Computer Science hosts international art exhibit where art and science intersect


From microscopic patterns found in a cellular wall to the majestic, awe-inspiring reaches of outer space, visual beauty in science is understood. This means art and science are not as far away from each other as one might think. Art can be found in science and vice versa.

This combination is the thrust of a new art exhibition, “Intersection of Art and Science,” showing now through 2017 on the third floor of Lawson Computer Science Building.

Curated by Tim Korb, former assistant head in the Department of Computer Science, and Petronio Bendito, associate professor of Visual Communications Design, the show boasts 10 pieces from 11 artists from around the world. New York, Singapore, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain are all represented.

Hanging on four walls near Lawson’s balcony, the various pieces show a wide range of media. Painting and photography compliment the digital and geometric.

“We have artists using actual painting but are inspired by mathematical concepts,” Bendito said. “We have pieces that stem from concrete architectural pieces. We also have artists that work with Flash, using action script. Programming to visualize data and Java.”

Some of the most striking pieces include So Yoon Lym’s “Angel II,” an ultra realist black and white acrylic painting on paper. Inspired by her seven years living in Uganda and an interest in mathematics, Lym paid tribute to the intricate and geometric braided hairstyles of African women. The bird’s eye view of the woman is bold and gives a unique angle to the intricacies and beauty of hair.

A mathematician is also familiar with points and lines. Alabama artist Brian Evans’ digital drawing, “Melancholia,” maps a complex system of points to create a chaotic yet beautiful design. Several red lines are connected with text boxes near them, creating a timeline of sorts for an emotional journey.

Most fitting for Lawson is Sergio Albiac’s piece created with computer code. The Spanish digital artist generates his own programs to plot computational imagery. Fractal and triangular shapes come to form an unfinished portrait of a beautiful woman. Her hair is blocky and geometric, but the lines become finer to form realistic eyes, a nose, eyebrows and part of a mouth.

Soon to celebrate its 10th anniversary, Lawson has been a proponent for visual art, from the welcoming, iconic “Echo Spiral” sculpture by John Mishler in the building’s main lobby to digital pieces on the Lawson Commons’ huge video wall. Bendito has shown his own colorful work a couple times, on the video wall and on Lawson’s second floor.

“In the Lawson building,” Korb said, “we have always wanted there to be inviting, collaborative spaces for our students, visitors, faculty, everyone to work together, to be in an atmosphere that is interesting and engaging. And so having art in the Lawson building contributed to that. For a number of years, we’ve had art on display.”

CS art

The new artwork looks at home in Lawson.

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