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


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

Roxy Paine's Structural Systems

American artist Roxy Paine does not purposefully strive to create realism in his artworks, although his sculptures appear as genuine imitations of natural systems, whether arboreal, neurological, industrial, vascular or mycological. Paine’s organic forms arise from his meticulous study of growth patterns in nature and his adherence to such structural principles.

One Hundred Foot Line (2010) is a tall, winding sculpture currently standing outside the National Gallery of Canada. Made of stainless steel pipes and resembling a lightning bolt, it examines the vertical extension of a tree’s trunk. If we were to eliminate all leaves, twigs and branches except those following the most vertical line of a tree, we would be left with this simple stem.

One Hundred Foot Line is part of Paine’s Dendroid series, which explores the collision of vascular networks, tree roots, fungal mycelia and industrial piping. From this same series, Neuron (2009) is a piece that depicts a different type of branch: that of a nerve cell. The similar patterns in One Hundred Foot Line and Neuron remind us that all things in nature are linked in the way they are structurally formed.

Paine’s interest in stainless steel arises from its use in oil, gas, food and pharmaceutical industries. This choice of material also further emphasizes a major theme in his work: the relationship between nature and the man-made in our modern world. Often, Paine’s sculptures are imposters to their surrounding environment. Conjoined (2007), which depicts two trees with intertwined branches, was exhibited among the trees of Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

Is this what the tree of the dystopian future will look like, once our natural world has been eradicated? Paine remarks how nature is increasingly intruded upon by our technology, also extending this notion into the realm of the human body. In Distillation (2010), a vascular system made from the same welded steel branches takes over and entire gallery space. A pair of metallic kidneys is found among a network of pressure valves, cylindrical pipes, glass vials and bolts. Pieces of human and industrial purification systems seemingly work together here, forcing us to ask ourselves how both can truly coexist.

-Meriza Martel-Bryden


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 


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