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Project 1

 

Scientific Landscape: Artistic Visualization Based on the Expanded Visual Field of the Scientific Discoveries

 

One of the general objectives of the project is to develop a new artistic form of the scientific visual object. The source of the aesthetic inspiration could be found not only in the world of our common existence but, due to expansion of our scale of perception, it can be expanded from the micro to the macro world (the scientific objects). While much of the natural world is hidden from us because we can not see heat, ultraviolet light, radio waves or x-rays directly, much more of it is beyond our immediate comprehension because it is too small, too faint or too distant, or even too big to be detected by the naked eye. This invisible universe is filled with intrigue and interest of all kind of scales and most of its objects possesses its own beauty.

In order to find a description of the world in terms of artistic qualities the ‘raw’ perceptual material needs to be transformed into an aesthetic form in the process of an artistic creative act. The visual world of science stimulates the imagination with views of nature that can be stirring in their beauty, composition and texture. Composing images of the smallest elements on the earth surface and the vast galaxies light years away into one picture make it possible to understand the scale of the universe. The compositional skeleton taken from mathematical objects (curves, fractals) creates the intriguing interplay between theoretical and empirical findings. This type of pictures attempts to forge a path through the intriguing complexities of nature and introduce a beauty of the world that is normally hidden from a view. The most powerful microscopes and telescopes reveal to us many ‘hidden objects’ of the universe. On the other hand, mathematical objects (geometrical figures, curves, fractals that are “images” of the behavior of the dynamical systems) are visually appealing and often are described in terms of their artistic qualities.

Fractal images are visually appealing, and often are described in terms of their beauty. Fractal image can be seen as an aesthetic object that is produced based on the mathematical formulae. It reveals the beauty of the underlying mathematical world. In the scientific community fractal is interpreted as an illustration of the behavior of the dynamical systems. When we want to obtain a visual appearance which clearly conveys the mathematical structure of fractals, the aesthetic value of fractal images seems to decrease. When we concentrate on understanding of the particular mathematical problem the aesthetic value of the fractal image is not important one. However in understanding more general structure of the world the aesthetic value of the fractal images begin to play a significant role.

The picture can be obtained by applying one of the existing techniques or printed by applying one of the printed techniques. From the beginning of the sixteenth century, with the growing power of the printing press, illustration played an ever more important role in communicating information about the visual phenomena. Printing techniques evolved from early woodcut, mezzotint, lithography, and photography into latest digital imaging. Artists and scientists were constantly thinking up inventive ways of presenting their findings. Application of the latest technique, where a computer is used to generate and process a picture, to great extent changes the way in which work of art can be created. Painting has a long history, and during its development many forms of paintings were used and many different techniques invented. Techniques such as oil, watercolor, pastel, tempera, and gouache have taken their names from the way in which pigment was used, whereas fresco from the way of painting. Computer art uses means which allow imitation of the old painting techniques. Graphic painting systems have been used to render such effects as shade variation, scratchiness (produced by a brush with too little ink remaining), blotchiness caused by diffusion of ink, or stroke with texture.

Image processing methods are used to perform the image transformation that lead to obtain the required visual effect. The visual attributes of the picture elements can be changed or enhanced by applying image processing methods. Edge enhancement, filtering, smoothing, filling, segmentation are image processing methods that are used in transformation of the digital images. 

The content of some of the pictures is described by its reference to real world objects. In the past the artists tried to use illusion to obtain the visual appearance of the real world. The landscape is one of the painting topics where different means to evoke illusion of the three-dimensional world were applied. Although most landscape pictures (works of art) were created with the aid of conventions all these pictures can be described in terms of real world objects.

The scientific visual object (information) is transformed into the artistic form by exposing the aesthetic qualities of the “raw” visual material. The scientific visual objects include the smallest elements on the earth surface and the vast galaxies light years away. These objects are composed into one picture that makes it possible to understand the scale of the universe. Similarly like cubist landscapes where elements of nature were transformed and synthesized into one picture; the scientific landscape is composed with different visible objects of our universe. The compositional skeleton taken from mathematical objects (curves, fractals) creates the intriguing interplay between theoretical and empirical findings. This type of pictures attempts to forge a path through the intriguing complexities of nature and introduce a beauty of the world that is normally hidden from view.

The project Scientific Landscape is the continuation of the artist’s (Dr Z. Les) investigations that started at the beginning of the 1980s. These works were presented at the exhibitions in Krakow (1984, 1986) and Melbourne 2003. This project although refers to the previous artistic works of the artist, it is different in two aspects: “a priori scientific objects” are used as a compositional skeleton and new sophisticated computer image methods will be used to produce the final picture. This project is the first in the world investigation of the scientific visual material aiming at synthesizing it into the aesthetic visual form (the scientific landscape).

The exhibition of the works of art from the previous period of artistic and scientific investigations was on the display in June 2003 in Melbourne.

Example of works of art

 

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