The artwork in this series unlocks curiosity as a creative link between the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, and explores the symbiotic relationship behind scientific research and the development of artwork. From extensive collaborations with scientists, the paintings, sculptures, and installation harness the emotive power of abstraction to humanize scientific breakthroughs in novel and unexpected directions.
Inspiring the development of artwork is a general interest in the human brain, the diagnosis of a brain tumor and its aftermath, and the advent of the coronavirus and the remarkable opportunities the pandemic provided for further artistic investigation. The artwork was created for an exhibition titled: Reveal: The Art of Reimaging Scientific Discovery at the American University Museum, Washington, DC in fall, 2021.
A personal cabinet of curiosities- amalgam of natural and manmade objects included in the exhibition acts as a portal to the artist’s encyclopedic practice.
Also included is a Semantic Network Data Visualization. The result of a partnership with scientists at University of Pennsylvania, the visualization maps in both animated and still versions, the conceptual evolution of artwork in the exhibition.
The exhibition culminates in the meditative Silent Spread, a graphite on mylar wall mounted installation where 28 diaphanous sculptures of the coronavirus, rendered in gray monochrome and in varying size, reflect and trance the migratory pattern of COVID-19. The installation soundscape titled, ”Virion Breaths” composed and performed by breath artist, Shodekeh Talifero reimagines the individual sculptures as a cycle of expanding and contracting breaths.
A poetic response to Silent Spread titled: SIR, the 28 spheres of Kamen’s harmony, has been created by British poet, SJ Fowler
Video of the REVEAL exhibit by Gregory R. Staley:
Click this to view the full catalog from the REVEAL installation (2.6mb PDF)
Interview with Rebecca About REVEAL:
Click this to find Lynn Borton’s interview, “REVEAL: The Art of Reimagining Scientific Discovery, with Rebecca Kamen” as part of her Choose to Be Curious series.
Article about the exhibit in Penn Today online magazine:
Click this to see the article “Reimagining scientific discovery through the lens of an artist” published September 17, 2021 by Erica K. Brockmeier in the Penn Today website magazine.
Review in Old Town Crier:
The Old Town Crier, in the Northern Virginia area, published a review of REVEAL by F. Lennox Campello titled “Follow Your Art” as part of their Gallery Beat series on November 1, 2021. Click this to read the entire things at OldTownCrier.com
Interview: Curiosity as Art and Science: Rebecca Kamen and David Lydon-Staley
Created by the Annenberg School of Communication, UPENN
What does curiosity look like — literally? A new art exhibition at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center features artistic works by Penn Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Scholar Rebecca Kamen that was inspired by research done by Annenberg Professor David Lydon-Staley, as well as numerous other scholars including Penn Engineering Professor Dani Bassett and American University Professor Perry Zurn. In this video, Lydon-Staley and Kamen explain how research into curiosity – the different patterns in which people seek information – has been turned into art.