Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Culture and Climate Change

Culture and Climate Change is a new UK effort that links art and science to influence society. Their projects include Narratives, Recordings, and Scenarios, like artist residencies.
"Climate change is urgent and important, but also, for many, boring, difficult and confusing. What kinds of stories and other artworks are being created in response to ‘the greatest challenge facing humanity’ — a challenge that is also apparently forgettable?"
"We convene workshops and events that invite contributions from leading researchers, artists, producers, journalists and policymakers."

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rot: The Afterlife of Trees

 "In 2014 Dr. Mark Harmon, a nationally recognized forest researcher from Oregon State University’s College of Forestry asked The Arts Center to help him mount an exhibition about decomposing logs. Rot: The Afterlife of Trees is a resulting multi-media exhibition coming to [the Main Gallery of the Art Center in Corvallis, Oregon] in January 2016."

Call to Artists and Scientists

January 19 - February 28, 2016 | Reception: Friday, February 12, 6-9 PM

The goals of the exhibition are to show creative work that explores the intersection between art and science; to foster communication between the arts and sciences; and to spark new ways of viewing the world and ourselves. Creative work that transcends pure scientific illustration to explore the conceptual realm where art and science both reside is strongly encouraged. 

For more information and to apply, see this page.

Book Recommendations

This post is a running list of recent book recommendations from ArtSciConverge participants that explore the art/sci interface in the natural world. There is also a good list of related books on the "SciArt in America" blog.

I created a list on Amazon with additional titles that may be interesting.

"In this exquisitely researched work of fiction, Sylvia Torti explores sex and science, memory and forgetting, and how, in laboratory research on living organisms, we often destroy what we love.”--Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus, finalist for The National Book Award.

More info. Available on Amazon.

The term “PARANOMIA” has multiple meanings, one of them being that which exists alongside the normative. In his inquiry into the entangled aspects of science and contemporary art, Christoph Keller outlines how knowledge is derived in the respective fields.

Available at Spector Books.

The Time of the Force Majeure: After 45 Years, Counterforce is on the Horizon

This book offers a 21st-century manifesto from the pioneers of the eco-art movement. Since the 1970s Helen and Newton Harrison have been creating art inspired by the earth. They established a worldwide network among biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners, politicians, and other artists to initiate collaborative dialogues about ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development. This definitive survey traces an influential joint career that has lasted nearly half a century.
More here.

Vladimir Nabokov's career in science, included "a stint as the lepidoptery curator at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology in the 1940s...his scientific work has mostly been treated as a curious fact rather than something of a significance on par with his writing. Fine Lines: Vladimir Nabokov’s Scientific Art, edited by Stephen H. Blackwell and Kurt Johnson and released earlier this year by Yale University Press, is one of the first works to thoroughly investigate his butterfly studies and scientific illustrations."
That Nabokov showed such insight despite working with such apparently limited tools at his disposal argues that he was more than just a competent taxonomist. His work in the Neotropical Polyommatus Blues stands out as a bold and brilliant scientific advance.

"Using the arts for conservation can help attract new audiences, increase understanding, introduce new perspectives, and create a dialogue among diverse people. The arts — painting, photography, literature, theatre, and music — offer an emotional connection to nature. This chapter provides examples of using the arts to inspire people to take action. Planning art activities requires reaching out to artists and the art community, audiences with whom scientists and educators may seldom interact. Conservation problems require creative solutions. It makes sense to access more ways of knowing the world in order to take care of it." -- Oxford Press

"Herman convincingly argues that closely analyzing works of art is an empowering exercise that translates to seeing the 'hidden' clues in many real-life scenarios...

Yet despite her expert clientele, Herman amply demonstrates that tapping into an inner Sherlock Holmes isn't only a skill for investigators and that heightened observation is critical to communicating effectively, empathizing with others, and making informed decisions." -- Amazon.com

"This anthology―which includes work by some of the nation's most accomplished writers, including Sandra Alcosser, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Jane Hirshfield, Linda Hogan, Freeman House, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Kathleen Dean Moore, Robert Michael Pyle, Pattiann Rogers, and Scott Russell Sanders―grows out of the work of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program and showcases the insights of the program's thoughtful and important encounters among writers, scientists, and place.

