Biocultura events are centered around Bio Art and Design. Most events present a topic from both a scientific and artistic point of view. Expect knowledgeable presentations, lively discussion, and sometimes hands-on experiences. Our topics are often messy--literally and figuratively.
Biocultura has also been selected as the official site of LASER Santa Fe by Leonardo, the well-respected non-profit journal of science and art. LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. For more information, see Leonardo.info/laser-talks. To keep informed on LASER events and other art/sci gatherings, sign up for our LASER listserv.
Susan Latham LASER talk - Why Knot?
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13
Susan Latham on knot designs found in nature and how she integrates science and art in the creation of fiber knot sculptures and jewelry designs. Latham is a metal and fiber art sculptor with a keen eye for photography, a member of the arts community since 1996. Spurned by her lifelong attraction to both science and art, she founded and directed The Forum for Science and Art which brought artists and scientists together to explore the creative process for 14 years. Her work has been represented in various galleries in Santa Fe and Truchas, currently by The Freeman Gallery, 201 Canyon Road, Santa Fe. Learn more.
July 10, 2019, 5 pm
LASER Santa Fe
part of Leonardo / ISAST (International Society for Art Science and Technology)
Creative Thinking & Innovation Methods
a LASER Santa Fe talk by Tom Greenbaum
at Los Alamos Science Fest
Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos, NM
The most important tools that creative people (and people who manage creative people) can use are those that help them to effectively enable the creative process from idea generation to innovative application or artwork creation. These are Thinking Tools that may benefit artist and scientist alike.
This free event will be lead by Tom Greenbaum, an innovator whose career has been at the heart of art and technology. He worked for years at Intel as a Senior Software Engineer, and later became Director of the Intel Innovation Center, staying active in the art community, supporting artistsand cultural events through Intel and actively practicing digital art.
June 15, 2019, 7 pm
LASER Santa Fe
part of Leonardo / ISAST (International Society for Art Science and Technology)
art raising awareness of our connection to endangered species
LASER talk by Don Kennell and Morgan Barnard, two artists using themes from the North and South poles to create sculpture and digital art that immerses us in and connects us with nature. Don Kennell's work, Long View, a massive standing polar bear used as a projection screen, was featured at Burning Man 2018. Morgan Barnard's installation Aurora Clouds, uses NOAA data to generate a dynamic light installation inspired by the sightings of the Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere. Aurora Clouds is part of the new Penguin Chill exhibit at the Bio Park in Albuquerque, NM.
REGISTRATION at Eventbrite. Seating limited.
At Warehouse 21 theater upstairs (accessible by elevator).
May 3, 2019, 7 pm
LASER Santa Fe at
Santa Fe Art Institute -
Will Lie For Science
LASER talk by Igor Vamos / Mike Bonanno founder of The Yes Men, the culture jamming activist whose work is described as “The Business Week version of Punk’d.” (Times Out New York).
1600 St Michaels Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87505
REGISTRATION BEGINS April 1, 2019. Seating limited.
“Lies can expose the truth."The Yes Men Mission Statement
Do you feel crippled by your relationship to truth? Do you suffer from the agony of repeatable results, the disconnect between facts and persuasion? Do you feel the vectors of capital squeezing your interest into commerce that lies outside the public interest? Do you feel powerless despite having a greater than average understanding of the natural world? Do you feel a disconnect between what you know and how it affects policy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a scientist, and we may be able to help. This lecture and discussion will explore science, arts, and activism, with an eye towards solving our mutual problems.
RADIO INTERVIEWS - TUNE IN...
Friday, Sept. 7 at 2 PM live on KTRC at SantaFe.com: The Richard Eeds Show
1260 AM or 103.7 FM or livestreaming at KTRC - The Richard Eeds Show livestream link
Jennifer Villela, spokesperson for The PASEO Festival and Andrea Polli, PhD on Biocultura’s LASER Talks merging art and science in an informal talk and conversation – this Saturday at Santa Fe Community College and the upcoming PASEO Festival in Taos September 14-15. Featured artists are Espacio La Nube of Madrid Spain and Cristopher Cichocki of Coachella Valley discussing integration of science and art in their respective works. Award-winning Espacio La Nube created the inflatable pavilion Space Cloud, a feat of pneumatics, aerodynamics and mobile, sustainable architecture on a grand scale. Cichocki uses video, audio, microscopy, and performance to create striking, meditative, immersive installations or environments.
Saturday, Sept 8 at 2 PM on KTRC at Santafe.com: Coffee & Culture
1260 AM or 103.7 FM or livestreaming at KTRC - Coffee and Culture Show livestream link
Host Jennifer Villela interviews Agnes Chavez and J Matthew Thomas on the upcoming PASEO Festival in Taos September 14-15 and the LASER Talk on Saturday, Sept 8 at SFCC with Espacio La Nube of Madrid, Spain on Space Cloud and Cristopher Cichocki of Coachella Valley, CA on a mind-blowing installation called Circular Dimensions, both featured at PASEO Festival.
September 8th 6 pm
LASER Santa Fe at
Santa Fe Community College -
West Building, Lecture Hall
6401 Richards Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87508
REGISTRATION BEGINS AUGUST 26. Seating limited.
Hugo Cifre, Álvaro Gomis García and Miguel Ángel Maure Blesa of Espacio La Nube and Cristopher Cichocki will discuss their work and pieces that are featured in the PASEO 2018 Festival in Taos, New Mexico September 14-15. The PASEO Festival is a large outdoor art festival, free to the public, featuring new media, projection, architectural and other installation artworks placed on the streets and walls of the historic district and in Kit Carson Park in Taos, New Mexico. More information.
July 13th 6pm
LASER Santa Fe at
Los Alamos Science Fest
The Art of Visualizing Data
2132 Central Ave, Los Alamos, NM 87544
6-7PM, doors open at 5:30PM. Free.
Francesca Samsel and David Honegger Rogers have been visualizing data with universities, national labs, and private companies for decades. Francesca and David share their work and their stories as LASER Santa Fe and Los Alamos Science Fest team up for an evening of science and art.
Francesca Samsel is a Research Associate in the Center for Agile Technology at the University of Texas at Austin. She received an M.F.A. from the University of Washington and a B.F.A. from the California College of Art.
Multidisciplinary collaboration between the arts, sciences and visualization form the core of her research, specifically, multiple outcome collaboration. With scientists, she identifies artistic and design knowledge with potential to assist scientists exploring, understanding and communicating their data and science. Her artistic work merges environmental science, scientific visualization, visual metaphor and poetry in an interactive framework for contemplating pressing issues of our time. Her primary collaborators include the Data Science at Scale team and the COSIM team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Texas Advanced Computing Center Visualization Division, and the University of Minnesota, Interactive Visualization Laboratory. She is a member of the Editorial Board of IEEE Computer Graphics and Application, editing the Art on Graphs Department, as well as on the program committee for IEEE Vis – VISAP. With the Data Science at Scale team at Los Alamos National Laboratory they were awarded Best Scientific Visualization and Data Analytics at ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference in both 2015 and 2016. Their work can be found at SciVisColor.org. Details on her artist practice can be found at francescasamsel.com.
David Honegger Rogers joined LANL in 2013, after a decade of leading the Scalable Analysis and Visualization Team at Sandia National Labs, where he was instrumental in bringing in-situ analysis and visualization into production. He now focuses on interactive web-based analysis tools that integrate design, scalable analytics and principles of cognitive science to promote scientific discovery. Prior to working on large scale data analysis, David worked at DreamWorks Feature animation, writing and managing production software. He has degrees in Computer Science, Architecture (buildings, not computers), and an MFA in Writing for Children. On Tuesdays you can find him at Bathtub Row Brewery in the back shadows plucking on his standup bass.
June 8th 6pm
LASER Santa Fe
Art, astrophysics and particle accelerators: artists working with NASA and CERN
6-7PM, doors open at 5:30PM. Free. Register to reserve a seat.
New Mexico artists Richard Lowenberg and Agnes Chavez will present their collaborations with NASA, including an artist’s first use of satellite communications, and performers participating in astronaut gravitational simulation experiments, and with CERN (the European Nuclear Energy Agency), creating art visualizations of particle physics from Large Hadron Collider data. Hosted by Biocultura of Santa Fe which creates events that supports bio art, design education, and science/art collaborations.
For more information, see June 8 LASER talk page.
