CREATING PURPOSEFUL ARTWORK
UCSB professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin was in South Korea this week, showing off her new artwork that one can consider magical and unknown.
The artwork, called “ETHERIAL — Quantum Form from the Virtual to the Material,” was unveiled this week in the special exhibition “Lux Aeterna,” during the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA 2019) at the Asia Culture Center (ACC) in Gwangju, South Korea, according to a school press release.
The symposium is put on by the non-profit organization, ISEA International, which fosters “interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and emerging technologies,” according to the press release. The symposium also features works from UCSB alumni who went through the MAT program and were former students of Dr. Kuchera-Morin, according to Dr. Kuchera-Morin.
The “ETHERIAL” work is essentially visualizing and “sonifying” quantum mechanics, according to the press release.
“In this work we have transformed the quantum mechanics of the hydrogen-like atom’s time-dependent Schrodinger equation from the visual and sonic into the material,” Dr. Kuchera-Morin said.
The work “brings the quantum form into the material, through virtual reality, spatial augmented reality and material form,” making the installation space both a 3-D stereo-visual and immersive audio-spatial environment at the same time,” according to the news release. This work has been 35 years in the making, according to Dr. Kuchera-Morin. “It has taken me 35 years to build the AlloSphere instrument here at UCSB and work closely with physicists and nano scientists in order to incorporate their language into my art, and as we began working together I discovered another important fact and that is if I can visualize and songify this complex information I could understand it through my senses as we all do in using sight sound and the other senses to understand life,” she said in an email to the News-Press. Dr. Kuchera-Morin also praised her Ph.D students, saying they had an “equal partnership” for the work.
“This exhibition would not have happened without them,” Dr. Kuchera-Morin said. “They are true hybrids, Kon Hyong Kim as an engineer and artist and Gustavo Rincon as an architect and artist helped me to bring this piece to life.” She also credited physicist professor Luca Peliti and her former student, professor Lance Putnam for their work, such as mapping the data. Her ultimate hope is that the exhibit will help elevate “arts to the same level as STEM” and that “society will understand that artists are very important and we do not just entertain.”
“We have made a new program at UCSB that is making the hybrids of the future who can easily integrate the arts into the scientific disciplines at the most advanced level of computational mathematics, I am so proud of all of them,” Dr. Kuchera-Morin said. She further added that it was her “search as a “composer for truth in my art that I can communicate to the public. As artists we do not just publish papers for journals, we apply the research at the highest level to bring out to the community to advance society.”
She further described her art as a return to the “days of Da Vinci” when “artists, scientists and engineers were the same person doing empirical studies.”
“Now we can do this with the resolution of the computational platform that allows us to translate this complex information in these various ways,” she said.