These vivid essays, poems, and field notes convey a landscape of moss-draped trees, patchwork clear-cuts, stream-swept gravel bars, and hillsides scoured by fire, and also bring forward the ambiguities and paradoxes of conflicting human values and their implications for the ecosystem.

Forest Under Story offers an illuminating and multifaceted way of understanding the ecology and significance of old-growth forests, and points the way toward a new kind of collaboration between the sciences and the humanities to better know and learn from special places." -- Amazon.com

"Why do we covet beauty? Why does art, which seems to serve little practical purpose, feel fundamental to our lives?

Such questions have long fascinated philosophers and artists. Now neuroscientists are weighing in as well. The Aesthetic Brain explores the field of neuroaesthetics, the science of how our brain experiences and responds to art, music and objects of beauty. Chatterjee, a neuroscientist, argues that an instinct for beauty has helped our species endure. Art is a product of our quest for beauty and knowledge." -- Scientific American

Experiencing Art: In the Brain of the Beholder

"Shimamura has written the ideal introduction to what science can say about artworks, from prehistoric carvings to the latest video projections. It's readable, smart and informed. Better yet, it's a scientist's take that doesn't neglect the humanities: Shimamura cares about which neurons fire, but also about what Plato thought."

 -- Blake Gopnik, art critic, Newsweek and The Daily Beast

12-7-15: "An audacious collaboration between an award-winning novelist and a leading environmental philosopher, Love in the Anthropocene taps into one of the hottest topics of the day, literally and figuratively—our corrupted environment—to deliver five related stories (“Flyfishing,” “Carbon,” “Holiday,” “Shanghai,” and “Zoo”) that investigate a future bereft of natural environments, introduced with a discussion on the Anthropocene—the Age of Humanity—and concluding with an essay on love.

The “love” these writer/philosophers investigate and celebrate is as much a constant as is human despoliation of the planet; it is what defines us, and it is what may save us. Science fiction, literary fiction, philosophical meditation, manifesto? All the above. This unique work is destined to become an essential companion—a primer, really—to life in the 21st century."

ArtSciConverge partnership at Aquarium of the Pacific

"The Aquarium of the Pacific has commissioned a project that brings art and science together to
translate the movement of sea jellies, or jellyfish, into a symphony...The Symphony of Jellies was developed based on an algorithm that tracks the movements of sea jellies and translates them into sounds...

Marty Quinn, founder of the Design Rythmics Sonification Research Lab, developed software and hardware to capture sea jellies movements with digital video footage and translate them into sounds through a process he calls MoveMusic sonification. Composer Eddie Freeman of Icarus Music used those sounds to create musical motifs and orchestration. Aquarium President and CEO Dr. Jerry Schubel and Aquarium Trustee Dennis Poulsen served as advisors and partners on the project."

Schubel and Quinn are members of the ArtSciConverge effort, and met as participants in the 2015 Reno Workshop.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Stanford's Environmental Humanities Project

Here's a great project by Stanford grad students:
The Environmental Humanities Project provides a forum for an interdisciplinary approach to environmental issues. It foregrounds recent work of humanities scholars in disciplines such as cultural studies, history, literary studies, philosophy and anthropology that has engaged with environmental problems, and explores how this research contributes to current discussions about ecological crisis.

a2ru Newsletter and Best Practices

a2ru has some interesting things happening next month, including the 2015 conference, and the publication of the Mellon Guide to best practices in the integration of arts practice in US research universities.

You can already read the interim reports from this process. These reports are directly relevant to FSML programs, and might help you get out in front, and/or find support within your university administration.
Here's the latest newsletter.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Partnership for Community Engagement Pilot

This WESTAF program seems like a great, ready-made model for some types of FSML art (Partnership for Community Engagement Pilot).

* * *

WESTAF--the Western States Arts Federation--is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to the creative advancement and preservation of the arts. To accomplish this, WESTAF works in cultural policy, research, and technology.

