iCubed

Fall 2011 STEAM Paintings

One of the objectives of ICubed is to inform the UCF Community about scientific concepts. The project is meeting this objective by funding the STEAM Gallery Initiative which is an activity that encourages STEM researchers to expand their thinking and find ways to communicate their science to non-STEM audiences. In Fall 2011, the ICubed team relied on previous experiences to create artwork for the gallery.

Through STEAM, UCF STEM faculty researchers who received grant supplements for their students, interacted with faculty and students in the School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD). Participating Art and Design students attended a 3-week long seminar, as part of their course of study, and created science-inspired art based on the STEM researcher's explanations of science concepts and possibilities. In this ICubed Initiative, Visual Arts students were able to find new creative ways to communicate the science through their art. During the fall 2011 semester, ICubed took a different path in Carla Poindexter's Advanced Painting class.

This semester, they invited one STEM researcher from the Physics Department to present his work. Dr. Costas Efthimiou and his ICubed Fellow Christopher Frye explained how other painters have used Physics and Mathematics to create well known works. They expanded on these works to help students see where the real science stops and where the creativity starts. They then presented some revolutionary ideas from modern physics in particular, the Quest for the Theory of Everything, and asked the students to create works inspired from these ideas. This process differs from past seminars in two ways: a) only one STEM researcher was invited to talk about his research, and b) the seminar lasted the entire fall semester as opposed to two weeks.

NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.0963146. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

UCF

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The Philosophy of Science - Christie Gonzalez

For this work, I was inspired by our deep-rooted need as a species to understand our existence. We collect theories, based on fact or faith, in order to find purpose in our reality. But if a theory cannot be proven, is it science or philosophy? How does the uncertainty of the quantum world relate to the uncertainty of religion?

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.” – Albert Einstein

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Non Omnis Moriar - Brie Nagy

It preys upon women, preferring those of a young age as they’re less likely to detect it. Virtually invisible to its victims, it quietly takes root within the soft tissue of the body while it slowly mutates and grows. By the time it has become detectable - normally as a lump or mass of some sort - it has leached upon its victim as a parasite for more than a decade. If it so chooses, it may slip into the bloodstream, thereby infecting nearby organs with its greedy tendrils that choke and consume. Those who know it fear it, and the tens of thousands who are plagued by it desperately search for a cure that consistently evades them. Despite the knowledge we gain of it each passing year, every possible treatment must endure rigorous tests and trials before being introduced to the subjects, by which time it is too late for many.

However, a new possibility has been discovered. The unaltered form of adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2), which commonly infects humans with no repercussions, has been found to target and rapidly destroy this unbridled predator. Within lab tissue cultures, AAV2 completely destroyed from benign to the most aggressive forms within a matter of weeks. Before this virus can be reintroduced into the body, however, the specific strains that serve to attack must be isolated and fortified so that the immune system will not immediately abolish it. As long as this hope for a cure remains, Not All of Me Will Die (Non Omnis Moriar).

This work was inspired by presentations and informal discussions with biologist Dr. Linda Walters and undergraduate researcher Kali Standorf in Fall 2010. It was created one year later in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class in Fall 2011.

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Neither Here Nor There - Lauren Stanton

This painting was inspired by time. We experience time as a forward motion. We perceive time by observing the cyclical occurrences of natural phenomena, e.g. by Earth’s seasons. Science has proven, however, that time is not actually as we perceive it. In this painting the Past is not behind us and the Future already exists. They exist in a non-space where things are neither here nor there.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Untitled - Priscilla Billingsley

For this STEAM project I was interested in exploring the interrelationships of what we perceive as physical objects and what we assume is non-physical space. I became fascinated with the intricacies of how time can be illustrated by light in a painting to suggest myriad perceptions of solid form and the space that surrounds it.

Art is considered an intimate and highly emotional experience while we often associate science with a sterile, fixed and impersonal environment. Combining complex ideas from both art and science can create a new dimension of understanding, allowing us to perceive science on a more personal level.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Untitled - Drew Powers

This piece was inspired by looking at science as one of many modes to understanding our world. The contraption I constructed I made and attached to this multi-media painting is derived from a 13th-century invention known as the “Ars Magna” by the Catalan philosopher, mathematician, and theologian Ramon Llull. Viewed by many to be one of the first primitive Artificial Intelligence Algorithms, its aim was to systematically derive all possible questions and answers originating from the mind of man about God and the universe.

