Exhibition curated by Columbus artist Amandda Tirey blends art and science

Amandda Leigh Tirey hates spiders but she loves science. As a result, Ken Rinaldo's “Spider Haus Movies” is going to be part of “Hypotheses: Art Inspired by the Many Worlds of Science,” an exhibition Tirey is curating at the Cultural Arts Center.

Rinaldo, who heads the art and technology program of the Ohio State University Department of Art, is one of 35 artists who will have work in the exhibition, which opens with a reception on Friday, Sept. 28. The works all examine the relationship between science and art, some via metaphor and others in more obvious, if abstract, ways. Painting, poetry, installation, video, live spiders…

“It's a very interesting show. The whole environment inside the Cultural Arts Center is going to be changed,” Tirey said.

“The notion of the hypothesis, the asking of a conceptual question and then looking for the answer is indeed what both artists and scientists do over time,” Rinaldo said. “I think we often think of artists as asking only aesthetic questions about beauty, but I think artists are really asking really profound questions about the nature of our universe. In a way, we're playing in different sandboxes, but the truth is the sandboxes are very much conjoined.”

In addition to “Spider Haus Movies,” in which video concerning spiders is played depending on how viewers react to live spiders, Rinaldo will also show “Borderless Bacteria/Colonialist Cash,” a collection of world currency on which he's allowed bacteria to grow — a commentary on the ubiquitous nature of bacteria — and a select pieces of new work from a body titled “Rivers Flow Through Us,” featuring a selection of flora along with water, LED lights and plastic containers.

“My greatest inspiration is looking at and thinking about living things and our relationship to them, and about how science is helping us understand those things and yet ironically killing those things,” he said. “Plastic is one of the primary constituents of this project. I bought that plastic and I'm responsible for it.”

“I'm using science as a material,” Rinaldo continued. “There used to be a much more profound and accepted relationship between the arts and sciences, and I think maybe our current culture is regaining that understanding.”

“Hypotheses” will be on view through Nov. 10. Related programming throughout includes artist talks and workshops with Fuse Factory. Performances featuring Chamber Brews (Oct. 5) and Anna and the Annadroids (Oct. 19) are also planned. The show will conclude Nov. 10 with the Absolutely Absurd Science Party, an event Tirey has hosted in the past and which will serve in this iteration as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Cultural Arts Center.