WESTAF provides other services that may be useful to FSML art programs:
  • "Since its launch in 2005, CallforEntry.org (CaFÉ) has grown to become the nation’s leading online call-for-entry application and jury management system. Thanks to a series of significant improvements and an expanding team, CaFÉ now has over 150,000 registered artists and is the only system with an active marketplace of artists who regularly search for and apply to calls through the site. The CaFÉ site consistently hosts more than 120 active calls, with over 60 new calls added each month. Each call receives an average of 220 submissions for juried exhibitions, art competitions, and public art commissions."
  • "The Public Art Archive (PAA) database is quickly approaching 10,000 records from almost 1,000 collections around the nation and abroad. As the database grows, the PAA team continues to work on ways to help more of the public discover and learn about public art collections. One big step towards this goal is the Collection Showcase Page feature, which allows administrators with collections in the PAA to develop their own home page as an access point to their collection. Using the showcase page in this way is far less expensive than designing a stand-alone public art site. In addition, because the PAA is heavily used, the public is better able to search for a collection in a locality rather than seeking one out that is often buried in state and local government sites."
  • "WESTAF has underwritten Barry’s Blog for 10 years now. The blog was initiated by Barry Hessenius, who, at the time of the blog’s founding, was the recent past executive director of the California Arts Council. WESTAF...invites our Update Notes subscribers to read Barry’s thoughts on 10 years of blogging about the arts by visiting: http://bit.ly/barry10."
  • See more services on the WESTAF website.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Community Innovation Labs

"Community Innovation Labs offer the opportunity for the cultural sector to play a vital role in community change, using artistic practices to build a shared vision, explore new possibilities, and advance adaptive solutions...

Our Labs create the space and conditions for organizations to test innovative new ways to take on their most complex, intractable challenges. We do this by helping them bring together teams of 'unusual suspects,' unfreeze the status quo, and test their most promising ideas by putting them into action...

We believe that innovation is primarily a process, not a product, fueled by discipline, focus, and a strong will for change. It requires letting go of what is no longer useful and experimenting your way forward. This is difficult and vulnerable work. We also believe that artistic experiences help us learn to productively navigate the tension between thinking and feeling, both of which are required to respond to complex challenges."
The project asks several questions to find fruitful areas for collaboration:
  • What problematic situation(s) in your community would be a good fit to explore in a pilot Lab? 
  • In what ways might a pilot Lab build on existing momentum, networks, and efforts? 
  • What group of community stakeholders from a range of sectors and backgrounds might be champions of this effort? Who is already committed?
The Community Innovation Labs model is clearly applicable to FSMLs aiming to foment creative abrasion between arts and field science in pursuit of fundamental discovery and solutions to wicked environmental problems.

The project website has links to a recent Webinar and an incredibly insightful and valuable Information Packet.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Art/Sci Jobs

I thought it would be useful to keep a running log of interesting art/sci job announcements, to advertise these positions, identify potential new partners, and to highlight institutions that are sufficiently interested in the intersection to put funding toward it.

Let me know if you have other announcements to add.


The University of Maine seeks applicants with strengths in creative computer programming for a tenure-track Assistant Professor for the New Media program, effective fall 2017.

Candidates with teaching and research interests in creative programming are encouraged to apply to enhance and/or complement UMaine's New-Media strengths in digital storytelling; video, photographic, and audio production; Web design and development; rapid prototyping; and user experience and interaction design. Candidates may either be programming language experts who focus on creative content or creative artists with strong programming credentials.

Applicants should have extensive experience in writing custom software for online, mobile, and physical environments. Teaching responsibilities will include introductory programming and server-side development.

Review of applications will begin on February 15, 2017 and continue until the position is filled. Questions can be addressed to NewMediaSearch@umit.maine.edu. Representatives of the New Media program will also be available to answer questions about the position at the College Art Association conference in New York from 15-18 February.

More at http://umainenewmedia.org/new-media-position.

4-27-16: The Arts at MIT welcomes applicants for the position of...

Director of the Council for the Arts at MIT.

The Director of the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) stewards the relationship between the volunteer members of the organization with the various aspects of the arts at MIT and administers all of the programs funded by the Council’s budget. Working closely with the Executive Director of Arts Initiatives, the Associate Provost with responsibility for the arts, and the Executive Committee of the Council, as needed, the director is responsible for long-range planning, implementation of strategic vision, recruitment of new members and the overall fiscal and operational activities of the Council. The director acts as a liaison between CAMIT members and students, faculty, staff and other CAMIT members, and provides timely communication of news, events and programs both inside and outside of the Council’s purview. The director creates a professional, but convivial, atmosphere for the accomplishment of CAMIT business. The director communicates CAMIT news and programs to the greater MIT community.


4-11-16: a2ru is officially hiring! PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.

