exit

Social Sciences and Humanities   > Home   > Art and Science   > Issue

Vol 8 - Special issue OOB

Art and Science


List of Articles

Introduction
Yves Desdevises

Au cours de leur histoire, art et science se sont fréquemment entremêlés en une symbiose féconde, se nourrissant l’un l’autre, l’art s’inspirant des formes et régularités proposées par la Nature, et les scientifiques illustrant les phénomènes et organismes qu’ils étudient en laissant souvent transparaître l’émotion suscitée par ces objets eux-mêmes. Les scientifiques, comme les artistes, sont guidés par l’inspiration à une étape ou une autre de leur processus de création, et ne sont jamais meilleurs que lorsque la passion les guide pour choisir et explorer les sujets de leurs choix. Le travail sur commande est rarement leur fort. Certains scientifiques ont été de véritables artistes. Leonard de Vinci vient immédiatement à l’esprit, mais on pense également à Ernst Haeckel.


The art of naturalist illustration by Henri de Lacaze-Duthiers
Raphaël Lami, Catherine Jessus

Henri de Lacaze-Duthiers (1821-1901), a famous 19th-century professor of zoology, is known as a pioneer of experimental zoology, for his teaching at the Muséum and Sorbonne, and for founding the Roscoff and Banyuls-sur-Mer marine stations. But he also stood out for his naturalistic drawings of marine fauna. Whereas some of his colleagues gave in to the temptation to embellish the results of their observations, he favored a particularly precise depiction of marine creatures. The meticulous details of his drawings reveal crucial anatomical features of marine organisms, and have thus contributed to the advancement of knowledge about marine biodiversity. But the aesthetics of these drawings go far beyond their scientific vocation, and are much admired today. The finesse of the line, the care taken with shading, the richness of the colors and the elegance of the forms convey the artistic emotion of their creator, fascinated by the beauty of the creatures he depicted. Henri de Lacaze-Duthiers was also an experimenter in improving scientific illustration techniques, as revealed by his experiments in the use of animal-derived purple color and chromolithography for scientific publishing. He also innovated in the scientific illustration of his lectures, taking an interest in projection devices, and strongly supported the development of scientific photography. Henri de Lacaze-Duthiers thus finds his place among the scientists of the 19th century recognized not only for their taste for new media shared by artists and scientists, but also for the aesthetic quality of their work. Discovering his work invites us to rediscover with emotion man’s vanished connection with nature, which these early explorers so powerfully felt and so well expressed in their drawings.


Édouard Chatton, a scientist close to art
Catherine Jessus, Marcelino Suzuki, Vincent Laudet

Édouard Chatton (1883-1947) was a major biologist of the first half of the 20th century, who devoted his life to the study of the microscopic organisms that live in all waters of the planet, the protists. Initially a researcher at the Pasteur Institute, he became a professor at the universities of Strasbourg, Montpellier and the Sorbonne. He directed the marine stations at Sète and Banyuls-sur-Mer. His discoveries laid the foundations for modern cell biology, and he conceptualized the distinction between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in the living world. His scientific drawings reveal his remarkable talent as a draftsman and colorist. Édouard Chatton was also an amateur painter, mastering oil paint, watercolor and pastel. Did the painter’s artistic eye influence the scientific illustrations produced by the researcher? Did the scientific objects of the biologist influence the painter’s aesthetic approach? If the two types of practice - scientific drawings and paintings by the amateur painter - do not seem to interpenetrate, there is a third type of production that leaves room for questioning. These are large cardboard sheets covered with drawings, used to illustrate Édouard Chatton’s amphitheater lectures. These harmonious, surprisingly colored boards, filled with undulating, strange and enigmatic shapes, are charged with marvelous beauty and exude an immediate aesthetic seduction. Discovering them is an original opportunity to tackle the question of the convergence between art and science.


Microplankton in Banyuls Bay: An unsuspected living beauty
Laurent Intertaglia

Microplankton - aquatic organisms that drift along with water masses - play a crucial role in the functioning of our planet. Observing its diversity and stunning beauty led me, over a period of ten years, to capture more than 3,000 images, some of which have been used for competitions, exhibitions and communication media.


The unexpected beauty of phytoplankton, from molecule to space
François Lantoine

The aim of this article, by combining Science and Art, is to illustrate, through a few examples, the diversity of perceptions of the beauty of phytoplanktonic microorganisms at scales of observation ranging from the molecule to space.


Fluorescence: a tool for highlighting the invisible architectural beauty of life
Anaël Soubigou, Lucie Subirana, Stéphanie Bertrand

Most animal biodiversity is found in the marine environment, and more particularly in the range of very small animals that are invisible to the human eye. These small animals, or the embryos and larvae of larger animals, are often transparent, and observation under white light illumination allows their outlines to be defined, but is generally not sufficient to understand their organisation. These organisms are made up of tissues, themselves made up of cells, arranged in a very specific way depending on the species or developmental stage. The cells themselves have a complex architecture combining different structures such as the nucleus and the cytoskeleton. Fluorescent labelling has become a powerful and essential tool for understanding how the cells inside these marine animals are arranged. The development of specific microscopes for imaging fluorescence and digital tools for analysing the images obtained and creating three-dimensional reconstructions of the structures observed now offer an incredible opportunity to describe the fine organisation of marine organisms. These approaches generate aesthetically pleasing images, combining information of scientific interest with the poetry of renewed naturalist imagery.


Marine Organisms and Ecosystem Imaging... When functionality and aesthetics emerge from the depths
François Charles

This brief chronicle blends descriptive and informative elements to showcase the activity of xylophages in wood transformation at sea. Emphasizing the aesthetics and functionality of the small structures they create and incorporating analogies with civil engineering lends the text a recreational tone.


Marine animal forests, a fertile encounter
Elise Rigot, Lorenzo Bramanti

This paper explores the notion of the ’animal forest’ as a fruitful concept for collaboration between the arts and sciences. It presents and analyses a virtual reality experience we have designed, ’A Journey into Animal Forests’. The experience offers immersion into different underwater animal forests, using a 3D device to enable viewers to perceive marine habitats on a non-anthropocentric scale. This approach, which combines art and science, aims to raise public awareness of the concept of animal forests and their importance for marine conservation. Collaboration between art and science opens up opportunities for interdisciplinary exploration and contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between humans and the marine world.

Other issues :

2024

Volume 24- 8

Issue 1
Special issue OOB

2023

Volume 23- 7

Issue 1
Issue 2
Issue 3
Issue 4

2022

Volume 22- 6

Issue 1
Special issue
Issue 2

Issue 3
Issue 4

2021

Volume 21- 5

Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3

Special issue

Issue 4

2020

Volume 20- 4

Special issue

Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3

Issue 4

2019

Volume 19- 3

Issue 1

Issue 2

2018

Volume 18- 2

Issue 1

Accounts

2017

Volume 17- 1

Issue 1