural and musical band, the ATLR.WAN collective, along for the show.
Neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt’s glittering career has very recently brought him to the position of senior researcher on a study that includes the first visualisations of how the drug LSD affects the brain. He will speak on ‘Using Brain Science to Resurrect Psychedelic Therapy.’ The artists in this case will be Jeroen Claus and Claudia Stocker, who both work on visual communication of scientific research: we imagine this will take their work in some directions they don’t usually get the chance to explore…
Number 90 Bar & Restuarant, Hackney Wick, interior.
Continuing the theme of alternate minds, Simon Colton is a computer scientist who will speak on ‘Computational Creativity: AI and Art’. In a ruse that is almost ridiculously fascinating, he provides his own artist, the Painting Fool, who is of course an AI computer programmed to produce art and poetry….some of his, or her, or its work will be on show during the event, alongside that of the fully-human artist Albert Barque-Duran, who combines a passion for oil painting with doing a PhD in the neuroscience of morality.
The theme of the Wednesday will be evolution. Jernej Ule, an expert in RNA biology, will give a talk entitled ‘Creativity: Lessons from Evolution’. Finding the form of what is inchoate in his studies are Scarlett Bowman, who through projects such as ‘Fragments’ uses everyday materials such as wool and rubber to make tapestries and relief pieces, and Holly Vaughan, a sculptor and installation artist who takes inspiration from the ambiguous forms found in nature that convey qualities such as vulnerability and fragility, as with the movement of dancers.
Finally, evolutionary geneticist Mark Thomas will speak on ‘The Origins of Modern Human Behaviour’. This will look in particular at the anthropological origins of art and creativity and what this implies about human nature. Developing his themes artistically will be figurative artist Tristan Piggott, who has been described as ‘making oil paintings for the Instagram generation’, and Alejandro Galvez-Pol, who combines a love for photography and the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich with doing a PhD in the way we create and store memories of bodily information.
Tristan Piggott, painting.
In addition, the brilliant poets Seki Lynch and Francis Byrne are collaborating with a couple of the collectives each to add to the overall splendor of the festival, and there will be some performance art on the final evening. Gifted cartoonist and sketch artist Ed Leeds will also be at hand for the duration of the show. All of the displayable art will be on show as part of a week-long gallery. Tickets will go on sale from the 18th April on the Pint of Science website.
What is the purpose to all this? Perhaps there isn’t one, specifically: we want to create a space where scientists, artists, and interested people can share ideas, be creative, run amok, and perhaps bring a bit of this along with them in their future lives. We’re not entirely sure what will happen, and this is exactly what we’re meticulously planning for.
Number 90 Bar & Restaurant, Hackney Wick, exterior.
We look forward to seeing you in May! Tickets will go on sale from the 18th April on the Pint of Science website.