Memory Matter …

No words can describe how we can see the world without our memory. After receiving the shocking diagnosis of my father’s Alzheimer’s disease, I was aware that he has lost the ability to recognise me which is so sad to recall.  

I put myself in his shoes: I felt how important it is to stand with him and I decided to put some of my effort into understanding his feelings. I feel compelled toembrace this idea in my artwork and I shall hopefully raise awareness about our memory which is what makes us ourselves.

If Alzheimer disease were a person …

I would try to kill him …





I am trying to simulate this protein which is too much for my emotion in this light sculpture. I see Alzheimer’s as a ghost, it contains some electric waves similar to those in our brain, before Alzheimer’s, life is colourful, but eventually we might become unable to distinguish between the colours.

Light, for me, is the medium through which we can try to understand what reminiscence is. I am using light as a new provocative language to highlight some invisible and silent disease – but not doom and gloom; I want it to be a positive narrative. I do not want light to be gimmicky, it needs to be beautiful and kind of innately ephemeral and transient.

Keeping on experimenting with light makes me draw with it. I can see who I want to see, who I miss … !


  I see my mother everywhere …

I draw my father anywhere …

In this time of quarantine …

My son’s dream is to play with a balloon in the park!

It is many layers behind many layers …It is to explore how far we can delve deeper

Memory Matter

Identity and memory are a pattern: a cycle that I am trying to harness. The information in the human mind, which makes them different, is different. Memory helps make humans who they are. In reality, all we see is light, but we forget the light and only see the matter which reflects it.

Memory is the light; information is the darkness. We only need to remember the spotlight of information. If we think about everything, we will be disturbed by nothing. Losing memory means living in the black world: nothing written in your data system. In reality, all we see is light, but we forget the light and only see the matter which reflects it. 

I am observing the memorising process and use it as a framework to explore progressive ideas. In a quiet space, where there is no colors, no lights and no distractions, memories are brightening as a sketch. It is outlining our past experiences. The exposure of different colors of light alters human memory function. I am trying to explore the grey area between memory and forgetfulness and asking what it means to have amnesia someday. I aim to take the harmonic patterns in neurological signal in the brain and translate it to something that you can hear, and you can see. I am trying to make something complex seems understandable for the public. 

Through the progression I made, Light is my medium, not only for the brain to see the life, but it also my medium to express my interest in art and medicine and especially how you could turn our body inside out to zoom in and focus through. The links between Science and art can contribute to understanding humanity by stimulating the insight into shared human experience. It focuses on individual difference or uniqueness, which is on another hand, may enrich the language and thought of practitioner.

Science in Art

In the last few years, there has been a digital revolution in the field of the art of science experiencing all sectors. A contemporary artist constantly questions the scientific ideas about how to transform the concepts of displaying art through a new medium. This is also a consequence of the new technology which has the ability to introduce virtual ideas by high-speed devices and transform the way we see the world in a few clicks. Jones et al. (2012) raised questions about how different advanced technologies can be used by artists to transform their work and about the choice of materials and displays and even the scale of work which can enhance the audience’s experiences.

According to Henning (1988) science is a kind of subject which try to understand the natural phenomena using scientific approach, such as observation, testing experiments, formulation of hypothesis, and draw results that confirms. Similar to art, plus art consider science as an important source of creativity; therefore, the artists have been eager to move into scientific and technological area of interest which is also known as twenty-first century art approach. A famous British novelist and physical chemist C P Snow, in 1959, He mainly described the relationship between visual arts and science; as art presents expressive and emphatic while science embodies the rational end of human experience (Kingston, 2015). When science meets art, the outcomes can be extraordinary and understanding of both arts and science can be broadened. Science can revolutionize the arts from the painting of fast drying chemical materials to the human organs. Moreover, science also provide some of the masteries of artistic practice such as transforming the painters into computer-based model by tracking eye and hand movement (Henning, 1988).   

