Art of Science 2009: Is it science or is it art?
The University is sponsoring an "Art of Science" competition open to all members of the Princeton community with the theme of "Found Art." Submissions are limited to digital images and the deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m., April 21, 2009. There is no cost to enter the competition.
"We are soliciting images made in the course of research that have not only a scientific quality but an aesthetic one as well," said Andrew Zwicker, the head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and a lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program.
Zwicker said that this "found art" might include photographs from a microscope or a telescope; photographs taken for purposes of field research; images generated by computer simulations; 3D renderings of data sets; and data plots.
"Entries should be scientific images created during the course of an actual research project, rather than art that is inspired by science," said Zwicker. "It is our position that images produced in the pursuit of science can have an aesthetic value that is on a par with art created for art's sake."
Adam Finkelstein, associate professor of computer science and a co-organizer of the competition, acknowledged that this stance might be provocative to some in the art world. "We hope that this competition will engender a spirited public debate about the nature of art and its relationship to science," he said.
Jurors for the competition include President Shirley M. Tilghman; Dean of the Faculty David Dobkin, Phillip Y. Goldman '86 Professor in Computer Science; and Paul Muldoon, Howard G.B. Clark '21 University Professor in the Humanities, director of the Princeton Atelier, and chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts.
Cash prizes will be given to the top three winners of the competition: $250 for first place, $154.51 for second; and $95.49 for third. These amounts are derived according to the golden ratio, a mathematical proportion that has been found in aesthetically pleasing designs, from seashells to ancient Greek temples.
Sponsors of the competition are PPPL, the Lewis Center for the Arts, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Office of the Dean for Research.
The awards will be announced at an opening reception May 8 in the Friend Center, where images selected from the competition will remain on display for a year. Images selected for the Art of Science 2009 show also will be featured in an online gallery. Submission information can be found at the Art of Science website:
This is the University's third Art of Science competition. Online galleries for previous years can be found here:
For media inquiries about the Art of Science 2009 competition, contact Teresa Riordan, firstname.lastname@example.org.