YLEM Forum: Art Enlivening Biology

Tuesday, March 15, 2005 7:30 pm
McBean Theater, Exploratorium
3501 Lyon St.,
San Francisco, CA 94123

This is a FREE event, open to the public and wheelchair accessible

Sponsored by YLEM: Artists Using Science and Technology Contact:

Trudy Myrrh Reagan, trudymyrrh@earthlink.net, 650-856-9593

The YLEM Forum, ìArt Enlivening Biology,î features Jo Hanson, whose work in combining art and ecology is legendary, Julie Newdoll, a painter who combines diagrams of biologically active molecules with images from mythology, and Jonathon Keats' "misapplications of science."


Artists Restoring the Land

Jo Hanson is a long-time environmental artist, a curator, lecturer, writer and advocate. Hanson will talk about her work and that of other artists who try to restore the land. She notes that cold facts do not produce environmental change in the economy and our personal habits that are so urgent. ìSuch a paradigm change occurs in the heart, in the presence of knowledge. It is the arts that key in the heart. The rhetoric must be some version of a song of love.î Her alarm about the waste society began with daily cleaning of her windy block of San Francisco in 1970. She began by making whimsical sculptures from what she collected, then moved to larger efforts, like a pioneer artist-in-residence program at San Franciscoís waste disposal company. Along the Russian River, Hansonís work expanded to include restoration of native growth, creek and creek bank rehabilitation. Sadly, she learned that reintroducing native plants does not restore the self-sustaining ecology it once had. Preventing new destruction is paramount. A former San Francisco Arts Commissioner, she has also advised the Exploratorium artist in residence program and co-curated ecological exhibitions at venues like the San Francisco International Airport. She co-produces the Women Environmental Artists Directory, and serves as art and ecology advisor for EarthLight Magazine and the Bioneers Conference.

Merging Myth and Macromolecules in Art

Julie Newdoll merges life sciences and mythology in her paintings. She believes that biological systems and ancient cultures, their myths, and legends, have evolved in similar ways; that they reflect each other, and speak from our deepest roots. Inspired by nature on a small scale, she incorporates the delicate images captured with a microscope and structures of macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins in her compositions. Her artwork has been featured on numerous journal covers, including such publications as Nature Reviews Genetics, and art publications such as Art Business News. In 2005 her work will be shown at the New York Hall of Science, and the Florence Biennale. She completed a residency in the Czech Republic with the National Gallery in Prague. Newdoll earned a B.A. in microbiology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and an M.S. in medical illustration from the University of California at San Francisco. http://www.brushwithscience.com.

The God Project

Jonathon Keats will discuss his witty 2004 work,"The God Project,î featured on the cover of San Francisco Weekly and on KQEDís March 2 Spark program. Is science an art? Is art a science? In this talk, Keats will address these questions by telling about his forays into genetics and neurology laboratories at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. In "The God Project,î he attempted to genetically engineer God in a petri dish. Heíll also describe "Brain Trust" (2003) and his works that play with non-standard time and distance measurement. His projects are ìthought experimentsî that rigorously misapply practices borrowed from biology, chemistry, and physics (as well as law and economics). Keats strives to take up where natural philosophy left off - and to bring others into the process. Jonathon Keats is a conceptual artist, novelist, and critic. His conceptual art projects have been featured on the BBC World Service and he is represented by Modernism Gallery. Additionally, Keats serves as the art critic for San Francisco Magazine and a columnist for Artweek. He is the author of the novel The Pathology of Lies (Warner Books), and the forthcoming Lighter Than Vanity (Eksmo). He has recently been awarded fellowships at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony



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