Two positions found here:

a2ru Associate Director (5/7 deadline):  this is a multi-faceted opportunity for the right arts administrator to take the lead forwarding the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities' (a2ru's) national agenda. It requires vision, autonomy and excellent communications skills. Responsibilities include: forwarding national arts integrative research initiatives, conference planning with national partner universities, partnership servicing and cultivation, and leading development efforts.


ArtsEngine/a2ru Program Coordinator (4/28 deadline): this position calls for someone super organized to run the office and execute the details of our annual national conferences, student summits and multiple on- /off-campus programs (curricular and co-curricular).

a2ru is a membership-based boundary organization housed at the University of Michigan under ArtsEngine, currently with 35 American research universities in our national network.

Questions? Contact Laurie Baefsky, executive director @ lbaefsky@umich.edu

12-7-15: Research Fellow ArtsEngine/a2ru, U of Michigan

ArtsEngine and a2ru invite applicants for a two-year post-doctoral arts research fellowship, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

ArtsEngine and the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) seeks a highly skilled postdoctoral Mellon research fellow for the SPARC Project – Supporting Practice in the Arts, Research, and Curricula. The SPARC Project will:

 (1) disseminate and apply a recently completed three-year study investigating the role of arts integration, research and practice on research university campuses;
 (2) develop an online platform for broad distribution of current information and further research; and
 (3) create tangible tools and resources for the application of current data collected.

The SPARC Project will investigate a large body of qualitative data from a recently completed three-year study of over 800 interviews, identifying the impact and challenges of arts integrative collaborations as well as a broad range of arts practices employed in higher education. The SPARC Project will use these findings as a foundation for an expanding a2ru research agenda.

10-8-15: Creative Technologies and Design

The ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder seeks two curious, unconventional, polymath tenure-track faculty members in creative technologies and design. They will establish and lead research groups that explore trans-disciplinary fields and paradigms, produce internationally recognized work, and develop collaborative relationships in academia as well as industry and the community. Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent experience, be able to publish in peer-reviewed venues, and obtain funding to support their work. They should value innovative and effective teaching for students from different cultural and intellectual backgrounds.

ATLAS academic programs in the College of Engineering and Applied Science include a Technology, Arts, and Media undergraduate program, and graduate programs (MS and PhD) in Technology, Media, and Society.

We are building a faculty with theoretical and methodological versatility with the goal of designing experiences and technologies to improve life. ATLAS is a growing Institute, looking for people who will help us foster a culture and community of wild innovation. The most innovative research and teaching will come from a faculty varied in life experiences and academic disciplines, so we seek applicants who will promote diversity in all ATLAS programs. ATLAS Institute faculty members creatively design, engineer, and apply technologies.

Promising applicants will combine engineering virtuosity with a commitment to creative and thoughtful design. We will consider applicants who do so through a variety of approaches, including, but not limited to:
  • Designing new technologies for creative play and learning for families and communities
  • Using participatory design to empower communities to create resources for local change
  • Inventing technologies (e.g. games, music, apps, wearables, etc.) that transcend physical and virtual spaces
  • Developing technologies to effect societal change
The opening is targeted at the level of Assistant Professor, but experienced candidates with outstanding credentials may be considered for Associate or Full Professor. Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2015. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. See http://atlas.colorado.edu/join-us and apply online at http://www.jobsatcu.com/postings/109024. After Nov 4 please refer to www.cu.edu/careers, posting #F02969.

(Thanks to NSEAD for the original post)


The Liberal Arts Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago seeks a scientist with a PhD to fill a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty position to begin Fall 2016. We seek to add a full-time faculty member whose research and teaching relate to environmental or climate science. The ideal candidate has additional expertise in one or more of the following areas - computational modeling, large data sets, and/or innovative data visualization - and will contribute to the diversity of the School by bringing a perspective, way of thinking, and/or a unique set of experiences that expands the intellectual conversation of the field. Candidates must have a commitment to teaching science that informs the major social and political debates of our times. This position is for someone who is committed to an interdisciplinary approach, a scholarly community of colleagues well outside the fields of science, and creative students. The successful applicant must demonstrate outstanding communications skills and a talent for teaching the non-scientist. Depending on the candidate, this position also offers the possibility for potential collaborations in innovative teaching and research across various departments of the School, such as Art and Technology Studies, Architecture, Sculpture, Fiber and Materials Studies and various departments through the development of innovative courses. Rank and salary are commensurate with experience, teaching, and current professional status.

