February 2012 Archives




PlanktonTech is a research entity focused on new approaches into bionics and evolution research.

The work with bionic lightweight architecture such as Cocoon_FS by Pohl Architects is based on their research of the structure of diatoms.


Sensate: Bodies and Design


from SFMOMA's Sensate: Bodies and Design exhibited 08/07/09 - 11/08/09

Adrew Kudless discusses P_Wall, a 45-foot-long wall installation composed of undulating, bulbous forms. Kudless demonstrates the techniques used to create the work at his design studio, Matsys, and describes the ways its form mirrors the human body.

Source: http://sfmoma.museum/explore/multimedia/videos/359#ixzz1nnivBbxX
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Form, Growth, Behavior: The Making of P_Wall

Biological Body Notation update


Here are my scans of the attempts to draw perfect lines and circles with casted arms/hands. Some dates are missing, illustrating the inconsistency of biological creatures and paralleling the imperfection that this project points toward.

My casts come off tomorrow, so a second set of drawings will possibly provide a point of comparison.

casted circles L.jpg

casted circles R.jpg

Thumbnail image for casted lines L.jpg

casted lines R.jpg
casted key.jpg

Art Thoughtz on Relational Aesthetics



BioCouture: growing clothing

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I just read about totebags made from living microbes, on display at the V&A.

Also, there is a researcher at Central St.Martins working with bacterial cellulose to "grow clothing:


Reflection on What the Body Costs


Jane presented a tremendous amount of material for consideration, in just the introduction and first chapter of her book. What I find really fascinating is the approach to history: viewing the documentation of performance art through the lens of the critical writing. She is analyzing the analysis from a feminist, and contemporary perspective. Her reports on the reactions of those viewing these performances are persuasive examples of the conflict between mind/male/I and body/female/it. It seems that, from her perspective, there is a tendency toward comparison/contrast in the analysis, and mentions conflict and difference are evident in the discourse. Having only read the first chapter, I'm interested in how these arguments may be posed in other than comparative terms. Can we talk about gender/body issues in other than him/her terms?


10:00 TED - 6


Notation 6.jpg


10:00 TED - 5


Notation 5.jpg


What the Body Costs - Hannah's Questions


I was particularly intrigued by the ideas about the body versus the person whom the body belongs to and if it belongs to us at all ("us" being all individuals). In her introduction, Blocker says,

"Our experience of the world is embodied, deeply physical, and sensory, but we also conceive of ourselves and our bodies as separate entities - I and it - that exist in a relationship whereby "I" am the presumed subject and "it" is the presumed object" (7).

This notion of the relationship every individual has with his, her, or its body as being rooted in separation rather than integration made me question if this was a problem or not.
1) So, I'm interested to find out if Jane thinks this is a problem -
a. should we be thinking in these terms of separation or should we be more integrated and have a more unified sense of self?
b. Or, if this isn't really the problem, do you think this idea of "I" being the subject and "it" (the body) being the object should be reversed? Should we be more focused on the body being a subject rather than an object and on the idea of self as the object that is influenced and controlled by the body?
c. This leads me to the idea that this separation is what arguably makes us human. We are our own greatest desire - the likelihood of animals, for example, thinking this way is hard to imagine. They probably don't separate their sense of self from their physical body - this leads back to 1a. - is this a problem that we separate our own sense of self? Should we perhaps strive to be more animalistic and integrate our selves with our bodies in order to become more human, or would that lead to becoming less human?

Upon further reading after this idea was introduced, Blocker does acknowledge that this is somewhat of a problem; however, she says,

"I do not presume to solve the problem of the body but rather I want to dwell in that problem for a while, to consider more carefully the nature of the anxieties and desires it has produced" (7).

2) So, yes, it is a problem, but I'm still curious about it -
a. Is it a problem that needs to be solved? She talks about the problem in great length, but doesn't address whether or not it is something we should be thinking about changing or how we should go about changing it.
b. Do you think this is a problem that can be solved? Should we even bother with an attempt to change?
c. What are the stakes of simply living with the "problem"? If the body is, "that condition of not knowing that results in the conflict between what we undeniably are and yet remain distanced from" (7), what are the concerns we should be worried about our relation to the rest of the world if we can't even relate to our own selves?

Hunter Cole


This piece is beautiful and in a strange way looks to me almost like a Cubist self-portrait. That said, if I did not know that it was Cole's DNA, I am not sure that I would see it as more than aesthetically pleasing. I would like to understand more about the philosophy behind the work.

Meeting with Julie, Peter, Joey, and Tiffany


Although we have generated some really interesting ideas, we have not yet determined a specific direction for our collaboration. Some possibilities:

1) Beer Headphones (as opposed to Beer Goggles)

2) The creation of physical objects which could be distributed around the campus. We are interested in possibly recording people's interactions with these objects in some way.

3) Extracting our own DNA...

4) Creating beautiful glass petri dishes upon which images are drawn using florescent bacteria.

Possible Mediums: Glass, crochet, fingerpaint, frosting, performance art.

