Week 1: Matej & Thanassis
I am a multimedia artist, educator, curator, theorist, programmer, and DIY enthusiast with a specialty in data visualization, biology, and urban issues. Artist at Center for Molecular Imaging and Nanotechnology at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center and research fellow at the Public Lab and a member of community bio lab Genspace. I collaborated with the KAVLI Institute for Astrophysics at MIT. Dedicated to the development of new methods for Artistic Research and knowledge production. My work explores the impact of culture, technology, location and politics on personal experience and social interrelationships. My image was recently published in the Science Magazine online. Exhibiting internationally. Ars Electronica Art and Science Network, 6th Prague Biennial, Young Visual Artist Award nomination, co-founder of CLAKULA Gallery, NYC.
Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute focusing on simulation, procedural art, Bioart, and other sciences. I am also looking at intersections of knowledge that are produced by artificial intelligence, science, art, and DIY scientific communities.
Within the framework of the Bridge Art residency, I would love to continue my collaboration with the fields of astrophysics, cosmology, and simulation of the evolution of the universe.
For a few years, I am thinking of translating super large cosmological structures (parts of the "cosmic web") into human-scale sculptural and architectural forms. I would like to develop a system to reliably translate astronomical data and coordinates into more simple 3D printable digital models, and animations and from these produce human-scale physical objects - artistic installations, digital environments and animations that people would be able to "inhabit" and use as conventional architecture.
I am very excited about our collaboration with Athanasios looking at how particles, even those that compose our bodies, are produced inside stars. We are made of stardust.
Another exciting area we are aiming at is extrapolating and philosophizing about how and when could a bunch of atoms and molecules become intelligent and what does it mean if the matter can perceive or observe itself. I am also very excited to discuss the so called Boltzmann Brain Paradox.
Ever since I remember myself I was fascinated and intrigued by science. As a little boy, I was getting lost in books and documentaries - internet was not a big thing in late-1990s - about the planets, dinosaurs and volcanoes. When it was time to decide for a field of study, I knew that Physics is the best option for me.
During the first years in university, I was interested in both astrophysics and nuclear physics. Thankfully, my undergraduate mentor showed me that there is a middle way: Nuclear Astrophysics. It’s the scientific field that studies the origin of the chemical elements in the universe. Carl Sagan’s quote summarizes it perfectly: “We are made of starstuff”.
Years after my first encounter with science, I left Greece, where I grew up, and moved to Canada. Now I am a first year PhD student with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University. For my thesis project, I’ll work at TRIUMF, Canada’s National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics. There, we will reproduce a reaction that occurs in massive stars - like some of those you observe in the night sky - that could possibly change our prediction for the abundance of the chemical elements in our solar system.
Beyond studying the origin of the elements I am interested in making science accessible to a wider audience. We live in an era where science and technology play a major role in our everyday lives - more than ever in recorded history. People use - mostly 20th century - science every day when they open their phones or trying to find their way using a GPS signal. I strongly believe that scientists should help the public understand the impact of science in their lives; appreciate its beauty and be informed about all latest advancements - after all our research is paid by people’s taxes! My efforts in science outreach are spread from editing in a science news aggregator, to organizing science festivals and events.
One thing I am really proud of is my involvement with William J. McCallion Planetarium, which is located at McMaster University. There, I produce and present science outreach shows for a wide variety of audiences. Last year, I presented a show about the Science of Star Wars called “Star Wars: The Science Awakens”.
I am very excited about the Bridge residency program because it will give me a unique opportunity to collaborate with an artist and further disseminate my research. Art, in my opinion, is the best way to get an idea across. All these emotions and feelings art produces make a perfect catalyst for ideas to get inside somebody’s mind and heart. Even though my field is very specialized with lots of complicated math and physics, the core values can be easily understood by anyone and can provide a much needed spiritual elevation. Matej, my new collaborator, is a great artist with lots of interesting ideas; we are going to be a killer group!
I’m sure these three months will be unforgettable – mark my words!
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