Artists and scientists have long explored the overlap between art and science. University of Calgary practicing physicist and aspiring photographer Eric Donovan takes a different approach. Starting from the premise science is art, Eric asserts that successful (however measured) scientists use process, develop a practice, and build up a body of work. They and their work are defined much more by how they do what they do (their process), rather than what they study. “He takes images of the northern lights” says much more about Eric’s work than does “he studies earth’s magnetosphere.” The former is relatable to mostly everybody, while the latter is relatable to just a handful of people worldwide. With this talk, Eric looks at data as art, casts publications and experiments as installations and performance pieces, and presents biographies of scientists (both living and dead) in the guise of artist’s statements (something he is still trying to figure out how to do).

Eric Donovan is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary and an aspiring photographer.