Instead of watching the first Canucks' playoff game to see bodies collide, I instead went to the first Curiosity Collider event to see ideas collide.
Science communicating dynamo and Curiosity Collider Co-founder, Theresa Liao, welcomed us from the stage at Cafe Deux Soleils and explained how the group moniker came to be from how curiosity motivates people who go into science.
The evening of seven-minute, show-and-tells about science and art playing nicely together began with Adam Barlev and his adventures in architectural origami. He wanted to build a large-scale origami structure at Burning Man and sought advice from Robert Lang, a physicist turned origami artist. When Barlev gained access to laser cutting equipment, he was able to make more complex structures designed in Mathematica. Barlev got hooked on the dodecahedron as a building block to create sets for music performances, models of DNA, and a domed structure he dubbed the domedecahedron.
What can Art and Science Learn from Each Other?
Erik Zepka shared some of his projects in new media and efforts with Open Science to make technologies available to a broader cross section of people. One of his projects on our interactions with technology was called Comprehensive Malfunction. I found this amusing because it turned out that his phone, which he had set to record himself, stopped part way through his talk.
Using Art to Explore Science
Joy Kirkby teaches science at the Killarney Mini School. She talked about how growing up, she enjoyed reading about creatures in fantasy and science fiction and speculating about their biology and ecology. She shared her program, designed for grade eight students, that helped in interpreting how the body works through art. The works included paintings and sculptures of how the brain works, how the heart pumps and the anatomy of an en pointe foot in a ballet shoe.
Old School String Theory
Chris Waltham is a physics professor who combines the art of violin-making with the science of acoustics, or was it the science of violin-making with the art of acoustics? He noted that old methods were often the best, that technology is most useful in small doses, and that it is only fun if you're not a in a rush.
A Universal Paintbrush
Char Hoyt paints in oils inspired by science. Some of the work included portraits of microbes and depictions of supernovae. Some of her work seemed to combine patterns from different scales, in a fractal kind of way.
A Sweet Science
Dominique and Cindy Duby are chocolatiers who explore various techniques to enhance their craft. For example, they used a vacuum chamber to enhance the lightness of a chocolate mousse, which reminded me of the demonstration in the Science World Air show that uses marshmallows or shaving cream. Even better, they shared samples of their chocolate.
The whole evening was a wonderful taste of what can happen when we let our curiosity collide with the world around us.