Master By Project: Artists Investigation

Researching ideas, works, artists and installations in relation to my Master by Project of virology, the work of Bournemouth based artists Boredom Research Afterglow surfaced. Afterglow is Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, 2016 Lumen Award-winning work surrounding epidemiology combines many aspects of big data, biology, technology into a beautiful enchanted experience, breaking down the barriers of art and science through a conjuring of light and motion. Working along Dr Paddy Brock, the piece transforms real data into and visual feats, however, the artists I that this is not a data iterate visualisation but an artistic representation of a biological form traversing within a landscape.

The piece clear connections to current hot topics with the art, media and science sectors. The piece won the esteemed Lumen Prize 2016 but the research paper alongside provides insight into the nature of the work and its intended insight, articulating that the experience is designed to represent this complex, scientific, algorithmic, process in a way that is understandable to the many and not the few.

“Here, emphasis is on the visual representation, not of the results but of the process; viewed in real time. This presents a completely different temporal experience of the model’s output. Unlike the abstract graphs and charts of science, the data takes a form immediately familiar to an audience accustomed to the moving image.”

The way which each element visual appears make it far more understandable, interlinking with the behaviour and process. The buzzing light representing the congregating mosquitos frantic spiralling motion like swarms and the undulating terrain representing different areas and communities across a landscape within the epidemic reach.

I think the piece in many drives the connection between areas of art and science. Both sections work with very different models of precision, data, representation and information. The section of biological science predominantly based on facts, percentages, calculations and specific understanding. While arts is basted on questions, ideas, imagination and visualisation. Afterglow directly connects these areas together of art powered by science deep scientific exploration, that can be added to and expressed in potentially in new and exciting ways.