Student research profiles
As we gather new information, it is not the subject that changes, but you and I. Our minds change and adapt to new knowledge just like our eyes adapt to light. Space is our biggest quest, but as a society we seem to consider understanding its mysteries, a fairly low priority. I want to explore and emulate a void of absolutely everything.
I am interested in using mathematics as the basis for my unit 3 project. I come from a background of researching and teaching about illuminated and illustrated manuscripts in the Middle East and South Asia, and my creative work is based on this and an intuitive interest in geometry, number, pattern and proportion. Having come to love mathematics rather late in life, I enjoy revisiting with fresh appreciation the stuff that sent me to sleep at school some thirty-five years ago, and exploring the new stuff, like fractals and chaos theory, that was never taught at school. For my project I want to explore mathematical forms, applications and underlying philosophical implications.
I am interested in the relationship of human beings to the Universe. The Universe as we know it is a physical system so where does our consciousness fit into this materiality? Perhaps it Is best for me to quote John Searle, from his book ‘Minds, Brains and Science’:
“We think of ourselves as conscious, free, mindful, rational agents in a world that science tells us consists entirely of mindless, meaningless physical particles. Now, how can we square these two conceptions? How…can it be the case that the world contains nothing but unconscious physical particles, and yet that it also contains consciousness?”
Sometimes experiences can lead to enhanced self-awareness and self consciousness. My objective is to create an experience or experiences that would cause wonder at this phenomenon called consciousness.
My project will be looking at the many ways we are evolving as a species. Recent developments in genetic manipulation, robotics and scientific discoveries such as telomerase (a chemical which caps cells as they divide, effectively stopping them age) mean that humanity could evolve radically and exponentially in the immediate future. I want to create a work that explores visually the possible consequences (intended and unintended) not just in terms of what we are capable of but also what is occurring naturally, for example higher average IQs and less dense bones. Also, what we actually desire to change in ourselves across cultures and genders.
Natural Magic: Occult and Esoteric practices During this project I shall embark on a journey to research and explore several different strands of practices with holistic approaches to nature and natural medicine and healing such as occultism and paganism including Occult Science, extra sensory perception, spiritualism, wicca and shamanism. A pervading aim in my practice is to provide a platform for cultures alternative to the mass media/popular cultures upheld by the grand narrative. The work is concerned with how an artist can practice a kind of folk/auto-ethnography. Central to this idea is the overcoming of an observer-observed relationship, and an experiential approach to field work through a process of self-othering. Continuing interests are museology, the archive and the documentary in art.
In essence, I would like to make elements of astrophysics tangible and include aspects of space-time. Using visuals related to new media I would like to simulate an environment representative of our universe including representations of time and how we interact within the realm of our perceived notions of time. My initial plans are to make this environment fully immersive seeking to actively engage the viewer in this experience.
I want to explore ways of making works that are an art form in and of themselves. The art is the creation of the work and the work is a document of its own creation. To this end I will exploit scientific and technological methods and processes to create work that is contextually and conceptually relevant to the methods used in its creation. I want to make work where how we have made that work is equally, if not more, engaging than its final form.
According to Werner Heisenberg reality is much more complex than it seems to be. Above all three things intrigue me; uncertainty, intangibility and invisibility, all of which are present in quantum theory and astrophysics. It is my intension to make intangible phenomena experiential through visual and sensory stimulation. As far as possible I wish to clarify, make tangible and visible theories and questions that are problematic in my specified field of interest as these queries underpin my creative practice. I will explore how to make these things comprehensible and approachable through interactive and kinetic art and the media I utilise most, installation and sound art.
Following research into some of the latest achievements of science I am particularly fascinated with nanotechnology, both as a front-line scientific area and a source of a multitude of exciting artistic possibilities. My interest in the properties of ceramic materials and their applications (advanced ceramics) and my engineering degree have led me to research in science and more particularly in quantum physics and nanotechnology. I see my research and practical approaches during my Masters course at CSM not just following empirical formulas and rules but crossing borders between Art and Science toward creating a new form of expression and I expect to achieve extraordinary results.
My artistic practice explores the interconnectedness and open ended dialogue between art and science by combining elements from different disciplines, such as psychoanalysis, astronomy and astrometry. As part of the final project for the course I would like to create an experimental art performance incorporating mixed media. The project will investigate notions of existence, the complexity of the human brain and dimensions of identity in relation to the imaginative measurements, motions and cosmic radiation of the universe. Using free associations to discover the mirroring of scientific theory and concept, in addition to creating ephemeral metaphors between infinity, time and the mind.
