Kat Knutsen

DMF Science
February - June, 2017
Curated by Renee Russo

“Why is there art in the science building?” you may ask. Well, one reason is that this art has to do with science!

This ongoing, interactive installation by artist Kat Knusten represents neuroplasticity and captures the excitement of neural pathways being formed. Colorful fiber sculptural units will emanate from opposite ends of the entranceway of the Dana Mohler-Faria Science & Mathematics Center, keeping regular passersby in suspense of their ultimate arrangement when they meet in the center. As the installation gradually unfolds, spectators are invited to approach and even touch the work* as they contemplate the many possibilities of each potential step in the process.

In Knusten’s piece, neural pathways serve as a metaphor for the many paths available to us on a daily basis. Our choices are conduits to new planes of possibilities, leading us to forge patterns. As the cyclical nature of the decision-making process repeats, it also propels and renews us as we sometimes shed old ways to adapt to changing circumstances and grow, transcending our struggles.

Knusten’s work is appealing on multiple levels, especially in this particular space.

The Dana Mohler-Faria Science & Mathematics Center itself embodies the intersection of art, in the form of architecture, and science as a premier LEED certified project. The broad stretch of glass at the entrance of the building melds with Knusten’s innovative art, creating a dynamic spectrum of changing views of campus through her specialized yarn forms that disperse an endless kaleidoscope of color and sinewy shadows against windows and floor. Her work extends the original intentions of the architects to highlight the interplay between the building and the surrounding natural environment.

This installation is a public, multidimensional, panoramic work that soars and dives, is active and dynamic—it adjusts, adapts, survives its environment. And like a colorful flower or creature whose intensity is emphasized by monochromatic surroundings, this spectacle of color differentiates itself from the surrounding structure as it co-exists.

Knusten’s installation makes visible the fascinating world of neural connectivity. It bridges disciplines, inviting viewers to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary dialogue as well as both science and art education.

We hope you enjoy this friendly, challenging piece and perhaps you will be a bit more interested in art or in science as a result of it’s existence.

*Please be playful, but also careful! Excessive force may damage the work. Accidents do happen, so if you find something seemingly awry, please email rrusso@bridgew.edu.