This blurring of systematic, scientific logic with intuitive philosophy reveals how the scientific process evolved to become a standard for human understanding - not the other way around. The Ars Magna eventually inspired Gottfried Leibniz in his study of permutations and is cited as a precursor to our modern-day computing.

In this entire project, I was inspired by the fundamental goal of the STEM initiative itself—the dialogue between artists and scientists—more than attempts to define absolute truth. Looking back, I see an individual in that innovative, 13th century thinker and inventor Ramon Llull, who transcended the mold of mere ‘mathematician’ or ‘philosopher’ to consider in his work, a more comprehensive view of the world. If this STEM project is continued, if it were to become truly interdisciplinary and collaborative, why could each of us not do the same today?

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Perception - Dominique Sandoval

Perception (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. This is my third semester’s involvement with the ICubed initiative. This time, my interest in the STEAM experiment was more so not the “collaborative” between scientist and artist but more the “combining” of our different perceptions. My intention was to harmonize mathematics and art, so that both played a vital input in the output of the image. I used mathematics, equations specifically, as a blueprint for my image of a Cartesian coordinate system containing x and y. Then, in order to complete the image, I used my knowledge of the elements and principles of Art.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s intermediate advanced painting classes, Fall 2010 – Fall 2011.

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Perception - Dominique Sandoval

Perception (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. This is my third semester’s involvement with the ICubed initiative. This time, my interest in the STEAM experiment was more so not the “collaborative” between scientist and artist but more the “combining” of our different perceptions. My intention was to harmonize mathematics and art, so that both played a vital input in the output of the image. I used mathematics, equations specifically, as a blueprint for my image of a Cartesian coordinate system containing x and y. Then, in order to complete the image, I used my knowledge of the elements and principles of Art.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s intermediate advanced painting classes, Fall 2010 – Fall 2011.

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Untitled - Alesha Hassard

My painting is a duel commentary on the micro and the macro. Everything we perceive is composed of subatomic particles. What appears to be solid is in fact filled with empty space. The macro is reflected in the micro by the way that planets, stars, and other celestial materials are enveloped within vast space. Thus the interior, acting as a metaphorical structure for both the micro and macro, dissolves and the omnipresent nothingness is given a physical presence with its depiction in black.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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The Sum of Histories - Austin Yorke

Derived from the study of quantum mechanics as it pertains to observation, perception and measurement, this work is primarily influenced by Richard Feynman’s formulation of quantum mechanics. I thus constructed a mixed media painting exploring the implications of his “Sum of Histories” equations. This work attempts to render visually, a layman understanding of these concepts. Viewing the work from multiple distances and angles reveals the understanding.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Florida in Bloom Part I - Alea de Bengson

I created these paintings based on the assumption that Florida will eventually end up underwater. I asked myself what would happen to UCF when this came about and these are the results. According to a marine biologist friend of mine, based on the current trends of the local marine life, an algae bloom will occur turning the water a greenish color. Algae blooms degrade aquatic ecosystems and water resources for human consumption. In these paintings there are no fish, no coral, and no people.

Above the water, life goes on. The sun rises over the remnants of a stadium and a breeze sends ripples across a newly expanded ocean. Just below is an expanse of rock, and algae. An old bronze statue triumphantly stands the test of time, but is slowly being consumed by algae and barnacles.

This work was initially inspired by presentations and informal discussions with biologist Dr. Linda Walters and undergraduate researcher Kali Standorf in Fall 2010 in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter intermediate painting class. Alea de Bengson continued working on this subject in advanced painting classes through Fall 2011.

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Florida in Bloom Part II - Alea de Bengson

I created these paintings based on the assumption that Florida will eventually end up underwater. I asked myself what would happen to UCF when this came about and these are the results. According to a marine biologist friend of mine, based on the current trends of the local marine life, an algae bloom will occur turning the water a greenish color. Algae blooms degrade aquatic ecosystems and water resources for human consumption. In these paintings there are no fish, no coral, and no people.