What the Body Cost- Questions


1. In her introduction, Jane Blocker clarifies that when she refers to the term body she is "referring, in the most basic sense, to that condition of not knowing." She goes on in her book to expound on this idea by addressing concepts of sex and pain in relation to the self. How does the body inadvertently affect the self and vice versa? When do they become the same: "the moment when the lips shape the air that pushes past them, when body and word are one"? How can these questions be applied to the body as a living breathing organism that consists of many other organisms? How do the other organisms that are part of our bodies relate to or change the self? How do we change them? Are they inherently part of who we are?

2. In this part of her book, Blocker relates sex, power, mouths, the nude body and pain to the concept of love. She admits that it is a post-modernist view of love. However, this analysis seems shallow and tends to dismiss, or not address, relationships outside of the romantic or sexual. How do children fit into this concept of love, or are the conclusions reached only to be applied to adults? When is the line crossed between innocent love and that of pain, power, and sex? Is she posturing that this analysis is a universal condition?

Spectral analysis of yeast


The vertical is frequency (pitch) the horizontal is time.

Screen Shot 2012-02-28 at 11.05.41 AM.png

Sea Monkey Movements Part 3


Once again, the bottom of the image represents the top of the tank and the top of the image represents the bottom of the tank.

Some additional realizations are that you see less paths near the bottom of the image because the shadows of the sea monkeys are larger and move across the paper more quickly due to the proximity of the light source, and thus are harder to document.

The water is becoming more murky as time passes, thus the introduction of some green into the composition, and I wanted it to be more apparent that the sea monkeys are moving through a medium.


discussion questions


1. i am interested in how the transitions artists made in terms of commercial goals impacted the art community from a curation aspect.

2. i would like to discuss the differences between the body as an organism vs the body as a subject further, i feel like it has more to do with the intent than the material.

Glass Koi Paths - test tiles


Test tiles (3" x 3") fired to use for choosing perimeter color for larger gridded piece. The larger piece will be 12 inches square.

What the Body Cost: Questions

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1. It seems to me that the Vito Acconci works described by Blocker are diaristic in the sense that Acconci had a failed romantic relationship with Dillon that was complicated by Dillon's infidelity with Oppenheim. How can Acconci escape the diaristic and claim his work deals with the body in general? Is it solely because of his maleness?

2. I am interested in the concept of the "body as organism" being foreign in the art context (in contrast to body as subject or object). Are there body-based performance artworks that you could point to that treat the body more like an organism without imposing control upon it? What impact do these works have? What is their potential?

Laura & Kate / Sara & Christy


Laura Hynes & Kate Casanova

The "Living Room" project: a living performance space, bringing art and music to life.

In the tradition of 18-19th c. "salon" concerts, we would create a salon/living room out of various living elements: a grass couch, a fungus-growing chair, a moss wall or rug, flourescent-protein printed wallpaper, a flower foot stool, a rickety old upright piano (guts open and strings prepared) adorned with succulents. More "living art" is hanging on the walls of this formal space.

Performance of a "Life Cycle" song cycle? If the room took on a 18-19th c. style, it would also be really neat to juxtapose electronic music improv (filtered through sound patch of the sound of something growing) with 18-19th c. song. I like the idea of breaking up the original "classical" songs into fragments that would be gently improvised upon or altered and then interwoven with the electronic music... shadows of their former selves (à la George Crumb Makrokosmos III, mvmt. 5 "Music For a Starry Night" with its ghostly Bach fragments on prepared pianos).

Sara Nichol & Christy Newell

We decided we needed to focus our energy on something specific--something that captured our skills and interests and was doable in the timeline of the class. We had both been excited, but overwhelmed with some ideas that came out of our last meeting with doing a large collaborative project in a public space, so narrowing our focus seemed like the natural next step. Since both of us have an interest in photography and doing something with things that grow, we decided to create a series of living images. Some of our ideas with this included making stamps out of fluorescent proteins growing on a petri dish, making photo paper that has fluorescent proteins growing in/on it, and growing sprouts or other plants on top of an image.

We decided to draw up a tentative sketch of a photo series that incorporates some of our interests:

• Photo 1 is a blank sheet of paper
• Photo 2 is a photo & print of #1 with seeds sprouted out of it (at time of exhibition sprouts would be dead)
• Photo 3 is a photo & print of #2 when sprouts were living, with another plant/natural growth added (at time of exhibition new growth would most likely be dead as well)
• Photo 4 is a photo & print of #3 added to compost, decomposition begins and is later halted, leaving image partially destroyed
• Photo 5 is a photo & print of #4 while in compost pile, with GFP grown on the surface or in the emulsion

The photos could be shown in the Living Room, ideally under a black light.  Photo 1 would glow under the black light because its surface is all white.  Gradually, as the white surface of the photo is taken up by visual information in the picture, they would progressively glow less.  That is, until the final print which would possess GFP. 

Laura, Kate, Sara & Christy

We all liked the idea of the "Living Room" as a platform for other projects to take place within as well as being a project on it's own. It could be a space for Sara & Christy's photos to exist. It could be the stage for a performance of Laura & Kate's "Life Cycle" song.

