March 2012 Archives

Life, Death Lichen, and compost

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3. 23.12
I met with Neil yesterday and we talked about the properties of moss, lichen and fungi. There are 2 ways we can approach the construction of a "living fabric" for a gender-challenging suit or a death suit.
1. Affix the life-form to the surface
2. Use the organism to create a pliable structure

We talked about photosynthesis, used by lichen to nourish itself, and the lifestyle of fungus, which is to decompose the material it resides on. The thought that fungus eats its support leads towards the "death suit" and I was reminded of my interest in death rituals: burial customs and cemeteries. I feel conflicted about current funerary practices; preferring for myself a cremation and scattering of ashes, but also appreciating the reverence of a visit to those peaceful places where my ancestors rest. Some religious groups do not allow cremation (some Jewish and Islamic groups, among others) and so with population increasing, eco-friendly practices are gaining ground. Here is where we might draw attention to this by creating a garment/shroud that follows historical body-wrapping traditions. By impregnating it with compost starter, and placing the body in an eco-cemetery (see, it will help the body break down more quickly, returning to "nature" and providing energy for new growth. This challenges the domination of nature that has been prevalent for too long.

That brings me to the other garment, the gender-challenge. Lichen grows very slowly, but is very desiccation-tolerant, in fact, it reproduces by fragmentation. I will try to make some paper by blending it up with some other fibers. That could be used to make the Fe/Male suit. I'm thinking about Batman (and other super heros), and how he had to put on the batman suit before he would have special powers. That might play in here somewhere.

If anyone is interested in either of these, or a similar project, please feel free to jump in with Hannah and me!


Cistern Tunnel Test Lighting


Joey, Tiffany and I went over to our tunnel in Ferguson Hall to test out some lighting strategies. With simple color gels over the fluorescent lights, we achieved a pretty dramatic change in mood and feel of the space. We experimented with cool colors on one end of the tunnel and warm colors on the other end of the tunnel to see what scheme we liked best. Although we were working with used gels, we all liked the pseudo-random color swatches over the lights, although, we thought the stark angularity of them was potentially distracting.

We ended up liking both color schemes a lot. We're still on the fence, but one strategy that we hadn't considered before was using the warm color scheme with the concept in the third image of our concept renderings (my previous post), and transitioning to the cool color scheme and the more cave-like concept in the first concept rendering.

Please leave comments because we would like a lot of input that can help us make decisions!








Julie - BIO


Attached is a PDF of images from my presentation. I am interested in microscopic-to-macroscopic transformations, bringing the very small up to human dimensions or beyond. My primary source of inspiration is the natural world and the living beings that inhabit it.


Cistern Concept Images


I looked to a few different precedent examples as inspiration for the cistern installation. Some of the most renown cisterns are in ancient architecture with arch vaulted ceilings and an occulus of sorts to allow rainwater down. Others are natural cisterns with a cave-like appearance. I rendered a few different ideas of these concepts and the last rendering is a more literal translation of the vaulted type of cistern with tensile fabric representing the vaults and a dynamic image of water projected on the floor.





Aaron's Presentation Summary


My primary interest is poetry (in its textual, visual, and audial iterations).

Here are the books of poetry I brought to class:

Christian Hawkey, Ventrakl

Susan Howe, That This

Sasha Steensen, The Method

Aaron B. Kunin, The Sore Throat & Other Poems

Jenny Boully, not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them

Joseph Harrington, Things Come On: An Amneoir

Here is a link to dislocate's website (I'm the poetry editor):

Here is a very sketchy, very early copy of the documentary I'm working on (that was thrown together very quickly the night before a showing a few months ago, addmittedly):


Tiffany's Presentation Summary


I am interested in writing music which involves graphic scores, elements derived from chance operations and artistic images, and biographical material. My presentation focused on several pieces:

Three Pieces for Tibetan Singing Bowls-

Probability and Possibility, for seven singing bowls and piano was
composed using a pitch set obtained through chance operations involving a
pack of playing cards.

Ritual, for seven singing bowls, played by a solo percussionist with
mallets, explores a mixture of very metrically constrained passages
contrasted with metrically free material. The chance element in this case is
pitch content, which is determined solely by the size of the singing bowls
chosen by the performer.