After hundreds of years, someone might brave the green goo long enough to discover an abandoned painting studio. The walls of which have seen thousands of students come and go, but now are crumbled to ruin, revealing a still life resting quietly in the room - covered in a blanket of algae and light, but naked in its solitude.

This work was initially inspired by presentations and informal discussions with biologist Dr. Linda Walters and undergraduate researcher Kali Standorf in Fall 2010 in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter intermediate painting class. Alea de Bengson continued working on this subject in advanced painting classes through Fall 2011.

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Strings, Cosmic Wind, and Eternal Inflation - Amanda Bailey

I am intrigued by the notion that artists and scientists alike persistently grapple with the fundamental nature of a physical world. Behind this piece are the mysteries surrounding the materials of which our universe is made – strings which create time and space itself. Just as scientists examine subatomic particles; my objective was to provide a glimpse at the structural skeleton and illusional surface of a painting. I believe that art is the elegant simplicity that consumes the viewer as they watch the building blocks of our universe bend and collide.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Untitled - Alea de Bengson

I have been working on the STEAM project for three semesters in Professor Poindexter’s painting classes. This most recent painting was inspired by Dr. Costas Efthimiou’s presentation on astrophysics. Specifically, how the universe began.

Theoretically, in the beginning there was a “bang”. A really hot, big bang that expanded rapidly outward, like a massive wave, swelling as it gets closer to shore. Only there is no shore. It never stopped increasing. It’s still going; pushing everything in the universe further and further apart at an accelerated rate. How? The mysterious force behind it is dark energy. We know so little about dark energy that we can hardly identify it. It’s not something we can see. Then again there are many things in our world we cannot perceive. Not with the naked eye, at least. So maybe what the science world needs is something different to “illuminate” the way. Perhaps, with the right inspiration, or illumination, art can inspire new ways for scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to perceive. Perhaps then, they can find the questions they seek and the answers we all need.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Untitled - Jessica Bargher Thomae

For the STEAM project, I was inspired by Dr. Daniel Elia’s Zeeman-induced spin Hall effect in grapheme. Grapheme is an allotrope of carbon whose structure resembles that of a honeycomb. The spin Hall effect causes the grapheme to bend in such a way that it creates a geometrical optical illusion. One does not often see a painting limited to two colors that suggests so much movement. I find this resulting image to be fascinating.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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The God Particle - Beth Crotty

This piece was inspired by the ongoing research and LHC experiments done in hopes of finding the elusive God particle. Also know as Higgs Boson, this particle is only hypothetical, but if found, could give insight about the many mysteries of the universe, such as what happened in the big bang and the enigmatic creation of physical mass.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Fate Mapping Out the Universe with Past, Present and Future - Dufault Jonathan

In our recent search for the answers about the universe it seems that we have come to the realization that the answers lie with asking the right questions. My own journey into the mysteries of the universe has led me to greatly consider the idea that we may never really have all the answers, which I can accept. It is clear to me that regardless of whether we have all the answers or not, Fate has laid out a plan for us all to follow. Our Past, Present and Future have been decided for us so that nothing can be left to chance.

This work was created in response to presentations and informal discussions with Physicist Costas Efthimiou and undergraduate researcher Christopher Frye in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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Network Biology - Emily Southall

Complex organizations share a lot in common with other systems such as computer chips and social networks. Consequently, properties of biological systems can be better understood by analyzing social networks which admit simpler analysis. For example, cells tend to form clusters to make organs of a body. In social networks, members tend also to form clusters based on their personal preferences.

A feature of all complex networks is that any two nodes can be connected with only a few links. This is called “small world effect,” which was originally a sociological observation that everyone in the world can be reached by someone else through a chain of social acquaintances. Any two random U.S. citizens are connected by an average of six acquaintances, which gave use to the phrase “six degrees of separation.”

This work was created in response to a presentation by Physicist Costas Efthimiou in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class, Fall 2011.

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