Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Our group met yesterday to talk about what the theme should be for this project. We decided to propose “the connection between science and religion” as our general theme, with a specific suggestion as to what we do with it. We were thinking that we could split the class up into several smaller groups, and assign each group to a space in the Science Center. Each group would be responsible for finding art for its own space. They could come up with their own sub-theme to concentrate on under our general, overarching theme. This way we could incorporate the New Story, the miracles of Jesus vs. Science, and/or several of the other ideas we have come up with in class, creating diversity without detracting from the main idea. We were also thinking about picking an image, the globe perhaps, and requiring whatever is done in each area to incorporate that image somehow. In this way, we carry our theme of connectedness further and offer another way to unify each section into a somewhat cohesive whole.

We also had a few other ideas that didn't directly have to do with the theme. We talked about getting students to do the art, maybe making it a contest. Paying for a prize would be cheaper than commissioning an art work, and it would make the art distinctly "Stonehill." Going along with this, there was a suggestion to make an area a student exhibit space so that we could rotate student artwork. We also thought about utilizing a projector, which would incorporate light (lux et spes) and which could be more interactive (a projector could change images, or use images that move). Lastly, I think it was Solange who mentioned artwork that can be made with retina scans, so that it looks like a picture of the universe. We could do something like that, and then maybe put a picture of space up next to it.

Okay, I think that's all :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Evolution Wars and God Gives the Finger

Ok, so not the finger. I'm referring to the famous Sistine Chapel mural of God and Adam. I was perusing Google (what else) and I came across a few seperate images that tie science into the classic image, but there is one image that was funny, yet intriguing. http://img.timeinc.net/time/magazine/archive/covers/2005/1101050815_400.jpg

Although I wouldn't recommend using this image, as you can tell the cover is from Time Magazine and I found the article online for you to read. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1090909,00.html

Kinda tacky images, but fun.

Tim :)

A Note from Group 6

Dear Professor Lanci,

We are sad to inform you that we are not happy. We feel uninspired and sapped. Please make us happy. Have the class go to the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum. It’s $5 for students and would be $10 for you, unless you have a student id. We feel that it would be inspiring for the entire class, and our group is particularly interested in creating a garden or plant-ish motif for the project, so it would show the class what we could along those lines.

Click here to visit the museum's website.

Meliza, Pat & Jess

Our little Eden

Randomness, but what do you guys think about doing a seasonal change of plants if we do something indoors? Maybe pots at the entrance or somewhere. Thinking Isabella Stuart Gardner style.

And on the current project, some things to consider re outdoors:

Area will get ample sun, but will be shaded mid afternoon too. Do we want fountain/ statues included? Where would we put them? Footpaths/ patio/ benches?

Will be about a 40-50 FT corridor between the science center and Martin. Possibility of planting in there?

Flowering Trees:
See this website for name and image:

See this website for name and image: http://www.americanmeadows.com/Perennials.aspx?gclid=CIus6ovf35ECFQqbggodaFLoew

Combo of the two:

Stuff to consider:
Timing: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/perennials/text_selection.html

Perks of Plantings:

Easy care perennials:

Places to buy:


God the Geometer

I was looking around tonight on Wikipedia and stumbled on this painting and thought of our class. I'm not sure of the significance, but it made me think.

As I mentioned in class, the Lunar Eclipse on Wednesday has been on my mind as of late. I was reading up on it the other day and found something I had never thought of: it is complete "luck" that Earth's size, the moon's size, and the distance between the two line up so that our shadow can perfectly cover the moon during a Lunar Eclipse.


Anyway, this painting from the 13th century and is said to reflect Proverbs 8.27 in which Wisdom speaks of creation:

"When he established the heavens I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the deep. . ."

From what I've read, for mathematicians in the Middle Ages, geometry was a divine activity. We understand our universe through numbers and measurements; why wouldn't our Creator have taken the same things into account?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lux et Spes.

Would it be completely cheesy to incorporate the "lux et spes" theme of the College into this project? The concepts of light and hope could relate to both the Catholic mission of the College and the New Story, if that's the theme that we end up going with. I don't know.. light and hope are flexible ideas that can mold to pretty much anything, so I figured I'd throw it out there since it hasn't been mentioned yet.

