Art+Science and the Supernatural

Oct 31 Fri
Discussion forum
October 15-31 @ Leonardo-Yasmin

During late October 2014, IFF Director Margaret Wertheim is participating in an online forum with Leonardo – the international journal of art and science – on the subject of the supernatural in relationship to the burgeoning art-and-science movement. Margaret’s interest in the subject is related to its historical underpinnings. In the essay attached here she outlines the historical process by which artists of the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries paved the way for the development of modern physics through their working out of the techniques of perspectival representation. The essay discusses how painters from Giotto to Raphael brought into Western consciousness the idea that space is a Euclidean void, the spatial construct eventually taken up by physicists of the seventeenth century. The story told here is one of deep collaboration between art and science that has profoundly impacted both fields. At the same time Wertheim shows how adopting a mathematical conception of space has led to a uniquely modern psycho-social angst.

Download essay pdf: Lost-in-Space

Lost in Space: The Spiritual Crisis of Newtonian Cosmology, was originally published in Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society, edited by Bill Bryson. HarpurPress, 2010.

Leonardo Yasmin discussion is moderated by Stephen Nowlin, director, Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design. To follow the discussion go to: