Art + Science collider

INSTAAR and the Dairy Arts Center collaborated on our second Art and Science Connections Collider on April 10th 2023 during Boulder Arts Week.  

The idea of the colliders is to explore connections across art and science disciplines (aren’t we all both, really?) and look for potential collaborations on data-driven art initiatives as well as on research that seeks to produce more meaningful, applicable results. Together, we hope to better understand and explain the world as we know it in new and evolving ways.

The latest collider began with a tour of INSTAAR’s Stable Isotope Lab (SIL) that included a look at actual ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland and a demonstration of how we analyze greenhouse gases in atmospheric samples. After the tour, the group had a general discussion in the Bartlett Science Communication Center.


Sylvia Michel (left) explains how analyzing ice cores can tell us about past climatic conditions as Dairy Arts Center curator Drew Austin holds a section of “teaching ice.”

New INSTAAR Fellow Ben Li (center) discusses how the lab's instruments measure stable isotopes of greenhouse gases from a global air sampling network. Yes, John Ortega (at left) is using a cartoon of cats wearing balloons to explain isotopes.

Artists and scientists ask rapid-fire questions of Ben and John during the lab tour. Photos by Shelly Sommer.

Published: April 10, 2023