P.S-- to my white-paper group-- we need to set up a date/time to meet!
"Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes" Pope John Paul II

I just saw this quote in one of my friend's profiles on facebook, and I figured I'd put it up since it 's pretty relevant to our topic, especially in tying what we do into the school's Catholic identity. I asked him where he got the quote from. I have yet to hear back.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

At a Lunar Eclipse
Thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea,
Now steals along upon the Moon's meek shine
In even monochrome and curving line
Of imperturbable serenity.
--Thomas Hardy

Maybe instead of developing a theme or focused "mission" statement, we could find an appropriate poem to express the type of art we're looking for.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Science Centers at Other Colleges

Hey guys, our group decided to put a post on the blog where we are going to put everything we find from other colleges, that way we can all see pictures and links from the other Science Centers and will be able to show you all in class. Even though this topic is empty now, it will get added to in the days to come.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ingrid Sundberg

Hey guys,

I found this today and thought it was kind of cool:

Ingrid Sundberg is a graduate from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and her work is centered upon "an exploration of the visual and intellectual connections between nature, science, spirituality, religion, and philosophy."

Her stuff is pretty cool and she's local. The article I found is here:

and her own portfolio/website can be found here: http://www.sundbergstudio.com/

Check it out :)

Images Journal

Hey everyone,
I was cruising around the internet and I came upon the website of this art/religion Journal called IMAGES. I think it might be pretty helpful for us, so I already asked them to send us a few copies and maybe some backissues so that we could get some real concrete Ideas. The Journals should be here in a week or so, but until that feel free to browse around the website. The website is more of a teaser for the print Journal, it seems, so there isn't that much real information on there, but it can be helpful nonetheless.

Here is a link to the Journal's Website
Hey everyone,
   I haven't been up to par with what's going on in class (due to the nasty flu that made me go home), but while at home I was able to talk to my uncle in Puerto Rico. He restores art in dozens of museums in Puerto Rico, mainly modern art. I asked if he could keep an eye out for any art that combines religion and science(Puerto Rico is predominantly Catholic).

 I was so excited when he told me that he has seen dozens of pieces, that he himself has actually kept and would be willing to donate(I would have to go to Puerto Rico and get them myself). 

Hopefully he will send me some print online so that I can show the class.

-Meliza Prieto

Monday, February 18, 2008

interview questions

hey everyone. i know we are about to start narrowing down our search, so i set up a meeting w. my previous photography professor.

she is currently seeking her degree to teach high school where she hopes to be able to combine the study of art and science. naturally, i thought she would be the perfect person to speak with.

i meet with her tomorrow so if anyone has any questions that they think would be important for me to ask please let me know.

i'll make sure to post our conversation on the blog after i meet with her and type it up...

thanks. tatiana

Saturday, February 16, 2008


As a senior, I'm a little ashamed to say that I just read the school's mission for the very first time. I guess I never felt particularly drawn towards learning about the mission, because these things are usually pieces of fluff strewn together to create a nice, pretty, fluffy picture of Stonehill College.

In other words, I figured it was bullshit.

Although I had no intentions of doing so, I read and interpreted the mission within the context of The New Story. I couldn't believe how closely they relate-- I literally got excited about it, which is dorky even for myself-- but really, even if you have read the College's mission before, read it again now, after all we've digested about The New Story.

See for yourself :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Spirituality of College Students

I wonder if the material contained in this link, to a series of surveys of spirituality in higher education would be of any value to you folks. If you have some time, check out the link and its survey results. http://spirituality.ucla.edu/reports/index.html

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Human Element

While listening to Sister Chris tonight at dinner and thinking about our discussion in class, this commercial came to mind. I'm not sure that a commercial can be called "popular art" but its message is certainly appropriate for our class.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spiritual Science

While perusing the internet, I came across a couple of interesting things online. The first is something called a Past Walk, but it's actually a movable mat labyrinth. But I was thinking that the labyrinth could symbolize the path of science, faith, and knowledge. Here's the link


The next thing I came across is something called Spiritual Science. http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org. The link is too the foundation if you want to check it out yourselves. It's mostly about ESP, but it got me thinking about finding art alternatives, so I did some research and came up with two. The first is the human body made divine.