Kubota (2019) highlights the distinct nature of science and art; however, at the same time a scientist’s display the glimpse into different arts interests. Garfield (1989, p. 54) supported the ideas as stated that scientist and artists share common things: creative process and the synthetic thinking in both human endeavours. There are many scientists has been accomplished their work in art through visualizing scientific facts to the common people. In this regard, the most renowned scientist is Albert Einstein who presented his experiment in visual imaging thoughts. Creativity is another important aspect of the arts which helpful in addressing theories or design an experiment from scientific perspectives and equally important as compare to an artists who painting sculpture (Henning, 1988). Science and arts are correlated in many aspects such as drive to be creative and certain motivation to make out of their talent and capabilities (Kingston, 2015).

Mumford (2012) stated that science required creative thinking, such as how the hypothesis need to be presented and implemented the outcomes. This all need creative thinking, which often terms as innovation. The same phenomena required to be a genius artist to achieve philosophical speculation. Evidence shows that creativity alone fail to deliver (Garfield, 1989). For example, an artist needs to understand the scientific knowledge about the things around which is precise and rigorous in any science in order to turn their dreams into real work. Henning (1988) highlighted on the difference between science and arts such as in the science things developed and concluded. In the case of medicine which provides cure illness, on contrast, the arts pursue to the development of imaginary models. However, majority of the literature agreed that both science and arts are following the discipline and creativity. This also true in the sense that both art and science are relied on synthesis and observation of the nature and the society could hardly developed without either. Snow (1959) stated that the mixture of science and art can enriched the culture and bring new ideas that helpful for both domains. 

Artist and scientist share many similarities and sensitivity to aesthetics in their approaches; despite their work method is quite different. Garfield (1989) mentioned that artist and scientist share other major characteristic as well such as feeling uneasiness with social interaction and prefer to remain in their studio or the lab. Further, artist and scientist share sense of curiosity and desire to see different ideas development. In natural science, the expansion of the new knowledge is essential component especially when developing new field. For example, an artist draw pictures which progressed from 2D shapes into 3D photography; as 3D bring many good impacts in arts as it is more realistic. This shows that in both areas of knowledge development, natural science and arts recognize the progresses in term of presenting new knowledge. Kingston (2015) mentioned this as the unsettled status of this new hybrid art to be recognized. Artists often searching for the new ways or methods to investigate into themes which arising from the research and making processes, tools and new ideas which matches of scientific researches (Garfield, 1989). This help not only improve their performance in their field, also add a critical dimension with totally new agendas.    

There is also a link between artist and research in human biology as well because it has implication in different point of views such as understanding human being, stimulate interest in how brain work and nature of life (Henning, 1988). Evidence shows that artist has a major role in the research-based imagery from inside the human body; as the artist draw new forms on interactive art whereas with using science increase the ability to monitor bodily process. Artists also used scientific tools in order to create more details and provocative sculptures which provide different aspect of the visible body elements and anatomy (Kingston, 2015). Therefore, artists are considered more supportive with scientific advances in all sectors including human biology because this allow them to use the technologies and seek to reflect on their ability to assess more insight of the internal functions and investigate with artistic use of bio-signal. Henning (1988) noted that artists are helping scientific advances in more details such as visually explaining the human body basically introducing the radical ways of thinking from an artist about physical functions as further scientific research unfold. 

Art and science are similar: they both thrive on deep seeing, on expanding perception and attention which can all be gained through simple experience. As an Artist, I am trying to investigate that creative correlation between art and science in the medical imaging in order to inspire artistic practices and explore new approaches of making art.

Reference

Henning, E.B. (1988). Creativity in Art and Science, 1860-1960. Publisher: Cleveland Museum of Art Bookstore. 

Garfield, E. (1989). Art and Science. Part 1. The Art-Science Connection. Vol. 12, pp. 54-61.

Kingston, V. (2015). The relationship between science and art. Retrieved from: 

https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/W9b0kRIAABdu8KBo (Accessed: 04 April 2020).

Kubota, T. (2019). Science meets art at Stanford. Retrieved from: https://news.stanford.edu/2019/01/30/science-meets-art/ (Accessed: 02 April 2020).

