Street Art, Science and Engagement

While scientific data is often seen as the dominant mode of communication regarding our pressing existential threats, the public perception and understanding of science are embedded in a matrix of complex processes, including cultural and social processes, that give science meaning in our daily lives. From this perspective, science-related cultural products – such as science-inspired and/or research-enriched street art – are powerful vehicles of science communication.

Street art is visual art in public spaces, public art. Street art addresses a huge and extremely diverse audience: everyone in a city. It is created for public visibility. In the STREET ART, SCIENCE AND ENGAGEMENT series of the online journal w/k – Between Science and Art, together with street artists, we explore to what extent science-inspired and research-enriched public art can be considered a means of science communication, what strategies street artists use to communicate their ideas through large-scale murals, spray-painted graffiti and other artistic techniques and expressions, and how street art can be understood as a vehicle for grassroots environmental creativity and engagement. 

Street art is unique in that it is both a producer of public knowledge and a participant within the environmental discourse, as it represents knowledge of the environment but also reflects the public’s perception of that knowledge. Discover what street artists think about the role of street art in shaping our ideas and understanding about the environment – and how street art can excite our imagination about science and research! 

Discover our recent academic publication on street art as a science communication tactic, with special potential for environmental communication
Upcoming events: two public symposia – Uncharted Territory Festival
Previous events: “Science. Art. Film.” night with discussion – October 2022
In October 2022 we showed the film Martha: A Picture Story about the origins of street art and graffiti at the National Film and Sound Archived – followed by a discussion with graffiti artist JINKS and BOHIE.
Are you an artist exploring environmental themes and/or collaborating with scientists, a researcher investigating street art, or a student keen to get involved? Get in touch – we look forward to working with you!

Contemporary art […] is an important medium for popularizing the sciences and, by implication, contributes to their changing popular image. Changes of the science images are connected to a changing art world and also to a change in the popular image of the sciences.

Bernd Hüppauf/Peter Weingart, Science Images and
Popular Images of the Sciences (Routledge 2007, 17)