COOL IMAGES: Spinning Science Into Art

Science  04 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5395, pp. 1779
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5395.1779a

Abstract art? It is now, but this picture started out as a computer model of how crystalline structures respond to a magnetic field. Called Spin 1998, the work is displayed on the Web site of (art)n Laboratory, a studio in Chicago in which artists “explore the relationship between art, science, art history, and new technology” ( The studio is known for inventing in 1983 hologramlike Plexiglas boxes—they appear in many museums—that give a stereo effect to scientific images and are intended to “educate and inspire,” says (art)n founder Ellen Sandor. Although only two-dimensional, the group's Science in Depth Web galleries offer an intriguing collection of science-cum-art mostly made with supercomputers, from fractals to models of viruses and shock waves fanning out from jets.

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