Engaging Artists and Science

Tenerife, Canary Islands – March 25, 2011 – Among the most profound enterprises in human history is the search for our beginnings and our place among the stars. Utilizing the excitement of SETI research and NASA science, the SETI Institute is extending an invitation to that seemingly most unscientific of creatures: the artist.

The Institute’s new Artist-In-Residence (AIR) Program channels one of the most potent forces in our world – human creative energy – to explore worlds beyond. A fellowship program and think tank will foster collaboration between a new generation of science leaders and artists, at a moment in history in which we are moving ever closer to a unified field theory. “We see lots of opportunities to open up this research to the world,” says Jill Tarter, Director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute, and 2009 TED Prize winner.

The Institute recognizes how the principles that order the universe find expression in the grand architecture of a Shostakovich symphony, in the compressed power of a Kahlo canvas, in the violent stillness of a Kurosawa film.

Artist and Guggenheim Fellow Charles Lindsay has been selected as the Institute’s first Artist in Residence. In collaboration with prominent Hollywood visual effects artist Eric Hanson, his new installation will form the centerpiece of this year’s Starmus Festival*, a major international exposition of space, art, and music. “Film is a wonderful way to engage the public in the depth and fascinations of science,” says Hanson, Professor of Animation and Digital Arts at the University of Southern California. “But there is nothing more powerful in the human experience than imagining other life existing throughout the universe.”

About SETI Institute

The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach. Founded in November 1984, the SETI Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Today it employs over 120 scientists, educators and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by three centers. Gerry Harp is Director of the Center for SETI Research (Jill Tarter continues as Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI). David Morrison is the Director for the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe. Edna DeVore leads our Center for Education and Public Outreach.
Online at http://www.seti.org