The second is an interesting piece of art from Princeton. It screams Spiritual Science to me


The last thing I found was something called a Mandala. Mandala is the Sanskrit word for "Sacred Circle." You may have also heard mandala referred
to as: spirit map, oneness, wholeness, container of essence, all that is, spiritual place of enlightenment, mirror, soul-light within, making the invisible visible, circles for healing. Or simply, a circle with a center point of focus from which one works outward. For thousands of years in most cultures and religions, mandalas have been used as a form of visual prayer. Native American and Tibetan sand paintings, Gothic Rose windows and Hindu yantras are examples of mandalas used as circles for meditation, protection and healing. In today's modern society, mandalas allow children and adults alike to project sacred intentions toward world peace and inner peace. Cancer patients use the mandala process to access the power of healing through artwork and meditation.

Here's the link for the website I was looking at. http://www.artbodyandsoul.com/workshops/mandala/mandala.html

I apologize for the long entry

--Tim :)

CL Project again..

Hmm that last link didn't work. Haha maybe this one will...

Clergy Letter Project

The Clergy Letter Project

So as all of you know this week is Darwin Fest, and aside from tomorrow night's lecture by Sister Chris, Anthro Society is also hosting three other speakers throughout the week. Tonight we had Rev. Ted Newcomb of the Orthodox Congregational Church of Mansfield come to talk about the relationship between religion and science and he presented a progressive Christian view on the evolutionary debate. Rev. Newcomb is a member of the Clergy Letter Project, a group of clergy members all over the country (11,000 clergy members!!) who support the notion that religion and science can coexist.

Clergy Letter Project

This link is the written letter that outlines the project's ideals. Maybe it's something we could quote somewhere on a wall in the Science Center...

In Rev. Newcomb's talk he spoke a lot about humility and how professionals of all different fields should practice humility when learning and listening about other fields. Mike mentioned this in his response to the "Controversial Art," the idea of humility so that could be something we try to incorporate into our artwork. Passion for life was another theme Rev. Newcomb mentioned and that's something that is applicable to religion and science, and doing work that helps another (despite beliefs). Maybe our artwork can embody certain themes that aren't necessarily religious or scientific, but instead, global values that can be applied to both?

-Aubrey :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

The New Story

After reading the materials about the New Story I decided to do a little extra investigation about it on the internet. I found a great website that has ten videos that are each roughly 5-8 minutes in length (I'm guessing). They're narrated (at least the five specifically about the New Story) by Brian Swimme himself. Very fascinating, but for the focus of our project I'll just direct your attention to the various designs and artwork displayed throughout the videos. Just watch the first one; it's only a few minutes and loads without a wait time. If we're thinking of blending science and spirituality, the New Story isn't a very bad example of a resource in my opinion.

The New Story

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thoughts on a Whim

Hello all. In the spirit of last weeks class, I spent some time brainstorming via the web writing. We seemed to be more comfortable with a spirituality piece, so here are some things I thought of that might help others spark ideas.


Lightness to the atmosphere of the thing or place or mental state in both color and weight; also feeling this within my own being.

Something that makes me smile, if not physically, then at least mentally.

Gives off a sense of complete well being.

All seems right with the world both within yourself and in the physical world.

Buddhism and Hinduism spring to mind.

The joy of someone peeking out from behind a tree to find someone else peeking out from behind a tree as well.

That which one doesn’t have the privilege to see or feel much of. (Popping out from the top of tropical rainforest's canopy, etc.)

And these attributes: personal thing with a personal expression, exploratory, the uplifting experience, moving, accessible to people of different religious beliefs, tying in with nature.

Arresting moments

Views of nature that are overwhelming (the cosmos on a clear night, being in the Alps, etc.)

Words that articulated really well.

The beauty that is love from compassion.

Children being themselves. They’re honest, inquisitive and ready to take on the world.

Water and what it can do. (thinking along the lines of the Colorado river owning the land that once existed in the wake of what is now the Grand Canyon)

Things that make me question myself, both as a physical and mental being.


Stop dead?

