.::..Nicholas Sagan..::. …:.::..artworks and experiments…::.:…nicholassagan@gmail.com

Academia + Artist Statement + CV + Contact

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Short Form

Through Interdisciplinary, New Media and traditional art-making processes, Nicholas’s work explores the connections, parallels and paradoxes that exist between art, science, technology and culture. His more recent inquiries and experiments deal specifically with the installation format as medium through which scientific imagery and data archives can be aesthetically and kineaesthetically accessed and interpreted. He has exhibited extensively in Chicago as well as Minneapolis/St Paul, MN and currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago.

Long Form

A paradox is a strange thing. Since it is defined as a “contradictory set of premises” it seems that there are different ways of interpreting the construction of the premises. It must be kept in mind that contradictory and complementary are not mutually exclusive qualities.It also so happens that the two pursuits of art and science thrive on the paradox.  The former is sometimes concerned with the creation of situations that may lead to or are the direct result of conflicts both internal (emotional) and external (political, etc). The latter is primarily concerned with uncovering and then deciphering paradoxes, ranging from quantum non-locality to the measurement problem. Regardless of how either of these methods deals with any potential or damning paradox, the end goal is one in the same: to gain insight into the workings of reality and the many shapes it takes.

Of course, the artist and the scientist both approach the study of reality by their various methods and ultimately either add new ideas and forms to infuse each with a newfound sense of purpose…or take a position that may perhaps stagnate a field, leaving it wanting of something better. To engage in either of these disciplines full-heartedly with regards to the pursuit and dissemination of true knowledge, however miniscule the meme or monstrous the moment, is to actively participate in the construction of reality. But there is a trick. Everyone who comes into contact with these additions must trust them to be true, at least so far as to want to verify them against their own experiences. So how does the artist or scientist go about constructing (or sharing discovered!) trustworthy elements of reality? How do we define what is real in light of this constantly fluctuating in-and-out flow of knowledge and information (two very separate things) and how do we engage a healthy skepticism about our world and the things we are told and learn?

It is the intention of my work to explore these questions using parallels found in both art and science. Artistic processes can borrow some of the visual and theoretical languages found in observational astronomy and quantum physics to construct new interpretations of old data. Those commonalities also lead to the development of new forms and ideas, some of which can be replicated whereas others are completely unique to a time and place. The process is similar to that of the developing posthuman. While a growing number technological advances take on the form of something “useful” and may be surgically placed into the human body, they remain as separate tracks until the elements are integrated on a fundamental level. This, too, is the path of art and science and the focusing principle of my work. As theory and practice continue to cross-pollinate we, as a culture and as a species, are becoming increasingly aware of just how important this process is in understanding the universe.

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