María Ignacia Edwards

Photo Credits: María Ignacia Edwards

The first art & science residency goes to María Ignacia Edwards (CL). She was selected from among the 140+ applicants from 40 countries who responded to the open call. The decision was reached by a 10-member jury made up of representatives of Ars Electronica, the European Southern Observatory (Fernando Comerón) and the seven cultural institutions that make up the Art & Science Network. María will be spending the residency at the European Southern Observatory in Chile and at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Austria.

Self-sustainable pieces

In María Ignacia Edwards delicate, three-dimensional sculptures the objects seem to hover. Her sculptures consist of a multiplicity of objects suspended by fine wire from the ceiling of an exhibition space, that are perfectly balanced solely by their physical form and their own weight, rotate on their own axis and all of which are somehow interrelated. And sculptures composed of hundreds of thin wooden rods with their ends bound together to form three-dimensional geometric bodies. Though, at first glance, her works are perceived as purely aesthetic, artistic objects, it soon dawns on those who behold them that these constructions are the result of elaborate mathematical and physical calculations.

María Ignacia Edwards combines Art and Mathematics

María Edward’s artistic work originated in her striving to assume the position of an active observer of the world – an observer both of things that take place about her as well as of her own experiences, whereby that latter endeavor entails, above all, consciously questioning her own subjective perceptions. María Edward’s interest is focused primarily on relationships among human beings and their coincidental encounters, the highly diverse experiences she’s had during long outings by bicycle, the trajectories of the stars and the movement of the universe, science as a whole and philosophy in particular.

The upshot of all these considerations and observations was that she, at some point, came upon the idea of representing all these interrelationships in the form of a latticework – actually, a wide-ranging, tightly-meshed fabric of three-dimensionally arranged, interconnected points. And she came to the conclusion that such a visualization of all causalities and correlations on Earth bears an astounding resemblance to a map of stellar paths and constellations of stars. Her notes on blackboards, her entries in notebooks, her artistic works and mobile constructions – she regards all of them as markings on a mental as well as physical map testifying to her experiences and her whereabouts in the world and the universe.

Statement of the Jury

“The artist works with space, endeavouring to maintain the balance, suspension, lightness and weightlessness of objects, which are sustained by their own weight and counterweight. The constructions are the result of exquisite prior calculations, mechanisms, solutions and interventions. María Ignacia Edwards calls these pieces self-sustainable because they require no more than their own weight to exist, and the objects tend to rotate constantly around their own axis. The artist invites beholders to observe each object as if they were stars in the firmament. While, at first sight, her approach might seem purely plastic, it transcends science and particularly physics and mathematics, and in the jury’s view, it is especially attractive for the potential it offers for the residency. The artist makes a great effort to connect both the inspiration and the outcome of the work to characteristic features of astronomy: isolated objects in weightlessness. The work is thus intended to evoke astronomy-inspired awe. The presentation is very well elaborated and clearly transmits the idea of the project, though it also promises great potential for development in both residency venues.”

Short Biography

María Edwards, born in 1982, is an artist from Santiago – Chile. After getting her Arts bachelor degree from the University „Finis Terrae“ in Santiago und her Diploma in Cinema, Art Direction and Photography at the University of Chile she lived and worked in New York City from 2009 to 2012. During this time she also did an artistic residency at the school of visual arts and in the Lower East Side Printshop. In 2012, she got an invitation from the Arts Cultural Center in Mexico, Reinosa/Tamaulipas, to perform an individual exhibition, „In Between“ within the Tamaulipas International Arts Festival.
The artworks of María Edwards were also exhibited in Chile, Spain, USA, Argentina, Peru and México. Beyond that she has also taken part in international fairs: Pinta Art Fair in New York, ArteBA in Buenos Aires, Art Lima in Peru and ChaCo in Chile. Recently she has been awarded with the honor prize „Art for Science“, granted by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) in Santiago, Chile.

Read an interview with the artist on the Ars Electronica Blog, get some impressions of her residency in Chile on www.aec.at/feature and watch her video she has produced afterwards: