The Human Element

Posted On 2014-07-02 13:59:33

Science Inspires Art Inspires Life—a Human Perspective

The Human Element Project is a consortium of artists, scientists, educators and students who develop thought-provoking art installations that make powerful social statements about the connection between art and science. Our goal is to create a dialog dedicated to exploring this vital connection through public art installations, exhibitions, hands-on workshops and education.

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The Human Element installation will be on exhibition from July 12 through October 25, 2014 at the Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery at the USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles. The ‘Human Element’ installation measures 196''×82'' (497×208 cm). Each of the 88 blocks are made of 8''×8'' (20×20 cm) wood cradled panels with a 1.5'' (38 mm) profile and painted with black semi-gloss paint. On the surface of each block, an archival glicee print is adhered with a permanent adhesive. The images used for each section, i.e., alkali, alkaline, semi-metals, etc. are ‘visual bites’ taken from my original paintings of electron microscopic images of biologic specimens, including from a prior publication in the journal.

As the periodic table of the elements is the basis for all physical life, it is a perfect canvas on which to merge art and science. We rarely take time to think about the chemistry that composes the air we breathe, the earth that supports us, or the stars we see in the sky—but when one looks at the iconic periodic table, it makes us wonder how it all fits together.

Scientists, mathematicians, physicists, biologists, and other innovators, have combined these elements to travel to the moon, prevent disease and develop the technology that drives our world.

While the world at large has these elements in common, there is one ingredient that is unique to these thinkers and to all of humanity—The Human Element that cannot be mapped or charted. While the elements in the period table hold the physical universe together, The Human Element—Hu—is the force that holds our spirit, our hearts and our commonality together.

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