Between the Sand:
Art the Science Residency Showcase

Between the Sand: Art the Science Residency Showcase
February 27th, 6-9pm | Panel Discussion @ 7pm
Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre (Tett Centre) | 370 King St W

Art the Science is proud to announce the completion of its inaugural immersive science-art residency featuring artist/creative coder Owen Fernley and environmental engineer/associate professor Dr. Kevin Mumford (Department of Civil Engineering at Queen’s University). The residency culminated in the creation of a research-inspired artwork titled Between the Sand.

Join us for an exciting evening of science-art and discussion as we celebrate the launch of Between the Sand online in our Polyfield Gallery and on the walls of Modern Fuel. A panel discussion will explore the value and inner workings of our residency program.

This event is FREE.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Registration is encouraged. Click here to register!

Doors open @ 6pm
Panel Discussion @ 7pm

In the News


About the Residency

From March 19-29, 2018, Dr. Kevin Mumford’s environmental engineering research laboratory at Queen’s University hosted creative coder Owen Fernley for their first science-artist residency, facilitated by Art the Science. Mumford’s research group looks at how hazardous chemicals move in the natural environment and how they can be remediated. Fernley was immersed in the research process, from observing experiments to working alongside graduate students. The result was Between the Sand, an algorithm-based artwork that fuses his residency experience with his artistic practice.

Artist Statement

We are all living on the surface of a permeable planet. What goes up must come down, but perhaps more disconcerting, is what goes in.

When chemicals like gasoline, creosote and PCB’s are improperly disposed of or spilled, they leach into the ground and contaminate our soil and groundwater, spreading out below us in unseen ways. Pollution does not simply flow through the ground the way it does on the surface. It is under pressure, and moves through very small spaces. Understanding this movement can be challenging, and leads us to an important series of experiments designed to inform how we might model this movement in the future.

When sand is compressed between two panes of glass, intricate maze-like pathways are formed between each grain. This is the space between the sand. The resulting sections are only 14 grains deep, yet gases, fluids and pollutants move through them in many surprising and beautiful ways. Observing this movement provides scientists and engineers with the data they need to predict and prevent the spread of underground contamination, as well as develop technologies to clean it up.

Between the Sand is an interactive computer program that invites us to explore how our actions affect the ground beneath our feet. It builds a maze of pathways between grains of virtually generated sand. Initiated by the viewer, the maze is “solved” using Invasion Percolation, an algorithm infamous throughout the research group for only following predetermined pathways. In Between the Sand, this algorithm is used to present a relationship between direct human action and our unseen subterranean environment. And with that, we can observe the unobservable.

Panel Discussion [ 7 - 8 pm ]

Go behind the scenes of Art the Science’s first science-artist residency in partnership with the Department of Civil Engineering at Queen’s University. Learn about the immersive, interdisciplinary experience and engage in a panel discussion with:

Art the Science founder Julia Krolik will moderate the panel discussion and explore the process behind the residency. Discover the value of the artist-scientist collaboration, the lessons learned from this experience, and what’s in store for future residencies.