Richard Lowenberg is an artist, rural tele-community planner, environmental designer and eco-cultural activist. He has dedicated his creative life to investigations, understandings and artful realization of works presenting and collaboratively setting examples for ‘an ecology of the information environment’, with resulting opportunities for development of a culturally and ecologically rooted economy’. Richard’s ‘arts-sciences-society’ involvements include conducting ten years of NASA-Arts collaborations, embedding within the military-industrial-intelligence sector for a controversial body of artworks, networking local-global communities and involvement in international arts/sciences initiatives over 50 years. Richard serves on the Board of the CURRENTS New Media Festival and is founder of 1st-Mile Institute - SARC (Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations) which has collaborated with UNM, Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs, Santa Fe Institute, Leonardo, National Science Foundation’s SEAD initiative, The Internet Society, Cabine Voltaire (NL) and more.
Agnes Chavez is a new media artist, educator and co-founder of The PASEO festival in Taos New Mexico. She was an artist and Education Director for ISEA2012 and has been serving as an AmericorpsVISTA with Biocultura for the past three years developing the STEAMNM project in Northern New Mexico. She creates participatory experiences with a focus on particle physics, education and social practice. In 2009 she started the STEMarts LAB a project that applies the latest science research and technological innovations to arts and education through interdisciplinary collaborations.
I Love Life: Celebrating Biodiversity through Art and Science
Featuring 6 keynote speakers, roundtables, workshops, exhibits, and performances over 3 days. This event is large enough to have a page of its own: see more here.
LASER Santa Fe
Friday, April 13th 6:30pm
Santa Fe Art Institute
1600 St Michaels Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87505
Part of the I Love Life Symposium, hosted at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Featuring exhibits from our visiting guests Allison Kudla and Victoria Vesna as well a talk from local holographer Ana MacArthur.
More information under the I Love Life Symposium tab
LASER Santa Fe
The physics and nature of perception, demonstrated through holography
Featuring pioneers of holography and Santa Fe residents Fred Unterseher and Rebecca Deem. Biographies are written and published by Currents New Media.
Co-sponsored by STEM Santa Fe and Santa Fe Community College
Location: Santa Fe Community College, Jemez Rooms
6401 Richards Ave. Santa Fe, NM 87508
Fred Unterseher is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and did graduate work in Consciousness and the Arts at John Kennedy University. As a member of ANT FARM an art/media collective he contributed during the dome and inflatable years. He was a pioneering member of the San Francisco School of Holography and now has over 45 years working with holography as an art medium.
He considers holography to offer an opportunity for exploring relationships between science/technology and art/consciousness. His views are based on his remark "All we see is light related to space/time, which the eye/brain decodes into “meaningful” information. He views art as a condition that enhances and expands the experience of self-transformation. Combining holography with other media he expresses concepts and explores ideas covering light, kinetics, consciousness, visual perception, science, and community.
He has exhibited and lectured internationally and has artworks in numerous public and private collections.
Rebecca Deem explores experiences encountered with the transformative nature of light in conjunction with space/time and the full scope of human developmental growth and awareness. She has worked with holography as an art medium for over 40 years.
The nature of holography, she finds, offers an opportunity to explore dimension in ways not previously encountered such as upside down, inside out and spatially backward images. Holograms are actually interference patterns and increasing recognition acknowledges the part patterns effect not only human emotions but by which “visual” information or “coded light” is processed by the human organism. “Seeing” as a learned experience leads us to explore how we perceive our experiences, real, imagined or manipulated and in turn brings greater awareness of how we create our world”.
Deem has received numerous awards including from the Shearwater Foundation, and National Endowment. She has exhibited worldwide with artworks included in public and private collections.
Friday Happy Hour 4:30-7pm
Art and Science: The Two Cultures Converging
Watch party for the SciArt Center's conference
Location: Susan Latham's Studio
While the Sci Art Center is hosting its Art and Science conference, join in the discussion with other Santa Fe art and science aficionados. Feel free to bring snacks to share or to come empty-handed.
Location: Susan Latham's Studio
Address of the event and access codes to the live stream of the conference will be given once you register for this event.
RSVP by contacting Susan Latham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
6:30 PM Reception
7:30 PM Talks begin
LASER Santa Fe
at Cloud 5 Project Space
Cloud5 Project Space (formerly Cloud Cliff Cafe).
