Artists and the experiences they create have the power to captivate our attention and seemingly suspend time, unlocking new ways of thinking and inviting us into a state of discovery. In this spirit, the Simons Foundation’s Science, Society & Culture division announces a new program to support artists in integrating science into their work and engaging audiences in creative ways.
Through the newly launched Triangle Program, we will bring together artists, scientists and producing partners to spark connections and creativity — with each participant forming one part of a collaborative triangle. The program will enable participants to learn from one another and to take the time they need to explore ideas.
This year, the Triangle Program is supporting seven collaborations that will culminate in new artworks spanning performance, sound, experimental photography, public sculpture, theater and multimedia installation. The works will be part of our broader In the Path of Totality initiative, which will engage communities who live in the path of the upcoming April 8 total solar eclipse across North America. Each artwork will play on the eclipse theme in different ways, drawing from the artists’ collaborations with astrophysicists, astronomers, neuroscientists and paleontologists, as well as local producing partners in the eclipse’s path.
We have seen first-hand the power of artist-scientist collaborations. We supported Sticky Settings, a partnership between interdisciplinary artist Laura Splan and theoretical biophysicist Adam Lamson, and the Gibney dance organization’s Open Interval Program, which pairs choreographers with scientists at the Simons Foundation’s Flatiron Institute.
The Triangle Program seeks to expand on the success of such collaborations by building a robust infrastructure for future artist-scientist partnerships. The program kicked off in 2023 with a three-month planning phase to give participants time to assemble a team and generate ideas before proposing a project. During the planning phase, we provided starter grants and support to catalyze conversations around art, science, cross-pollination and the upcoming solar eclipse.
In spring 2023, we convened a newly formed advisory committee to determine the first Triangle Program finalists with an eye toward the program’s future.
We selected projects investigating an authentic connection between art and scientific research that could not have come to life without the contributions of each collaborator. Our selection process focuses on artworks that communities can experience in large groups at no cost.
Each artwork will be installed at a venue in the path of totality between January and April 2024. You can learn more about the seven creative teams and their artwork on the In the Path of Totality website. We are thrilled to connect these magical experiences to the eclipse. We plan to grow the program going forward, with the ambition to run the next iteration of the Triangle Program in 2025. For updates and information, visit our website.
With gratitude to the Triangle Advisory Committee who helped us select our awardees:
Ashley Ferro-Murphy, Doris Duke Foundation (formerly EMPAC)
Andrew Kircher, Bard Graduate Center
Camille Norment, Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Phillip Edward Spradley, Karma Gallery
Zachary Kaplan, Getty Foundation