Innovative collaborations between art and science go on display at Te Manawa Museum this weekend.
S+ART, or the Science Technology and Arts Trust is holding its third annual S+ART Something Festival featuring two unique, interactive science-art works.
One of the two commissioned pieces is by 12-year-old Sean Macdonald-Hill from Ross Intermediate.
A pupil of Keith Butler’s ‘gifted and talented’ class, Sean’s ‘Emotion-Immersion’ display was created using an SCR (skin conductance response) sensor to detect and record people’s reactions, positive, neutral and negative, to pictures he took of local waterways.
Using a computer, Sean then converted these emotional responses into audio-visual art.
Sean was 11 when Butler prompted his class about applying for the S+ART under-18 grant last year.
‘‘I said I wanted to be included, put in my proposal, and here we are.’’
The grant was worth $5000, and Sean was right on trend, with issues surrounding water and waterways becoming topical.
‘‘At the start we talked to Dr Mike Joy about waterways in the region to photograph,’’ Sean said.
From there, he and his ‘lab assistant’, dad Stephen, compiled scenes at the Turitea Stream, Horseshoe Bend, Tokomaru River, a drain near Shannon, the Manawatu Gorge and the Mangaone Stream.
They then hooked up volunteer subjects to the sensor for their reactions to the 20 slides.
‘‘There was quite a range of 12 people from 8 years to their 70s.’’
The next step involved developing images and music to reflect their responses.
‘‘I wrote 18 pieces of original music on [Apple music program] GarageBand and put the music with a visualiser.
His results will be shown on a big screen during the festival.
Sean’s ‘Emotion-Immersion’ will be accompanied by ‘Becoming Sky’, part of an interdisciplinary installation ‘The Exquisite Wound’ by Auckland visual artist Rebecca Swan in a collaboration that involved Palmerston North scientist David Shillington. The piece debuted at the Auckland Arts Festival in March.
Opening at 8.30am on Friday at Te Manawa, and running until Sunday, entry to S+ART is free.
Sean MacdonaldHill demonstrates the tech behind his audio-visual display.