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American Scientist

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January-February 2023

Volume: 111 Number: 1

Artist and textile crafter Minga Opazo created the cover sculpture as part of RE-DRESS, a waste management project that weaves together mycology and fiber arts by using fungi to digest and transform clothing waste into soil. Through the project, Opazo and environmental scientist and doctoral candidate Danielle Stevenson plan to explore different fungal decomposers, processes, and myco-digester systems as possible solutions for the textile waste crisis. In “Sculpting Science” (Arts Lab), Robert Louis Chianese makes the case that Opazo’s piece and other sci-art sculptures can provide unique insights into scientific concepts. A sculpture can render an abstract concept, such as quantum physics, in three dimensions, and probe complex themes, such as the impact of human waste on the natural world. A sculpture can also move, demonstrating kinetic scientific concepts in real time. Chianese analyzes seven sculptures that demonstrate the power of bringing science and art together in sculpture. (Cover image courtesy of Dominga Opazo Pavez and Danielle Stevenson.)