Mumford, S. (2012). Art versus Science? Retrieved from: http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/artsmatters/2012/03/06/art-versus-science/ (Accessed: 28 March 2020). 

Roat-Bernstein, R S. (1985). Visual thinking: the art of imagining Reality. Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc.Vol. 75, pp. 50-67.

Snow, C.P. (1959). The two cultures and the scientific revolution. New York: Cambridge University Press. 

In light of light

In reality, all we see is light, but we forget the light and only see the matter which reflects it. Anything in a visual medium is a light hitting a surface and then getting into our eyes. We require light for vision, but it is also essential for a wide range of invisible functions, for example, breathing, growth, balance, psychological health and working effectively. It is a crucial component for relaying information about objects to a set of invisible waves in the brain’s centre.

The other thing I found is that light is a very connecting medium. Once people look at the light, they are subliminally mesmerised. Around the light, people gather, be together and communicate. I aim to experiment with the question: Are the feelings that encourage us to gather a sign of our individuality or is it our human need to gather which is unconsciously predefined by our society?

It is my opportunity to let the public see through a different lens. I want people to forget about the reality and about daily routines so that I can transport them to diverse psychological spaces. They will panic when they notice their everyday tools making a new world. It is to think about the routine of daily life as a way of remembering. I believe our daily stuff still gives us creative tools. It is motivating my memory to produce new ideas which I have never tried. 

Light, for me, is the medium through which to try to understand what reminiscence is. I am using light as a new provocative language to highlight some invisible and silent disease but not doom and gloom, I want it to be a positive narrative. In the innocence of light, I found that it illuminates my mystery. It is almost my palette, so that is why I experiment with lots of different light technologies rather than using technology just for the sake of it. I do not want light to be gimmicky, it needs to be beautiful and kind of innately ephemeral and transient. 

I often find myself using light and sound to augment space and to create a kind of fabricated reality. My aim is to play with new technology. I am enthusiastic about creating artworks in digital and interactive forms: light sculpture, projection, hologram, film and sound. I want to work with interface devices: projector, screen or my interactive canvas. Light attracts innately; every colour makes different space in a different way of influencing us.

Space is always one of the key components of the work and the container of the light. My work actually changes how I see the space, it is kind of mapping it to create a different type of environment. Each work is built to fit a specific space and it is up there for a while and then it is gone. This is like the idea of it being a very temporary work, a kind of quick gesture filling and manipulating the environment.  

On the other hand, the absence of light makes you more attentive to everything else: it leads you to pay more attention to details which cannot be seen in the light; sound, room temperature, texture and atmosphere, but the colour is gone! If there is no light, there is no colour. In a dark room, we use our memory and imagination to create scenes which could make us feel safer. We will focus on the room atmosphere and our internal feeling; but the colours have gone! During sleep, we only see the darkness, and some sketches of stories; sometimes these are realistic dreams, but others are abstracted ones! 

Light speed also manipulates my ideas, different distances make it a different work. I show on my balcony, but the scene is different from the other side of the river. I was thinking how to decrease the speed of the light by 100% and more to experiment with the difference. I found that the speed of light can be slowed slightly if it travels through materials such as water or frosted glass. Photons, the particles of light, are travelling unimpeded through free space, it is the interaction between art and science. The works which I make are often set between these disciplines, art and science, to define what light means physically in my practice. 

Through medical imaging

Human memories are recorded mostly through photograph, which often becomes a form of art, Recently, artist generates new kind of art which using medical imaging to produce art. Science aims to make the matter more meaningful within human eye cognition. Therefore, through medical imaging, artist can illustrate the unseen scenes. In that breadth, new ideas will enhance the motivation to break the boundaries of the artistic phenomenon concerning the human body. Interpreting medical scenes in a language that the public can understand will fit in the scope of art, which is more relatable to them. This will also change how ordinary people interact with medicine. 