Depth, for seven singing bowls, piano four-hands, and string quartet,
utilizes a graphic score created based on the the depth and circumference of
a large singing bowl. Performers use coins, mallets, water, etc. to produce
semi-improvised sound material according the shapes represented on the

Bud Herseth: A Biographical Collage for Trumpet and Piano is a piece
which melds musical and algorithmic elements important to Herseth's life to
create a dissonant, jazzy sort of piece.

Portraits of Anton Stadler, PEACE, and Panorama
are all pieces which explore the use of images to guide musical contour.

Für Sie ist der Krieg Aus and Immortality are excerpts from a
piece I wrote for film, tape, and a live chamber ensemble about my
grandfather's WWII experiences and ideas about his faith.

The ultimate goal of all of these works is to create pieces which are aesthetically successful both visually and aurally.

Cave Link


I'm not sure I uploaded that last picture correctly, so here's a link to the entire image:

Possible Model?






























Tunnel Messiness



Anna's presentation


Living Clothing Experimetation





Body Politic @ WAM


WAM Chatter: What is Body Politic?

Wednesday, Mar 28 2012 7:00 pm

In the face of increasing artistic use of abstraction to address pressing human concerns in the early twentieth century, German artist Käthe Kollwitz steadfastly maintained her commitment to the figure as the supreme subject and pictorial means for a socially committed art. In times of change and political upheaval, the perceived importance and critical problem of representing the human body in art has taken on heated political dimensions. This WAM Chatter, offered in conjunction with the exhibition Käthe Kollwitz: Making Human, brings together varied thinkers on the body in its historical, philosophical, and artistic contexts to offer thought-provoking responses to the wide-ranging debate on the politics of the body.

Jane Blocker, professor in the Art History department at University of Minnesota

Jan Estep, artist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota
David Valentine, anthropologist and associate professor at University of Minnesota
Tom Haackenson, cultural historian and professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design

A Renga


cloth driven medium ship rolls
of sweet pastry over my tongue
delicate layers crisp and malt

drip drip spread. Disperse me
over delicate, crunchy, fragility

teetering stalagmites posted on their vigil
standing tall and narrow, silent and wise
ssss t' t' ding rrrrr

steady trills despite rain
patter patter thunderclap flash of light

somber waves lay seeds
of yellow grassy doors
perfumed by the scent of lawnmowers.



art • science • culture nexus


What I found interesting


In reading New Art/Science Affinities, I was intrigued by Richard Pell's Center for PostNatural History. As someone with an interest in genetically engineered organisms, biotechnology companies, and the "biologically weird," Pell's project seemed interesting as a way to present specimens that we often come in contact with on a daily basis, but don't realize they're unnatural or mutant. There also seems to be a societal bias that doesn't legitimize research or art unless it's presented in a museum or gallery context. What's successful about the Center for PostNatural History is that it creates that museum site, but also subverts it to look at something that's still very new, politically charged, and relevant to our everyday lives.

The other project I found interesting was Aaron Koblin's The Sheep Market and this concept of "immaterial labor," since so much of art produced today using digital technology has a vast amount of unseen labor. Koblin's project contributes to the physically unseen digital economy, allowing both flexibility in the workplace and an increased idea of the unseen worker in another sense. I also like the idea of a this unknown collaboration between Koblin and the Mechanical Turks, but also bring into question on intellectual property over the internet.


Hannah's Senior Project!

Come see "IT"

Experience a brief encounter with another being.
Be one of the few to witness its debut appearance into our world.

Hannah Smiltneek's Senior Project
A free viewing at Regis W130
(the Performance and Installation Space)
Thursday, March 29th at 2:00pm

(It begins when it starts.)

It's over when it's over.

New Art/Science Affinities - Joey


I thought Aaron Korblin's Bicycle Built for 2000 was interesting. With the use of "crowdsourcing" we do run into the situation of who exactly is the artist. But, Korblin actually addresses the issue directly with The Sheep Market confronting the idea of "what it means to inhabit the online marketplace, and how one's labor or ideas might be unknowingly used for monetary gain."

As a composer I can identify with this, since much of the time, I'm not the one creating the sound. Instead I often rely on other performers to interpret my dots, lines, and squiggles to create something hopefully meaningful.

