Students and teachers can explore the STEM concepts and skills found in the artists work. The STEM Concept tool provides a core idea from the Next Generation Science Standards and illustrates possible ways it has been applied in each artist's work. It also includes artist tips and views on STEM for a personal perspective on their unique STEM + Art connections.

Yulia Pinkusevich

Modeling with Geometry

Apply geometric concepts in modeling situations

G-MG.1. Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects (e.g., modeling a tree trunk or a human torso as a cylinder).

G-MG.2. Apply concepts of density based on area and volume in modeling situations (e.g., persons per square mile, BTUs per cubic foot).

G-MG.3. Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).

Polyscape: This art piece shows how geometric modeling using computer-aided design supports construction of a complex shape from simpler polygons.  This kinetic sculpture is composed of polypropylene pentagons joined with rings at the corners that allow the pentagonal tiles to move.  This structure exhibits the possibility of motion within a certain limited range that is actualized when a sensor sends signals to a processor that starts a mechanical motor connected to some of the tiles.

skills applied

  • Manufacturing Processess
  • CAD (Computer Aided Design)
  • Electronic Circuitry
  • Arduino Programming

ARTIST SUGGESTION

POLYSCAPE is a "floating island" that is made out of recycled polypropylene plastic, the same material used in making many plastic products such as disposable bottles and bags. The overall form of the installation is pentagonal tessellation or a pattern of interlocking shapes. The basic shape was designed in CAD then CNC milled into an aluminum mold which was then placed into a machine and injected with molten polypropylene pellets. This massive machine is called the Injection Molder. The injection molding process efficiently creates multiples using the same manufacturing process applied in industry. Once the pentagonal shapes are molded and cleaned up each piece is then assembled together. This is done by hand, linking each piece with aluminum rings using needle nose pliers. This is a painstakingly long and repetitive process and can be compared to knitting or crocheting. The end result creates a blanket like tessellated polymer fabric. This assembled poly-fabric is then suspended from the ceiling with monofilament or heavy duty fishing line. Certain monofilament lines attach to a motor which upon activation moves the fabric such that it undulates mimicking the motion of water. The motor is activated by an infrared sensor which feels the presence of people, thus POLYSCAPE undulates only if humans are present. When I am developing a concept I search the web for inspiration and collect many reference images. I search for artist working in similar mediums or with similar ideas, I also look at architectural structures, mathematical patterns, ancient mosaics, various tessellations, etc.

Artists on STEM
How do you think artists can benefit from science / scientists? and/or visa versa?

I think scientist can benefit from artist by allowing a bit more creative problem solving into their labs, by taking more risks and not worrying about their colleagues opinions as much. Artist can learn from scientist by being more structured and rigorous in their methodology and approaches to art. By conducting more studies and adding more research components to their practice. I think the lines are blurring more and more.

What was your experience with STEM in school? What would you change now if you could?

In 5th and 6th grade I was lucky enough to attend to The Computer School in NYC. A public school with an inclination towards science and technology. There I learned to code in LOGOWriter made basic websites and programed simple motorized Lego structures. This was memorable and great fun, plus this gave me a real sense of achievement as a young kid. But by high school I lost all of those skill because we relocated to New Jersey and I changed schools. What I think schools need more of now is hands on projects which teach kids problem solving skills. Projects that involve team work and have no “right” answer."

Do you think there is a difference between artistic and scientific creativity?

Art and science is very similar in methodology. A lot of the process is about having an idea, testing the idea, noting the results, and seeing if the experiment was successful. After being exposed to scientist and engineers at Stanford University I realize we have so much in common.

Modeling with Geometry

Apply geometric concepts in modeling situations

G-MG.1. Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects (e.g., modeling a tree trunk or a human torso as a cylinder).

G-MG.2. Apply concepts of density based on area and volume in modeling situations (e.g., persons per square mile, BTUs per cubic foot).

G-MG.3. Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).