Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science Is Redefining Contemporary Art

Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science Is Redefining Contemporary Art

by Arthur I. Miller


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A dazzling look at the artists working on the frontiers of science.

In recent decades, an exciting new art movement has emerged in which artists utilize and illuminate the latest advances in science. Some of their provocative creations—a live rabbit implanted with the fluorescent gene of a jellyfish, a gigantic glass-and-chrome sculpture of the Big Bang (pictured on the cover)—can be seen in traditional art museums and magazines, while others are being made by leading designers at Pixar, Google’s Creative Lab, and the MIT Media Lab. In Colliding Worlds, Arthur I. Miller takes readers on a wild journey to explore this new frontier.

Miller, the author of Einstein, Picasso and other celebrated books on science and creativity, traces the movement from its seeds a century ago—when Einstein’s theory of relativity helped shape the thinking of the Cubists—to its flowering today. Through interviews with innovative thinkers and artists across disciplines, Miller shows with verve and clarity how discoveries in biotechnology, cosmology, quantum physics, and beyond are animating the work of designers like Neri Oxman, musicians like David Toop, and the artists-in-residence at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

From NanoArt to Big Data, Miller reveals the extraordinary possibilities when art and science collide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393083361
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/16/2014
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Arthur I. Miller is a professor emeritus at University College London. He has published many critically acclaimed books, including Einstein, Picasso; Empire of the Stars; and 137. He lives in London.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Acknowledgments xv

Preface xix

1 In Search of the invisible 3

2 Montmartre in New York 33

3 The Computer Meets Art 66

4 Computer Art morphs into Media Art 90

5 Visualizing the Invisible 116

6 Intermezzo: How Science Helped Resolve the World's Greatest Art Scandal 168

7 Imagining and Designing Life 189

8 Hearing as Seeing 228

9 The Art of Visualizing Data 265

10 Comrades-in-Arms: Encouraging, Funding, and Housing Artsci 305

11 In the Eye of the Beholder? 329

12 The Coming of a Third Culture 340

Notes 349

Bibliography 379

Illustration Credits 393

Index 397

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