Golden Shield Music also peaked my interest. However, it makes me question how and why we take information from somewhere and transform it into music. However the numbers are generated, whether it be from IP addresses or plant growth, I think there needs to be a motivation behind running those numbers through a "polyphonic synthesizer." Is the intent to generate something that could be deemed as "beautiful," or are they trying to generate as accurate of a translation from numbers to sound? I guess I can't judge without hearing it or getting a better look at the programming...

New Art/Science Affinities - Hannah Response


I was particularly intrigued by the following artists and their works:
1) Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (p 18) - Pulse Room
2) Gilberto Esparza (p 82) - Nomadic Plants
3) Golan Levin (22) - artist statement

Lozano-Hemmer's Pulse Room that integrates the human into the art and technology through something as personal as your own heartbeat is something I find inspirational and is similar to what I try to recreate in my own work. Allowing the viewers to become part of the art makes it all the more performative and alive, and helps bring up the question as to where art stops and life begins. I like bringing out those feelings in people, and having them question or look more closely at ideas they would otherwise overlook and take for granted.
Esparza's Nomadic Plant Robot is very similar to my ideas for creating living sculptures that aren't actually alive. I like the idea of a robot simultaneously cleaning polluted water, while also housing life on its own back, and being a sort of living creature itself even though it is inanimate. While I don't mind growing plants, I think there are boundary issues when more complex life starts to come into the picture. So creating living things that are only alive because we make them so through our own projections and imaginations, yet they still exist before our eyes is what I'm most interested in. I like the idea of bringing what we imaging to life.
I resonate with Levin's statement on her purpose in a technologically-oriented institution (which can relate outside of an institution to the majority of people living in this technologically integrated society) which she says is:
"To expand the vocabulary of human action by means of arts-based approaches to innovation.
To ensure the presence of a humanist and critical perspective in the pursuit of technological 'progress'" (22).
I, too, am most interested in the human aspect of technology. So often, it seems like technology starts becoming the ends rather than a means to one; and I like that Levin puts the human as the top priority and brings an awareness that art is a legitimate way to expand human knowledge and advance technology that sometimes tries to render art obsolete (which is ironic and funny since so many artists take advantage of technology to make art this book provides examples of).

New Art/Science Affinities


New Art/ Science Affinities was a good general summary of many of the newest opportunities for collaboration between art and science. I think the timeline was perhaps the most interesting section of the book because it helped to synthesize many discoveries and advances that I would not necessarily have ever thought to connect. I thought the idea of a book sprint makes such great use of the initial fervor and momentum many creators feel when beginning a project, while providing a built-in support system as fatigue sets in. I think it is particularly key that the concept involves a collaborative space that precludes outside distraction for a prescribed period of time.

I think the proposition that "communication between the sciences and humanities should be remedied or it will remain a major hindrance to solving the world's problems" is very interesting as well. It makes sense that facilitating respectful communication between analytical and creative brains (and all brains in between) will result in important opportunities for creative problem solving. Stereotyping from both ends of the spectrum results in the creation of unnecessary limitations.

Reading about Minimalism in this context was interesting to me right now because I have recently noticed that it seems to be making a sort of comeback in many art forms. What is it about Minimalism that seems to appeal to youth culture right now? In some respects, it seems to me that while Minimalism (at least in music) began (in part) as a reaction against commercialism, original recordings of Minimalist music and more current imitations are being used as weirdly nostalgic food for the wrong sort of consumption.

For me, one of the most disturbing parts of this book was the idea that some people are labeling themselves as artists as a convenient way of getting away with things they could not if labelled as an activist and that they are using the unwitting public as a funding source. I feel that such people should allow others to choose whether they are willing to fund a particular activity or ideology rather than deceiving them under the guise of making art. I also wonder about the motivations behind many of these projects. Many seem to be merely about novelty, subversion as fun, or the advancement of a political cause without any concern for aesthetics. I do agree very strongly, however, that the democratization of science and really of education as a whole is extremely important. The authors of this book make the point that the boundaries between art and science are arbitrary, but I believe this is true of all disciplines.