Presentation Reflection: Carl Flink


One of the most interesting aspects of The Moving Cell was the fact that it started as a way for dancers to illustrate the all ready understood chaos of a cell. Thus, it seemed that when the project was originally conceived it was going to be used as a pedagogical tool to help others (especially nonscientists) understand activities within the cell. Very quickly, however, Dave and Carl's collaboration moved from simply communicating ideas to testing theories. As Carl described it, The Moving Cell has become a way to create predictions made under a microscope at the human level. It was amazing to see how dance and cellular biology could come together and create valuable research.

On another note, it was also refreshing to partake in an exercise that was based on making an instantaneous decision. As humans, I feel we often spend a great deal of our time just thinking about the decision we haven't even made yet and trying to predict what the outcome might be. It was a nice change of pace to simply think about the body in relation to speed and split second choices.


Human Dimensioning Lab


I've arranged a tour of the Lab at 11:00am on Thursday, March 1. This is in McNeal Hall (St.Paul campus), room 355. This is where the human body can me measured in 3D using a scanner.

Please let me know if you can attend, by commenting here, or emailing me: annac@umn.edu


Anna Carlson

Food and Clothing


Laura, Terez and I had a discussion beginning with hydroponic gardening, and ending with wearable Chia pets. Since food is scarce in Regis, Laura and Terez are considering an indoor garden. Issues of sustainability and convenience influence both edible and wearable objects; there is a scale between necessity and luxury. Fashion accessories are not necessary for biological function, but "primping" can lead to procreation. Jewelry, in the same way, adorns and identifies the wearer. We thought that combining some form of biological function with adornment would bring attention to the inconvenience and unsustainable processes used to produce jewelry, such as gold mining. We concluded that the use of lichen and moss to create wearable, edible jewelry was an interesting idea to develop. Maybe it will be grown in the Regis West Garden...

Searching for Victor #5


15 minute search

45 minute search


Max patch


Here's a screen shot of my patch in Max/MSP.

Screen Shot 2012-02-21 at 6.14.05 PM.png

Teréz's Presentation


Below is a copy of my presentation in PDF form. Check out the links I've posted below as well to get a better sense of my experience and interests with biological bodies. Thanks!


Here's my website. It's a bit outdated, but has better descriptions about some of the projects I showed in my presentation.

Here's a link to Women's Studio Workshop, where I spent 1 year as a studio intern and 1 year as the ArtFarm Coordinator.

Here's are links to other artists I've worked with who in some way incorporate biological bodies into their work, whether they work with them directly or make content about them:

Eric Avery

Book Bombs
Tatana Kellner
Joan Morris




use this category to post the presentation that you made to describing your interests and passions as they relate to our course.

ppt, images, text, mov - use any formats that best suits what you wish to share.

a meeting of two clusters


Following the posts that describe the concepts that you explored in your initial 2 conversations [concept sketch #1 and concept sketch # 2] post the ideas that emerged when two clusters connected.

Post these cluster generated concepts with the name of you cluster [a self-identified process] and used both names in this post re: a meeting of two clusters

Biolumicescent Microorganisms


I stumbled across an interesting picture on the internet today of a seashore that was glowing blue - I looked into it and came across this entry:


I tried to find a news site that had more definite information on this, but wasn't able to. I just thought it was interesting for anyone who might want to pursue a more thorough investigation of this phenomenon. :)


Carl Flink Response


It was exciting to see a successful (academically) and mutually beneficial relationship between an artist and a scientist. A couple of thoughts that came out of this presentation for me:
1. Are dancers more in touch with physical manifestations of emotions and therefore less susceptible to psychological disorders that relate to pent-up emotions or aversion such as dissociative identity disorder? What research has been done in relation to dancers and their range of emotions/psychological states relative to that of the general population? It seems as though acting out violent movements, in spite of them not doing actual damage, would have significant impact on Carl's dancers.
2. If students in primary and secondary schools were to use dance as a mechanism for learning the way physical systems work (from biology to the function of a car engine) they might absorb the information in a more lasting way. Perhaps the learning-through-dance-movement technique could be studied and implemented. It certainly would be beneficial to get students moving around more during the school day. This also relates to what Carl said about conceptualizing movement. If we are only used to moving our fingers to give and receive information we will only think within these terms. If we expand our typical body use to broad gestures perhaps we will think more broadly as well...

Aimee Mullins

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Check out the free podcast through "The Moth" from January 2nd, 2012. This is her website:

Matthew Barney.jpeg




Regis Center for Art: A Campus Food Desert

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Laura B. and I met last week to talk about possible collaboration opportunities. We both have an interest in food, specifically growing our own food. This got us talking about the Regis buildings and the small (and pretty crappy) cafe that just closed down in Regis East. The cafe was only open from 11am-2pm and served either microwavable, canned, or prepackaged meals. I wonder why they went out under? ;~)
This leaves Regis East right back where it started, with the vending machines being the only source of sustenance for students throughout the entire building.

As a student who spends a great deal of time in Regis, this is troubling to me. How can I fuel my creative mind when my choices are limited to soft drinks and processed snacks? Regis has essentially become a food desert and with no real way for students to obtain a fresh, cooked in real time, meal.