I think that analysing medical imaging is very important not just for a medical reason but for looking at the system of the human body as an artist. When I first saw my skeleton three months ago, I wondered how it could be a resource of me as an artist, and now as a researcher. My own x-rays are my source material which have a shadowy and mysterious beauty, not limited by their straightforward, back-to-front point of view, but through my identity as a Saudi woman. I do not want it to be personal, I want to draw my DNA as I saw it in a more revealing perspective. The perception of distinction leads me to characterise my artwork within uniqueness goals.

The idea is to use higher-resolution medical imaging for creating art through the identity of a Saudi woman. Some example of these technologies is artificial intelligence technology (magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI), augmented and virtual reality (Open Sight: an AR system), three-dimensional printing, cinematic rending and digital twinning. I am fascinated by the marvellous medical imaging of bones, blood cells, body temperature and brain waves. I am motivated not only by their inherent beauty but also by the theory of the collaboration between art and science being the third culture.

Art and medicine are both human attempts to understand and describe the human phenomenon. They both seek to promote and maintain health and well-being. A clinician works directly with patients in a healthcare setting. An artist is a kind of psychotherapist who deals with mental health, depression, stress and chronic pain. My interest in science is about transforming data into emotion. I imagine the space as I go through my body to explore what is invisible in it, what is my fears, my doubts and my motives.

It is trying to grasp the logic of science to build the space in an emotional and integrated manner. I want to create a mutual dialogue with the public to examine how to receive contemporary art. This means we are going to collaborate, and they might become a co-author with me. What they see is entirely up to them, I will not force them to understand me. I will listen to them; I will try to understand them, and through their feedback, I will find a new idea of what they want to know about their body. It is a kind of series following each other, and it is endless.

We are sharing a lot of health information at once, but I will take one thing that speaks to us and blow it up. I want to make something complex seem understandable for the public. To translate a medical scan or a radiation image into something that the public can hear and can touch. My interpretations of medical images might impact my own creative responses to absorb contemporary art within my identity. I find myself in the art of science and medicine, and I find the possibilities endless, and the overlapping between art and science can make both better. 

I am trying to integrate art and medicine to create art using the human body and medical phenomena; art and science are very similar in that they are both extremely creative fields which explore new ideas and break boundaries. Art and science have the same motivation. They are a human effort to describe the world around us and how we experience it. There is a relationship between art and science which runs through the length of human history, they inform one another.

Diseases have memory

I started to question time perception and our cumulated experience which is what forms our identity. My initial research centred around the wonder of everyday phenomena as seen through the artist’s perspective, but now it is inviting me to re-evaluate my perception of the beauty. I have noticed all around me how rich life is, even in my skin, my eyes and my back X-ray. They all lead me to think more deeply about my body.

The human body became the medium for me to create a language with people. It is relevant to the way that we see life. I do believe that changing the world means changing the way we understand our selves. Through human science, we as artists thrive on seeing deeply, on expanding perception and attention.

I am exploring the notion of what medicine considers truth depends on how we look at it. We all have different phobia. Each person has his own fears of different types of disease, depending on his family tree. I ended up with the idea that some diseases have memory, they are genetic, and they save their information in our DNA. The body is the indicator of our health level whereas the brain is the essential software. The brain controls all the functions of the body, it interprets information from the outside world, and embodies the essence of the soul and mind. It contains all the data which programmes our thoughts, memories, speech, movements and balance.

I am very interested in how our brain works because it defines our identity and our memories. We come in, born with a gene containing our DNA, and before we die, we forget who we are. Between that remembrance and forgetfulness, I found the meaning of our existence. I am always trying to get to the essence of what it is to be aware as a human being. I noticed that the person next to me doesn’t see my special memories which fly in the air of the room which we are sharing. The data which has been written in our mind is diverse; you can remember your Italian friend’s name with an Italian

accent not with your mother-language’s accent! Now the first question coming into my head in English, not Arabic, is: by which language do we remember?

Memory Matter’ is my theme which highlights the aspects of losing memory perception rather than focusing on the negative aspects of Alzheimer’s. I want to show the meaning of our worthiness. I research how our brain works, the truth is that there is too much to it, it is endlessness. But the main thing I wonder is, if there is no memory, there is nothing, memory keeps our heart remembering how to beat, which is the last stage of Alzheimer’s before death … Amnesia!

