“Specimen” is a meditation on art and science. It is a work of sound, video and photography, both digital and analogue, made with the laboratory glassware I use every day as a research chemist. Using lenses and glass objects to make unique photographs and photograms precedes my foray into hard science, but I’ve resisted aestheticising my laboratory tools for many years because the experience of working as a chemist has radically changed my thinking about art and science. There are obvious overlaps. For example color is central to both art and chemistry, but to such different ends. I am continually struck by the differences between art and science rather than any commonality. Art thrives under conditions that nurture free association and play. Science enforces rigorous standards through exacting protocols. Art allows for misdirection. Science does not. Both art and science share the myth of the enlightened accident. But art alone can make the accident central to its practice. “Specimen” is an allegory of the laboratory: mistakes spilled out and made into art.
specimen, 2015, HD video, 2:19 min.
Click on the image grid below for slide show.