Art in a Time of Mass Extinction

There are more artists on the planet today than at any other time. Just imagine if all these artists were saying one thing. They would have a very powerful voice indeed.  Yet what would it take to rally all the world’s artists behind a single cause? I’m not sure if anyone cause could ever unite […]

Bob Ziering and the Gorillas

I met Bob Ziering when I was art directing a publication that used a lot of freelance conceptual illustrations. That was a long time ago and I do not remember the art he created for the magazine. But I do remember his gorillas. I met Bob in New York City after he finished his assignment. […]

Quest for the Visualization of Quanta

Quanta. For me, searching for a way to depict this phenomenon of our universe is like a quest for the holy grail. Scanning the internet for “quanta art” yields a number of interesting pieces of artwork. Many are associated with Quanta Magazine, an online publication that covers physics, mathematics, biology, and computer science. The art used […]

How to Create Art for the Invisible Domain

I teach classes in information visualization at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). When most people hear the words “information visualization,” their thoughts go to either data visualization or information graphics. Indeed, that is what we teach at MICA. But my interests in information visualization go far beyond data visualization or information graphics. For […]

From my Library: Max Tegmark and the Mathiverse

As far as I am concerned, Max Tegmark is one of the best science communicators among scientists. I met him at Princeton when I was working on a story about the universe for National Geographic Magazine. At that point, he had not yet written Our Mathematical Universe, which was published in 2014. When I visited […]

Art for Our Sake: The Cage of Perception

For many years I’ve been fascinated by what lies beyond human perception. My curiosity is sparked by ideas like those of Plato who said our perception of the universe can be compared to people in a cave seeing shadows cast on a wall. We only see the shadows and not the cause of the shadows.  […]

Journey to the Center of the Earth

One of the next challenges for me as an artist is to take on the topic of time. I recently read a scientific paper suggesting that, because of the effects of gravity on spacetime, the center of the Earth was 2.49 years younger than the surface of the planet. Richard Feynman, a renowned physicist, once […]

From my library: Albrecht Dürer–An artist for all time

Albrecht Dürer self portrait

Many people are familiar with Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks and how they are filled with wonderful drawings and diagrams about art and science. But not nearly so many are aware of the notebooks of 16th-century German artist, Albrecht Dürer. Yet Dürer was equally passionate about science and art, and perhaps more compassionate about humanity.  Albrecht […]

Socialist realism and art for the state’s sake

Socialist realism

In these times of major global challenges, art should have a purpose. When I say that, however, I sometimes think about socialist realism. No one can deny that it was art with a purpose. Yet it was not my idea of art with a purpose—what I call “Art for Our Sake.” It is worth looking […]

From my library: In defense of John Gurche

FROM MY LIBRARDY: IN DEFENSE OF JOHN GURCHE

I recently came across an article in “Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution” by Ryan Campbell and others entitled “Visual Depictions of Our Evolutionary Past: A Broad Case Study Concerning the Need for Quantitative Methods of Soft Tissue Reconstruction and Art-Science Collaborations.” The article is about the need for artists to use more rigorous methods when […]