New art/Science Affinities by Anna


There was a lot of material here. I focused on several specific ideas that will inform the projects I'm working on (a living gender and death suit, and some sort of bioluminescent jewelry/light fixture)
from Citizen Science:
forms that these projects could take; a call to action, a museum-like presentation, or a public connection (p.58)
The question of the rigorous methodology of peer-review came up here also. Throughout this document, there was discussion of the inclusivity of the artists's experimentation, which broadens the field with non-experts and can infiltrate science with new ideas. In contrast, artists who subscribe to the rigors of scientific methodology may be more seamlessly integrated with the experts. I'm not sure how I stand on this: I find value in both camps. Naïveté, can be the source of spectacular solutions, integrity and quality are what validate the results. Since I'm so new at all this bio-talk, I will probably be in the backyard/junkyard, model-making mode (unless someone out there wants to jump in and help!)

Inspirational projects:
Gilberto Esparza's Nomadic Plants (p. 82) for the idea of living symbiotically with the planet, And for the functionality/purpose of the object.

Oron Catts' Tissue Culture and Art Project (p. 102) and the victimless leather, a semi-living garment.

Dunne and Raby's "Design Fiction" and the digestive clothing.


Jane Blocker Response

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I loved listening to Jane Blocker's presentation. Her approach to art history, at least in her book What the Body Cost, is intriguing as it is not a analysis of the art itself but rather an analysis of the responses to body art by other art historians. She is revealing the assumptions and prejudices prevalent within the art historian community. In a way, her writing is trying to do what the art she studies tries to do: essentially revealing something about the preconceptions of society. Her writing is mostly observation without including suggestions how to change these assumptions and prejudices. Yet by pointing them out, she does seem to be suggesting that the art historian community needs to be a little bit more self-aware.

My conflict with her work is that this analysis is a bit highfalutin and focused towards and written for academics. It brings into questions which audience body art is meant for and what meanings that audience derives from it. She has focused her writing towards a very small community, and this book in particular encourages the insular nature of her professional community.

Carl Flink Resonse


I was not quite sure if we were asked to respond to Carl Flink's visit, but since I've seen a few responses on the blog, I will add my voice.

Dance/Theater is probably my least favorite arm of the arts. However, Carl's visit was enlightening and surprising for me, because I felt more like I was a part of an experiment, rather than a performance. I was really pleased to see the dance company actually provided meaningful prototyping for biological research. It seems quite ridiculous that a dance company could lend anything to the scientific method, but it is really intuitive when you consider the speed with which dance 'experiments' could be performed. Although dance is in no way as accurate or even precise as any true science experiment, but if it even loosely follows the basic rules that are modeled in the desired experiments, then at the very least a dance science experiment can provide basic clues as to whether a particular model will fail or potentially succeed in a legitimate experiment.


10:00 TED Recap / Final Reflection


So, looking back at the entire study of a biological body, here are my stats:

Biological Body of Choice: Ted the cat (an animal)
Characteristic habit/mannerism that was peculiar to Ted that I observed: his sleeping patterns around 10:00 pm every night for 5 weeks.

Originally I was just going to observe him for one hour every day. But I found that I couldn't always do that due to my schedule, and he was sleeping or just laying around for the majority of the time that I watched him (the times that he ate or went to the bathroom only occurred in spans of a few minutes while the rest of the time he was just laying around). So, I simply began noting where he happened to be sleeping around 10:00 pm - a time when my three roommates and myself were all home by that point in the evening most nights.

Any time I found Ted sleeping in a new spot, I drew a picture of him in that location with crayons. For a total of 36 nights I ended up recording only 6 spots in our apartment that he liked to sleep in at 10:00 pm and they are:
1) The tall chair with a red cushion by our large sliding window door that leads to the balcony (it's the tallest object he can sit on).
2) My roommate Heather's bed (she shares the larger of the two bedrooms with me. Her bed is next to the window in our room).
3) My roommate Lucie's bed (she shares the smaller of the two bedrooms with my other roommate, Leslie. Her bed is also the one closest to the window).
4) The orange couch in the living room (in the center of the room in between the tall chair and Ted's brown basket bed on the opposite side of the living room. It's higher than the ground but lower than the tall chair).
5) The ornate rug that is underneath the couch and covers most of the living room floor (the rest of our apartment is tiled).
6) The brown basket bed underneath the shelf on the opposite side of the living room from the tall chair (it's on the ground).

