The Arts Catalyst is an arts organisation that actively makes connections between art and science through commissions and strategic projects. Since 1993, Arts Catalyst has worked nationally and internationally to promote understanding and cooperation between the arts and sciences. We seek new ways to involve artists, scientists and the wider public in a discourse about science in society, its direction and impact. A driving interest is to extend the practice of artists engaging with scientific processes, facilities and technologies in order to reveal and illuminate the social, political and cultural contexts that brought them into being. We are also interested in the new artistic forms and perspectives that this engagement can activate. The Arts Catalyst believes that a repositioning of different specialised areas of investigation is necessary for an innovative, outward-looking and ethical society. We foster collaboration between scientists and artists and seek scientists' involvement in artistic and interdisciplinary projects.
Rob La Frenais, in his lecture, will illustrate the most recent of these projects commissioned and produced by the Arts Catalyst including work in microgravity, (Gravitation Off! - various artists), the history of scientific research (Marching Plague - Critical Art Ensemble) and artists engaging in aviation (Escape Vehicle - Simon Faithfull). He will also report on the Arts Catalyst's contract with the European Space Agency to provide a cultural policy for the International Space Station.