Min Jeong Seo: To Live On

Existential questions concerning the offset of death and the continuation of life abound in this installation by Korean artist Min Jeong Seo. Composed of the dried stalks of roses and medical infusion bags, Seo’s rose blooms are kept alive with the aid of the bags. As Seo states, the installation comments on the “progress of medicine and the prolongation of human life.”

However, with the aid of the infusion bags, the life sustained by the rose blooms here is essentially artificial and codependent. If Seo were to remove the bags the blooms would shrivel up the same way their stems have. This begs the question, in all our attempts to prolong our lives, has contemporary medicine succeeded in also increasing quality of life?

Suspended in time, the blooms invite us to observe conservation at work as the installation persuades us to confront our fears concerning sickness and death and our constant pursuit of youth. 

For more information on this installation, and other beautiful works by Min Jeong Seo, please visit her website here

Victoria Nolte


Takanori Aiba

Aiba, a former maze illustrator, founded his own company in 1981 and expanded his practice as an “art director for architectural spaces.” In this new role, Aiba showcases his knowledge of maze illustration and architecture by creating intricately detailed, miniature, worlds wrapped around bonsai trees, lighthouses, cliffs, and constructed on vertical islands. His works explore our involvement with the environment and his use of the bonsai recalls the Japanese tradition of the bonsai as a work of art. Expressing “the magnificence of nature,” Aiba’s inclusion of the bonsai in this series is seen as almost an act of updating history as various narratives can be drawn from each individual detail in his works. 

In addition, Aiba uses a variety of materials to craft these installations, including craft paper, plastic, plaster, and paint. 

For more information about Aiba’s work, please visit his website

- Victoria Nolte


Exploring Colour, Space, and Tape: Installations by Rebecca Ward

The contemporary practice of artfully transforming spaces with temporal, time-sensitive, and often delicate materials is a personal interest of mine. These site-specific works often reflect so much of the world around us - offering instances of momentary wonder that can be erased from consciousness without a moment’s notice. It’s this preoccupation with ephemeral ideas and presentations that drives the production of site-specific installation. 

This temporal feeling is achieved through the medium of Rebecca Ward’s colourful works. Ward’s primary interest in exploring geometric space through colour, texture, and light led to her use of tape (electrical tape, painter’s tape, masking tape, etc.) to create intricate spatial transformations. Of course, these installations are entirely impressive in person as the spaces Ward alters rely on a direct association to the viewer - the manipulation of space at work in Ward’s installations constantly shifting with each viewer interaction. 

The sense of temporality is therefore also achieved through individual interactions on the part of the viewer, with each viewer experiencing a different element or angle of the installation. 

Ward’s installations also successfully expose architectural elements and unique structures through her mathematical and geometric application of tape. The result is a playful and colourful interjection in an otherwise empty space, a gesture that can be seen as a re-invention of the postmodern tradition of the “white cube” gallery. 

For more information about Rebecca’s works, please visit her website

Victoria Nolte


Dan Flavin & The Stedelijk Museum 

Many Visual Arts and Art History students will recognize Dan Flavin’s works from Art History classes. Flavin, classified by art historians and theorists as a Minimalist artist, is one of the most significant artists of the late twentieth century. His innovative break from traditional mediums of painting and sculpture is groundbreaking and his installations involving fluorescent light fixtures have ultimately shaped the course of contemporary art and New Media practices. Moreover, a trend in “light art” is continuously seen in the works of many of today’s prominent artists (Olafur Eliasson, James Turrell, Bruce Nauman, Jenny Holzer, and Tracey Emin, to name a few), each of whom have built upon Flavin’s influence in various ways. 

Flavin’s vast oeuvre consists primarily of site-specific “situations” that take on a variety of forms. Limiting his material to commercially available fluorescent tubing in industry standard sizes, Flavin’s resulting installations are both simple and thought provoking. As Flavin became more concerned with the relationship between his installations and the spaces they inhabit, he began limiting his colour palette. The result is an atmospheric, simplistic, and mediative body of work. In concerning the relationship with the space, Flavin’s works transform the space into an aspect of the installation, making us take note of various architectural elements presented by the light. Light becomes a poetic and haunting artistic medium. 

While there have been a number of retrospectives of Flavin’s works in the United States (including one at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has recently announced its purchase of one of Flavin’s more prominent installations, a site-specific piece originally made in 1986 for the museum’s historic building. Untitled (to Piet Mondrian through his preferred colours, red, yellow and blue) and Untitled (to Piet Mondrian who lacked green) are two parts of an amazing installation that now occupies the hallway above the Stedelijk Museum’s grand staircase. 

In keeping with Flavin’s continuous influence on contemporary art, the installation will serve as a bridge connecting the museum’s collection of pre-WWII Modernist works with the works of Flavin’s late twentieth century peers. The installation in the grand staircase will be on view as part of the reopening of the Stedelijk Museum on September 23, 2012. If you are in the Amsterdam area at this time, this is one work that is not to be missed!

Victoria Nolte 


Videogames as Art: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is a videogame collaboration between Toronto-based creators: artist Craig D. Adams (aka Superbrothers), musician Jim Guthrie, and indie development house Capy Games.

Adams has described the game as “like hanging out inside a record.” Taking advantage of the touch-based control of the iPad, Sword & Sworcery pays homage to old-school point and click adventures while bringing in a fresh perspective and inspired art style.