This got Laura B. and I thinking about the prospect of creating a hydroponic system for growing food in Regis East. We talked about how plants can activate both private and social space and how we both desire to be outside a great deal of them time or at least to have nature close to us. What better way to do this than to be able to harvest your own salad greens and other veggies when lunch time rolls around. Dreaming even bigger, Laura suggested we might even be able to serve sushi at some point, since we'd have live fish at hand to fuel the hydroponic system. Who knows, this is just in the thinking stages.

We both have little knowledge of hydroponics, but are both super excited about the prospect of designing one of these systems. If you have any advice on research/execution feel free to comment. Also, if you're interested in potentially working on this project, lets talk!

The Body and Bacteria


After having a great conversation with Anna about mutual interests and possible collaboration projects, I just wanted to share a little bit of what we talked about. Since Anna is interested in relationships between humans and nature (i.e. plants, animals, bacteria, etc.) and I'm interested specifically in how people control and mimic natural systems, we got on the subject of bacteria. We started discussing how we've not only manipulated bacteria in this class, but also how we have no control over the bacteria growing on our bodies. We started asking, what if the body is just another kind of vehicle for bacteria? What if our main purpose is simply to act as a vessel of transport for bacteria?

Keeping this question in mind we started thinking about bacteria as a social entity. They are constantly reproducing, eating, changing, growing, moving, etc. It's like you're the host of one big bacteria party on your body. We started thinking about things that people do at a party or in preparation to go out to a party. For instance, we may adorn ourselves with jewelry or dress up for a party. We might put on make-up if going to a party. Once we get to the party we might have a cocktail or partake in some dancing. As our conversation continued we started to throw out some ideas about possible projects related to the theme of parties and bacteria:

1.) Bioluminescent make-up: adorning the body with bacteria for pure vanity

2.) Bioluminescent garments: in honor of raves and playing off of glow sticks, adorning the body with plastic clothing that could house bioluminescent bacteria inside. We would hold a dance party and have people wear the garments

3.) Probiotic cocktails: playing with the notion of serving guests "living drinks" (i.e. yogurt based things, fermentations, etc.)

4.) Probacteria gel: creating a bacteria gel to counteract the hand sanitizer craze in hopes of building up strength in one's immune system

These were the main concepts we came up with for possible projects. If any of you are interested in collaborating on some of these or have research/execution advice. Feel free to comment.


Glass Koi Paths, week 4


Koi trails4.JPG
Koi trails5.JPG
Koi trails6.JPG

Another plug!


I thought I would let you all know about a couple of upcoming shows featuring music by and/or performed by me.

Friday the 24th at 7:30pm in Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall (inside Ferguson Hall) my guitar teacher Maja Radovanlija is giving a recital featuring that improv I mentioned during my presentation....I think it's going to work!


And Sunday March 4th at 2pm at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Maja is performing a piece I wrote for her inspired by Bill Viola's video piece "Three Women." I am also performing on a piece by my colleague Andrew Bergman.


Hope to see some of you there!


a concept sketch #1


Meet with one or two people who share one of your passionate interests in art and the biological body.

Following your conversations, describe some of the ideas that you explore and post a concept that you developed. Be as specific as possible about the focus, motivation, and presentation of the collaborative work when you post your concept sketch. Use any media or combination of media that best conveys your concept.

The purpose of the concept sketch is to open a space for imaging a project without necessarily having the resources of time, funding, space, available technologies, skill, and assistance at hand.

These concept sketches that will help us all to broaden the scope of what we imagine to be possible and of interest to people within the group.

Jane Blocker • reading


Art Historian and Professor Jane Blocker has generously given us permission to share several excerpts from her elegantly written book What The Body Cost: Desire, History, and Performance.


In preparation for her visit on Tuesday February 28th, read the text that you will receive via email and post 2 questions for consideration and discussion.

timelapse :: bioluminescent bactieria


Hunter Cole defines her work as "reinterpreting science as art". This raises a host of questions about the relationship of science and art, the long history of artists whose work engages science and its processes, technologies, insights, theories, histories, and cultural critique.

How do you view her work in the context of contemporary art?

"DNA" Gun

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This is silly, but I thought I should post it anyway (just for fun):




Yeast Score 3


...starting to make some artistic decisions...


View image

shameless plug


my department has entered a video contest through electronic theater controls, a theatrical, film and architectural lighting equipment manufacturer. they are giving away a few lighting consoles to students who submit a video "showing them their etc" and it would be wonderful if you could click this link and "like" it through your facebook account. if you watch it you will be treated to a sneak preview of our upcoming production and listen to a very sleepy lighting designer talk about her process as well. there is also a clip of classmate hannah smiltneek in action.

thank you so much!


more on labanotation


here is some imagery that i found relating to laban movement studies and labanotation. one addresses the issue of relating time by running the musical score up the side. enjoy!





