I've been meaning to go to events at powerHouse Arena for years now, and always forget to check the schedule. Tonight, I finally made it! The event was a release party for a book, The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science. I was pretty excited about the concept, because I really like art and science as ways for us humans to understand our world (unlike religion or philosophy, neither of which I can relate to at all). Rather than bring along a friend, I brought my sketchbook.
I was uncharacteristically on time, so I had to wait around 15 or 20 minutes for the event to start. Meanwhile I had a glass of wine and was handed a balloon. I didn't tie my balloon to my bag well enough, so it got stuck up at the ceiling not long after. (Apologies to whoever has to get it down from there! I was worried that if I tied it on too well I'd have to bike home with it on there.)
I was seated pretty close up, so these sketches are of the presenters. One day it would be great to do a sketch that gets in super cool arena seating they have there.
I got the sense that more than a few of the 75+ contributors were in attendance, but only a lucky six got to present, three from the "art" side and three from the "science" side. None of them discussed their contributions to the book; instead they just gave a quick lightning-style talk about something interesting they'd worked on.
Then Meehan Crist talked about Traumatic Brain Injuries and how our understanding of them has changed and is still developing.
Then Matt Leines talked about how for years and years all of his drawings were versions of Hulk Hogan's mustache. He then gave us a slideshow of some of the more amusing pro wrestlers of the past 40 years.
Then Tim Requarth explained why most of us can't tickle ourselves without the aid of a time-delayed robot, though some schizophrenics can do so. (At the beginning of his segment, Tim asked how many scientists were in attendance Basically none were, unfortunately. I suspect he would have gotten a hearty response if he'd asked how many illustrators were there.)
Then Jennifer Daniel walked us through the process of developing charts and infographics for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Finally, Jessica Rothman told us about her work in non-human primate nutrition.
In conclusion, the artists dressed more interestingly, and the scientists dressed more sexily.
So, what's the book like? I don't know. I couldn't figure out where they were selling them or where the signing was happening. I think maybe you were supposed to wander around and find the contributors. Once you managed to find and buy a book. But I decided to skip all that and hurry home for the Biden/Ryan debate instead, and boy am I glad I did! That was some excellent television. I look forward to checking out the book another day.