BCN Art-Ambient – Art, science and gender
‘BCN Art-Ambient‘ is an artistic mural produced by IDAEA-CSIC in collaboration with the Center of Urban Art B-Murals that depicts the environmental research carried out at the institute, from a gender perspective. Awarded one of the “Beques Premis Barcelona 2020”, this project aims to make visible and bring the different current environmental problems closer to the public in a visual way and with an innovative format.
WHY A MURAL?
There are multiple formats to bring scientific advances closer to the general public, such as workshops, informative talks, games, etc. With ‘BCN Art-Ambient’ we wanted to go a step further and use a format that is not usually used to express scientific content: urban art.
A mural allows anyone, of any age, nationality, or social condition, to enjoy the work and reflect on what it produces and what impact it has on their life.
The creative process of uniting art and science was bidirectional: on the one hand, IDAEA researchers and technicians developed their creative capacities during the project; on the other hand, the artistic sector (formed by B-Murals and Twee Muizen) learned about environmental research.
Three artistic-scientific co-creation sessions guided by B-Murals were held. A group of 13 volunteers from the IDAEA-CSIC (scientists, technicians, administrative, and maintenance staff) conceptualized the scientific production of the institute into concrete ideas that could be represented plastically. What am I? What is IDAEA? What is science? were some of the questions that arose in the sessions and inspired an enriching debate about our scientific institution. The participating group also visited the Nau Bostik (B-Murals headquarters) and got hands-on experience with graffiti techniques.
During the last session, the artistic team Twee Muizen, who were previously chosen by the IDAEA participating group, visited the facilities to specify what ideas they wanted to capture and where the mural would be made.
The artists Twee Muizen painted the mural that can currently be seen on the center’s façade (c/ Joan Obiols, 11. 08034, Barcelona). The structure of the building itself, divided into 5 panels, was used to create a series of vignettes showing several representative elements of the IDAEA-CSIC.
Molecules are the basis of life, and they also represent union and cooperation, forces that are very necessary for scientific research. The fish emulate zebrafish, one of the most widely used laboratory organisms to study the impact of toxic compounds on the environment and human health. The scientific woman is a central element in the mural since this project aims to make visible the contribution of women to a more egalitarian, inclusive, and representative science. Penguins, like other birds such as seagulls, are studied to assess the impact of pollution on their habitats and on their own bodies. Finally, environmental research also studies vegetation and its contribution to healthy and sustainable hydrological systems.
Conceptualization and development: Comité de Igualdad y Dpto. de Comunicación IDAEA-CSIC.
Colaboration and support: Centre d’Art Urbà B-Murals.
Artists: Twee Muizen
Funding: Ajuntament Barcelona (Beques “Premis Barcelona 2020”)
Photography: Fer Alcalá