Tiffany's Skills/Interests



Medieval Manuscript Illumination
Chance Composition/Art
Scores with a Significant Visual Component

Skills/Possibly Useful Things-

Cake Sculpture
Clarinet/Saxophone/Tin Whistle
Audio/Film Editing
Access to Recording Equipment/Software

Kac and CAE


After reading about Eduardo Kac and the Critical Art Ensemble, I came away with very mixed feelings. It is clear from Kac's extensive philosophical writing in defense of his choice to produce Alba that he has spent significant time considering potential outcomes and concerns. While I still feel that his choice was unethical, it is important to me to know that it was not a decision made on a whim. I also felt that both Kac and to a much larger extent, the Critical Art Ensemble, seek primarily to shock participants through risky and (at times) morally questionable practices. While what I read implies that their intentions are merely pedagogical, it seems clear to me that they are often really seeking provocation. If the CAE were merely seeking to teach, there would be no need to thaw embryos or release potentially harmful transgenic bacteria into the environment. While I understand that provocation has an important place in art and in any movement that seeks radical change, those sorts of tactics turn me off. One premise that the CAE operates under, about which I am in complete agreement, is the importance of allowing and encouraging laypeople to participate and understand practices which are traditionally reserved for "experts" (powerbrokers).

The Complex of All of These


This video was filmed at Women's Studio Workshop by Artist-in-Residence Abigail Uhteg. It's all strung together photographs to have a stop motion look and the Ratatat sound track works pretty well with it. The video show cases both etching and letterpress, as well as papermaking, bookbinding, and just how much work can go into making an edition of artist books. I thought it would be a good illustration of some of the media that could be available to you here in the printmaking area of the art department.

I got to work on this book while at Women's Studio almost two years ago. See if you can catch me in the video for just a second. (There's lots of brunettes on this photage so don't be fooled!)

Teréz's Interests


industrial/sustainable agriculture
Gene gun and how it works
Patent protection vs. seed saving
fluorescent bacteria
invasive and native plants of MN
urban foraging
living organisms in food (i.e. cultures, starters, fermentation) and growing food
public/interactive/portable art
mapping/tracking/recording biological bodies
consumer culture of biological bodies and natural resources

Julie's Skills


Biology and molecular biology
Fused glass
Metalworking & welding

observations week 4


observations 2:14.jpg

Sara Nichol skills


Photography, darkroom printing
Industrial cooking
Monotonous work
Making things
Craft-making: sewing, cross-stitching, other handicrafts
Basic construction and demolition
Basic electronics, circuit building, relays, and soldering
Arranging things visually

Anna's Interests

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Lichen and moss
Body as a vessel for complex systems, objects, etc
Living clothing, clothing that interacts with wearer and her surroundings

Interests d'Joey


Interactive music and art, theatrical/visual performances of music, improvisation, film, craft/fancy beer, alternative venues for music and art.

Julie's Interests


Microscopic enlarged to macroscopic
Fluorescent bacteria
Genes & gene expression
Biological structures

Artemis' Skills


Digital 3D modeling (Rhino, SketchUp)
Computer aided CAD drawing
Working with power tools
CS5 Programs (Photoshop, Illustrator etc.)
Lazer cutting
Building objects
Access to woodshop, 3D printers, router, lazer cutters

Rachael's interests


Natural history
Branching systems (found in nature)
natural, found objects
art (making)

Laura (H)'s Interests


Moss, succulents
Paper quilling (never done it, just itching to try)
Garments, costuming
Performance art
Body - related to breathing, anatomy, phonation/speaking
Food, cooking
Interaction, Functionality, Refinement

"Our Skills" Post -- Aaron



Video Editing
Digital Print Layout
Print/Publication Editing
Graphic Design
"Close Reading"
Cooking (worked as a chef)
Sustainable Farming
Construction (I have built square things like cabins, cabinets, etc)

Rachael's skills


Ceramics, handbuilding

Teréz's Skills


intaglio, lithography, screen printing, relief, collagraph, monotype &monoprint

eastern and western sheet formation, pulp painting , sculptural paper, watermarks, paper from plants (i.e. corn, daylily, iris)

Book Arts
book binding, constructing book enclosure, book conservation, nontraditional books

Shaped Resist Dying
batik, shibori, natural dying with extracts

I use to...quilt and bead, sing in a chamber choir, take Tang Soo Do, bake a lot, perform in musicals

I'm currently...keeping a worm bin, using the laser cutter in projects, learning Super 8 film, have access to the print and papermaking labs

Artemis' Interests


Exploration of space through movement
Social implications due to biological ideas
3D objects
Light (LIGHT!)

My Interests. Laura B.


Life/living things
Meditation, chaos theory and systems theory
Food, cooking, eating, organics, growing/gardening, preserving, mushroom hunting/fungi
Natural world/hiking/observing/enjoying
Animals, human/animal relationships
Relationship between the natural and unnatural/manmade
Literature: fiction and non-fiction, Spanish and English
Agriculture/Industrial agriculture/GMOs, permaculture, food justice
alternative lifestyles/living off the grid/building one's own house/composting toilets etc.
Local movements/Transition Initiative, grassroots
Time banks
Neuroscience (just an interest...I know very little about this)/Psychology
Color and subjective aesthetic experience
Alternative medicine/holistic healing practices

Peter's Skillz


Laser Cutting
Adobe Creative Suite

mary's interests


non traditional performance, transgenic organisms, heritage produce, kinesthetic relationships, additive and subtractive color mixing and theory

Christy's Skills


photography - digital, film
digital photo editing
filming - digital and super 8
film editing - final cut
sound recording and editing
wood burning

