Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Man Who Controlled the Weather: ART AND SCIENCE

 Berndnaut Smilde 

Recently a friend sent me a forward about an artist that I was not aware of, who had created a cloud in his studio.  By controlling humidity and temperature in a controlled environment Berndnaut was able to create a cloud that was sustainable.  Now this brings up the relationship that I have thought about all my years as an artist, that of science and art.  First lets look closer at Berndnaut and his art work. Below is a video from you tube that shows his process of creating and documenting a cloud as art work.  It is fascinating to watch.  
from you tube
Smilde is interested in the transient nature of things which he documents through photography. He uses a fog machine and moisture and lighting to create a floating cloud indoors. 

“I imagined walking into a museum hall with just empty walls. The place even looked deserted. On the one hand I wanted to create an ominous situation. You could see the cloud as a sign of misfortune. You could also read it as an element out of the Dutch landscape paintings in a physical form in a classical museum hall" 

Smilde Berndnaut      Creation of a Cloud                                                   from  google image for educational purposes only
I have long thought as an art teacher and artist that there is a direct correlation between science and art, as there is with music and mathematics.  I think my own interest in art came from my Mother who was a science teacher and creative thinker.  The scientific theory calls for experimentation and inquisitive thinking.  I can remember in middle school when I was introduced to the scientific theory, it was like a magic formula to me.  I thought with this I can do anything, it makes so much sense.  As an artist I discovered the artistic process is identical..it calls for discover, experimentation, and trial and error.  If one thinks about it art and science are natural compatibles...color theory in art and science, how light effects color, the chemical make up of the world and materials, the re-creation of visual elements, the creation of the idea of perspective, and the experimentation of thought processes in a visual way.

Dali was friends with the most accomplished scientists of his day.  His art often includes scientific theory and thought.  The double helix is in many of his works of art and the inner design of the stairs at the new Dali Museum in Florida.  


Photo by Elizabeth Gordon    Dali Museum,  St. Petersburg, Florida

photo by Elizabeth Gordon             Dali Museum

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