PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Art & Science of the Invisible
Translating through metaphors

Jan SwierkowskiUniversidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal. Portugal

The author has observed that many artists that work at the intersection of art and contemporary physics experience problems to introduce in their creations the radically new knowledge (Petrie, Oshlag, 1993) of quantum theory or theory of relativity, mainly due to the uncanny nature of “the invisible”. The basic view that the author shares is that interactive metaphors (Black, 1962) allow for instant understanding of the unknown in various symbolic systems at the same time, such as among others words, music, painting, photography, sculpture, architecture, and dance (Limont, 2004). Therefore the goal of this presentation is to propose how practitioners in the field of art and science can systematically conceptualize and create representations of contemporary scientific phenomena that can’t be explored through direct experience using different theories of metaphor (Black, 1962), (Lakoff, Johnson 1980), (Fauconnier, Turner 2002), (Brandt, Brandt 2005), (Forceville, Urios-Aparisi, 2009) and intersemiotic translation (Jakobson, 1959), (Eco 2001). The author created an experimental methodology of creation of novel multimodal metaphors in a controlled process of collaboration between artists and scientists. The resulting artworks are large scale immersive performances, video art and interactive digital stories of an art and science group Instytut B61 (http://bit.ly/Instytutb61). Among many presentations the group has created a mobile exhibition about Special Theory of Relativity in a cargo train from Tallinn to Lisbon (http://bit.ly/cosmicunderground), an immersive performance in a postcolonial hospital in Panjim, Goa (http://bit.ly/panjimb61 p74-93) and participated in the celebrations of the European Capital of Culture in WrocÅ‚aw, Poland (http://bit.ly/wroclawb61). The most recent work includes a cinematic VR experience “Stellar entanglement” (2019) (http://bit.ly/stellardemo) and a pop-up science centre “Interstellar Sugar Center” in an antique sugar factory in Ponta Delgada, Portugal described by the Forbes as “euphoric and mind-bending, with a touch of Clockwork Orange.”(http://bit.ly/forbesreview). The author will discuss the methodology and practical examples.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Category: Visual presentation
Theme: Technology