I am interested primarily in conflicting dualities. For example, a form can be finite yet boundless and chaos coexists alongside order within the universe. For these reasons I am fascinated with the properties of the soap bubble. The bubble maintains a perfect shape before exploding at a time dictated by the flux of the environment around it. Soap bubbles usually only last for seconds because they are interrupted by relatively dry surroundings.
My art practice has maintained a continuous theme of transience, as I am inspired by the infinite continuity of matter. I enjoy working with organic materials that tend to expire or fade and work to capture shadows of objects in photogram form.
"The most transitory of things, a shadow, the proverbial emblem of all that is fleeting and momentary, may be fettered by the spells of our "natural magic" and be fixed for ever in the position which it seemed only destined for a single instant to occupy". Henry Fox Talbot, 1840.
Sensory Learning Environments: I will be exploring how our environment and sensory experiences affect our learning. I am interested in the importance our cognitive learning has on our perceptions and understanding of space. I have previously focused on the effect installation art has had on society and I wish to explore this further.
I will be looking at the importance of sensory integration, human cognitive development and the neurology behind our senses and learning development. I aim to explore pattern repetition, haptic environments, including multi stimulating environments, and considering how synaesthesia may relate to these issues. I will also be engaging in this with an autistic perspective to help create an awareness of the different ways they learn through sensory experiences.
I want to see how far I can scientifically generate genuine emotions by manipulating a work of art. The idea is that this acts as an emotional catharsis. Using different sensual stimuli I will see to what extent I can produce predictable responses in the audience. I will then use the findings to create my own work to similar effect. I imagine the work taking the form of performance and or video installation in a specifically designed space, removing the viewer from the external environment and concentrating them upon specific emotional stimuli. I am interested in the stimuli being in the context of some form of narrative.
Perception of the natural environment is led by cultural, economic and symbolic ideas. I am interested in all forms of non-human life; wild forms or elements that co-exist, interact or interfere with this mechanism. I consider them important phenomenon hidden by our contemporary culture, therefore a compelling area of study. My research will be concentrated on small side aspects and elements of the environment we live in, to highlight the animal in the human and to deconstruct or simply undermine the symbolic ‘orders’ of civilization. I would like to develop a body of work that would create a “mechanism of vision” able to generate unconventional ways to distinguish information from physical reality. The overall aim of my research is to reach an expanded idea of nature and create multiple suggestions to re-interpret existence.
I have just finished my undergraduate program as a New Media Art and Design student in Shanghai. Interactive art and web technology are the most attractive area for me and I have been creating my work using Flash and ActionScript 3.0.
I wish to develop interactive artworks for the Internet by considering the contrast between how we appreciate artworks in an exhibition context and via the internet and looking at two determining factors for human behaviour -- soul and environment. I will explore moving image and create artwork utilizing and reflecting the properties of the Internet.
Rafaela Miranda Rocha
The project I am developing for the MA Art and Science will incorporate a series of abstract drawings made up of microscopic patterns. By photographing London landmarks and replacing every object in the picture with images of their microscopic structures I plan to form mosaic-like pieces using drawings made up of these invisible patterns – a microscopic patchwork. The idea is to reveal the hidden world that makes up everything we see, encouraging people to question the notion that everything in the world is self contained, solid and independent. My goal is to raise awareness of the many layers of "reality" that exist in addition to those we perceive.
My aim is to enlarge the space for subjective exploration currently provided in contemporary participatory art, to explore the boundaries of perception. I am interested in understanding how far an artistic experience can be shaped by the user's authentic (distinctive) subjectivity as opposed to the shape (meaning, form) given by the artist's intentions. Thus, the materials of my “experiments” will be the 5 senses and the relative cognitive processes, primary factors in constituting our subjective identities.
In practice I will develop environments in which viewers are immersed in a multitude of sensory and intellectual stimuli simultaneously, in order to open up different channels of communication, each corresponding to a sensory/intellectual stimulus.
I am intrigued by neuroaesthetics as it is still an area that scientists speculate and theorise about but cannot fully prove in experiments. I believe there is a human desire to exaggerate and distort reality by creating a reality that is more human than human, a hyper reality which results to the perfection of reality.
I wish to develop a body of work which investigates our brain’s stimulation throughout history, starting from 30 millenia ago when cavemen painted the head of a bison until the present age. Inspired by speculative theories in neurology I intent to create a methodology for conducting artistic experiments in order to prove or challenge these theories whilst communicating them to the wider public.
I am undertaking an interdisciplinary research project that focuses on the representation of endangered languages. When language transmission is broken we lose a unique knowledge of how a community perceived the world, and indeed how they perceived themselves. The artwork produced as a result of my enquiry would aim to reflect these aspects of loss. Since part of my project involves an attempt to test the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, I have chosen to research two languages that evolved in similar geographical conditions on two different continents, namely the Sami spoken in northern Europe and the Hän language used in northern America.