Carbon meets Silicon II



12 September 2017  8 December 2017


Private View: Monday 11 September 2017, 6pm


An exhibition and symposium curated by Susan Liggett and Mike Corcoran



Carbon meets Silicon is a biennial exhibition and symposium that is part of the 7th International Conference on Internet Technologies and Applications (ITA 17) held at Wrexham Glyndwr University. The exhibition theme uses carbon and silicon as metaphors for the changing face of art practice in the digital age. Carbon references the materiality of the art object and silicon references how an artwork's physical presence is questioned in the light of new media, resulting in the digital or virtual bringing artists closer to scientists and engineers.


The focus for this year is Arts/Science/Technology Collaborations and the exhibition brings together the work of fifteen diverse artists, scientists and technologists working in a range of media who have all in some way collaborated via ideas with specialist outside of their immediate field of enquiry.


To understand the complexity of the world we need to utilise the cognitive evolutionary tools developed through both scientific and artistic thinking. Science allows us to understand causality, predictions and rationality; art gives us expression, surprise and has the capacity to change minds. Collaborations between the arts and sciences has a long history of interdependence, but also tension and antipathy. Acknowledging the things we don’t know we don’t know; to quote Rumsfeld ‘the unknown unknowns’ [1] is as important as knowing the as the known unknowns and Crew’s approach to knowledge sums it up nicely. 

He said that we should follow:
“the ethic of respecting that which is known, acknowledging what is still unknown and acting as if one cared about the difference” [2]

Today we must re-frame our perceptions to ensure this dualism does not set artists and scientists apart. Global Challenges are better understood with a diverse team of researchers from both the arts and sciences working on solutions together. Collaboration can results in new approaches to core issues that may underlie developmental problems.

"Third culture starts when artists become scientists, when science paints the future, when systems are predictive and when politicians become poets." [3]

In 1963 the influential scientist and novelist C.P Snow’s book The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution was published outlining an optimistic view of the sometimes difficult relationship that exists between science and the arts [4]. Scneiderman (2016) advances the case for combining applied and basic research work to put the arts on an equal footing with science. Holzbaur (2012) recognised new paradigms for multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary collaboration with an understanding that if you think beyond traditional disciplines you can impact societal change [5]. The generation of new knowledge often arises on the boundaries of disciplines rather than within them. This exhibition and symposium explores the well-established discourse that exists between artists, scientist and technologists and how this symbiotic relationship has brought new understandings to the world.

Selected for this exhibition are: Antonio D’Amato, Daniel Buzzo, Don Braisby, David Dobson, Seiza Friedrich, localStyle (Jay Alan Yim and Marlena Novak), Manoli Moriary and Frances Kay, Ioana Pioaru, Alan Summers and Chris Meigh-Andrew, John Swogger, Joanna Neil, Jon Weinel.


Follow the exhbition on Twitter @CarbonSilicon_.


[1] Rumsfeld, D (2002) " News Transcript: DoD News Briefing – Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers, United States Department of Defense ("

[2] Crews, F. (2006). Follies of the Wise, Shoemaker and Hoard. Emeryville, CA.

[3] Matthias Horx (2012) Keynote Speaker ELIA Biennial Conference: Art, Science and Society 8-12 Nov, Hosted by the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

[4] Snow, C. P. (1959) The Two Cultures. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 0-521-45730-0

[5] Earnshaw R.A (2017). Holzbaur, U.D. (2012) and Scneiderman (2016) cited in: Art Design and Technology: Collaboration and Implementation, Springer, Switzerland, Chapter 2 Independent Working, Collaboration and Team Activity. p 9-19


Click on the link below to download the exhibition poster:


Carbon Meets Silicon 2017

(pdf format)
Carbon meets Silicon II