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 Artists participating in ILLUMINATION compare their experience to peeking behind a curtain and getting a glimpse of the future. It is a future of eccentric, visionary, and breathtaking scope. In some instances what researchers and technologists are doing seems like abandoning rational thought – and that is indeed what some of the research is about – yet these pursuits are based on exacting data and scholarship unknown to most outside the scientific community. We now live in an era where the ability of microscopes to provide increasingly finer levels of resolution makes it possible to visualize the precise organization of atoms within individual cells. We can understand how HIV creates a permanent infection in target immune cells, see cells multiplying in a 3D environment that look more like astronomy than biology, and understand how cells communicate, live, and die in real time. The array of research is vast. It is underway to save lives, to reduce pain, to serve the planet, to keep us from disease, decline, and degeneration. And it comes from thinking that’s linear, non-linear, radical, and just plain ingenious. Not unexpectedly, the 26 artists participating in ILLUMINATION have divergent take-aways from their interaction with scientists, technologists, and contemporary research. Some opt for artworks that serve as metaphors for the science they’ve encountered, some use the science as a stimulus to a creative journey they’re already engaged in, and all bring individual experience, a reflective attitude, and sometimes deeply intimate history to their endeavor. Whatever their individual response, the artists of ILLUMINATION are unvaryingly grateful for what they consider the privilege of their interface with contemporary science and technology.

 

Installation View of Caitlin Cherry's work at Illumination

Installation View of Caitlin Cherry's work at Illumination 

Installation View of Caitlin Cherry's work at Illumination

Installation View of Caitlin Cherry's work at Illumination 

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