Sallie Wesaw/Mateo Romero

At a unique event in Santa Fe on Saturday, September 29, SFI Distinguished Professor Geoffrey West and Cochiti Pueblo artist Mateo Romero discussed how creativity influences and inspires their work.

It was the first in a series of lectures exploring the creative process in art and science, co-sponsored by SFI and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe.

The event, moderated by the Institute’s Valerie Plame Wilson, offered a glimpse of how the artist and the scientist approach their work, and how the discovery process -- whether it involves painting, photography, or mixed-media art or the study of scale in physics or social systems -- can produce the manic, creative energy that drives creativity.

Mateo Romero is a contemporary, award-winning artist often exploring old ideologies to create new meaning. Although his cultural background is an urban one, through his father Santiago Romero and his connection to their Southern Keresan Cochiti people, his experience includes much of the Rio Grande Pueblo world as well. He received an M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of New Mexico.

Geoffrey West is a theoretical physicist who specializes in the study of mathematical regularities underlying living and socioeconomic systems, from cells to cities. Prior to joining the Santa Fe Institute as a Distinguished Professor in 2003, he led the high-energy physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he is a senior fellow. In 2006, West was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and his work was selected as one of the breakthrough ideas of 2007 by the Harvard Business Review.

The September Chaos to Complexity event was the first of several planned discussions with contemporary Native American artists and scientists from the Santa Fe Institute.

More SFI News