Hannah's Skills


- oxy acetylene welding
- MIG welding
- TIG welding

- wood
- hazardous machine and tool use (saws, drills etc.)
- epoxy and fiber glass construction

- Ceramics
- Papier mache
- Plaster
- Theatrical Lighting Design
- Foundry work (metal pouring and casting)
- Soldering
- Sewing / working with sewing machines
- Black and white film photography
- Dumpster Diving

Sara Nichol interests


Installation (interested in incorporating words and sound into my visual projects)
Large Scale
Miniature Scale
Endurance/Long durations
Homes/Private space
Personal/private/secret information
Making GFP photographs using obsolete printing methods
Reactions to smells, light, sounds

Laura (H)'s Skills


The musical stuff: sing (high) soprano, play piano, dabble in accordion, ukulele, harpsichord, and enjoy silly things like kazoos
Performance: stagecraft, theatre, languages (French, German, Italian)
Working with my hands: wouldn't consider myself a visual artist, but would love to try something like paper quilling or sewing (I've already done embroidery, and have a basic machine at home)

My Skillz. Laura B.


Litho, photo and stone
Painting: watercolor, oil, encaustic
Mediocre film editing: Super 8, and Final Cut Pro
Growing plants/gardening
Spanish language
Reading text aloud
Cooking and baking

Kate Casanova - skills & interests


Growing mushrooms
Mold making - plaster, silicone
Digital photography
Super 8 film making (soon!)
Project management

Natural history
Insects (currently cicadas)
Entomophagy (insects as food)
Animal husbandry: hermit crabs, insects
Growing things: plants, fungi
Experiential/immersive art forms
Art making: sculpture, photography, film/video, collage, installation
Collecting things found in nature

Peter's Interests


Artificial Intelligence
3D projects
Kinetic Sculpture

"Our Interests" Post -- Aaron


Some Interests:

The Trans-genetic as Grotesque
GMOs / Industrialized Food
Hybrid Bodies -- both political (geographic) and genetic (biological)
Slime Mold
Genetic Code / DNA
Capitalist Critique (via cultural criticism)
Relationship between human/animal bodies (the breakdown of that relationship)
Political bodies / affect

Christy's Interests


public art
the balance between people/society and the rest of the natural world
food systems - industrial food production, organic and local food production, food sheds
societal norms and behaviors
interactive art
environmental justice
air pollution
systems thinking
resilience theory
policy around environmental issues (local, state, federal, and international levels)
energy production
community organizing



lighting technology, computer aided drafting, lighting design, large format painting, dry pigment, dance, choreography, basic carpentry, rudimentary soldering

Joey skills


1. I write, perform, and improvise music
2. interactive and fixed electronics - Max/MSP, Protools, and others
3. Play cello, guitar, potentially various other instruments.
4. I cook

Anna's skills


Apparel Design
Textile Pattern Design
Graphic Design
Surface Design
Fabric/material synthetic (and some natural) dyeing
Adobe Illustrator, InDesign
Sewing/fabric construction
translating 2d shapes to 3d forms
block-printing, screen printing, mono-printing
pasta making

Hannah's Interests


Kinetic Art/Sculpture
Wearable Art
Body Extensions/Extending the body through costume/art (Non-surgical/non-invasive)
Art installations
Animals/The non-human animal
Dance/Human Movement
Interactive Art



Searching for Victor #4

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This week I took the plunge and purchased a background check document. It's suppose to provide property ownership history, criminal records, and most importantly an email, address, and phone number for the person I'm trying to track down. We'll see how it pans out.



Glass Koi Paths


The movement of three koi during two 15-second periods, depicted in bent glass stringers (2 mm thick cylinders of glass, bent using the heat of a candle flame).

10:00 TED - 4


Notation 4.JPG



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We will schedule a series of 10-15 minute presentations by each participant over the course of the next three weeks, February 14, 21, 29.

The intent of these presentation is to expand our collective understanding of each others interests and increase our awareness of the potential resources that may inform the collaborative projects that emerge this semester.

This is an opportunity to share your creative passions, your fluency with media and concepts central to your work, and how these relate to your interest in interdisciplinary media collaborations in general and those focused on the biological body in particular.

We have access to both Regis room W123 and the adjacent Installation and Performance Space. Let me know if you have a preferred space for your presentation and if there is anything that you may need - projector, computer, speakers, room to move, etc.

Presentations on February 14th:


HORTUS response


I found HORTUS to be a fascinating project. I liked that the interactivity of the project was quite crucial to the success of the project. I would enjoy visiting that installation; it seemed well-designed throughout. It sparked thoughts of what the effects of the immense volume of CO2 exhaled in England actually does to the bacteria living in the city, on a large scale. It was also quite poignant and timely for them to incite thoughts of biologically generated usable energy, but perhaps too little too late.

I didn't quite get the virtual garden part. I looked through it, and it seemed to be just a list of the microorganisms in the project, rather than a matrix of real-time images or representations of the organisms, which I expected.


Xenakis - Mycenae Alpha


In response to Peter's post, here is a piece by the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis. Xenakis used a software that would translate drawings of his into music. The music isn't amazingly compelling to me, but it's interesting.