SAIC is a college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fine arts and design. The Department of Liberal Arts, one of 23 departments at the school, is chaired by a full-time faculty member with 14 full-time faculty and over 100 part-time faculty that offers 200 courses each year, primarily to undergraduate students pursuing a BFA in Studio Art. Liberal Arts courses provide the intellectual foundation for success at the school and in students' continuing practice as artists and scholars. The department offers courses in English, the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Science, and foreign languages, as well as English for International Students, and Academic Access, a probationary academic enrichment program. Current science faculty maintain research and teaching affiliations with a number of area universities, labs and museums. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is affiliated (and physically connected) with the world- renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and is in close proximity to other Chicago museums like the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Adler Planetarium. The area boasts three world-class research universities, two national laboratories, and a large number of smaller universities and colleges. Further information can be found at http://www.saic.edu/academics/departments/libarts/ 

The successful candidate will join a science faculty of 14 (currently three full-time) in teaching introductory and interdisciplinary courses in science to undergraduate art and design students. The position also involves assisting in the coordination of the math and science program; contributing to the program and School through other administrative duties and service; and ongoing engagement in scholarly and professional activities.

QUALIFICATIONS Required: PhD in environmental and/or climate science or equivalent. Prior teaching experience required. Supervisory and administrative experience preferred.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES By or before Friday, November 20, 2015, please submit application materials at http://SAICfaculty.slideroom.com. You will be asked to create an account, and then complete the application that is a combination of fill-in fields and uploaded documents. SAIC will underwrite the application fees; you will not be charged to apply for the position. You are encouraged to begin the application well before the deadline. No applications may be submitted beyond the deadline for any reason.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The gap between thinking and doing

There's an interesting article in Wired UK this month about art/science convergence, though it isn't presented as such.

Artist Olafur Eliasson is a hybrid. A artist who was first a trained draftsman and architect, whose interest in bodies and spaces came out of his experience as a teenaged break dancer.

In his parent's homeland of Iceland, "he learned the power of defamiliarisation - the feeling you have when seeing things presented in a surprising way that makes you feel you're seeing them for the first time."

As an artist, Eliasson is interested in, "How do I take a feeling I carry within myself and give it shape? What's the gap between thinking and doing, idea and action?" Everyone at his highly collaborative 90-person studio is pushing for "non-quantifiable success criteria".

"Something you can neither see nor feel is hard to think about and easy to ignore; religion is helped by its icons and ritual, whereas environmentalists must rely on over-familiar, depressing footage of melting ice caps and denuded rainforest."

"Fundamental to Eliasson's work is the belief, rooted in phenomenology and gestalt psychology, that in changing an individuals' perception of their surroundings, art actually changes the world. The studio is based on a shared conviction on art and creativity as means of change, and 'because we are looking at things from an artistic angle, we consider things relevant that other people would not.'"

Eliasson is interested in somatic knowledge. "How do we change the world and push it away from being so obsessive with measurable success results?" he asks.

It seems to me that this somatic response is the thing that underlies science, and makes us care enough to do that work in the first place.

But, as with Eliasson, inchoate interest in phenomena can just as easily manifest itself as art. Or both simultaneously: FSML as exploratory art studio in service of basic scientific discovery.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Art as Cultural Diplomacy

This expired Call For Papers by Cassandra Sciortino, University of California - Santa Barbara is a fascinating example of seeking problem solution through art.

This idea is a strong theme in FSML art programs that seek to enhance fundamental discovery and push scientific knowledge through to social policy and action.

The CFP was for a panel of the recent Re-Inventing Eastern Europe (The Fourth Edition) conference in Kraków, Poland. Presented topics included some information that is philosophically interesting and highly pertinent to ambitious FSML art programs, including:
CFP: Art as Cultural Diplomacy (Krakow, 24-26 Apr 2015)

Krakow, April 24 - 26, 2015
Deadline: Mar 23, 2015

Call for Papers for the Panel: Art as Cultural Diplomacy: (Re)Constructing Notions of Eastern and Western Europe

(As part of the Fourth Euroacademia International Conference ‘Re-Inventing Eastern Europe’, to be held in Krakow, Poland in 24th - 26th of April 2015, including a visit to Auschwitz – Birkenau on 26th of April 2015)

