OpenLab: Art, Science, Technology and Culture

OpenLab: Art, Science, Technology and Culture



OpenLab is a collaboration between the arts
and the sciences where scientists basically are looking for new and innovative ways to
view and present their research in a way that is accessible to the general public. We might know something about visualizing
our data in a way that is useful to us scientifically, but we may not know the best way to do that
for presenting to the general public. so the collaboration is about doing that in
an effective way. What happens is the scientists would give
a small lecture of what their data is about and then they sit down and brainstorm how
these things can be visualized in whole new ways. All the data that the scientists have get
sent over to the artist and the artists break that down and turn it into a whole new way
of looking at it. I founded OpenLab as a way to create hybrid
practices between art and science, community, design and technology. We use a programmer, fabricator, an electronics
person, an engineer, someone who is experienced in gaming. So, everybody has a specific role and they
come into it with a skill, which then is shared. I started working with Jennifer Park with
OpenLab last summer doing a collaborative project between astrophysicists and artists
essentially. And in the case of this its a data representations. It’s a visualization of a simulation. So what we were able to do with this is create
a real model and so instead of just looking at it on a two dimensional computer screen,
even as a 3D rendering, In this case you see a three dimensional animation so you see this
event happening in 3D so you can look at the front of it and the back of it and the side
of it all at the same time as this thing is spinning around Our group was working on visualizing tidal
disruptions and making that into a sort of game that people could play so they could
basically have an interactive version of the galactic center. We just basically combined a few movies that
I generated from the hydrodynamical simulations that I've run of these disruptions with a
Nintendo Wii system and you only have a certain chance to get the star close enough to the
black hole where it will be destroyed. I think just seeing visually what happens,
even if you don't really understand what exactly what is causing the movies that people were
viewing during the running of the exhibit, at least that gives them some context so that
when they go back and maybe read up on it later they have a picture in their brain of
basically what the encounter looks like. The scientists tend to think in a specific
way about their research. By sharing their research with us and seeing
the ideas that we come up with they're sometimes then able to shift their thinking about their
own research. We maybe have a perspective on their research
that they haven't thought about or we may have an idea about a method or a way of showing
something, which allows them to see something different and then in seeing something different,
they're then able to re-contextualize their research and take it further.

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