Science + Art

We're always fascinated by the intersection of technology and art. Steve Jobs, and the other executives at Pixar, always said that the marriage of technology and art created the most magical results. This idea is central to how a place like Pixar operates. The technical staff and the artists drive each other to produce and create, and imagine, better and better solutions.

Apple works in very similar ways. You can read this really interesting article about this at Fast Company:

Steve Jobs famously mused that for technology to be truly brilliant, it must be coupled with artistry. “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough,” he said. “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.” Other tech CEOs across the country agree that liberal arts training—with its emphasis on creativity and critical thinking—is vital to the success of their business.
— Fast Company

As someone who studied and majored in Computer Science (MSc) with a bachelor's in Engineering, this does seem to be a huge core of what I do. Even though, 99% of the things that I do are purely on the creative level on how to approach composition, lighting, dynamics of a scene, color and shadows, the fact that I personally have that technical background as well gives me a huge advantage to quickly learn and adapt to new technology (cameras are computers these days), software (post-production), and on-set problem solving during shoots.

This is something that we really believe in that marriage of curiosity of the arts and sciences together, and seeing the current trend in education to further specialize students is worrying to say the least.

I've recently been following a lot what CERN has been doing and how they approach science in their campus. After watching a fascinating documentary film called "Particle Fever", and sharing  a random flight back from Europe to San Francisco with a Portuguese CERN software developer next to me, it's something that's been on my mind pretty often. Last night, I watched another documentary on their particle accelerator on PBS, and today I wake up to read this fascinating look at how they are actively seeking artists to collaborate with their scientists on campus. It's incredible.

Back in 2011, CERN set up a program called Collide@CERN that allowed artists to apply for a residency at its Swiss headquarters. “We believe that particle physics and the arts are inextricably linked: both are ways to explore our existence – what it is to be human and our place in the universe,” explained the program’s director, Ariane Koek, at the time. “The two fields are natural creative partners for innovation in the 21st century.”
— Gizmodo

A sound experiment in the LHC by Collide@CERN artist Bill Fontana. This is the beginning of a great piece, which will be revealed in autumn 2014. Bill Fontana is a renowned American sound sculptor who studied with John Cage and is the 2012-2013 Prix Ars Electronica Collide@CERN winner.

We will always at Sutro try to do our best to keep that pairing alive. No matter if we're filming a short video for online consumption, or working on a film. And we hope we keep having opportunities to inspire people and students around the world, to not be afraid to be curious about both areas of sciences and the arts.

You might just discover something truly astonishing if you learn to look at the world around you in that way.