3rd International Conference

Digital Culture & AudioVisual Challenges

Interdisciplinary Creativity in Arts and Technology

Online, May 28-29, 2021

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Life Lightened by Art and Technology: Visual Representations of Cell Structure
Date and Time: 28/05/2021 (13:50-15:45)
Evaguelia Diamantopoulou

In early human societies, the artist was also an artisan, in an interconnected relationship that resurfaced in the early twentieth century and has since characterized contemporary art to a great extent. Yet, the relationship between art and technology is not always expressed through the same artistic means and thematics. Especially in contemporary artistic forms both the current means of artistic expression and the interest in scientific and technological evolution have a more symbolic role for the sake of which traditional aesthetic values, such as beauty, harmony and symmetry, are sacrificed (Reichle 2009).
The question that emerges is how contemporary art can highlight both its messages and aesthetics by using new forms of technology. To this end, this work examines how the use of artificial light in the visual representation of tiny structures in the human body can be achieved through aesthetics of natural order and harmony. Specifically, I will analyze three artistic sections of Antonia Papatzanaki; the Structural, the Cellular and the Vital Lace section. In these works, I will examine the revealing role of artificial light in the representation of cellular structures.
The analysis of the artworks is based on the three strata that Erwin Panofsky distinguishes in his proposed iconological method: “primary or natural subject matter, secondary or conventional subject matter and intrinsic meaning or content”, which mean their description, symbolic dimension and integration in the historical and artistic context of their time (Panofsky 1939). For my reading of the works, I will also delve into the Platonic theory on beauty, as expressed in "Symposium" and "Phaedrus", as well as Heraclitus' theory on nature. In parallel, the artworks will be studied in relation to the scientific dimension of both natural and artificial light, as well as its behavior in the physical environment and its importance for life’s cycle (Grammatikakis 2005). Respectively, I will investigate the connection between the artworks and molecular biology.


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