Pasadena a.k.a. The City of Art and Science
California is an ArtScience mecca! Artists, innovators, and thought leaders gravitate towards the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles. In San Francisco, there’s Leonardo/ISAST and Exploratorium—pioneers of interdisciplinarity (or non-disciplinarity). Then there’s Pasadena, which celebrates cohabitation of arts and science institutions with their biennial AxS Festival (pronounced ‘ak-sis’). Pasadena is home to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design (run by ArtScience curator Stephen Nowlin), and also CalTech where robotics are an art form. Its citizens even have a manifesto:
Only in Pasadena is there such a great collection of artists and scientists. It’s a neo-Renaissance. 500 years later, we’re picking up the ball where da Vinci dropped it. Here, art and science are the same. Both experiment, take risks, and go way out there to come back with something new. We feel no obligation to see the world the way that others see it. To us, color theory is a science and molecular biology is an art form. Whether it’s a 5th symphony or a Mars rover, there’s a higher level of understanding that we’re all trying to get to. That’s why we, the art freaks and science geeks declare that we are going to get together and start something spontaneous and exciting. It’s a new kind of coexistence, one that breeds and feeds off each other. Freaks & Geeks aim for new discoveries and ask questions that push the limits far beyond Pasadena’s borders.
How cool is that?! The more I learn about Pasadena, the more I want to go to there.