YLEM Forum: What’s Hidden in the Molecules?
|“Unraveling Collagen” by Julian Voss-Andreae
Wednesday, May 10, 8 pm
7:30 pm “mix and meet”
RX Gallery and Bar
(No one under 21 allowed)
132 Eddy St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Two blocks from Powell St. BART Station
Best nearby parking: Hotel Bijou, Mason St. Between Ellis and Eddy.
(Evening only parking = $10).
Suggested donation sliding scale $5-10
(entirely voluntary - it's to help our friends at the RX Gallery)
Open to the public and wheelchair accessible
Few recent discoveries have the power to inflame our imagination as much as Luca Cavalli-Sforza’s work tracing how humans fanned out from a small area of Africa to cover the globe. Tracing both DNA markers and linguistic studies, his lecture will draw a picture for us of human migrations since the very earliest times, which yields many surprises.
Julian Voss-Andreae, a German-born artist originally trained in quantum physics, will present his current sculptures inspired by proteins, the beautiful and bizarre building blocks of life. His sculptures where recently featured in journals such as “Leonardo” and “Science Magazine”. (His sculpture, “Unraveling Collagen” is shown at right).
“Tracing Human Migrations”
YLEM is honored to have L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Professor of Genetics emeritus from Stanford Medical School since 1971, speak to us about his work, begun 50 years ago, on population genetics. In 1955-60, he learned to construct trees of genetic variations between 75 villages in Italy using blood types. Much of his later work has been to increase numbers of new genetic markers, such as Y chromosome and DNA markers, and data on populations. His research led to obtaining samples from difficult-to-reach peoples, such as collecting lymphoblastoid cell lines from African Pygmies in 1985. He is currently continuing the study of genetic evolution at the world level using information available from the Human Genome source, promoting interdisciplinary research on human evolution by linking genetic and cultural (e.g. linguis-
tic) evolution. He is a linguist as well as a molecular biologist, and his map of the migrations of languages (if you exclude colonizing nations) fits the genetic markers surprisingly well! The story it paints of how human populations began from a small area in Africa and fanned out across almost the entire earth is breathtaking. This whole area of study eventually reached the public in March of this year with an article in the National Geographic, “The Greatest Journey Ever Told: The Trail of our DNA.”
“Protein Sculptures: Life’s Building Blocks Inspire Art”
For Julian Voss-Andreae, it is less important to copy a molecule accurately in all its details than to find a guiding principle and follow it to see whether it yields artistically interesting results. The main idea underlying this body of work is the analogy between the technique of mitered cuts in his sculptural materials and protein folding. Voss-Andreae’s process resembles the algorithmic process of protein biosynthesis in that he uses the computer to calculate the shape of his sculptures from scientific protein data using custom-developed software. Beside this deterministic side of Voss-Andreae’s work, there is an equally strong intuitive and irrational side, where his pieces stop working as scientific models and become pure art objects.
Contact: Trudy Myrrh Reagan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Full information at: www.ylem.org