Free Radicals: Perspectives on Art & Science

Jul 08 Sat
9:30am - 5pm @ Art Center College of Design
On the weekend of July 8-9, Arts Center College of Design and the Pasadena Arts Council are co-hosting Free Radicals: Evolving Perspectives on the Convergence of Art and Science, a wide-ranging interdisciplinary conference bringing together practitioners, theorists, writers and performers working at the nexus of art and science. IFF director Margaret Wertheim will deliver the opening keynote by addressing the subject of “free radicals” in a multivalent talk beginning with concept of the “free radical” in chemistry.

Conference speakers include writer/curator Ciara Ennis on wunderkamera and the Museum of Jurassic Technology; JPL’s Dan Goods and David Delgado on their Museum of Awe; Christina Ondrus on the Knowledges project in art and astronomy;  UCLA theorist Erkki Hutamo on media archeologies; and artist Lauren Bon on her Metabolic Studio’s project Bending the River.

Conference website
List of speakers
Conference flier pdf

Free Radicals: Art, Science and Figuring the World
Keynote Talk
By Margaret Wertheim
In chemistry a “free radical” is an atom or molecule with an unpaired electron, making it highly reactive with other substances. In this talk, writer/artist Margaret Wertheim will use the model of chemistry, with its powerful graphical symbol system, as a gateway to consider scientific representation and a bunch of radical free thinkers – or “outsider scientists” –  who have developed their own symbolic methods for figuring the world. The talk draws on Ms Wertheim’s book Physics on the Fringe, a seminal sociological study of “outsider physics.”

Detail of the Periodic Table as envisioned by James Carter in his “circle” theory of physics. Image courtesy of Carter.