UMaine IMFA Art & Science Collaborative

A new graduate level, three-part course focused on art & science based interdisciplinary collaboration, featuring visiting IMRC researcher in residence / co instructor Laura Splan and a special partnership with Bigelow Labs in Boothbay ME.  Upper level undergraduates were also admitted to the course.

Part 1:  Aug. 29th > Oct. 12th
ALGAE as Art ~ Micro to Macro
Lecturer / Facilitator: Gene A. Felice II, IMFA / New Media Faculty
Research Partner: Bigelow Labs
This first part of the course will be focused on using emerging technology to visualize, sonify, spacialize & interact with data streams translated from biological systems, environmental sensors and other research sources. Algae and sustainable aquaculture will be our main subject of inspiration, exploring their multitude of species, scales and socio-economic implications.  Through a special partnership with Bigelow Labs in Boothbay ME, students will be paired with their scientists to explore their research, translating it through a variety of emerging technologies such as 3D printing, laser cutting, interactive systems, data visualization / sonification and more.  This first course sequence will include a special field trip to Bigelow labs to collaborate with the participating scientists.

Part 2:  OCT 19th > NOV. 9th
(re)Materializing the Biological Imagination
Visiting Lecturer: Laura Splan, IMRC Researcher in Residence
Assistant / Facilitator:  Gene A. Felice II
This part of the interdisciplinary course will explore intersections of Art, Biology and Technology in contemporary art. We will interrogate their alternating roles as muse, metaphor, methodology, and material. The course sequence will emphasize the conceptual significance and narrative implications of biological and technological tools and techniques in works of art. We will examine how recent innovations in biotechnology are influencing and inspiring contemporary artists as well as how artists have been innovators in fields of Biology and Technology. Course lectures, readings, discussions and assignments will address art historical shifts in artists’ relationship to biology and technology in their studio practice. Splan will also lead a collaborative and participatory demonstration of the Arduino EMG device used in her own data-driven artworks and will present the variety of ways in which she as worked with data as “material”.