The Sound of Wood

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In my delightful conversation with Joey, I mentioned this project to him because it is ultimately a musical art piece, but also quite visual. It is a turntable of sorts, which interprets tree core samples and assigns a piano note or chord to the texture of the sample.

I came here to share it with Joey, but I also thought that it was a good project for everyone to see. I found it interesting because it is sort of a destructive method of documentation, but it extends over many layers and, subsequently, ages of growth.

I've always wanted to make a link like this, but I've never known how to until now!

biological bodies




I feel indifferent about the H.O.R.T.U.S. installation. It has layers upon layers of interactivity--people can physically stimulate the growth of the algae, record it on the internet, and create a virtual space to collect the data from that interaction.

But it also feels like it is promoting a weird sterile space. The few people in the exhibit are clearly "cyborging it," but not in a way that I find interesting. Machines create scar tissue on cyborg bodies as they rip them apart physically and mentally--they don't actually create immortal virtual beings (the information being projected from the exhibit from the computers is ephemera at best). And even if we are interested in the leveled collective information that this creates, the nature of what is included in the collective is very limited. It is an archive that leaves out the vast majority of bodies.

Indeed, I think Teréz's comment is spot on--there is something elitist about it. And it just doesn't extend to the level of who owns smart phones and who doesn't. The exhibit feels like it buys into the notion of a post-industrial economy--a thing that doesn't exist (the jobs are just outsourced). It is the metaphorical equivalent of a capacitive touch screen on top of a device that is filled with violence:



Glistening bags of petroleum based plastic filled with algae that create virtual spaces may blend the urban and the natural on some trite level, but the connection that it is making between the collective and the ecological is a false one--the collective here is a very limited set of bodies that aren't interested in an inclusive collective; they are, rather, partaking in glistening distraction. Of course, I partake in this same distraction often (being in the first-world position of the Baudelairean flâneur)--an installation that presents that position in a positivistic, progressive manner isn't to be trusted. I do like artwork that helps to re-figure the rhetoric through which we think (which this installation does attempt to do), but for some reason this artwork dredges up other affections from me. It is attempting to present an architectural utopia out of the techno-ecological, it is a move that I don't trust.

A New Light: Wandering Jew


I have abandoned my meal worms.

I hope they don't get lonely.

They were interesting, but have failed to be inspiring. Their environment will stay, and I will keep taking photographic recordings of them in case they reveal something, but I will also start looking at a second biological body: my Wandering Jew.

The Wandering Jew (a plant) which I have nicknamed The Jew, in the spirit of political incorrectness, has been living in my north facing apartment window for the last month and a half. It has been on the brink of death for about 3/4 of that time due to a lack of sunshine (or at least that is my hypothesis). I have just recently moved its home to an East facing window directly in front of my desk in the hopes that it will revive.

I hope to record it's revival back to health by taking a picture once every other day and highlighting the green colors that indicate it's health (it is for the most part brown at this point). I will also record the foot-candles above The Jew at 9 am every day, as well as recording a basis for what the foot-candles were in my apartment. Out of this I hope to get a series of graphs that compare the health (relative "green-ness", highly scientific, I know) to the foot-candles of The Jew's environment.

Here is my first altered photo. The foot-candles were 174.


Yeast recording - Joey


Yeast 1.mp3

So what I did here was record the sound of yeast bubbling for an amount of time. In order to hear it better I slowed the recording down quite a bit and also removed as much background noise as possible. The result is something that has a lot of distortion but it does represent an approximation of the rhythm and pitch of the yeast.

Searching for Victor #3


Just to clarify--All of the dots you see interspersed with the lines are points at which my mouse was at rest.



H.O.R.T.U.S.: Just A Stepping Stone


Both Hannah and skidmo14 brought up the physical (plastic IV bags) and virtual barriers (QR codes) that H.O.R.T.U.S. creates between the algae and its participants. I feel that by disseminating information through the use of QR codes, it's not so much "bribing them with a virtual game," as it is reinforcing the idea that you have to own smartphone technology in order to interact with the H.O.R.T.U.S. algae. This makes the project somewhat elitist, as participants sit on astroturf and ponder about their solely virtual interactions with the H.O.R.T.U.S. version of Boy in A Plastic Bubble.

On the other hand the architectural plans for the Regional Algae Farm
look fascinating, especially the design for an underwater museum. The Regional Algae Farm seems to have a more direct connection between the people and algae, but is also looking at new ways of sustaining a declining community. The project reuses underutilized areas (i.e. Crane Greenhouses) and creates new structures (i.e. Migro Towers) that aren't an eye soar on the landscape and provide shelter for migratory birds. The H.O.R.T.U.S. installation is just one small look into a much larger enterprise. Despite H.O.R.T.U.S.'s problems involving limited interactivity, Regional Algae Farm seems to be on track to remedying its defects.


transgenic art relfection


Susan Broadhusrt authored an essay, Bioart: Transgenic art and recombinant theatre in 2005.

She discusses the work of Eduardo Kac and Critical Art Ensemble.