Deadline: 23rd of March 2015

Art as Cultural Diplomacy: (Re)Constructing Notions of Eastern and Western Europe Panel Proposed by: Cassandra Sciortino, University of California, Santa Barbara

Panel Description

The panel “Art as cultural diplomacy” seeks papers that explore the function of art (in its broadest definition) as an instrument of cultural diplomacy by the state and, especially, by nongovernmental actors. The main theme of the session is the question of art and diplomacy in Europe before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Papers are welcome which explore issues related to the role of art, diplomacy and the politicization of the European Union and its candidate countries, as are those which consider how the arts have pursued or resisted East-West dichotomies and other narratives of alterity in Europe and worldwide. The panel seeks to combine a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives to explore how art—its various practices, history, and theory—are an important area of inquiry in the expanding field of cultural diplomacy.

Some examples of topics include:
  • How can art serve as a neutral platform for exchange to promote dialogue and understanding between foreign states?
  • How can art, including organized festivals (i.e. film, art, music.), cultivate transnational identities that undermine dichotomies of East and West, and other narratives of alterity in Europe and beyond it?
  • The implications for art as an instrument of diplomacy in a postmodern age where geopolitics and power are increasingly mobilized by image based structures of persuasion
  • How has/can art facilitate cohesion between European Union member states and candidate states that effectively responds to the EU’s efforts to create “unity in diversity.”
  • The politics of mapping Europe: mental and cartographic
  • Community based art as a social practice to engage issues of European identity
  • The difference between art as cultural diplomacy and propaganda
  • The digital revolution and the emergence of social media as platforms for art to communicate across social, cultural, and national boundaries?
  • Diplomacy in the history of art in Europe and Eastern Europe
  • Artists as diplomats
  • Art history as diplomacy—exhibitions, post-colonial criticism, global art history, and other revisions to the conventional boundaries of Europe and its history of art
  • The international activity of cultural institutes

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation until 23rd of March 2015 to application@euroacademia.eu

For full details of the conference, please see before applying the conference website: http://euroacademia.eu/conference/re-inventing-eastern-europe-the-fourth-edition/

CFP: Art as Cultural Diplomacy (Krakow, 24-26 Apr 2015). In: H-ArtHist, Mar 4, 2015 (accessed Sep 25, 2015).
Thanks to ArtHist for the original post

2015 London Design Festival

Some beautiful and evocative environment-themed artwork appeared at the recent 2015 London Design Festival. Here are some standouts:

"Designed by Austrian designers mischer'traxler, the installation comprises 250 mouth-blown glass globes, each containing a single laser-cut, foil-printed insect. As infrared motion sensors attached to the hanging bulbs sense a visitor's presence, the insects start to frantically fly around in their glass containers, like a cabinet of curiosities come to life."

"Designer Tino Schaedler of Optimist Design has created the first Virtual Reality experience at London Design Festival. A black fiberglass sculpture has a VR helmet for the visitor to use and experience a transformation of the room (as pictured). The team collaborated with sound designers Nordmeister from LA, to enhance the experience with spatial sound design."

"This bench is made from a unique material called Concrete Canvas, which is a mouldable version of normal concrete. The material comes as a flexible fabric which hardens when you add water to form a thin, durable, waterproof and fire-resistant concrete layer. It can be used to create temporary housing and reduces the environmental impact of concrete building by up to 95pc."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Innovative public outreach at Sanibel Captiva

Hi, Thought this might be of interest for the blog on a collaboration with the Rauschenberg foundation.


Xavier Cortada
Caloosahatchee CLEER (create, learn, exchange, entertain and restore) is a multi modal event to open conversations with the public about the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation's science and policy initiatives while creating community art pieces and listening to three professional singer/songwriters. 

The event includes the opportunity to paint wooden message fish to be delivered to Tallahassee, make personal pledges to help clean the water, and enjoy the creation of four iconic art pieces commissioned for the project by Xavier Cortada, an environmental restoration artist. 

It has been demonstrated by similar past events, discussing science and policy with residents and visitors in more informal one-on-one festive setting, people delve deeper into the subject of water quality around Sanibel and Captiva. It has also gives SCCF an opportunity to gauge the knowledge people already have and where educational needs may exist.

Musicians for the two November events are J Robert Houghtaling of Marco, Austin Church of Cocoa Beach and Brent Moyer of Nashville TN and Jackson WY.