Does anyone remember the SEA exhibit outside of the Hill last year where they pulled ridiculous trash (like VCRs, traffic cones, chairs?) out of O'Hara pond and piled it all on the table?

That's one of the times I really stopped and paid attention to something. All of my roommates remember it too and they said they stopped, too.

While that worked largely because of shock value, it's interesting to think about what types of things will make students stop and actually remember the exhibit and its message. I just wanted to see if you guys remembered it too. That's all


Thursday, February 7, 2008

art in science, science in art

i found these interesting pictures on the internet while browsing for ideas.

take a look [make sure to read the blurbs they are interesting as well]...



Simply... sacred.

I just stumbled upon a blog with an entry that read the following:

"Within the emerging church over the past decade there has been a return to the use of icons, images, and rituals to help point people to God... Could it be, we actually worship the creator of heaven and earth who is already all-present, if we would only stop to notice?

Maybe the only difference between the sacred and the secular is that the secular doesn’t know it’s sacred yet."

While this doesn't bring anything new to the table, it just reminded me of what we talked about in class-- our generation's general inability to STOP and perceive. Employing simplicity really is our best bet here. Not only would it be financially wiser, but it would convey the message that sacred does not necessarily imply complexity, or some radical otherness; it might be something ordinary that we have simply never noticed before.

--Emily :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

frozen grand central

for those of you who are interested here is the link for the youtube video...



Aw or awful?

I agree with Mike’s comments about the ‘Controversial Art?’. While it would be interesting to figure out a way to juxtapose both religion and science, it may cause an somewhat awkward subliminal message. That said, I thought of something during our last class that does combine the two in a way that may elude such a strain. If we did an art sequence, presumably paintings/drawings, that showed the full growth cycle of a plant that has yielded medical miracles (such as a willow, from which aspirin’s beneficial component was gleaned) and then at the end had a scientist holding aspirin or a clear representative of it, we could have one Jesus’ miracles next the scientist or if possible across, generating a sort of mirror image for religion and science. This would work well going up a staircase or down a hall.

I realize that the idea is in a rather crude form, so I would welcome comments and suggestions.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Controversial Art?

 I was thinking about what we were talking about last week when we were thinking about finding a way to juxtapose the miracles of Jesus and the miracles of modern science, and also about the idea that the cross is so familiar to us that no one thinks about it anymore. It crossed my mind that we could combine the two concepts, and represent well-known biblical stories with modern people substituted for the biblical characters. We could show a doctor raising Lazarus, a chemist changing water to wine, or MLK jr. being crucified. Of course,I realize that all that might be too far of a stretch. Conversely, we could have an image of a doctor and patient overlayed with biblical text about Jesus healing, or have an image of civil rights peace protesters with the "turn the other cheek" message on top (or maybe the part from the beatitudes where Jesus says "blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake" (Matthew 5:10) or something like that). I know we said we probably want to do something more spiritual than religious, but I figured I'd throw it out there as an idea anyway.

