The Unseen Water: The Transmigration of Scientific Photography into the Domain of Art through Experimentation with the Scanning Electron Microscope

Anastasia Tyurina (PhD)

This research involves aesthetic approaches to scientific microphotography. Scientific photography is commonly perceived as a way of recording scientific data through techniques such as photomicrography, high-speed photography, time-lapse photography, x-ray photography, aerial photography and many other photographic techniques. By exploring the interplay between the indexical and iconic modalities in the process of creating photomicrographs, I seek to imbue them with new meanings and re-appropriate scientific photography as a creative practice and a source of science communication to the general public. Specifically, this project investigates the reinterpretation of photomicrographic images of micro-scale drops of water made by a Scanning Electron Microscope after evaporation, and thus turns scientific photography into an art form. My practice aims to draw attention to the qualities of water through enhanced visual details that aid in the interpretation of, and differentiation between, water samples. Drawing attention to the pressing issues of water quality and scarcity. Building on the fact that scientific tools have brought new ways of seeing the world, my artist application of them seeks to extend this by addressing the question; How can artistic thinking and procedures shift the visual outcomes of photomicrography to function with affect within in the context of art?