Science Museum

The Art of Innnovation

Science Museum in London has put together an ambious exhibition about the relationship between art & science. It is questioning the relationship with society, our bodies, the environment and found patterns in nature. How artists have used scientific discoveries and innovation throughoout history as inspiration in their work?

Image: Barbara Hepworth sculpture 1939 inspired by mathematical models. She was advocating abstract art that embraced new forms, materials and methods of construction.  

20 examples have been chosen to demonstrate how artists and scientists rely on imagination and creativity to explore new ideas and construct new realities.

The exhibition is divided into four themes:

  1. Sociable Science
  2. Human Machines
  3. Troubled Horizons
  4. Meaningful Matter

How scientific ideas are developed and communicated affects their acceptance and success – Sociable Science

Science Museum Mechanical orrery 18th century was a popular model to demonstrate the movements of planets popularising astronomical discoveries.

Science Museum The industrialisation of artificial dyes introduced a new range of vibrant hues leading to fashionable mass consumption.

Silk skirt and blouse dyed with Sir William Henry Perkin’s Mauve Aniline Dye, England 1862-1863

Public demand for mauve soared when Empress Eugénie of France and Britain’s Queen Victoria were seen wearing the colour.

Machines have redefined time, enhanced human capabilities and challenged what it means to be human – Human Machines

Science MuseumThe first published algorithm written by Ada Lovelace in 1843.

Today artists are using algorithms to explore the possibilities and limitations of machine thought.Science MuseumLongplayer by Jem Finer 1999 is a piece of music designed by an algorithm. It began playing in 1999 and will continue to play for a millennium.

From different vantage points artists and scientists bring changing perspectives on our relationship to the planet – Troubled Horizons

Science MuseumHyperbolic paraboloid, string surface model 1872 by Fabre de Lagrange of Paris from early 19th century. They illustrate surfaces which can be traced out in space by the movement of a straight line.

Artist Henry Moore was stimulated by their sculptural possibilities, noting that ‘it wasn’t the scientific study of these models but the ability to look through the strings as with a bird cage and to see one form within another.’

Artists and scientists use visual tools to understand the unseen or previously imcomprehensible – Maeningful Matter

Science Museum

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