Words by Hanieh Hazrati
Manchester Met’s Spectrum embarked on an exploration of art and science in response to a major international exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery.
Spectrum was a learner-curated gallery intervention in response to The Imitation Game, a major exhibition held as part of the European City of Science festival, which critically examines robots, computing, engineering, and the impact of such technology on our understanding of life.
The event brought together students from Manchester School of Art with those from the faculty of Science and Engineering, with the aim of expanding Manchester Met’s exploration of art-science practice through teaching and collaboration.
During the process students worked alongside professional artists, scientists, curators, gallery educators, and science communicators, as well as experiencing a range of tours and presentations from people including artist Tony Hall, who demonstrated his table top experiments with Ferro fluid and ink, and Professor Andy Miah who delivered his experiences in science education and public engagement.
Students were introduced to each other’s working environments, operating in both art studios and science labs, exposing them to each other’s curiosities, methods and social concerns. They continually worked on experiments in both the lab and the studio, experimenting together which in turn accelerated new questions and knowledge that changed learning habits and developed their science and art practices.
Organised by artists Annie Carpenter, Ella McCartney (MSA) Dave Griffiths (Manchester School of Art), physicist and poet Sam Illingworth (Faculty of Science & Engineering), and curator Clare Gannaway, the art gallery came into life by featuring six exhibitions called; Emotional Training, Eternal Return, Vibrio Fischeri, Nothing, Evolution and Remember Me.
Manchester Art Gallery curator Kate Jesson said: “We felt the evening to be a great success. We are at our happiest when the gallery comes alive with all the creativity of the city’s future artists. The partnerships with young scientists made this year’s Unit X project extra special. So a huge thank you from us to you, Annie, Dave and Ella and especially the students who rose to the challenge admirably.”
The amazing photos from the MMU Spectrum and the Manchester Art Gallery can be found here – https://flic.kr/s/aHskA7XKp3.