Best of The Art of Science

2022 Creative Armenia Week explores arts and sciences – the two cosmic forces through an enlightening conversation with Dr. Garik Israelian and Dr. Aroussiak Gabrielian.

September 2, 2022  |  by Creative Armenia

DAY 4, The Art of Science – Art and Science. Or Art vs. Science? Out of convenience, stereotypes, and occasional laziness the two cosmic forces of humanity are often put against each other in an artificial rivalry. And while the two creative domains certainly have their differences, their alliance has produced nothing but wonder. Two scientists – and artists – Dr. Garik Israelian and Dr. Aroussiak Gabrielian are living evidence of that awe-inspiring alliance. Beyond his impactful scientific career, the renowned astrophysicist Dr. Israelian joined forces with Dr. Brian May astrophysicist and legendary guitarist of the band Queen to create STARMUS Festival uniting incredible minds over their passion for astronomy, space exploration, sciences, music, and art. An environmental designer and bioartist with training in architecture, Dr. Gabrielian has been reimagining new habitats and ways of being, communicating her fascinating ideas through creative works that bridge art, science, culture, and technology. 

 

As revolutionary and imaginative thinkers, both panelists have mastered their domain, exploring the infinite possibilities of space and biology. Equipped with appreciation of literature, science fiction, and imagination, the two creators have been redefining relationships between arts and sciences. The audience of 2022 Creative Armenia Week has been lucky enough to witness the workings of their minds in action during The Art of Science panel discussion. With the moderation of the Director of Programs of Creative Armenia, Anush Ter-Khachatryan, Dr. Israelian and Dr. Garielian reflected on how fiction has shaped their discoveries, what ideas they have been fascinated by recently, and where Armenia’s artistic and scientific future heads. Be ready to learn, imagine, and get inspired!

Blurred lines 

“I think that the separation that we often put between culture, nature, and technology is a false one. These lines have been blurred for a really long time. In my work and in the work that I am inspired by there is a fluidity and ferocity between the sphere of the natural world and the machinic. And it is acknowledging that each of these entities has an agency in the design process and that you are essentially, as the human in between, collaborating with these systems.”

– Dr. Aroussiak Gabrielian

 

Understanding emotions; explaining nature 

“There is still some separation between art and science. They are not exactly the same. The goals are different. Historically, arts have been created to express human emotions, based on human feelings. People were scared, they were impressed, they had to paint, they had to write, they had to create something. It was coming from human emotions. Science was coming from a different part. It was coming from people trying to understand and explain nature. That is how science started.” 

- Dr. Garik Israelian

 

Game of ideas 

“In my world, I am constantly cultivating my artistic ideas by surveying lots of literature, from fiction to scientific writing. I am almost playing with these ideas as a designer when I work. I try to respond to these pieces through my works or be in a conversation or dialog with them. There is a very close link in my work to written works.”

– Dr. Aroussiak Gabrielian

 

The power of sci-fi

“I was working in a theater because I couldn’t immediately get into university. My knowledge of math and physics was so basic. It was not sufficient for studying at a university. So first I went to work at a theater because I didn’t know what to do. I had to do something, right? It was sci-fi that brought me to science. And it was just by chance. Through sci-fi movies and then sci-fi books I understood I wanted to do something interesting and hard to understand.”

- Dr. Garik Israelian

 

Defining hyperhumanism 

“Right now, if you look at the food chain, human has placed itself at the top. All the other species are considered below the human. To go back to this idea of symbiosis, hyperhumanism is really about demolishing destabilized power dynamics. When you start studying different entities and organisms, your mind is blown away by the amazing ways in which they contribute to our world. It is about recognizing that each kind of entity and organism has agency and power and collaborating and co-evolving with them on the same level.”

– Dr. Aroussiak Gabrielian

 

STARMUS Festival: The origin story 

“People often ask me, ‘How do you bring them together? It is so difficult to bring music stars with science stars.’ And the answer is very simple. If you just have a standard conference in astronomy, it is not interesting for people like Brian Eno. It has to be at a high level. It has to be at the Nobel Prize level. It has to be at the level of the astronauts like Chris Hadfield. Then they will be interested. And we have a very light program, we never start at 8 in the morning and finish at 8 in the evening. We give more time for networking, cocktails, and concerts, so everyone has time for interactions and to exchange ideas. And people love it. That is why STARMUS works.” 

- Dr. Garik Israelian

Explore: 

  • Johannes Kepler, a 17th-century German astronomer, mathematician, and musician.

  • Chris Hadfield, a renowned Canadian astronaut, engineer, fighter pilot, and musician

  • Rich Earth Institute, an organization that engages in research, education, and technological innovation to advance the use of human waste as a resource

  • “Starsound” project, a unique library of acoustic sound waves produced within the bodies of stars published by Dr. Garik Israelian

  • STARMUS Festival, an international gathering focused on celebrating astronomy, space exploration, music, and art founded by Dr. Garik Israelian

  • Shiitake, a type of edible fungus Dr. Aroussiak Gabrielian has used in her research

  • Posthuman Habitats, a speculative design project developed by Dr. Aroussiak Gabrielian

  • James Webb Space Telescope, the largest optical telescope in space

  • Dr. Yuri Baturin, a Russian cosmonaut and former politician

Listen: 

  • Pink Floyd, a legendary English rock band

  • Jean-Michel Jarre, a French composer, performer, and record producer who is considered to be one of the pioneers in the electronic, ambient, and new-age genres

  • Ambient 1: Music for Airports, the sixth studio album by a famous British musician, composer, record producer, and visual artist Brian Eno

  • Brian May, an English guitarist, singer, composer, astrophysicist, and the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.

 

Read: 

 

Watch: