Sculptor Rebecca Kamen views art as a bridge from humanity to scientific investigation.
"I use my art practice to make science accessible to all people and to generate a sense of awe and wonder for the natural world," she says. "Growing up in Philly, one of my favorite experiences was walking through the heart at The Franklin Institute. So much of science is who we are as human beings."
Kamen's multi-media installation at the Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) in Spring 2017 explored the relationship between inner and outer space. Among the pieces is NeuroCantos, loosely translated as "brain songs." It's a collaboration between Kamen, sound artist Susan Alexjander, and poet Steven J. Fowler, made up of eight suspended cone-shaped structures representing the neuronal networks in the brain with overlapping shapes and rocks that symbolize art's ability to create connections in the brain and the intellect.
"The installation celebrates how art can form new bridges of understanding between the diverse fields of scientific research, astrophysics, and neuroscience," Kamen says.
She notes that art predates technology in advancing science and nurturing a philosophical approach to discovery. "Before the advent of the camera scientists had to be artists because that was the only way to capture their observations."
"Artists like Rebecca Kamen approach science with a unique perspective that is valuable for communicating complex ideas, and looking at the social and cultural implications of scientific advancement," notes EKG Curator Angela McQuillan. "EKG offers a welcoming environment for both curiosity and discovery, where artists can address scientific topics and present them in new and interesting ways."
EKG celebrated 40 years of exploring the connections between art, technology and science in January 2017. Its vibrant pulse extends beyond the Science Center to energize the culture of the surrounding community. To date, EKG has supported more than 3,500 local, national and international artists through solo and group exhibitions. All EKG events are free and open to the public.