May 1, 2003 – Vol. 22 No. 15

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    Sounds, Sights of Science sought for project exploring where science and art meet

    By Steve Koppes
    News Office

    The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center invites all Chicago students, faculty, staff, spouses and alumni to participate in the S3 Project: Sounds and Sights of Science, to provoke a dialogue between the arts and sciences.

    The S3 Project includes an art contest that encompasses recorded sounds and sound collages, along with films, videos and animation that were inspired by the center’s work and its work environment.

    “The goal is to take a fresh look at the supposed divide between science and art, to map out creative connections between the two and to explore shared terrain boldly,” said a manifesto drafted by the S3 Project Committee.

    The project organizers hope to answer such questions as: where does science turn into art? Where does art enter into science? What untapped potential for artistic expression lurks in the output of cutting-edge science? And what new dimensions are opened up for science if the scientific approach includes concepts drawn from music or the visual arts?

    The center’s work addresses fundamental scientific problems of technological significance that transcend the traditional disciplines of physics and chemistry. The work of experimentalists, simulators and theorists from seven University departments and two divisions of Argonne National Laboratory who are affiliated with the center seeks to provide a foundation for the design of next-generation technological materials.

    The contest categories are Sounds of Science (recorded sounds and sound collages): short clips (no longer than 60 seconds), and longer pieces (no more than five minutes); and Sights of Science (film, video or animation, with or without soundtrack): short clips (no longer than 60 seconds) and longer pieces (no more than five minutes).

    The prizes in each category will be $300 for first prize, $200 for the runner up and $100 for honorable mention.

    The contest judges will be Susanne Ghez, Executive Director of the University’s Renaissance Society; Heinrich Jaeger, Director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center; James Lastra, Chairman of the Committee on Cinema & Media Studies; Sidney Nagel, the Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor in Physics; Joel Snyder, Professor in Art History; and Lawrence Zbikowski, Associate Professor in Music.

    Entries, which are due by Friday, May 30, should be submitted to Eileen Sheu at the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, RI-222, University of Chicago, 5640 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. Results will be announced by Monday, June 9. More information is at http://mrsec.uchicago.edu/s3_project/.