Viruses VS Ideas

Even in locked-down cites, ideas spread like viruses, we are living in the same place, breathing the same air, under a similar sky, or sometimes it is different, even though we are not speaking to one another, Ideas still travel through space to other artists somewhere in the world!

What if we could see the viruses because we live in the time of the coronavirus: viruses and ideas have wings; they can travel across boundaries. 

In 2020, quarantined in London, I put on my off-site show on my balcony. With fibre optic lights and my daughter, I played with ideas and viruses to create a new work during my self-isolation time

The weapon is the enemy…

My hand is my enemy and my weapon at the same time. My children and I are surrounded by millions of germs flowing in the air and falling down on surfaces. Our fears are in door handles, tissues and groceries delivered from the supermarket. It is a new kind of fear that we are not used to worrying about. As an artist, I am trying to raise awareness by picturing the invisible as a war between hands and germs which I try to highlight

The beginning

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The beginning of my journey through my identity was wanting to define the cultural roots of being a citizen within a geographical boundary. Then I became fascinated by the process of having an individual identity and the tools for showing our similarities rather than our differences. It was the starting point, but it ended up with an abstract way of answering my question: where is the artist’s identity from his practice? I was feeling isolated in my practice so I am trying to find a common language which I can use to communicate with the whole world. I do believe that change is good, especially when it follows research and brings convenience. 

Focusing on my identity might produce fears of losing my character in the diverse modern world. I try to have a message for the world: all colours and all nations around the earth. It is a kind of conversation which I can communicate anywhere to rethink lonely but together. 

The information in the human mind, which is what makes us different, is different. Memories help to make us who we are. I carry out investigations into the concept of identity by means of remembering our memories. I notice that it centres around the wonder of our brain as seen through amnesic perspectives. This process invited me to evaluate my perception of its beauty.

My father has received a shocking diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. He has lost the ability sometimes to recognise me, and that is so sad to recall. He was a head judge of the court and now he is never able even to remember his daily routine. No words can describe how he sees the world in a very different way to that of an adult, to me. I put myself in his shoes: I felt how important it is to stand with him and I decided to put all of my effort into understanding his feelings. I feel compelled to embrace this idea in my artwork and hopefully raise awareness about our memory which is our identity resource. 

When I started my MA, my father saw my work and he said: ‘I did not send you to Britain to play with materials, I want you to be a doctor’. In reality, I am an artist who wants to do a PhD in art, but I am not a doctor. I cannot be a doctor, but I can help doctors by raising awareness about health and disease in our society. I shall try to vaccinate the public with some unimaginable medical pictures about their bodies so they can understand the disease deeply not only when they are stricken with it but before that. Not only about the negative aspect of it but also about highlighting the beauty of our body and rethinking our health care.

My dad is not the only one. There are about 35 million people around the world living with some kind of dementia, and by 2030 the number might double to 70 million. Dementia scares us, the confused faces and shaky hands of people who we love, the increased number of people who get it, who is next? We are going into denial: ‘it is never going to happen to me’. Or we are trying to prevent dementia by doing everything right so that it will not get us. My concern is to find my way to being prepared for getting Alzheimer’s one day. What can I do more than writing emergency phone numbers on yellow stickers, writing down my allergies, my blood type and so on? I want to activate my receptors of losing my memory over the years, but in contrast, how can I imagine having a long-lasting memory? How if I cannot forget my bad experiences?

In high school, medicine was my passion, but when I had to choose between art and science; I chose art, and now I choose science to be my research approach to art to take on new challenges and question preconceptions. I am interested in the fascinating relationship between different disciplines to experiment with the connections and to explore new inspiration resources. The new methodology of contemporary art makes me feel more comfortable talking about science to contribute to the evolution of an understanding of what the new global art is and how it can make a contribution to society. It might grow a public awareness of developments and innovations in fields of human biology. It is an area which both artists and scientists are most interested in pursuing collectively and creatively towards developing new visions for the future. I am working in parallel with the future of art to show what we have in the new global art.

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