Collaborative "Entropy" Art Exhibit on Display

September 2, 2011

Entropy is a collaborative project and exhibition by Bradley art and engineering departments, along with The League of Imaginary Scientists. The exhibit is currently running at the Hartmann Gallery.

"My hope is that the engineering students, as with everyone who goes to the exhibit, will leave with a better understanding of entropy, a measure of disorder," said Dr. David Zietlow, professor of mechanical engineering.

The exhibit is a multi-layer work of art. An earthquake is created, making the buildings in the exhibit fall apart. This creates the disorder. Floating balls in tubes then float to measure the increase in entropy.

"Entropy is a portal to understanding life on this planet. Studying entropy leads to the following two questions: 'What is the cause of disorder?' and 'How can order be restored?'" Zietlow said.

A video is also shown throughout the exhibit that will educate visitors on the concept of entropy.

Kelley Moulton '11, a photography major at Bradley, got involved with the project as an independent study.

"My role, along with photography minor Calvin Schenk, was to be the artistic guidance throughout this process with the mechanical engineering students and The League of Imaginary Scientists. We would help throughout the entire process, including brainstorming, putting pieces together and guiding everyone in a conceptual direction," Moulton said.

Moulton has been inspired by the collaborative experience.

"Working with people in a profession so far off from mine creates a very interesting dialogue that I now feel is key in creating such dynamic and interesting work that can reach such a broad audience," Moulton said.

Grace Pisula, an interactive media student, worked on programming and photographic facings of the buildings in the exhibit. She also gained many benefits from the work.

"I like to take on new opportunities when they come my way and this particular group of artists and enthusiasts sparked my interest. This project allowed me to interact with people who I wouldn't normally encounter in my classes. I gained early exposure to a real-world working environment," Pisula said.

For David Schumacher, a mechanical engineer on the project, working with art students was a new experience.

"Each side came into the project with complete opposite perspectives, which added a learning curve when trying to work together. The engineering side was pushing for as much structure as possible, whereas the art side was a bit more casual in the development of things," Schumacher said.

Robert Sprague, another mechanical engineer on the project, was excited with the idea of working with art students.

"It was a challenge I wanted to take. The idea that we were able to come together as a team has taught me a lot that I will be able to use in the future, wherever that future might take me," Sprague said.

He was happy with the final result of the two groups working together.

"The overall idea was a machine at first, but the final result was better, based on the input of two different groups," Sprague said.

The exhibit started at the Hartmann Gallery on Aug. 29 and runs through Oct. 2. The reception will be held on Sept. 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., also at the Hartmann Gallery.