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Scientific research through an artist’s lens

Connecting artists and scientists at the Royal Institute of Art and SciLifeLab

Do you see the potential for artistic exploration in your research?

This is an opportunity to have an artist interpret your research in a collaborative project between SciLifeLab and the Royal Institute of Art. Ten researchers at SciLifeLab will be selected to work with ten artists at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. The program consists of approximately two meetings between artists and scientists (meetings/ lab tour) at SciLifeLab in late January/early February and a final exhibition in April.

Half of the artists will be post-master’s students who are already practicing artists, and half will be program students at KKH. The program is meant to be an inspirational exchange between artists at the Royal Institute of Art and scientists at SciLifeLab, the national laboratory for molecular biosciences. It will connect scientists and artists, with the aim of creating an opportunity for creative collaboration.

Duration: Spring semester 2023. Meetings and lab tours take place at SciLifeLab Solna.

Proposals will be reviewed and notified if selected for participation within short.

Max Frankel is a Fulbright research award student working in Illaria Testas lab at SciLifeLab Campus Solna for nine months (Sep 2022 to May 2023). The group’s work is centered around creating fluorescence microscopy setups for studying biological processes in cells, with the goal of gaining insight into health-related problems such as neurodegenerative disease.

Max works with Molecular Nanoscale Imaging and Live Sectioning Ability (MoNaLISA) microscope. He uses a spatial light modulator as an alternative tool to microlens arrays, which are currently used to create the grid of tightly focused beams of laser light that illuminate a sample being imaged in the MoNaLISA setup.

The “Scientific research through an artist’s lens” initiative is Maxs idea for the community engagement section of his research award. Max is accepted to the PhD physics program at University of Colorado, Boulder, and will begin his studies there when returning to the US.

I’m fascinated by the interference patterns created when working with light and I enjoy the beautiful 3D images coming out of Dr. Testa’s lab. Outside of the lab, I like to paint in watercolors.


Program description

Scientific research through an artist’s lens: Connecting with artists from the Royal Institute of Art

This program is meant to be an inspirational exchange between 10 artists at the Royal Institute of Art (KKH) and 10 researchers at SciLifeLab, the national laboratory for molecular biosciences. Half of the artists will be post-master’s students who are already practicing artists, and half will be program students at KKH. This program will connect the art and science communities in Stockholm, with the aim of creating an opportunity for creative collaboration.

Researchers will be responsible for participating in two events. The first event is tentatively scheduled for January 30thand is meant to introduce the scientists and artists, with quick pitch-presentations by everyone on their work and interests. The second event is a tour of the researchers’ workspaces, guided by each researcher and given to a small group of artists. The lab tours have been tentatively set to occur during the week of February 13th but can be shifted to fit the schedule of the researcher. If there is mutual interest between a scientist and artist after the lab tours, a collaborative project can be set up on their own terms. The resulting work will be featured in an exhibition at SciLifeLab at the end of April.

This program will be a unique opportunity for outreach at the SciLifeLab. It creates a dialog with artists, lets scientists see how their work and ideas can be visualized, and may lead to increased visibility of their research. For the artists, this program will allow collaboration with leading scientists, giving the chance to gain inspiring insight of the forefront of research in the life sciences. This program is intended as a pilot, with the goal of being continued in the future, beyond this semester, creating compelling and bonding connections between the artistic and scientific communities in Stockholm.


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Last updated: 2023-01-20

Content Responsible: Johan Inganni(johan.inganni@scilifelab.se)