COLLIDING IDEAS: art, society and physics

Public symposium, Sunday 8 July 2012 at RMIT University Storey Hall,

10am to 5pm

Call for presentations

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology,

in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology” –

Carl Sagan

Recent discoveries in physics have changed our lives forever. From

iPhones and the internet to medical imaging and genetic engineering,

modern technology has largely been developed through advances in

physics, yet few people understand it. Melbourne is hosting the 36th

International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP2012), where they

may announce the discovery of the Higgs boson, or ‘God Particle’. Taking

inspiration from this event, the ‘Colliding Ideas’ symposium will

address the social and creative parameters of such events.

‘Colliding Ideas’ will explore the worlds within the physical sciences

and ask what is going on in there, how it relates to our social world,

and how it affects us culturally and physically. And, in such contexts,

how do the perspectives of physicists relate to and differ from those of

artists and visual communicators who use physics-based technologies?

With digital technologies linking the ideas and methods of art and

science, we may be getting closer to a trans-disciplinary visual and

sonic understanding. And through art / science collaborations, artists

can critically engage with the concepts, methods, possibilities and

implications of scientific research. The symposium will feature key

speakers from CERN, the Australian Network for Arts & Technology,

alongside contemporary media and fine arts practitioners and theorists.

A series of thirty minute talks will be followed by panel discussions

and audiovisual presentations. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Proposals for presentations relating to art and physics are invited.

Topics could include (but are not limited to):

Visual art, scientific visualisation and the limits of interpretatbility

‘Higgs in space’ – what the Higgs Boson means for the rest of us

CP Snow and violations of the ‘separation of the two cultures’

From the teleporter to the death star – physics in cinema

Cats vs rabbits -Quantum uncertainty and the real world

The trials and tribulations of art / science collaborations

Scientific philosophy and the politics of particle physics

Digital art, technology and physics

Risk and failure in science and art

Possible futures in art and physics

Outsider and DIY physics

Mathematics and statistics

Geospatial sciences

Applied sciences

Computing and IT



For further information please contact Chris Henschke

Proposals are due by June 8 2012

For more information and to register your interest please visit:;ID=ntsfu36kmyfkz