Pop-up

18th February 2000 at 00:00
THE ART OF SCIENCE. By Jay Young. Walker Books pound;19.99.

Recent pop-up books have featured art and science, and now Jay Young gets in on the act by drawing parallels between the two disciplines in The Art of Science.

The pop-up structures in a quintet of presentations are working models rather than inert tableaux, so the first page reveals a pendulum with a twirling hologram disc hanging over a magnetic reflector. As the glittering disc wobbles randomly over the mirror, paintings by Turner, Constable and JacksonPollock illustrate the unpredictability of nature.

Attention then switches to order and structure as a wave machine finds echoes in ancient and modern art, which show geometric shapes and wave-based patterns. Artistic illusion and use of perspective bring in Dali and Escher together with a pop-up stereoscope and its series of 3-D images.

The art - or science - of photography is accompanied by an excellent camera obscura which rises from the pageto give impressive images.

The final pop-up is a wire sculpture which, with a small battery, becomes a game to test dexterity. This is the cue for interactive sculpture by contemporary artists and computer-generated visual effects. Tucked into this last scene is a booklet which gives the background to the science and art together with brief biographies of the artists.

Jay Young's aims to show how science and technology have influenced the work of artists. His personal choice inevitably involves omissions - perhaps the particulate nature of matter could be matched with the pointillist paintings of Seurat and the spirals of shells, galaxies and DNA could have connected with the Renaissance art of Uccello.

However, any book which inspires the reader to follow the author's lead has surely succeeded in its purpose, which in this case is establishing the marriage of art and science.

Dennis Ashton is director of the Sheffield Stardome Planetarium


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