Tel Aviv University physicist Dr. Yasmine Meroz and artist Liat Segal collaborated to create a sculpture that will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS).
The sculpture, called "Impossible Object," is made of water and can only take its intended form in space, as it is designed to only hold its intended form in the absence of gravity. The sculpture is made of brass pipes and rods that carry water. In zero gravity conditions, the water envelops the brass to form a 3D shape that resembles an endless staircase.
Meroz said the project bridges the gap between science and art: "There is much in common between art and scientific research: both are the result of a thought process in which creativity plays a central role and are motivated by the desire to ask interesting questions. 'Impossible Object' is a research-based artwork, where the medium is basically the physics underpinning water behavior in the absence of gravity. I learned a lot in the process, and I have no doubt it will contribute to research in my laboratory. In this respect, this work expresses the unrealized potential of the synergy between art and scientific research."
Segal said the project was a real cooperative effort with Meroz and that she was thrilled to have had the chance to work with her. "I am very happy about my collaboration with Yasmine, she said. "In this collaboration, we not only shared knowledge and inspiration, but we were also able to bring about a true co-creation, which could not have been realized by each one of us individually. ‘Impossible Object’ is timely, weighing the role of culture and art at an era when humanity is experiencing accelerated scientific and technological developments.
Segal also highlighted the significance of this artwork amid unprecedented advances in science. "Following incredible technological and scientific achievements in space, and as space tourism becomes tangible, it is important to reflect on the place of culture and arts in our lives, on earth and beyond," she said.