Day 11: Einstein and Picasso

Drawing from Arthur Miller’s book, Einstein and Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty that Causes Havoc we will look at the connections between cubism and relativity.  If, as we have discussed throughout the course, literature gives us a lens for societal understandings of science, today’s discussion will show that art can do the same.

In our discussion, we will look at the artwork of Chesley Bonestell, Tom Sachs, Rebecca Kamen, and others to see how culture and science have continued their dialogue from the 1970s to today.


  • Go out onto the web and see if you can find another example of scientific art.  Post the link and a short description in the comments.
  • Go through the links provided by the rest of the class, pick one of the artistic works as your favorite, and reply to that comment saying why you liked the link art.

19 thoughts on “Day 11: Einstein and Picasso”

    1. This was one that I found most interesting cause I have actually been to the bodies exhibit when it was in Dallas, TX. It was unlike anything i had ever seen before. Kinda creepy but very cool


    This is a picture of parasitic cells in the skin of a rainbow trout. The “mucosal immunoglobulin” which is depicted in green is shown surrounding the virus. This form of art is known as “Histology Art”. Histology is the microscopic study of cells; usually performed by sectioning and staining. As you can see in the picture, it appears to be the face of a typical alien creature. It is also notable, as stated in the caption, that this was the first discovery of a mucosal immunoglobulin present in this type of fish.

    1. This picture is absolutely amazing. I too love looking at galaxies and nebulae and thinking of the endless possibilities. Quite amazing to me to think that an artist could even paint such an intricate picture.


    This link is to the website microbial . As the name implies, some artists have been using petri dishes and agars to create works of art by cultivating colonies of bacteria. Some artist grow bacteria that naturally takes on a distinct color while others take advantage of bioluminescence to create their works. The link will take you to the work of Niall Hamilton however there are several other galleries on the website.

    1. It’s interesting to see how they can make the bacteria grow into different shapes to form art. (Compared to my post where they basically just stained certain cells to achieve what they wanted to portray)

    2. I found this post the most interesting especially after just having Micro Bio lab last semester. I think is it so neat how they can specifically grow bacteria in make intricate designs.

    3. I agree with dollyjpatel, I took micro last semester as well and the thought never crossed my mind that it could be used as an art form. I don’t think I would be putting them all around my house ever but it is still very interesting.


    This is a link to a scientific art competition held at the University of North Carolina. My favorite piece is the 2014 second place winner titled “Snowflake Robe”. I like this particular picture because it looks like the ice that would crystallize on a window, but it is actually pictured using an electron microscope.

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