Radical Creativity Art Walk
Four installations around campus will immerse viewers in a multimedia experience of art and science that will convey the powerful message of their fusion. An opening reception is set for 6:30 p.m., with the installation art walk from 7 to 9 p.m.
Montana State University will celebrate art and science, and their unique capacity to convey powerful messages when combined, through four multi-sensory experiential installations exhibited around campus on April 26.
“The exhibits combine film, sound, music, art, and architecture to convey cutting-edge astrophysics ideas in innovative and creative ways,” said Nicolas Yunes, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Physics and one of the organizers of the event.
The Radical Creativity Art Walk will kick off with an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of Jabs Hall. Food and drinks will be provided. Four art-science installations will be on display from 7 to 9 p.m. and each exhibit will feature a brief gallery talk by the student creative teams. The event is free and open to the public.
The name “Radical Creativity” comes from a semester-long undergraduate Honors Seminar that Yunes co-teaches along with Sara Mast, professor in MSU’s School of Art, and Jessica Jellison, a Bozeman architect and adjunct instructor in MSU’s School of Architecture.
This is the second year of the course that challenges students to develop their creativity by communicating complex physics and astronomy concepts through art. During the first part of the semester, students explore a range of art domains: visual art, sound, spoken word poetry, movement, and video in assignments that explore the basic physics concepts they are learning. During the last half of the semester, students work in interdisciplinary teams to create the art-science installations that will then be publicly displayed at the art walk.
The idea grew from the Black (W)hole installation that Yunes, Mast, Jellison and their team created for the “Celebrating Einstein” event in 2013. Like the Radical Creativity Art Walk, that event merged science and art to communicate the beauty and significance of physics, specifically Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
The success of Black (W)hole inspired Mast to consider merging art and science in a course. The trio pitched the idea that became the Radical Creativity Honors Seminar.
“Bridging the communicative power of art with the exciting new discoveries of astrophysics opens up a whole new world of possibility for both artists and scientists alike, as we discovered in creating Black (W)hole,” Mast said. “The Radical Creativity idea was born out of my desire to provide students with an art-science research experience, in which each student’s distinct way of seeing the world is valued and integrated.
“Operating at the boundary between art and science is fertile ground,” she said. “In our art-science studio and lab course, diversity is strength. Collaborative art and physics research is a catalyst for original ideas, paradigm-shifting perceptions and undiscovered creativity.”
Installations, locations and students who created the projects are:
Cosmic Relief in Jabs Hall: A symbolic release for the viewer through the visual and conceptual representation of a black hole from which there is no escape. A gallery talk will take place at 7 p.m. Installation team members are Jaxen Godrey, Callie Kazakoff and Jared Thompson.
Shift in the MSU Library: An examination of the interdependence of time and space, relating the human perception of time to its dilation around massive objects. A gallery talk will take place at 7:30 p.m. Installation team members are Carly Moellenkamp, Karl Molina, Nicholas Popiel and Sergei Zvenigorodsky.
Sliver in the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center racquetball court: The conditions for life are precariously fragile. Experience the miracle of life juxtaposed against the stark vastness of space. A gallery talk will take place at 8 p.m. Installation team members are Avery Joyner, Claire Knox, Quentin Lucas and Gabrielle Pinc.
Synergy Wave in the Haynes/Cheever Hall courtyard: Two realities juxtaposed: The lonely world of an individual particle and the collective movement of an encompassing wave — a duality on both micro and macro levels. A gallery talk will take place at 8:30 p.m. Installation team members are Mikaela Barker, Grace Iverson and Elinore Millstein.
Ilse-Mari Lee, dean of MSU’s Honors College, said she expects this year’s event to reflect the passion and expertise of the faculty and students who are bringing art and science together in an exciting way.
“We are deeply grateful to the three extraordinary faculty members leading this interdisciplinary upper-level Honors seminar and to our students, for presenting their work to the wider Bozeman community,” Lee said. “Last year’s event was outstanding, and we know that this year’s will also enlighten and inspire us all.”
Yunes said he expects people will have different experiences when exposed to the art-science installations.
“Some people will appreciate more of the astrophysics, others will like more of the artistic expression,” he said. “Hopefully, they will all come out inspired by the beauty that can be achieved when combining art with physics and physics with art.”