art and science journal


The Uncanny Feather

Using biological elements to create fluid forms of movement, artist Kate MccGwire takes bird feathers and assembles them into strange, intertwining forms. Playing with materiality, the artist uses feathers to mimic flowing water or curving scales, creating “images that both attract and disturb the viewer” – an unnerving beauty.

Is it a new creature, or a plant? Perhaps not even a representation of a living organism at all, making the objects exhibited even more uncanny; the fluidity of material yet stable nature of the pieces are like representations of an object in motion, yet frozen in time. The artist is “using the language of nature to create unnatural forms” challenging the viewer’s expectation of the use of material, manipulating it into “undulating, organic, otherworldly form[s]”, neither slick and on objects ready for flight, nor daintily soft and plumy on a pillow surface.

This connection of opposites allows us to think about how our perceptions of materiality and aesthetic influence our expectations of certain materials and objects.

-Anna Paluch


I’m almost at the point where I don’t even care what happens in the next
episode anymore but I might die of happy heartattack if they even HINT
at the Author and Fids having a thing.

You were born to be an expression of your soul in the physical dimension. You were not born to use this life to refine or improve yourself. You were born to use this life as a canvass to paint yourself across. You cannot be certified to do this. You do not need a college degree to do this. You were qualified from the day you first drew breath.
—  Teal Swan | A Message To The Reader (x)

Home Sweet Home

Usually plastic and the environment do not go hand in hand, but artist Aki Inomata uses plastic to create an environment for her little pet hermit crabs in “Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?” (2009, 2010-2013).

With the help of CT scanning to render a three-dimensional model of an empty shell, Inomata creates her base and then builds houses atop these shell renderings. These architectural wonders mimic the style of popular dwellings, from Tokyo house-style to Paris apartments. 

With these plastic hermit crab habitats, Inomata wanted to explore not only the hermit crab’s adaptability to new surroundings, but how we adapt as well. Immigration, relocation, even acquiring a new identity or nationality is more or less the human version of growing out of a shell, and finding a new one to call ‘home’.

Not only is this series an amazing symbolic representation of our will to adapt, but also a fun way to learn more about the life and physiology of the hermit crab, as the dwellings are completely see-through. Have you ever wondered what a hermit crab’s body looks like inside its shell?

A video of both the hermit crabs in action and how the artist came about designing the shells can be found here.

-Anna Paluch


Artist Mihoko Ogaki

“Japanese-native Artist Mihoko Ogaki has created a new art series called the Milky Ways that is comprised of some incredible installations and the use of reflective lights. 

Ogaki turns a sculpture of a decaying body into an image of the wondrous night sky. A recurrent image in art, this idea of rebirth, or the dead creating life, is a beautiful idea to contemplate. It’s always fascinating when artists can create a zen-like calm about the world and the cycles of life and death. When artists give us faith that the world goes on, it’s an aspect of the human disposition that we all experience and can connect with. But there are other ways to see this work that move beyond these eternal themes. As Constanze Friederike Rabanus analyzes in an essay on the Milky Way series.

The figures are constructed using Fibre-reinforced plastic and are shaped into forms of a dead or dying person. The sculptures are then punctured carefully with thousands of holes and are embedded with bright LED lights. The result illuminates the figure as if galaxies of stars are within its body and shining out. 

"The new series Milky Ways by Mihoko Ogaki is about life, and the living individual including its emotions like sadness, joy, delight or even jealousy, rather than the topics birth and death, that already have been analyzed in the earlier series before the beginning - after the end.”

In this piece the human figure looks tortured and contorted. Though Ogaki’s artworks deal so often with the human condition, the Milky Way series was the first to contain the human form. As Rabanus continues,

"In doing so she does not seem to be too interested in her own image, instead she tries to turn her inner self outwards in order to uncover her emotions. Her sculptures communicate this state by the use of light and light reflecting materials.”

This focus on the external is particularly intriguing, and demonstrates that this isn’t just a personal venture, but rather an exploration to reveal those hard-to-explain aspects of life. What is so effective about this work is that it takes those abstract ideas and makes them real. This is what art is good at, communicating the ideas that are hard to communicate.  Overall, Ogaki takes the emotions of our human condition and gives them a physical presence.“

Sources: This is Colossal | Indulgd | Visual News | Art and Science Journal  | Fubiz

Check Out Mihoko Ogaki Websites: Mihoko Ogaki | Facebook


Art as Aftershock

Earthquakes are dangerous phenomena, yet two artists chose to present these natural disasters, in a way that makes viewers contemplate, rather than fear them.

Luke Jerram and Carlos Amorales created works that comment on the 2011 Japanese Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and 1985 earthquake in Mexico City, respectively. Their works allow viewers to contemplate the nature of earthquakes with the help of visualizations through seismographic data.

In Jerram’s piece, the artist took the seismographic data from the Tōhoku earthquake, and rotated it using a computer program to see the data in three-dimensions, later printing it in those dimensions. The sculpture, made in 2011, represents nine minutes of the earthquake, allowing viewers to calculate, and imagine, the severity of the disaster on their own.

Amorales approaches the 1985 earthquake in a more theoretical presentation, in “Vertical Earthquake” (2010). Rather than using data, the artist creates his own fault lines and cracks on the walls, drawing epicentres around each. The artist chose to capture the chaos and emotion of the event. Within the installation, newspaper clippings of the disaster are displayed, with fault lines drawn on them as well.

Where Jerram uses data to help visualize the severity of the earthquake in Japan, Morales plays with drama and emotion, creating a fragmented image which symbolically reflects the earthquake that he witnessed. Both pieces however, are sobering reminders of the immense power our Earth has over man-made constructions.

-Anna Paluch


The Amazing Sculptures and Installations of Crystal Wagner

Crystal Wagner’s installations are a combination of printmaking, cut paper, and cheap, dollar store objects. Her work has a very organic feel to it, as if we are about to walk through a luscious forest or happen upon a moss patch. This isn’t surprising, as Wagner has spent a lot of time immersed in nature, spending extended periods  in Yellowstone National Park and Joshua Tree National Park. The large, site specific works convey the awe-inspiring beauty we experience in places like  Old Faithful. Txt Via


Currently you can find her artwork published on the cover of Dura Lar, Matte .005 Drawing Pads available through Dick Blick Art Supplies internationally and multiple features on her work throughout the interenet, including but not limited to Hi Fructose,, ArtAttacks Online, Art & Science Journal,, Complex Art & Design Magazine, Crome Yellow Magazine, Catapult Art Magazine, My Modern Met , Beautiful Decay Magazine and, many more. This year she was the recipient of an Awesome Without Borders, Awesome Foundation Art Grant and most recently she was the Scultpure and Installation Category Award Winner of the SEE.ME, Art Takes Paris, international art competition. Upcoming she will be a distingushed guest speaker to accompany a international curated exhibition, “Somewhere Between Creation and Destruction” at the Joseloff Gallery as a part of the Hartford School of Arts Distinguished Artist Symposium which focuses on the top contemporary artists in the world using paper as thier medium.

Crystal Wagner actively visits colleges as a visiting artist. Upcoming in 2014/2015 you can find her at the University of Iowa, University of South Carolina, University of Hawaii, Southeastern Missouri State University, and Syracuse University.

Any inquiries in works available or commissions can be sent to


The Optical Illusions of Kohei Nawa

Using crystal beads and prism sheets, artist Kohei Nawa manipulates the audience’s perceptions of the images. In his PixCell (Beads) series (2005-2009), taxidermy animals are covered in clear crystal beads, obstructing our perception of the surface, and thus, the true image of the animal. In his PixCell (Prism) series (2003-2009), Nawa encases objects in acrylic boxes, but, with an added layer of prism sheets, that cut the light travelling into the boxes in two, and creating the illusion of multiples of the object, much like a hologram. In the latter work, the sculptural pieces are placed in a room that optically flattens the space and the works; the artist is taking already three-dimensional objects, flattening them by playing with the configuration of the space to appear two-dimensional, then placing prism sheets in the acrylic boxes to render the images three-dimensional by playing with the configuration in the smaller spaces of the boxes.

Distortion is a key element in the artists’ work. The skin of the animals in the PixCell (Beads) series is altered, creating a different view of the structure of the animal as a whole, and through each individual bead. The artist himself described the animals as being “replaced by ‘a husk of light’, and the new vision ‘the cell of an image’ (PixCell) is shown”, where the beads become the new ‘biological’ make-up of the animal. The random grouping of some of the beads can be seen as a direct commentary on how we perceive images, especially how the public is fed information, and the fact that sometimes even seeing the whole picture, with all the information, can still obscure the original intent of a piece. It is all in perception; two people seeing a piece will go away from it with two different perspectives on its intention or meaning.

-Anna Paluch


June 21 2016

Happy summer everyone! I’m freshly graduated from high school :)
I’ll be majoring in chemistry at UCLA this fall so I thought reviewing from my AP Chem book would be beneficial this summer considering I took AP Chem two years ago zzz…