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Space is the place at Science Fair

Friday 04th, July 2014 / 17:25
By Polina Bachlakova
Science Fair organizer Erin Green.

Science Fair organizer Erin Green.

VANCOUVER — Remember the Space Centre? You probably haven’t been there since you were a kid in your obsessed-with-aliens phase. Now, you have an excuse to go back and get to know the space centre through a different set of eyes. Erin Green is the organizer behind Science Fair, an upcoming event that merges visual arts, music and science. BeatRoute caught up with Green to talk about Science Fair, the artists involved and the bond between art and science.

BeatRoute: What is your vision behind Science Fair?

Erin Green: I envision this event to be a unique way to celebrate the connection between art and science. I’m hoping events like this will help conjure up the sense of wonder and excitement that [the Space Centre] held back in the ’70s and ’80s.

One of my only positive academic experiences as a kid was participating in our school’s science fair. In Grade 3 I successfully grew an avocado plant from its pit. I remember thinking it would never work but my mom convinced me it was the coolest thing ever, to be able to stick a couple of toothpicks in a pit, balance it in some water and you’d get a whole new plant! When mine started to sprout I was sold.

I also think my job at the Space Centre (being around kids all the time and talking science) has kept my science fair memory close at hand. I started thinking about how fun it would be to see what kind of projects grown-ups would do. I put the idea out there and the response was really positive.

BR: Which kinds of artists are involved and what will they be doing?

EG: There are artists from all disciplines and their concepts are far more involved and realized than I had expected. There are several sculptural pieces in the show and one in particular that I’m excited about uses air to expand and contract.

There are a few collaborations and in one case, the two women involved collected natural materials to create pigment and their setup is quite involved and multifaceted. Another artist is creating a Dune-inspired garment that speaks to the world’s depleting water supply.

One of my favourite local artists is creating a comic about the science of getting turned on. I hear he’s been really busy researching that one.

There are also intricate collages, abstract paintings, illustrations, photographs, dioramas, multimedia works, sound experiments, experimental film and installations.

BR: Why combine the idea of “science” and art?

EG: I think art and science come from the same place: human curiosity and our desire to understand and communicate consciousness. They both involve ideas, process, experimentation, and innovation.

BR: How would you describe the live musicians involved?

EG: The live music involved is some of my favourite our city has to offer. I love music that transports me to other times and places, which creates a sense of infinite thought. These bands do that for me.

Kensington Gore is made up of two of the most talented musicians I can think of. Steve and Scott conjure the sounds of Italian underground cinema from the ‘60s while stirring up nostalgia for Canadian Christmases of the ‘70s.

Von Bingen, another eclectic psych group, are also incredibly good at what they do and will be playing while the planetarium technician flies the audience through space.

And then there’s Jeremy Schmidt’s project Sinoia Caves. I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear him play in the planetarium! I’ve always been really into Black Mountain and everything else that guy has touched. His music is a perfect combination of psych synth warmth and haunting ambient that makes my hair stand on end. He’s been described as a “synth wizard” and that pretty much says it all.

Science Fair is on Thursday, July 10 from 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut Street). 

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