We have done 3 events like this in the past and people have been great. It is the first time I am putting all the components together after a Communicating Science workshop. 

Eric C. Milbrandt, Ph.D.
Marine Laboratory
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
900A Tarpon Bay Rd.
Sanibel, FL 33957

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

SUNY-ESF's Northern Forest Institute Environmental Philosophy Program

Frances Gaffney's "Extension - Orbitals".
I've been meaning to share links to local public radio coverage of our Artist in Residence program, now in its second year:
We've also put out a CFP for a spring symposium considering land use and ethics from the perspective of poetics. and I'm working on a project interpreting historic field notes from the Huntington Forest as poetry. I think both of these projects fit with the convergence of art and science that we're concerned with, if you think so, I'll keep you and the group posted!

With care, Marianne

Marianne Patinelli-Dubay, PhD
SUNY-ESF's Northern Forest Institute
Environmental Philosophy Program

Arts Associated with the Luquillo Experimental Forest and LTER Site, Puerto Rico

Arts Associated with the Luquillo Experimental Forest and LTER Site, Puerto Rico – A Report by Dr. Grizelle Gonzalez, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, US Forest Service, and Luquillo Experimental Forest and Long-Term Ecological Research Program

The US Forest Service Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) and Luquillo Experimental Forest and Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program have helped organize a series of arts activities, including an art exhibit, artist residencies, publication of books, and other outreach activities.  The exhibit, organized with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in Santurce, Puerto Rico, broke attendance records for the museum and won two awards:  1) 2014 USFS Wilderness Legacy Award and 2) Best 2014 Collective Exhibition in Puerto Rico awarded by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). AICA is based in Paris and it is affiliated to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  Currently there are plans to take the exhibit to Chicago and link to the Hispanic community in the area.

El Toro Wilderness Residency, A Wilderness Science and Art Collaboration took place during the month of March, 2013 in collaboration with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness
Research Institute and the Colorado Art Ranch, as part of the commemoration of the Wilderness Act’s 50th anniversary.  After the finalization of the residency and during 2013, plans were made to develop the exhibit “Poetic Science: arts-science approximations to el Yunque” that would 1) bring to fruition the celebration of the research/work for the benefit of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, 2) show the general public the benefits of an arts and science collaboration, 3) bring science produced at the Institute to the general public and 4) could also improve employee morale.  The list below highlights the various activities by which IITF engaged in a parallel calendar of educational activities that used the exhibit as a template for reaching the public via conversations, field trips, scientific demonstrations to teachers and students from all over Puerto Rico, using online publications, an audiovisual presentation and hardcopy products, such as literary books inspired by the arts and science residency in El Toro Wilderness.

List of most significant outcomes of the arts and science collaboration:
1.     Associated Educational Activities:
The exhibition “Poetic Science” resulted from the work of artists and scientists that participated in the March, 2013 residency. And from this exhibition the “Documenting of Poetic Science” collaborative project was developed to highlight how the process of documentation, exploration and research are common to art and science. A series of workshops, seminars and activities were developed between IITF and MAC for those purposes.

Opening of the exhibition – All IITF Staff was involved in the exhibition (February 6, 2014).

Workshops with middle school student’s once a week during 3 months:  Maria Rivera was working on the piece by artist Aline Veillat; she used it to teach students the soil sampling techniques and the importance of earthworms in the soil ecosystem. María Rivera also demonstrated the functions of the climate station.  Samuel Moya, Maysaá Ittayem and Carlos Estrada assisted in these activities, when María Rivera was working in other activities.

MAC Teacher’s Club (Activity of curriculum integration) - Dr. Tamara Heartsill participated in these activities that integrated science and art (February 21, 2014).

Art Dreams/ Scavenger Hunt (Interactive activity that integrated science and art for elementary school kids) Maysaá Ittayem participated in these activities (February 28, 2014).

Urban Wilderness Workshop- Dr. Tamara Heartsill and Dr. Ariel. Lugo collaborated with artists from “Piso Proyecto”, to educate teachers and the general public about the concept of “Urban Wilderness” while doing a fieldtrip of the green spaces in the city of Santurce (March 1, 2014).

Panel discussion with scientist and artist - Dr. Grizelle González was part of the scientific panel in that discussed the book “ Libro de Fechas y la poética de la tierra”, by the Artist Elizabeth Robles, that was inspired by her experience as a guest artist in the residency (March 14, 2014).

