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Art & Art History

Bioart: The Velolab Project

Sam Starr ('10); Michael O'Malley; Georgiana May*; Keunsub Lee*
*Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

The geneticist’s patchwork is like the mixing of the artist; work is transient, allegorical, subject to appropriation and recycling; its medium may be intangible, coded, borrowed. Biological collage challenges the paradigm “Man vs. Nature” by re-inscribing nature with cultural values. Bio-artists use ideology as a mapping medium for biological systems and reveal biological systems as allegories for cultural creation. My project draws inspiration from bio-artists and experience with evolutionary biologists studying host/pathogen evolution. I designed and am building the Velolab—a miniaturized biology laboratory that is mobilized by bicycle—to house lab equipment like a laminar flow hood for tissue culture, an autoclave, and an incubation chamber. The Velolab disrupts the barrier between professional scientific practice and the activities of artisti/hobbyist cultivators. It will serve as a tool for workshops or educational events, familiarizing the general public with basic techniques from modern biological research, facilitating hybridized creativity.
Funding provided by: The Aubrey H. and Eileen J Seed Award (SS); Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota

The Prague Biennale and Czech Contemporary Art

Carrie Dedon ('10); George Gorse

For my project, I attended the 2009 Prague Biennale and examined the significance of the city’s emerging art scene, specifically addressing the reception of Czech art in the global market and how international exhibitions such as the biennale have affected it. To accomplish this, I visited the Prague Biennale in addition to other contemporary galleries. I also interviewed local artists and curators on their assessment of the current artistic climate in Prague. Some key observations show that Czech art is beginning to be regarded as less of an “exotic” product on the global art market. This shift appears to be due in part to the increase of cultural exchange since the Velvet Revolution. Other observations, however, suggest that this increase in Western influence has led to a lack of a specifically Czech visual style. My further research will continue to examine this latter phenomenon, and its implications in Czech art.
Funding provided by: Pomona College National Endowment for the Humanities Grant (CD); Flintridge Foundation/Louisa Moseley Fine Arts Special Project Grant

Research at Pomona