H.O.R.T.U.S response - Joey


I agree with what Hannah said. The virtual garden might be an effective way to get people involved, but it is also kinda cheap. Maybe I would change my mind if I was able to interact with it, but the concept is not all that appealing to me. The physical installation is interesting though. I'm very much in to interactive art, particularly interactive art with a purpose. I've seen many installations that seemed to be interactive for the sake of being interactive...which is fun, but not all too conceptually interesting to me.

artists • week 3


Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey

Beuys' Acorns

Fly Tower


Jennifer Hall and Blythe Hazen

Acupuncture for Temporal Fruit

Instrument for Mediated Terrain

Eduardo Kac
Natural Selectiontransgenic works and other living pieces

Natural History of the Enigma

GFP Bunny


George Gessert
Natural Selection

Laura Cinti and c-lab
The Cactus Project

Yeast Score 2


After taking photos once per day for five days, I sprinkled the surface of the yeast with sugar and then took additional photos reversing all of the previous time intervals. Despite the fact that the yeast appeared to be dead and had begun to mold, it immediately responded to the sugar and began to bubble and inflate once again.

Yeast Staff.jpg
Yeast Staff.pdf

observations week 3


observations 2:6.jpg

an explanation...
i have been observing my dogs, buddy and little bit. buddy (red) is a beagle basset hound and little bit (purple) is a beagle dachshund. as you can imagine, they look exactly the same only different sizes. the reason i decided to notate them was because i noticed a while ago they have very similar ways of moving. they are always attached at the hip and even sleep the same way, even when they are in separate rooms when they zonk out they end up in the same position facing the same compass direction. the way that i chose to notate these observations is called labanotation. as an undergraduate dance scholar i studied laban movement analysis. within this field there are different ways of looking at movement and entire written vocabularies to go with them. since i noticed that the movement they were exhibiting was so similar i decided the most interesting thing to note would be the differences in the way they moved, or their effort. the graphs above express the qualities of their movements as described in this graphic:
laban efforts.jpg



The H.O.R.T.U.S. installation seems to be an interesting attempt to, in a sense, foster some sort of personal relationship between a single human being and one specific collection of algae. In another sense, however, the use of plastic IV bags creates a physical barrier, distancing participants from the plants, while giving the whole garden a bit of a clinical tone. I'm not sure that the virtual garden component adds anything important to the work. I do think that allowing participants to access information specific to the algae that they "feed" is another way of strengthening a sort of bond, but the virtual garden seems to once again create a barrier between people and the plants. If ecoLogicStudio is pursuing interaction between people and algae as a potential source for nonpolluting energy, I would be very interested in understanding what this particular installation does toward furthering that end.

DIY Biology June workshop in UK


Good Intentions, Distracting Process


I think it's awesome that you can interact with the piece by giving air to the different kinds of algae and also finding out more information about them through the phone. However, I don't know how much I like the idea of the virtual garden. I feel like that is just a cheap way to try and get people involved - by bribing them with a virtual game they can play if they take part in the art. It seems to me like just another Farmville and promotes the idea of everything going virtual when the project itself is aimed at promoting life happening in the real world.

If it is a way to help get the project going, though, then I suppose it's a good idea. I'm more interested in the actual algae - what exactly can it do for us? How does my breathing into this bag help our world? I would rather have the project focus more of its energy on answering my questions than inventing a virtual game that diverts attention towards an end rather than the means or the process of the project itself.

Hannah S

New Collaborative Performance Art Coming to Regis


Hi fellow classmates!

I am apart of a performance called, Barefoot, a senior project organized by Anna Hanson who is in the theatre department here at the U. I am the sculptor and a technician for this collaborative piece that involves dancers, performers, a lighting designer, a poet, and musicians. We are exploring the human body as it communicates with nature and I am exploring the mark we make in a space through the sculptures I am creating for the performance.

Here is a link to the blog I set up with more information about this event - it documents my process as I work with fellow artists to create this work of art exploring the human biological body.


The performance is this upcoming week on Friday and Saturday - here is the poster with more information.


You should all reserve a seat, though! It's a free event and it's taking place in the installation and performance room that we visited on the first day of class in Regis West that is connected to our main classroom. It's a great chance to see the possibilities of collaboration with multiple artists and with people of different disciplines and it might give everyone some ideas! :)

I hope to see you all there!

Hannah S

10:00 TED - 3


Notation 3.jpg


Slime Mold :: Failure


It is wonderful to start from a point of failure and to end with a post-apocalyptic landscape. Failure that begets failure--


(...this person failed to make a quality video of the event--the sounds is poor, and their cell phone goes off...)

My first attempts at growing slime mold have gone awry. There has been infection and overgrowth. My cat jumped on top of a tray full of slime mold and completely destroyed both the agar and the text pattern I placed on it.


The text on the above piece originally read: "SUBLIME"

More views:




Some of the slime mold I'm growing in petri dishes grew far outside of the confines of the dishes and veined its way along the plastic wrap I enclosed around them to seal in moisture:


Several of the petri dishes had foreign microbes propagating within their borders:



I like the way these contaminants look--I might play around with making the contamination more intentional. I also want to try to grow my own slime mold from tree bark.

Currently, I'm trying another large-scale text based project (this time the stencil I used for the text looks much better):


This time I made sure my growing environment was cat-proofed:


Mend 2


Mend 2 small.jpg



Mend 1 small.jpg