Talking Artiscience Guest Speakers announced


For Talking Artiscience ASCUS presents an afternoon of fascinating talks and discussion at the interface of art and science, to coincide with the launch of How The Light Gets in for the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) Visual Arts Programme at Summerhall, the first co-curation between ASCUS, EISF and Summerhall.

Artiscience, n., 1. the theory and practice of integrating art(s) and science(s), 2.knowledge of relations between the arts and sciences
Artiscient, adj., exhibiting or practicing artiscience

2.00pm – 3.00pm – William Latham in conversation with Bronac Ferran
3.00pm – 3.30pm – Tea & Coffee
3.30pm – 5.30pm – Art of Artiscience Symposium
Including guest speakers: Andrew Carnie, Fraser Ross, Tim Collins, Reiko Goto and Jo Hodges
Joining the Discussion will be: Colin C. Sanderson and Professor John Mullins

Free (ticket required)
Click HERE for Tickets

William Latham

William Latham was one of the first pioneering UK computer artists and rapidly gained international reputation in the 80s. His work blends organic imagery and computer animation, using software modelled upon the processes of evolution to generate three-dimensional creations that resemble fantastical ‘other-worldly’ forms such as ancient sea shells, contorted animal horns or organic alien spaceships. The work, produced in collaboration with mathematician Stephen Todd, blurs the barriers between art and science. His new large-scale Mutator 2  interactive projections show the endless evolution of organic forms steered by the viewer picking and breeding the forms they like. Accompanying the projections are large digitally printed translucent mutation curtains. With the projections complemented by early hand drawings, etchings and prints from the 1980s, large computer-generated Cibachrome prints and video art from his time at IBM.

Mutator 1+2  is Latham’s first major exhibition in Europe in over 20 years, and was initiated in Brighton at The Phoenix in 2013 (sponsored by Arts Council England). It then toured to iMAL Gallery in Brussels and Centre Space in Dundee.

Andrew Carnie

Andrew Carnie’s practice involves interaction with scientists, regarding themes based around neurology.  He will exhibit two works; Slice, a slide-dissolve work that explores the body as a theatre of action, and Magic Forest, a dream-like journey through a sea of developing neurones. The Magic Forest was dependent on research by the Spanish anatomist Santiago Ramon Y Cahal and on the contemporary work of Dr Richard Wingate of the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, Kings College, London. The work was made for the exhibition Head On, a show at the Science Museum, London on neurology and the brain in collaboration with Wellcome Trust.

Fraser Ross

This is an expedition involving the artificial study of plant life. Each organism performs a shape change through human interaction. The inbuilt nervous system of each organism has a specific organ, dedicated to each sense; the mechanisms and capabilities are reflected in different organisms. The collection of organisms are the continuation of Fraser Ross’ research and development of new skin materials linked with shape-morphing technologies, using plant resins and other natural materials to experiment with organic form and movement.

Materials: Flexinol, glass, wood, resin, latex, copper, electronic components, sensors.

Tim Collins & Reiko Goto

Can cultural ecology be recovered when it has been lost over a period of three hundred years or more? This is the question that emerged as Collins & Goto immersed themselves in the Blackwood of Rannoch. For Sylva Caledonia they work with Sara Ocklind to present sculpture, video and a map that explores the gap between the gallery and the forest but also the relationship between the past, present and future.

Jo Hodges & Robbie Coleman

Millions of bacteria exist alongside, on and within us and every other organism on earth. Current research is giving us new insights into the complex relationships that exist between us and these organisms. For the exhibition Transmissions following the ASCUS CIIE micro-residency, Hodges and Coleman have created new work asking questions about whether we should consider developing new ways of understanding ‘self’ and ‘non-self’ to include forms of life that colonize, replicate, and evolve within us.


Colin C. Sanderson

Colin Sanderson studied Biology at the University of St. Andrews, graduating in Botany (1973); briefly in Paris, and then in History of Art at Edinburgh and London (Courtauld Institute). From 1988-2005 he was Director of ASCENT, the Association for Art, Science, Engineering & Technology. An independent scholar, he has devoted over forty years to studying historical and contemporary relations between arts and sciences, in all senses of those terms. The Artiscience Library comprising some 25,000 items, is currently housed at Summerhall and open to readers by appointment with guidance available. Working with ASCUS, he hopes that the contents of the Library can be preserved for the use of future generations; with ongoing research on a major artiscient reference work, EIDAS.


Professor John Mullins

Professor Mullins is Director of the British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence at the University of Edinburgh (BHF CoRE) and previously directed the Wellcome Trust Cardiovascular Research Initiative and the Centre for Cardiovascular Science (CVS) at the University of Edinburgh. He held a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and has research experience in the USA and Germany. As part of the BHF CoRE he initiated a collaborative programme with Dr Donald Urquhart at the Edinburgh College of Art to establish ‘artist in residence’ awards at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science. The resulting art works are exhibited within the Queen’s Medical Research Institute at Little France, Edinburgh.

Edinburgh International Science Festival, Summerhall, Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, Chamberlain Lab, Art Neuro

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