Material Sight: Re-presenting the Spaces of Fundamental Science was a practice-based research project evolved by artist and academic, Fiona Crisp, and hosted by Arts Catalyst, London. The project examined the use of visualisation in fundamental science and explored how non-documentary photography and film might be used to embody a sense of material encounter at three world-leading research facilities for particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology.
Funded by The Leverhulme Trust under their Research Fellowship scheme, the project ran from October 2016 to July 2018 and culminated in two exhibitions supported by Arts Council England. Arts Catalyst hosted Crisp’s research process in the context of a broader consideration of the philosophical, cultural and practical issues of science coming to us through mediated data, and the challenge, in the astronomer Roger Malina’s words, of “making science intimate”. An experimental workshop, The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: How Art is Transforming Science, was held at the Institute of Physics, London in October 2017 to explore the insights and strategies of artists and cultural practitioners whose creative work can help to transform and inform our intuitions and vocabulary about science. The book, The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: Physics in Culture was subsequently published in June 2018.
Alongside the Material Sight exhibitions a series of performance events, KOSMICA Sunderland and KOSMICA London, took place funded via a Spark Award for innovative public engagement awarded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. More detailed context for the research can be read here or within academic articles written by Crisp for GeoHumanties 2015 USA and Artnodes 2020 CT. This website documents how Material Sight evolved over the course of the Leverhulme Fellowship and continues to archive events and articles that come as a legacy of the project.