For Immediate Release: Dec. 11
By David Smalley, Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va. — It’s not often that the Smithsonian and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) find their paths interwoven. Today, however, saw the two respected institutions working together on behalf of innovation and art.
Dr. Lawrence Schuette, ONR’s director of innovation and acting director of research, is among a powerful array of prominent national figures—including Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Eric Cantor, political strategists Karl Rove and Vernon Jordan, and White House spokesman Jay Carney—portrayed in a new video art exhibit unveiled today at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
The unique project, by contemporary American artist Lincoln Schatz, is titled “The Network: Portrait Conversations,” and focuses on in-depth portrayals of game-changing players in leadership and innovation.
ONR, charged with the advancement of S&T in the Navy, has a long history of innovative scientific advancements, playing a major role in the development of technologies ranging from GPS to QuikClot to groundbreaking advancements in the use of the transistor.
“Time and time again, it’s all about seeing an opportunity, framing it correctly, and presenting it to the right people so that they want to do it because it’s so obvious once it’s presented correctly,” said Schuette. “I’ve been very happy to help do that.”
Recent ONR technologies in the news include directed energy laser advances, Scan Eagle and other unmanned aerial vehicles, and strong progress for the electromagnetic railgun.
In the video, the artist’s interviews constantly shift between different people, based on topic—so one’s experience viewing the video is never the same.
“Getting to the crossroads of technologies and opportunity is crucial,” said Schuette. “Part of scientific advancement is to look at problems not outside the box, but to have the right size box in the first place.”
Schuette said he was delighted when nationally-acclaimed artist Schatz asked him to participate in the exhibit, which will also be presented as a book.
“It was really fun to talk to a nationally-known artist like Lincoln Schatz, a guy with such different experiences,” he said. “It’s so much fun in this job to be able to talk to people who are brilliant and passionate.”
More information about the project can be found here: http://thenetworkportrait.com.
About the Office of Naval research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.