The Chilean artist María Edwards wins the first call of the European Art&Science

Her work ‘Encuentros /Taller/2015’ will be showcase in an exhibition on art and science at LABoral

Published: Mar 11, 2015
 The Chilean artist María Edwards wins the first call of the European Art&Science

The Studio of María Edwards, 2014. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

The artist María Edwards (Chile, 1982) has won the first call for a double artistic residency launched by the European Art&Science Network, of which LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial is one of the seven European cultural institutions that take part under the leadership of Ars Electronica.

Her project Encuentros/Taller/2015 will be developed during her stay at the various facilities of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), located in Chile, where she will work with her mentors on the scientific concepts that will inspire her. In this first stage, the artist will gather the material needed to build here piece later (by means of notations, notebooks and blackboards). Then she will complete a residency at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, where she will receive advice for the creation and final development of the work that will be showcased in the next edition of Festival Ars Electronica, that will take place in September in Linz, Austria. Encuentros/Taller/2015 will be one of the central pieces of the exhibition on digital art and science that will take place at LABoral starting November 12.

María Edwards will work during her residency on the intersection, encounter and connection between music, mathematics and astronomy, sciences and disciplines that are essentially different but share a common principle, according to the philosophical connections suggested by Plato and Pythagoras. The Pythagorean myth which explains that we descend from beings that fell to Earth from the stars, and now-a-days theoretical physics, according to which men are made of stardust particles form the conceptual base of Encuentros/Taller/2015. According to María, in the pythagorean version of our “fall” our only hope to ascend again is to replicate the order of the universe through the exercise of mathematics as music. Based on these theories, the artist will build the work “inspired by the order of the universe and the stars, perceived from the surface of the place that we inhabit, replicating these orders so that they are passable on a human scale”. Her intention “is not to fill the void, but rather to provide it with a space to exist and be perceived through the work generated”.

In her proposal, María Edwards works with space providing balance, suspension, levity and the loss of gravity of objects, that are supported by its own weight and counter-weight. Her constructions are the result of exquisite calculations, and previous mechanisms, solutions and interventions. These are pieces that tend to a constant rotation around their axis. Although at first glance it might seem that her approach is purely aesthetic, it is actually scientific and, in particular, it has to do with physics and mathematics. According to the jury “It is particularly appealing based on the potential she adds to this residency. The artist makes a great effort to connect the inspiration and the result of her work with very characteristic aspects of astronomy: Isolated objects suspended on space. Her work relates to the fascination caused by astronomy”.

The jury, made up by representatives of the nine artistic institutions and Fernando Comerón, on behalf of the scientific partner, ESO, that integrate the European Digital Art&Science Network, received 147 proposals from 40 countries from all around the world.

Biographie. The work of María Edwards (Santiago, Chile, 1982) has its origin in her will of assuming herself as an active observer of the world, from her own exercises of discarding and selection…from the crossing of relationships and encounters, her long bicycle rides and her deep interest in the stars, the scientific and philosophical thought. From all these references arises the idea of “grid”, like a vast weft of spatially interconnected points, as in a constellation. The sky map traced in the earth´s surface by means of its paths.

Her journeys, blackboards, notebooks and mobile constructions, as in a philosophy of the world, a mental and physical map of experiences, as well of the status and position that the artist occupies in the world and the universe.

Her work is characterized by its coherence and consistency, which begins with the recognition of that which has been discarded and unnoticed, and ultimately with the ethics and dignity in which each of these recovered fragments of the world are brought back again to its presence, transfigured and reinterpreted by the artist´s will.

After getting her Arts bachelor degree in Universidad Finis Terrae (Santiago, Chile, 2006), and her Diploma in Cinema, Art Direction and Photography in Universidad de Chile, María Edwards travels and settles in New York (2009-2012) in order to enhance her knowledge on Engraving and Artist book discipline, doing artistic residencies in School of Visual Arts and in Lower East Side Printshop. On 2012, she was granted an invitation from the Arts Cultural Center in Mexico, Reinosa/Tamaulipas, to perform an individual exhibition, “In Between”, in the context of Tamaulipas International Arts Festival.

Her work has been exhibited in Chile and abroad, in countries like Spain, United States, Argentina, Peru and México. She has also taken part in international art fairs as Pinta Art Fair, New York; ArteBA, Buenos Aires; Art Lima, Peru; ChaCo, Chile. She has recently been awarded with the honor prize “Art for Science”, granted by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) in Santiago, Chile.

ENCUENTROS/TALLER/2015 from María Ignacia Edwards on Vimeo.

European Digital Art and Science Network.  In cooperation with LABoral and seven renowned artistic & cultural institutions as well as the ESO–European Southern Observatory, and with Ars Electronica as leader, the European Digital Art and Science Network is a Europe-wide initiative offering artists the chance to spend several weeks at the ESO followed by a stay at the Ars Electronica Futurelab. The European Digital Art and Science Network aims to link up scientific aspects and ideas with approaches used in digital art. Fostering interdisciplinary work and intercultural exchange as well as gaining access to new target audiences are among its declared goals. There is also strong emphasis on art’s role as a catalyst in processes of social renewal. By creating images and narratives dealing with the potential risks and rewards inherent in technological and scientific development, artists exert an important influence on how our society comes to terms with these innovations.

The Residency. The purpose of the European Digital Art and Science Network Residency award is to demonstrate the catalytic role art can play between complex and different disciplines, as well as in and for society in general. The award aims to engage with scientific and artistic approaches that foster interdisciplinary work and intercultural exchange in order to achieve a common perception of traditionally opposed disciplines.

The aim of the prize is to draw a bow between micro- and macro-cosmos. In this way, the jury seeks to accelerate innovation across culture in the 21st century – creating new dimensions in digital arts, inspired by the ideas, engineering and science generated at ESO, and produced by the winning artist in collaboration with the transdisciplinary expertise of the FutureLab team at Ars Electronica.

ESO, The European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. ESO offers numerous possibilities for technology spin-off and transfer, together with high technology contract opportunities and is a dramatic showcase for European industry.

Whilst the Headquarters (comprising the scientific, technical and administrative centre of the organisation) are located in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO operates, in addition to the Santiago Centre, three unique observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor.

Interview with María Edwards

More information about the artist and her work

About the project Encuentros/Taller/2015

A call by:

With the support of:

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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