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Marte Newcombe & Greg Shirah

NASA
Virginia, USA
martenew@aol.com
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Artist Statement: By working as collaborators, artists and scientists can make art that communicates our shared interests. Digital imaging provides the perfect vehicle for such collaborations, both because of the speed that the medium allows. The collaboration entails using scientific data prepared by Greg Shirah and other NASA scientists and artwork done by both participants and using these sources as the basis for a visual dialogue between the artists. The work is passed on electronically as each person adds and subtracts from the ongoing work.The integrity of the original image is no longer of importance. The final objective is to create something original and challenging from data that is in itself already original and in many cases of great beauty. The challenge as artists is not to make more pretty pictures but to attempt to communicate another way of seeing.

Greg and I are colleagues at NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio and have both been working with satellite data for a number of years. Two years ago we decided to start using these satellite images with our own artwork and to collaborate in creating new pieces which included our own artwork along with the satellite images. My background is as a sculptor, printmaker and digital artist and Greg's is as an animator, computer scientist and digital artist.

The collaborations involved scanning a number of sculptures in my case and Greg created mathematically-based objects. The mathematically based elements are curves based on parametric equations that have been rail-extruded and/or rendered using metaball techniques.
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