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.”

Research Thrust: 

About SETI Institute

Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization whose mission is to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe. Our research encompasses the physical and biological sciences and leverages expertise in data analytics, machine learning and advanced signal detection technologies.  The Institute is a distinguished research partner for industry, academia and government agencies, including NASA and NSF.