Most people are aware that there are trends and movements in the Fine Art world, just as there are in design, fashion, music and architecture. The most powerful aesthetic movements with the most lasting impact in the last several centuries have had distinguishing attributes that crossed the boundaries of the various arts and permeated cultures. The utilitarian geometry of Bauhaus. The almost sloppy excess of Baroque mixed media.
Last year, when the huge science-blogging network site scienceblogging.org launched, aggregating recent posts from a wide array of science sites, one of its organizers, Bora Zivkovic (now our blog editor at Scientific American) asked if there were enough science-art and scientific illustration blogs to warrant making a feed for the page. I assured him there was, and at his request began curating the Science Artists Feed, including scientific illustration, science-inspired fine art, data visualization, webcomics and cartoons, street art and more.
Science communication is not a one-way street between researchers & journalists to the lay public. From the Science Art Feed you can see the array of conversations non-scientists are starting through visual media. There’s a response, an echo and an amplification to the impact the scientific method has had on culture. Researchers, too, are stepping in and showing the inspiring, baffling and illuminating images they come across and use. Does it mean there is a new aesthetic, a new movement afoot? Will there be leaders, schools, manifestos, turning points? I don’t know for sure, but as someone interested in exploring science in artwork, I feel I’ve seen a rise the past 10 years, and this is coupled with it being easier than ever to find.