In S&S:EP you play as the Scythian, a mysterious woman looking for a book known as the Megatome. What’s interesting is that many of the tasks you are required to perform in the game are bound to the real-world moon phases - and if you try to set your computer clock forward to mimic this, the game will scold you.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is available for purchase on Steam and the Apple App Store. For more information about the creators, click the following links: Superbrothers, Jim Guthrie, Capy Games.

- Gabriel Verdon


ART + COM: Manta Rhei

Founded in 1988 by a group of designers, scientists, artists, and technicians, ART + COM is a company committed to the exploration of new media and technology. The company designs and executes commissioned projects for clients such as the German Salt Museum, the BMW Museum, and Autostadt Wolfsburg. Based in Berlin, ART + COM relies on both the content of their projects and cutting edge technology to produce commissions that establish new innovative boundaries between the fields of art, design, science, and technology.

Manta Rhei (2012) is ART + COM’s newest completed project. A collaboration between ART + COM and light fixture manufacturer Selux, “Manta Rhei merges physical movement and light choreography for a new kind of luminaire, the first to be based in OLED technology." 

More than a simple light installation, Manta Rhei is a performance of impressive choreography and machinery. Composed of sets of ten OLEDs which are attached to fourteen 1.2m flexible metal "lamellae,” the installation shifts with the aid of motors hidden in the ceiling. Each motor can be controlled individually, allowing each set of lamellae to perform patterns of prescribed motion. 

Suspended from the ceiling, Manta Rhei looks like a large-scale Minimalist sculpture, a testament to its design aesthetic. However, the individual movements of each metal lamel allow the entire installation to appear as if it is moving though the air. This important design feature provides the added element of functionality that blurs the line between art, design, and technology. Manta Rhei is as functional as a light source as it is a breathtaking art/tech installation. 

For more information about Manta Rhei and other projects by ART + COM, please visit their website here

Victoria Nolte


Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood

This work, by Nalini Malani, was one of the highlights of dOCUMENTA 13, held this past summer in Kassel, Germany. 

Influenced by personal and cultural experiences as a refugee of the Partition of India, Malani’s work focuses on gender and displacement and incorporates cultural imagery alongside new media, projection, and shadow play. 

In Search of Vanished Blood is a colossal installation that features projections of light through revolving acrylic cylinders. The cylinders feature painted imagery and, as they spin, the painted imagery moves across the wall and creates an interesting dynamic of shadow. The images used in this installation feature various representations of female characters from the Hindu religion alongside Western icons. The result is a breathtaking, multi-dimensional installation that comments on such social issues as gender, violence, and religious fundamentalism. 

To see the installation in action, check out this video here

For more information about Malani’s work, please visit her website

Victoria Nolte 

Call for Interns

Art & Science Journal is currently accepting applications for summer Content Interns in our new office space in Ottawa.

Driven by a talented team of Staff Writers and Contributors, Art & Science Journal is a biannual publication and website focused on art works concerned with science, nature, and technology. Our mission is to promote, explore, and inspire the wonder that occurs when art and science collide. We strive to be an informative and engaging resource for educators, students, and artscience enthusiasts alike. 

Our 2 Content Interns will be crucial contributors to a very exciting Art & Science Journal project launching in September 2013. 

Intern Responsibilities: 
- Research and develop content for the aforementioned Art & Science Journal project. 
- Fact check and proofread content for the Project.
- Participate in editorial development and attend regular Staff Meetings. 
- Write a weekly column on
- Offer editorial support to the Editor-in-Chief and Project Manager. 
- Text based social media participation. 

Our Interns will be expected to devote a minimum of 10 hours per week to the Project, 5 of which will be completed in the office in collaboration with the Project Manager and Editor-in-Chief. The internship will run from June 3 - August 30, 2013. 

This is an excellent opportunity for university and college students and recent graduates in the Ottawa-Gatineau region to gain valuable editorial and research experience and be part of an exciting new project at Art & Science Journal. Our internships are unpaid, but students may arrange to complete the internship for course credit at their respected university or college. 

To apply, please send your C.V. and two samples of written work (short articles, article pitches for Art & Science Journal, or class essays) to the Project Manager at Samples should not exceed 1,000 words in length. 

All applications are due by midnight on Tuesday May 7, 2013. Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview, to be held the week of May 13 - 17. 

Thank you for your interest in Art & Science Journal! Good luck!

Victoria Nolte

Video Games as Art: The Marriage

The Marriage is a short game by Rod Humble, best known as an executive producer on The Sims franchise, and the CEO of Second Life developer Linden Lab.

The Marriage is quite unlike any other game, in that it doesn’t try to be fun. In it, Humble “paints a picture” of marriage in a way that cannot be done in any other medium. It’s not a poem that describes marriage, it’s not a photograph that depicts marriage, it’s not a play that showcases marriage - it’s a videogame that models marriage. Only by poking around the in system that Humble has constructed, and observing the feedback, do you reach an understanding of what he is trying to say. It exemplifies the concept of “communication through design” that Jonathan Blow and Michael O'Reilly use to excellent effect.

What I find interesting is that it demonstrates that it is possible to create a computer game with artistic intent, and convey a certain depth of information that isn’t possible with other media. Even if The Marriage is a very simple example, it offers the torch for future developers to carry.

For a more in-depth explanation of The Marriage, you can visit Humble’s website here.

- Gabriel Verdon