Panel discussion with scientists and artists about the exhibition, open to the general public. Institute scientists talked about the Poetic Science exhibition (the merging of arts and science in the study of El Toro Wilderness). Drs. Ariel Lugo, Grizelle González, William Gould and Tamara Heartsill participated in the panel (March 26, 2014).

“Documentation of Poetic Science” Teacher’s Seminar. A full day seminar with science and art teacher’s. These full day seminar included a visit to El Yunque National Forest.

2. Written Articles:
González, G., (In Press, In English and Spanish). “Puerto Rico Puerta al Paisaje: desde una perspectiva ecológica” /Puerto Rico: Gateway to Landscape from an Ecological Perspective. ISBN: 978-1-881723-15-8. Pp. 283-287 In: Puerto Rico Puerta al Paisaje.  Ramirez Aponte, M., Marichal Lugo, F., Ramos Collado, L. et al. (Eds)
Blog (In Spanish) : El Libro de las fechas: una bitácora sobre el ejercicio la mirada (April 15, 2014)
Article (In Spanish): La captura imposible (March 28, 2014)
Article (In Spanish): Letras (March 25, 2014)
Article (In Spanish): Arte y Ciencia Unidos en el MAC Escenario Page 31(February 4, 2014)

3. Books:
Robles, E. (2014) El libro de fechas. San Juan, PR. ISBN: 978-1-881723-14-1
Robles, E. (2014) Rescoldo Arrebol. San Juan, PR. Secta de Perros ISBN: 978-1-61887-406-1
Ramirez Aponte, M., Marichal Lugo, F., Ramos Collado, L., Laureano, J.E., Oliver, M.F., Raquejo Grado, T., Rivera, D., Abruña, F., Mignucci, A., Jiménez Martínez, T. M., González, G., Rodríguez Casellas, M. In press. Puerto Rico Puerta al Paisaje.  ISBN: 978-1-881723-15-8. 

4. List of collaborating artists:
Aline Veillat, Switzerland             
Jonathan Cohrs, New York          
Grisha Coleman, School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the School of Dance at Arizona State University       
Dhara Rivera, Escuela de Artes Plásticas of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico                        
Noemí Segarra  (Piso Proyecto), Puerto Rico                      
Félix Rodríguez (Piso Proyecto), Puerto Rico                     
Iván Acosta (Piso Proyecto), Puerto Rico
Mariela Parrilla (Piso Proyecto), Puerto Rico
Natalia Muñoz   (Piso Proyecto), Puerto Rico      
Javier Suarez,  Puerto Rico
Jaime Suarez,  Puerto Rico

5. Videos on the arts and science collaboration can be found at:

Short version (3:10 min):

Extended interviews (12:50 min):

An Arts and Science Collaboration - El Toro Wilderness from FS Tropical Forestry on Vimeo.

Compiled by Grizelle Gonzalez and revised 9/21/15

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Request to form OBFS Ad Hoc ArtSciConverge Committee

Gothic Community Center.
In September, 2014, a Working Group on Art@FSMLs formed during the Wood's Hole Organization of Biological Field Stations/National Association of Marine Laboratories (OBFS/NAML) Joint Meeting. The group started this blog, and began to explore ways to facilitate and encourage art at sites of long-term environmental research.

Last week, OBFS held their 2015 Annual Meeting at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, CO, along with concurrent meetings of the Global Network of Mountain Observatories (GNOMO) and iDigBio.

Photos here.

The Working Group presented an update of activities, and examples of several field station and marine lab art programs.

The OBFS Board recognized the growing importance of supporting interdisciplinary field station use, and is converting the Art@FSMLs Working Group into a permanent Ad Hoc Committee within the organization.

Local resident

View presentations: 
  • Intro and update (PDF)

  • Cedar Point, NE (PDF)

  • ArtLab, Mountain Lake, VA (PDF)

  • Art at LUMCON, LA (PDF)

* * *

Watch additional FSML art program videos:

Ann Carlson at Jasper Ridge...

Picture Jasper Ridge. A performance hike by artist, Ann Carlson. from Stanford Arts Institute on Vimeo.

Art at Cedar Point...

Art at Cedar Point from Kat Shiffler on Vimeo.