Information Arts: Intersection of Art, Science and Technology

This encyclopedia-like book by Stephen Wilson investigates the relationship between art, technology, research, and science to discover that they are interconnected in many ways.

A brief introduction

Technology is always associated with science, and science is always associated with the frontiers of technological advancements. But this notion of the specialisation of roles in science and art is a idea that only started since the Renaissance. Art making and scientific research actually goes through similar methodologies, as well as pushes the boundaries of technology. For the longest time, people have always been creating and inventing, figuring out how something works before knowing why it does. This intuitiveness and creativity generate new ways of using technology, while a deeper understanding of its mechanisms further pushes it; all in all improving and generating new technology. In this manner, art and science worked hand-in-hand in the creation of technology. Are we able to break away from the notion of art being “creative” and science being “technical”? This book aims to address that issue and see how art and science is coming together in the information age.

The book

Included in the book are some of the best research-inspired artworks that Wilson believes to be thought-provoking and revolutionary, in hopes to challenges our notion of art and science.

Wilson explains the relevant ideas in understandable chunks in the introduction, followed by a categorisation of works based on a group of topics (eg. “Biology: Microbiology, Animals and Plants, Ecology, and Medicine and the Body”). Within the categories, Wilson further explains information that is relevant to the topics and lists a few artists that uses such ideas.

Example, in the Biology category, Wilson explains Bionics and stated examples like a nerve chip that Stanford researchers created which reads nerve signals, decodes them, and operate prosthetics. Wilson then goes further in depth to look at individual artists what delves in different aspects of biology. For example, in the “Medicine and the Body” subcategory, he lists down notable artists like Stelarc, Antunez Roca, ORLAN, and their notable works with a brief description and other relevant information.

In “Third Hand”, A manipulable robotic arm is attached to the body activated by the host via EMG (sometimes from other body areas) or tele-operated by others. Images taken from

Personal thoughts

I had no time to read through everything, but I was really interested in many of the examples and ideas he listed, especially under the “Medicine and the Body” section as that is within my current interest. It is a very comprehensive and informative book which talks about a really relevant topic in our current time.

I am also interested to learn more about what he said about science, art, and technology. I guess I find it relatable as pop-science (despite its bad reputation as being too watered down) really inspires me. Video channels like VSauce and Kurzgesagt shaped my ideas and thoughts to where I am now, and I love to base my project and works around these ideas.


Wilson, Stephen. Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science and Technology. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002.

Inter-mission Research

The Lapse Project

The Lapse Project consists of 5 parts: VR Lapse, Particle Lapse, 24H Lapse, Panorama Lapse, and Journal Lapse. The project uses the concept of the word ‘lapse’ as a gateway to the conversation between the growing digitising of our nation, the virtual technology we use, and our memory of the physical world.

VR Lapse focuses on the disappearance of The Art House, where the viewer is placed within the now empty space with a 360 degree view of its surrounding, allowing us to contemplate the idea of the disappearance of an important local landmark without it actually being demolished.

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Particle Lapse worked in conjunction with VR Lapse, focusing on sound instead of visuals. Using the sonic vibrations recorded 24 hours prior, Particle Lapse aims to disorient the viewer in an attempt to create an illusion of a gap in space and time.

24H Lapse uses CRT monitors to show scenes of visitors in the space in the past 24 hours over live footages that make them appears to coexist with the current time.

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Panorama Lapse is a video projection triptych that digitally erased 3 art gallery buildings, namely: The National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Art Museum. Visitors goes about their daily lives in these changed spaces, which asks the question: what would happen to us if this is our reality? The work also plays on our memory of the erased spaces, do we recognise these spaces if they are gone?

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Lastly, Journal Lapse is a piece of creative writing that plays on the idea of ‘lapse’ to its fullest extend.

Overall, I don’t really understand this project. Although conceptually, I understand where the artists are coming from, I feel that the works do not connect. For example, in VR Lapse, there is a very far link between the removal of a building in a VR space and the idea of the removal of an actual building as we are used to the (unreal / manipulative?) nature of virtual space and as such, a disappeared building could be inferred as a ‘bad render’, or that it ‘disappeared for us to see clearly’. (what I mean is, in games, some 3D objects disappear when it gets in the view of the camera in order for the players to see their characters clearly without an obstruction). I feel that it will have very little impact on the viewers, probably because it is done in VR.

Another example is the (forced?) link between surveillance and data mining in 24H Lapse. I do not associate the 24 hour lapse in CCTV footage with the “seemingly obsolete technology of CCTV surveillance that is being rapidly replaced by data mining.” Perhaps it is a sound argument conceptually, but visually, it seems far-fetched.

Despite my criticisms, I really like Panorama Lapse as it connects best visually and conceptually. It is straight forward, easy to understand, and proves its point. Although I also imagine that 24H Lapse would be a cool installation to see too.

It might have been better if I was there to see the artwork firsthand as it sounds too complex on paper. As such, my views may be distorted due to the lack of physical interaction with the artworks.

The Lapse Project brochure:


INTER-MISSION: Does Out of Sight, Out of Mind in Singapore leads to Nevermind?


Beat The Living F*ck Out Of Cancer – Interactive Art Research

Beat The Living F*ck Out Of Cancer

Thijs Biersteker

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Article link:

This interactive artwork helps to bring awareness to cancer within an individual’s health risks, while also help raise funds for cancer research. Participants first enter their details to generate a cancer-risk profile. The participant then steps into the ring with their gear on, which triggers the motion sensor to start the game. A portion of the punching bag will light up and the light will grow, representing the cancer cells that are growing. The participant then have to punch it to kill the cell, pretty much like what the title of the artwork. The difficulty of the game will be based on the profile of each individual. So this not only help participants to start becoming active, it also help them be aware of their risk of cancer.

The artist felt that, we are usually helpless in situations when we learn that a family or friend got cancer. By creating this artwork, the artist allowed the ‘bystanders’ to have an active role in fighting cancer — literally. Other than that, each punch donates an amount to cancer research.



In collaboration with Fight Cancer, a Dutch NGO that empowers people to start their own ways of fund raising for cancer research.

The artist used a punching bag as it has a form that can easily be connected to fighting. It is also stable and allow participants to constantly focus on a target. The punching bag is laced with strong punchable LEDs that are able to display an array of colours, which is useful in representing different cancer cells. Many sensors are installed inside the punching bag. The accelerometer records the power of the punch, the gyroscope records the angle, the impact sensors records the intensity and location of the punch. All these come together to create a punching bag that displays light at specific locations and receive feedback accurately.

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This website explains the artwork:

What I like about this artwork is that it explain a concept really well while also ensuring a completely interactive experience. Its interface is intuitive and the elements involved (LEDs, impact sensors, projections, etc) creates an immersive experience. Participants also can understand the message easily while being super involved in the participation that allow them to have a personalised experience that they can bring home to. Overall, I really love it due to how everything really falls into place. It is a really well-thought project indeed!

Some other interesting works that you can read on: