Artscience Soiree

The Ultimo Science Festival again invites scientists and artists to get together at a special event at the Powerhouse Museum. Join fellow practicing artists and scientists at this informal get-together over drinks and explore the synergies found at the intersection of these two disciplines.

Hosted by the ABC’s Fenella Kernebone the ArtScience Soiree will showcase presentations by people whose creativity and imagination seeks to bridge gaps and inspire ideas. Participants can also join in a ‘Speed Meet’ and talk to a series of other practitioners, each for five minutes at a time.

There will be three special presentations on the night: Eyewash by Andrew Belletty, Struck by Michele Barker and Anna Munster, and Neural Knitworks by Pat Pillai and Rita Pearce.

Feel sound through your eyes rather than your ears. Close your eyes and feel the music as the Eyewash turns sound into gentle vibrations which soothe and refresh tired eyes.

In a world with endless demands on our visual sense, the Eyewash provides a multi sensory experience in a refreshingly new way of listening. The object consists of hardware which maximizes the tactile sonic experience, and plays a soundscape designed to enhance the multi sensory listening experience. It has therapeutic potential for visually and aurally impaired users. The Eyewash is a prototype for a sound object controlled by an app that transforms your favourite sounds into tactile, multi sensory experiences.

Struck is a multi-channel video and sound installation that critically addresses the complexities of being diagnosed with a neurological disease.

Using a combination of black and white photographic, video, graphic and textual images, the work wraps around the walls, surrounding the viewer in a space where the contemporary visual aesthetic of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) collides with 19th century drawings of hysterics. The images and text, along with the accompanying soundtrack draw the audience into the turbulence and confusion of the emotional experience of disease and its relationship to contemporary medical and scientific imaging processes.

Textile artists Pat Pillai and Rita Pearce created the Neural Knitworks project after the Ultimo Science Festival Art Science Soiree in 2013. Neural Knitworks events are based on the principle that keeping our brains sharp and engaged can be achieved through art, mental challenge, social connection, mindfulness and other endeavours. With input from some of Australia’s leading neuroscientists, this community project reveals aspects of the brain through expert talks, discussions and educational experiences.

Neurons are electrically excitable cells of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. The billions of neurons in your body connect to each other in neural networks. They receive signals from every sense, control movement, create memories, and form the neural basis of every thought.

The Ultimo Science Festival is brought to you by the Powerhouse Museum, the University of Technology Sydney, the ABC and Ultimo TAFE. The Festival is also supported by the Office of the Chief Scientist & Engineer of NSW, the City of Sydney and the Australian Government through the Inspiring Australia Program.

When: 6:00-8:00pm, Thursday 11 September
Where: The Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
Cost: Free but RSVP or call 9217 0222 to secure your spot. Please also send how you prefer your name to appear on your name badge and your area of interest or practice, e.g. Dr Chris Jones, photography and digital art.

Join the festival conversation #usfsyd14 on Facebook and Twitter (@ultimoscience). Check out the website for the full festival program.