1805 2nd St
Santa Fe, NM 87505
About the event:
As the first installment of LASER Santa Fe, Biocultura presents an evening hosted at Cloud 5 Project Space. This event will feature a globally renowned artist, a scientist and a curator to cross-pollinate their research in an evening of presentations and discussion. A reception will begin at 6:30 with talks at 7:30. Artist Stephen Auger of Santa Fe will present his collaborative work with chronobiologist Dr. Benjamin Smarr visiting from UC Berkeley. Their work entitled “The Meaning of Light” explores the art and neuroscience behind visual perception and the circadian rhythm. Biocultura will also welcome visiting curator, educator, and creative facilitator from the Netherlands Carolyn Strauss who will present “Slow Research: Seeking Intimacy with Reality.” The two presentations will be followed by a discussion and Q&A.
“Slow Research: seeking intimacy with reality”
Presented by Carolyn F. Strauss
Carolyn F. Strauss is a curator, educator, and creative facilitator whose experience traverses the fields of architecture, design, contemporary art, emerging technology, and social and environmental activism. She is the director of Slow Research Lab, a multidisciplinary creative and curatorial platform based in the Netherlands. There she engages a dynamic collection of thinkers and practitioners in a spectrum of local and international research activities—exhibitions, publications, workshops, in-situ dialogues, and immersive study experiences—realized in collaboration with academic, institutional, and nonprofit partners.
In her lectures, Carolyn shares her philosophical approach and provides details of some of the creative investigations that Slow Research Lab has facilitated—from ephemeral, (im)material experiments to large-scale urban interventions—at the intersection of phenomenology and ecology, mathematics and somatics, language and landscape. These projects aim to reimagine humanity’s place in a complex-interdependent world, in balance with and within other living systems and along a temporal continuum that stretches well beyond individual lives and lifespans. In sharing this expanded (Slow) realm of praxis, she challenges students and professionals alike to cultivate alternative visions and variant rhythms within their own creative inquiry and projects.
“The Meaning of Light”
Presented by Stephen Auger
Stephen Auger has worked as a Cross-disciplinary artist and light theorist for over four decades. He trained in physics and neuroscience at Hampshire College and The Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT. Auger’s paintings explore the boundaries of visual perception encouraging viewers to experience “sensing” as a conscious mode of perception. His pursuit of the enigmatic sensory qualities experienced in the light of dawn and dusk led him into collaborations with Dr. Margaret Livigstone and Dr. Benjamin Smarr. Auger’s exploration of time-base perception and self-organizing pattern and form emanate from his work with the dynamic interaction of matter with vibration and elemental forces of nature. Auger's mentors include Edwin Land as well as Joseph Albers's protege, Arthur Hoener. His paintings and sculptures are in private, corporate and museum collections internationally, including Yale University, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Malcolm Forbes Jr., The Carnegie Institute of Science. Stephen is currently involved in several collaborative curatorial, teaching, and research projects. Auger lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Dr. Benjamin Smarr studies the temporal structures that biological systems make as they move through time. He is a NIH-funded postdoctoral fellow with a Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Washington, Seattle. He joined the UC Berkeley Kriegsfeld Lab in 2013, where he works to understand how physiological dynamics like sleep, circadian rhythms, and ovulatory cycles are shaped by the brain, and how disturbances to those cycles give rise to disease. He uses comparative physiology and neuroendocrinology approaches coupled with data analytics and sensor design to build predictive models for use in personalized medicine and education optimization efforts. Dr. Smarr is also an advocate for scientific outreach, and routinely gives public lectures and visits K-12 classrooms to help promote the idea that by understanding the biology that guides us, we can live more empowered lives. Dr. Smarr's collaboration with cross-disciplinary artist Stephen Auger addresses the fundamental relationships between aesthetic perception, sensory well-being and the dynamic movement of light over time, which are central to Auger's artistic vision.
Primal Alchemy, 48" x 60", Refractive pigment and optical polymer on birch panel. © Stephen Auger 2017
Resonance, 48" x 60" Refractive pigments and optical polymer on birch panel. © S. Auger 2017 $9,500
Join us for an evening with Scott Kildall and Andrew Erdmann.
