I started the Tesla Group in the early days of my residency at the Computer Science Department in 2005. I was the Department's first artist in residence, and my original aim was to introduce the staff to my area of interest by organising a series of invited lectures by leading thinkers and practitioners within the field of art|science. The scope of the group's activities has expanded and changed organically through time, and it now reaches out to a much broader community in a variety of ways.

The convergence of methods in art and science happens mainly in the realms of creativity, vision, and intuition. Both artists and scientists are concerned with understanding the world and our existence within it, but the personal and individual view of the artist contrasts with that of the scientist, which is essentially collective, being rooted in consensus and the pursuit of objectivity. This dichotomy between art and science suggests a conflict: does combining the two run the risk of introducing some bias antithetical to the very ideas of both art and science? And if so, can this conflict be managed satisfactorily and without compromise when artists and scientists collaborate on a project? These two questions raise a wide range of issues to be explored, and many of our talks.
The group is named after the scientist, inventor, visionary, polymath and humanist Nikola Tesla (see http://www.teslasociety.com/biography.htm and My Inventions: The Autobiography by N. Tesla http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96jul/teslaautobio.html). Without his discoveries, especially in the field of polyphase alternating current, the modern technology-based world simply would not be possible. However, his distinctive personal philosophy and working methods today seem closer to those of an artist than a scientist. Tesla's inventions include the Tesla coil, fluorescent light, wireless transmission of electrical energy, radio, remote control, the discovery of cosmic radio waves, and the use of the ionosphere for scientific purposes. The international unit of magnetic flux density is named after him, and his alternating current motor is often named as one of the top ten inventions of all time.
 
How to join the group

You don't need to join anything to attend the talks or access the video archive – they're open and free. The talks are advertised on this page a few weeks in advance, but if you'd like to join the mailing list to make sure you don't miss one, just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you'll receive an email and a reminder for each talk. (In your email, please tell us who you are, and why you're interested in Tesla – we don't pass this information to any third parties). We also run a Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=25913646831 (with around a thousand members worldwide) and a LinkedIn group http://www.linkedin.com/groups?viewMembers=&gid=2435856&sik=1287946853298

Tesla Talks and Archive

The Tesla Talks and their online archive have now become our major output, reaching audiences all over the world through our UCL portal, and through various academic and social networking interfaces. The talks are usually held at 6 p.m.in the Garwood lecture theatre at UCL (see here for directions). They take place at irregular intervals (roughly every month or two) and usually last between 45 minutes and an hour, with about 15 minutes for Q&A, followed by informal discussions in the nearby Jeremy Bentham pub. We have no prescriptions or limitations concerning the subject and structure of the talk, except that it should address art and science understood in broad terms. Our aim is not to present an objective historical validation of the field, but rather to assemble and make available a series of very personal accounts that I like to call 'a diary of the best practice and thinking within art|science'.

In 2007, artist and filmmaker Amanda Egbe [http://amandaegbe.co.uk ] joined me to prepare video-documentaries of our talks and to develop our online video-archive as an integral part of her personal artistic practice.

Gordana Novakovic [http://www.gordananovakovic.org], Tesla curator