Colliding Ideas: art, society and physics

Colliding Ideas: art, society and physics is a free public symposium taking place at RMIT University Storey Hall, 12pm to 5pm this Sunday 8 July.

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology” – Carl Sagan.

Chris Henschke, Diffracted light from Optical Diagnostics Beamline, Australian Synchrotron, 2008

Recent discoveries in physics have changed our lives forever. From iPhones and the internet to medical imaging and genetic engineering, modern technology has largely been developed through advances in physics, yet few people understand it.

This week’s announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson, or ‘God Particle’ at the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP2012) – also hosted in Melbourne, will inspire the Colliding Ideas symposium, addressing the social and creative parameters of such events.

Colliding Ideas will explore the worlds within the physical sciences and ask what it is like in that world, how it relates to our social world, and how it affects us culturally and physically. For artists working with physics-based technologies, how do their perspectives of physics relate to and differ from that of the scientists, and what happens when cross-disciplinary collaborations are undertaken?

The symposium will feature key speakers from CERN, the Australian Network for Art & Technology, alongside contemporary media and fine arts practitioners and theorists. A series of twenty minute talks will be followed by a panel discussion and live experiments.

Fore more information, visit the website.

Chris Henschke’s new installation at Australian Synchrotron, 2012


Ralph J. Steinhagen
Accelerator Physics
CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)

Paul Thomas
Associate Professor and Head of Painting
College of Fine Arts University of New South Wales

Dr Mary Rosengren
Lecturer Visual Arts & Design ,
LaTrobe University Bendigo Campus

Jon McCormack
ARC Australian Research Fellow & Associate Professor
Monash University

Sam Leach
RMIT PHD candidate,
2010 Archibald and Wynn Art Prize winner

Antoanetta Ivanova
Associate Senior Curator,

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei

Malte Wagenfeld
Senior Lecturer, Industrial Design Program,
School of Architecture & Design, RMIT University

Vicki Sowry
Director of Synapse residency program

Australian Network for Art & Technology

Chris Henschke
Artist in Residence, Australian Synchrotron
Lecturer, Media & Communication, RMIT University

Jesse Shore
President, Australian Science Communicators