SciArt Magazine - All Issues - Page 34

STRAIGHT TALK with Steve Miller Booming Demand (2012). 61.5"x107". Pigment dispersion and silk screen on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist. The notebooks of Rod MacKinnon photographed and silk screen on canvas. Steve Miller has been exploring the possibilities of science-based art for the past 32 years, covering topics such as the Amazon rainforest, the folding of proteins, and the movement of ions across the cellular membrane in mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. He currently has a show at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. SAiA: We’re going to start with the larger picture here—as someone who’s been working in the field for some time now, how do you view science-based art within the context of the art world and in our culture at large? SM: Right now, if you view the “larger picture,” there is an enormous amount of art that could be considered SciArt. I see this field as wide and deep. Your question uses “science-based” and what is the definition of science? While not very scientific in my approach, I went to Wikipedia for a quick definition: Science (from 34 latin “scientia”, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, “science” also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. This definition would easily include the engineer bridge-building feats of Chris Burden or his use of a meteorite as the prime component of a sculpture (both currently on view at the New Museum in New York) as well as the SciArt in America December 2013