FAQs

What does Arts Catalyst do?

Arts Catalyst commissions and produces new artists' projects that engage with science. We explore, generate and share ideas around art, science and society through exhibitions, events, conferences, workshops, publishing, education and research.

Do you have your own exhibition space?

Arts Catalyst's Centre for Art, Science and Technology will be open to the public from January 2016. Our projects are shown in a range of venues and are often site-specific. Arts Catalyst's commissions have been shown at many international museums and galleries in the UK and internationally, as well as science institutions, outdoor sites and online. Between 2011-13, Arts Catalyst had a project space in Clerkenwell, London, where it ran a programme of screenings, talks, workshops, symposia, and occasional exhibitions, bringing together people from different disciplines to reflect and create new ideas and alternative perspectives on science and culture.

How can I keep updated about exhibitions and events?

You can sign up to our mailing list to receive regular updates and our International Art, Science and Technology e-bulletin, become a fan of our FaceBook page or follow us on Twitter.

How are you funded?

We are a funded client of Arts Council England (National Portfolio Organisation) and receive grants, fees and donations from many different sources including Wellcome Trust, EC, Henry Moore Foundation.

How do you decide which artists and projects to commission?

Artists and projects are usually commissioned as a result of in-depth curatorial research. There are occasional open calls for submissions through our newsletters. Commissioning opportunities for unsolicited applications are extremely limited, as the vast majority of our projects are self-initiated. Opportunities to get involved with workshops and conferences are more common and enable relationships to develop.

Do you fund external projects?

No. Arts Catalyst is a commissioning, not a funding, organisation. We raise funds and resources to enable the projects we commission.

What volunteer or internship opportunities can you provide?

We can provide occasional production and marketing paid internships, as well as work experience and volunteer opportunities. These opportunities are advertised via our newsletter, social media channels and on our opportunities page.

Does your education programme work with schools?

Arts Catalyst has worked with primary, secondary and special schools for many years. We currently do not have a regular schools programme, but if you are a school or teacher interested in working with us, please contact us at admin@artscatalyst.org. We are also particularly interested in developing collaborations with groups and organisations working outside formal learning.

Who else do you work with?

We are interested in working with people of all ages and backgrounds. We organise projects with families, informal learning groups, colleges of higher education, young people, older people, artists, scientists and others. We aim to enable curious minds to have new experiences and encounters, and creative learning opportunities, that transcend the traditional boundaries of art and science.

How closely do the artists involved in your projects work with scientists?

This ranges significantly between projects. Some artists have created in-depth, long-term partnerships with particular scientists and these collaborations are critical to their work, for example the artist Brandon Ballengee who undertakes primary biological research as part of his artistic practice. Others do their own amateur scientific research or use scientific processes, having occasional contact or collaborations with professional scientists. Some artists undertake residencies in science organisations or have become part of a interdisciplinary research group, such as the Gravity Zero project with choreographer Kitsou Dubois and the Biodynamics Group at Imperial College. And then there are artists who do not work directly with scientists at all, but are interested in the cultural milieu of science or in the relationship of science to society. What Arts Catalyst asks is that an artist's project experimentally or critically engages with science and our technoscientific culture, and this process can take many forms.

What do you see as the intersections between art and science?

This is a complex question and a vast arena of activity, of which Arts Catalyst explores only particular aspects. Intersections between art and science could be said to include scientific procedures to preserve art objects, the scientific analysis of the process of art making and appreciation, consciousness studies, experimental art using science or technology, artistic critiques of science's role in society, art that uses science for inspiration, interdisciplinary disciplines that incorporate aspects of art and science (e.g. design, architecture). Arts Catalyst's particular interests are to encourage artistic and interdisciplinary experimentation, to contribute to a critical discourse between contemporary art and science-society issues, and to promote democratisation of science and technology through cultural educational strategies.

Are there any books/articles about the crossover between art and science that you would recommend?

We publish a range of books, and increasingly eBooks, see here

  • Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism, and Technoscience, Ed. Beatriz da Costa. Publisher: MIT Press
  • Seen | Unseen: Art, science, and intuition from Leonardo to the Hubble telescope, Martin Kemp. Publisher: OUP Oxford, 2006
  • Art and Science, Sian Ede. Publisher: I.B. Tauris, 2005
  • Experiment: Conversations in Art and Science, Ed. Bergit Arends. Publisher: The Wellcome Trust, 2003
  • Strange and Charmed: Science and the Contemporary Visual Arts, Ed. Sian Ede. Publisher: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 2000

JOURNALS

  • Leonardo, the journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, Publisher: MIT Press

ARTICLES

  • Art-Science, from public understanding to public experiment, Georgina Born & Andrew Barry, Journal of Cultural Economy, 3(1): 103-119 The Future of Science ... Is Art?, Jonah Lehrer, in SEED Magazine, 2008