Spacetime: where art and science meet May 21-25

May 10, 2001

EDITORS: Photo and interview opportunities may be best May 23, 1-5 p.m., when conference participants and the general public are invited to view the exhibit. More information about the conference is available at

ANN ARBOR—”I think physicists are artists with funding,” said Bryan Rogers, dean of the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, at a meeting of both. And it was just that recognition of the similarities between the two fields, including a dedication to exploration of the unknown, that resulted in a collaboration between artists and physicists from the U-M’s Department of Physics and the School of Art and Design. This unique collaboration culminates in a four-day exhibit of weavings, ceiling installations, neon, animations, and typefaces in the West Hall, May 21-25.

Among the collaborations are:

•A pairing of an atomic physicist and an artist who works in drawing, printmaking, and glass and sticks of graphite.

•A physicist interested in things that are very fast and an industrial designer who works with computers in 3-D and 4-D animations.

•An experimental high energy physicist and a fiber artist.

•Another experimental physicist whose interest is in the importance of symmetries in physics and an artist who works in photography, film, video and computer-related expressions.

•A computational astrophysicist looking both out in space and time and a graphic designer who works on typefaces, collages with typographical elements, and neon.

•A math professor who works with differential equations and two alumnae of the School of Art and Design who work in a variety of media.

These works of art will not “illustrate physics” but will convey the synergy of two fields that each attempts to tackle fundamental questions about the nature of the universe.

The exhibit of these works coincides with “2001: A Spacetime Odyssey,” the inaugural conference of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics bringing together astronomers, cosmologists, particle physicists and mathematicians sharing their views on 21st century spacetime. Among the invited speakers are two Nobel Prize winners. of Art and Design2001: A Spacetime Odyssey