Monday, February 4, 2008


For some reason, when thinking about this project, I keep thinking about water. Beal talked a little bit about the connection between water and the divine at a fountain at the Precious Moments exhibit, but another interesting thing stood out to me when reading this book (and others)—the use of water imagery in language as well. Standing in the middle of Cross Garden, Beal says, “A religious stream of consciousness seems to be running through this garden, welling up from some undetermined, unconscious source of creativity” (121).
Image and Spirit got me thinking about water, too. One part that seemed especially relevant to our project was Paul Tillich’s ideas about depth—that “depth as a metaphor for the spiritual dimensions of life have continuing usefulness in our search for a definition of the spiritual in art that is limited enough still to define, yet open enough to allow as many people as possible to enter into the discussion” (11). Although not entirely in the way Tillich means, depth, again, reminds me of water, and this passage reminds me of the way we ended our class last week talking about how we wanted to make sure that whatever art we decided to contribute to the building was spiritual and not necessarily religion-specific.
Water is interesting to me because it seems to be a solid connection between science and religion. Water is a fundamental part of nature, creation, and the human body. It is also fundamental to the study and understanding of science (scientists can break it down into hydrogen and oxygen, etc), as well as the rituals and practices associated with religion, mysticism, and spirituality. In a religious as well as natural sense, water creates, sustains, and perpetuates life—much like various deities do and have done in several religious traditions. Water is also extraordinarily powerful—while it can create, it can also destroy, as we have seen in the Bible (Noah, Red Sea, etc), other ancient traditions, and even currently with storms such as hurricanes and tsunamis. It comes as no surprise, then, that a prime characteristic of many of the ancient storm gods and powerful deities is the ability to control and manipulate water (think of Jesus walking on water—in Japanese creation stories, too, a formless material is sculpted by the gods into what we now know as earth). Everyone knows what “Holy Water” is. The vision of Paradise in Islam involves flowing water and flowering, green earth. Think of the scientific “creation story,” too, about evolution and organisms forming and evolving—water was a necessary and essential player in that one, too.
Needless to say, water is everywhere in a discussion of religion—not only is it a powerful symbol, but it purifies and cleanses in both a scientific and a spiritual sense. It appeals to all of the senses, something that I think is important when trying to capture the feeling or the essence of the transcendent. Water has the ability to elicit a “sense of awe” as well as facilitate meditation. I’m not saying that our art has to actually involve water, although that would be cool—but I think that some representation of water would be both meaningful and beautiful. Just a thought…see you guys on Wednesday :)

The Egg

An excerpt from The Golden Egg:

Eggs immediately began to crop up everywhere: in Russian fairy tales, Vedic scriptures, English nursery rhymes, in German Romanticism or in Victorian fantasy, in Clemes Brentano’s “Gockel, Hinkel and Gackeleia,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. They even showed up in astronomy when Johannes Kepler, intent on discovering perfect circles in the planetary orbits, was disappointed when he encountered ellipses and had to accept the awful truth that even the solar system seems to prefer eggs. A cosmic egg is central in Hindu mythology, in which it is called Hiranyagarbha, the egg containing the creation, the subtle germ of the material world. It is reflected by the solar plexus and the crystal egg inside the Athanor, the alchemical oven.

Egg shapes can thus be found on many levels of our existence, in the kitchen and in the stars, in design and metaphysics, from birth to death. In this sense, the egg expresses a fundamental truth of alchemy as found in the Tabula Smaragdina: ‘As above, so below.’ In hindsight then, this symbol seemed to us to possess sufficient fertility to engage researchers in many fields and from different disciplines. The very nature of alchemy as an art that is both subjective and objective, material and spiritual calls for an interdisciplinary approach.

The egg is a popular symbol for creation and clearly it comes up in science all the time (astronomy, alchemy, biology). Here are some websites that talk about the role of the egg in culture:

The Dogon tribe in Africa - the first site talks about the mythology of the egg creation and the second shows a picture.
1. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/mythology/118502
2. http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/category/dogon-cosmic-egg/

Some creation stories - India, China, and Japan deal with the egg
1. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab83

This book, Symbols of Sacred Science, might be a really good one to try to get a hold of. Click "more" under the Contents and there are two sections that deal with the egg: "The Heart and the World Egg" and "The Cave and the World Egg."
1. http://books.google.com/books?id=qEQQht2Y2CQC

The Heart and the World Egg excerpt: "The biblical figure of the Terrestrial Paradise, which is also the 'Center of the World,' is that of a circular precinct which may be considered as the horizontal section of an ovoid or a spherical form..."

The Cave and the World Egg excerpt: "The two halves into which the 'World Egg' is divided according to one of the most common aspects of its symbolism, become respectively heaven and earth..."

This site deals with different meanings/interpretations/definitions of the egg.
1. http://www.experiencefestival.com/egg

And, finally, my last site. It's an article about the symbolism of the egg, and specifically ostrich eggs, which are often displayed in churches.
1. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7086/full/440872a.html

Maybe we could have an egg theme! Haha, just a thought...

-Aubrey :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chet Raymo on Science Musings

Hi, everyone. I wonder if you know the site that Chet Raymo, Stonehill professor emeritus and former columnist for the Boston Globe, runs. You might want to take a look. It is found at:


Not everyone has signed onto the blog site yet. If you know of anyone lagging behind, do bug, cajole or force them to do it.