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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

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Entries sought for 'Art of Science' competition

Members of the University community are invited to offer submissions for the "Art of Science" competition, which this year focuses on the theme of "found art." The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, April 21.

"We are soliciting images made in the course of research that have not only a scientific quality but an aesthetic one as well," said one of the competition organizers, Andrew Zwicker, the head of science education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and a lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program.

Zwicker said this "found art" might include photographs from a microscope or a telescope; photographs taken for purposes of field research; images generated by computer simulations; 3-D 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 competition organizer, 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, the Phillip Y. Goldman '86 Professor in Computer Science; Paul Muldoon, the Howard G.B. Clark '21 University Professor in the Humanities, chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts and director of the Princeton Atelier; photographer Emmet Gowin, professor of visual arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts; and photographer Andrew Moore, lecturer in visual arts in 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, the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the offices of the president, dean of the faculty and 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 show also will be featured in an online gallery. Submission information and galleries from the two previous "Art of Science" exhibitions can be found on the competition website. There is no cost to enter the competition.

For media inquiries about the 2009 competition, contact Teresa Riordan.

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