If Oscar Wilde was right, and all art is utterly worthless, then what do we make of art when it can detect viruses and reveal the patterns behind urban sprawl?
That, and other questions, will be answered at "Symbiosis," an exhibit at the Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery that melds science and art, opening Friday with a 6 to 10 p.m. reception.
A striking example is Lars Cuzner's work, which will track airborne viruses throughout the gallery so the audience can see where the little buggers that cause the common cold are hiding out. The technology one day will be capable of detecting viruses in real time, and Cuzner said the Department of Defense and Homeland Security have orders in for the system.
"It seems redundant to track something so omnipresent and harmless," Cuzner said. "Nonetheless, the systematic creation of fear can turn anything into a threat. Anyway, the likelihood of these viruses being in any given room occupied by people is pretty high."
Even if the audience members can see where high concentrations of the virus are within the room, they won't be able to avoid them, because the carriers and the virus itself will be moving throughout the room.