To See the Soul

Saima Siddiqui, Stamps School of Art & Design, LSA

Collaborator: Neil Beri, College of Engineering

“To See the Soul” is a series of artworks investigating the intersection of scientific theorization and mysticism in how we process memories and emotions. In collaboration between Saima Siddiqui, a Fine Arts and Astrophysics dual major, and Neil Beri, an Engineering Physics major with a Creative Writing minor, this project will dissect our fascinations with objectivity and intangibility as both scientists and artists.

We will construct several iterations of a headdress composed of lenses and mirrors that project the wearer’s eyes all around their head. Through the creation of these headdresses, we aim to connect the scientific understanding of lens and mirror optics with spiritual ideologies of seeing. By exploring the line between science and art, we hope to challenge the perception of scientific objectivity in the art world.

This project will actively use the scientific theories and methods we have learned in our time as physics students to create art. We are using these skills in new ways and emphasizing the humanity that went into analyzing the nature of the world in our respective fields.

We see art as the perfect outlet to address the questions that we cannot answer with equations. By combining the material practices and problem solving skills we have learned in fine arts and engineering, we can create works that are both functional and visually appealing.

We will begin by 3D printing a scan of Saima’s head for Neil to test reflection paths and lens positions on. These lenses and mirrors will be created by Saima using glass cutters, acrylic sheets, and mirror paint according to Neil’s diagrams.

The headdresses will then be created with a mix of fabric and metal in Saima’s IP studio. The final headdress will be displayed in the Stamps IP Exhibition at the end of the Winter semester, accompanied by a projection of it being worn.

By supporting this project, you are helping us establish ourselves as artists and represent an underrepresented perspective in the art world. We are working with philosophical topics that are often overlooked in western cultures. We hope to leave our audience with a greater appreciation for our differences by highlighting the beauty and unity found within the nature of our existence.