Reason for doing this mostly in crayon:
I had to keep in mind that my observations might not accurately portray Ted since my own act of observing him sometimes caused him to change his patterns of movement and behavior. Not only that, but I also had to be aware of my own human projections onto him and continuously remind myself that my feelings are not his - that they are my own. Crayon is playful and reminiscent of childhood and brings to attention how un-precise my observations are; I liked the juxtaposition of scientific observation with this playful medium to convey the ideas above. I also decided against coloring his eyes and always drew him so that they were covered - that all we could see was his body so as to have less chance of projecting our own thoughts and feelings onto him.

After completing the observations for 5 weeks, I found out I was interested in mapping his sleeping patterns in multiple ways to see his movement through multiple lenses. So, from the data I collected I made some charts (again out of crayon) documenting different ways to visually view Ted's sleeping patterns at 10:00 pm.

Dot Graph 1.jpg

Dot Graph 2.jpg

- The Dot Graph looks at a visual representation of height of the objects he sleeps on (the tall chair is the tallest, the two beds and the couch are mid height, and the rug and basket are the lowest - being on the floor). These different variations of the dot graphs also allow for the possibly make music out of the patterns - perhaps some little tunes if each colored dot is associated with a musical note.

Bar Graph.jpg

- The Bar Graph just looks at frequency of visitation and gives a visual for how much more often Ted prefers the tall chair to the other objects for sleeping.

Apartment Layout.JPG

- The overhead map gives a visual of the layout of these objects in relation to one another in the apartment space. This could give ideas for why he prefers certain spots over others and tracks his movement through the space in relation to traffic of my roommates and I through the living space.



Group Conversation - Anna and Hannah


I contacted Anna to talk with her about her idea for living clothing and we met up on Sunday 3/4/12. We talked in depth about the concept of nature and life, and the human's role and our part in it and how we humans have felt the need to leave a mark and dominate nature. This planet isn't even ours, really; Anna and I agreed that the body is more like a loan - we get to borrow it for our lifetime, then it goes back to the earth once we die. From this we bridged off and talked a lot about Jane Blocker's work and the gender identity through art and nature and I mentioned to Anna the concept that I've learned in multiple art and theatre courses that the female or the feminine is generally associated with nature while the masculine is associated with culture. From these ideas we talked about multiple concepts; here are the main ideas we thought about:

Key concepts of our discussion:
- Interactions with Nature
- living with nature rather than dominating it
- Gender Identity and Representation - the masculine is to the feminine as culture is to nature
- Disintegration/non-permanence - leaving marks that aren't damaging to the earth but exist with it then disintegrate with time naturally (ex: prayer flags)
- Life vs. death - when we die, our bodies aren't ours anymore yet we use them to live.
- Biomimicry - designs based off nature's designs
- Why it's okay to grow a plant but not an animal, or a human - where is the ethical boundary (gray area)
- The entire Earth is a biological body
- Plants vs. Animals on clothing - and the ethics behind growing a plant vs. creating a living animal

We decided it would be interesting to challenge gender identity through her idea of living clothing - and see about creating a nature suit for men to see if it is even possible to dismantle gender identity that is ascribed to the body based on its appearance. From our discussion, the idea of a death suit also came up with the mentioning of a death room by Nels from the class conversation last Tuesday. We talked about me being an assistant for her while she led the way in terms of the project itself which goes along the following lines:

Concept Sketch: Anna wants to create one or a few small models to begin with that are miniature, living clothes (plants) out of lichen and moss. If the idea works, then we may pursue looking at a larger scale thing but we mainly want to challenge the idea of gender and ask the following questions: If we make a male suit that is made out of living organisms, does he become feminized or does Nature (the clothing) become masculine-ized, or is gender eliminated (can art even eliminate gender to begin with)? In addition to challenging the ideas of gender with a male "nature suit", we are also looking at the idea of a "death suit" that aids in decomposition - it is not permanent (that is not the point) but rather the point is to allow the wearer (possibly someone recently deceased who is about to be buried) to disintegrate back into the earth in a fashionable and beautiful way.

Group Conversation - Nels and Hannah


Nels and I met on 3/2/12 and we began right away just brainstorming ideas of creatures coming to life through movement in an installation piece since we are both interested in making some kind of movable, interactive being. Nels is interested in having audience or viewer interaction with and control of the piece - allowing them a chance to help breath life into the creature and make it come alive (kind of like the human pump idea, utilizing gears and metal chains to help the user directly and indirectly power the sculpture).

We discussed various creature ideas spanning from underwater sea monsters with tentacles, and sea anemones, to walking land animals that were combined with plants. I also had an idea to make some kind of animal out of a bike - it doesn't have to move at first, but it could be the beginning for further development of that idea to eventually create a bike creature that comes to life when you ride the bike.

Both of us have a particular interest in skeletons and possibly utilizing real bones and skulls (or just studying the anatomy of various animals to mimic and recreate skeletal structures) to create a sculpture.

In the end, we both decided we wanted to collaborate and create some kind of moving creature sculpture. Our homework was to come up with a list of the top ten animals/creatures we were interested in.

So, a general concept sketch for our project idea: Create some kind of interactive, movable creature/sculpture that comes to life through movement and incorporates the following concepts: skeletal structures/bones, the animal (land or sea or sky), and movement to show how this creature moves through space.

Group Conversation - Rachael and Hannah


When Rachael and I met about two weeks ago on 2/23/12, it was before the class sat down and discussed all the projects everyone was thinking about.

We talked about our interests in the animal and some of our favorites among them - giraffes, leafy sea dragons (a type of sea horse), elephants, and birds to name a few. We both also liked combining different parts of animals to create anatomically new creatures.

We talked out the possibilities of collaborating on making one large, life-size sculpture or if we would do separate projects and just get feedback and bounce ideas off one another since we are interested in the same concepts but have different ideas on how to execute and display those concepts. Rachael is interested in possibly making a book, or a sculpture for an installation in a room just to look at while I am more interested in creating a creature (not actually alive) that moves and can interact with viewers.

We didn't come up with a cluster name or a solid idea of a project we were interested in - it was more of a brainstorming session.

Jane Blocker response - Joey


One thing I thought was particularly interesting from her presentation was her role as "contemporary historian." I think the issue is something that musicians have somewhat solved with the use of the term "musicologist" over "music historian."

I think there is something under-addressed in both fields. I feel like contemporary historians sometimes forget that there are living artists they can talk to and perhaps gain a better understanding through. Of course, artists are not always the best communicators about their work, but it does seem like something that could be explored more by contemporary historians.

reading • art|science


New Art/Science Affinities is a compendium of current art/science put together during Andrea Grover's curatorial residency at Millers Gallery and the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon. You can download the freely offered pdf here.


This was a bit of a marathon endeavor - complied over a period of four days.

Review this document over the spring break and describe artists, projects, processes or questions that you find inspirational or relevant to your individual and collaborative work.
Post two paragraphs that convey these perspectives.

Jane Blocker response


Jane's talk was quite enlightening. For a long time I have had a distaste for video art, which seems to align frequently with body art. It was a bit relieving to hear that someone was sifting through the plethora of artists who create 'body art'. I was finally free to feel that not every single one of those artists was an earth shaking genius because he flail his limbs in front of a camera or move around while a woman holds his penis in her mouth. I have, or had, the assumption that it is wrong to question art, or that one will be labeled as closed-minded or chastised for doing so.

Her discussion brought me a little closer to pulling the layers of human nature such as psychology that cover up our pure biological selves. I think her evaluation of body artists is a weeding process in which ultimately, those that are left are artists and work in which the body has truly transcended previous media.

jane blocker response


i was totally on board with the jane's argument on gendering art. i didn't really understand it from the reading but when she broke it down into bullet points it because much clearer. it made me realize that i am not fluent at all in the subject matter she presented in her book and so reading it was like reading shakespeare or an opera for the first time.

one thing that never entirely became clear to me was what body art actually is. i have a hard time drawing a line to define it. it seemed to be a mash up of many types of artistic expression including performance, theatre, dance, film making, and photography. although, that seems to be true about a lot of things that were going on in the late 60's/early 70's across the board...

Peter Bio


Once again, I am very interested in the intersection of science and art, particularly physics and art. My work often attempts to reveal things not normally visible for humans or attempts to visualize things that are not even physical.


