(New)Found Art Illustrates Life.

Whenever art and science join forces, something amazing happens. Perhaps it deeper understanding of the human connection. That we cannot have one without the other. And in most cases, they more than just complement; they highlight the other’s strengths while compensating for their weaknesses. The Electric Sculpture exhibition atSteelStacks does just that: displays collaboration.

The project is a culmination of light, wires, and glass that all work together to create something new. Ten years ago, William Middleton (no relation to Kate) was passionate about the concept of singularity, or formless energy, in pieces of glass illuminated by moving light. With the help of fellow artist James Harmon and cell biologist Dr. Mindy George Weinstein, the sculpture has now evolved from a Post-Modern “ready-made” and into a symbolic art form. One of the most notable “found” art pieces originated in 1917 with French artist Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. It was recognized by most people as a urinal.

Nearly a century later, Middleton has dramatically changed the game. What appears to be some sort of fancy light fixture is actually where science and art converge. His current work uses blown glass and light wire to illustrate how the brain transmits, receives, and processes sensory information. Who knew neuronal forms could be so beautiful? No doubt, there is an appreciation here for their structure and function; and the ability to demonstrate our internal workings in an elegant and informative way. Art imitating life.

On the second floor of the ArtsQuest building, you can find the Alvin H. Butz Gallery as a part of the Creativity Commons. The Electric Sculpture will be on display until July 4, 2011. This space is calm and quiet, with numerous tables and chairs to study, work, read, or eat. Prior to being on display at SteelStacks, the Electric Sculpture was featured in the Twenty-Two Gallery in Philadelphia.