Yeast Score 5


This is the current draft of my piece (now for two double basses), however there are a few problems at this point. The biggest is that it isn't good yet. The tempi are not correct because the beginning and end are currently impossible to play at the blazing tempo I'm requiring, while the middle sections are so slow that, at times, they sound interminable. in order to remain faithful in some way to the time scale I used when photographing the yeast, I think the tempi in my next draft will be governed by a logarithmic time scale instead of the one I am currently using.


Yeast Score 4


This is a subjective transcription of the pitches (without regard to the range capabilities of the double bass) created by my yeast photographs. I read the pitches in the same way I might read medieval neumes (from the bottom up). I have used these photographs in four basic ways: 1) as an abstracted randomized pitch-gathering method, 2) as a basis for determining tempi, 3) as a basis for determining dynamics (dependent on patterns within note clusters), and 4) as a basis for attempting to create a potential sound world for growing and dying yeast.


Carl Flink


Carl Flink's presentation really captured my imagination. In a weird way, re-enacting the theoretical behavior of cell structures made me feel like I was given an opportunity to play Charles Wallace and visit with mitochondria. I also found it fascinating to consider the possibility that all biological bodies ultimately behave in exactly the same scientifically predictable way when restricted to decision-making based solely on instinct

Jane Blocker


I think Jane Blocker's argument is that this gendered division between the inner self and the body exists not only in art, but pervades our entire culture. One discipline which can be identified as expressing this phenomenon is art and art just happens to be the discipline upon which Blocker has chosen to focus her research.

Searching for Victor #6



Carl Flink Visit Response


I know this is kind of belated, but I wanted to post it anyway.

I was really excited about the idea that art is being taken so seriously in the science world - that is Carl's body storming having influence and having an impact in the way scientists can study their work. Not only does it help out the scientists, but it is also a great plug for the arts and how they aren't just ways of expressing one's self; art is a legitimate means to processing ideas, helping people progress, and influencing change in peoples' lives.

Hopefully Carl's work can be yet another stepping stone in the battle on the front of more equality for the arts in a world so heavily dominated by other, "more important" subjects.

Hannah S

Response to Jane Blocker Visit


Jane really cleared up for me what it is she's writing about - and that is just pointing out that, in history, there is a gendered division between the self, "I" or the subject (male), and the body, "it" or the object (female). I am fascinated that she is able to point it out without giving her opinion on what that means or what the stakes are for this division (I'm not sure what my opinion is on it myself, but I know that I would develop a strong opinion on what I think should be done about it if I had been studying if and researching it for as long as Jane has). I don't think it's a bad thing, that's not what I'm saying at all. Rather, I think that makes her an excellent historiographer for being able to point something out while showing as much control over a desire (if she has any) to try and portray the information a certain way by putting her own frame of reference and her own opinions about this division in her writing.

My next question for her would be, (even though I know she said she doesn't really have an opinion on the matter, she just sees it and points it out, but curiosity is getting the best of me) if art is the way to challenge this very notion of division (even though the division is so heavily present in art). In other words, she points out how performance art isn't challenged or thought about critically, rather it's just praised downright for some of the boundaries it pushes. However, we actually need to think about it more critically and not just praise it because that fosters a kind of ignorance and perpetuates underlying themes such as this gendered division that go unnoticed and unnamed. So my question is: is it possible for art to overcome itself? Is it possible for art to challenge the very thing art is creating? Or is the art world too loaded; is it too steeped in this idea of division that it (or the people analyzing it) just don't have the capacity to challenge these ideas art has been labeled with?

Hannah S

Hannah's Bio/Presentation


Here's a PDF of the presentation -

Hannah's Interests presentation.pdf

I left out the video which just showed an in process period of the sculpture Tsuruleo. It gave an idea of the kind of movement I'm interested in - a person wearing a sculpture and bringing it to life; the wearer is forced to move like the creature and is limited and restricted yet also freed to move in different ways depending on the anatomy of the body of the creature.

I'm interested in body extensions in this way - elongating or shortening certain bone structures to bring forth a different kind of movement that isn't human, but is rather a hybrid of human and animal movement.

I have always been interested in the animal body, and it has taken shape in my art through sculpture and 3D forms.

I'm interested in making life size sculptures that people can interact with; and also in costuming and allowing the artist to wear the sculpture to bring it to a new level of aliveness. I'm skilled in working with just about any medium but am drawn towards wood, metal (wire), plastic, and fabric.