Scott will be presenting his investigations over the last several years with transforming data into physical installations and sculptures. With the proposition that data has physical consequences, he will look at other artists and cultures that have physicalized data such as the Inca Quipus and the Marshall Island Stick Charts and tie into a conversation of artifact as social exchange. Finally, he will show his current installation work, Sonaqua, which is an artwork where he sonifies water quality using DIY water sensors.
Andrew will discuss water quality and give information about water use, conservation, the sources of water in Santa Fe. He will paint an overview of the City of Santa Fe’s drinking water system, how it’s managed, and how it interacts with the environment in and around the city.
Scott Kildall is a cross-disciplinary artist who creates art installations that use public data around issues of social justice. The resulting artworks often invite public participation through direct interaction. His current artistic research focuses on water data, which includes water quality, infrastructure and habitable exoplanets. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the New York Hall of Science, Transmediale, the Venice Biennale, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the San Jose Museum of Art. He has received fellowships, awards and residencies from organizations including the SETI Institute, ZERO1, Santa Fe Art Institute, Impakt Works, Autodesk, Recology San Francisco, Turbulence.org, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, Kala Art Institute and The Banff Centre for the Arts. Scott resides in San Francisco. www.kildall.com @kildall
Andrew Erdmann is a Water Resources Coordinator with the City of Santa Fe’s Water Division. Working in this capacity, Andrew has been involved in many large-scale water issues including the management of San Juan-Chama project water, watershed restoration and management, water rights permitting, and planning for the impacts of climate change on future water availability. Prior to his work in municipal water management at the City of Santa Fe, Andrew held other positions in the water field including in the fisheries biology program for the US Forest Service and in water rights adjudication and administration at the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer.
September 27: 6-8 PM
The Future of Energy Design Storm
The Future Energy Design Storm is a public interactive event designed for participants from diverse disciplines, from engineering and science to architecture and the arts. Based on the Stanford D-School Design Thinking Model, this event will engage participants in discussions about about renewable energy potentials in and around Santa Fe and invite ideas for a more sustainable future. Led by Andrea Polli and Madeline Bolding with participation from UNM students of Computational Sustainability.
Andrea Polli is an artist working at the intersection of art, science and technology whose practice includes media, public interventions, curating and directing, and writing. She is currently a Professor of Art and Ecology with appointments in the College of Fine Arts and School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico. She holds the Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media and is the founder and director of the Social Media Workgroup research lab. She holds a doctorate in practice-led research from the University of Plymouth and her most recent book is Far Field: Digital Culture, Climate Change and the Poles. Madeline Bolding holds a PhD in genetics from the University of Missouri where she studied rare diseases and gene therapy. During her graduate work she came to love science communication and outreach, so upon moving to New Mexico in early 2017, she began working with Biocultura as an outreach specialist. In this capacity she has enjoyed searching for connections between the worlds of art and science in order to create unique, thoughtful events.
Please join us for a Fermented Freedom workshop with New York bio-artist Moira Williams Sunday, August 13 from 12-3 pm. We will learn how to wrangle wild yeast to make several fermented drinks. Including our own individual scoby– a microbial biofilm that creates kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented drink loaded with local microbe, microbes that in turn, aid our microbiome. We will also discuss the microbiome and its role, look at several biofilms and yeasts through a microscope, swab biofilms, learn about additional fermented foods and local plants to add to our fermented treat.
If you have a scoby bring it along for swapping, swabbing and/or a check up!
Limited to 20 people
Snacks will be provided; snacks to share are welcome too!
Please wear cozy kitchen working clothes and shoes.
More information: Wild yeasts swirl around us in every part of the world. Yet, wild yeasts are curiously invisible as they seamlessly interconnect with the environment and us. Until we feed them…
Then a biofilm, or Scoby, is born, supporting a diverse multitude of living “cultures!”
Wild yeast is unique to place and environment. Living “cultures” preserve place and are at times what makes a region known for its fermented foods, drinks and cultural identity. Although we have lived with wild yeasts for centuries, very little identification of yeast and bacterial species found in scobys has been documented.
Many kombucha brewers exchange their biofilms between one another. These trades across the world raise questions about the nature of biolfilms, about biogeography, selection and evolution. Can we consider kombucha, kombucha biofilms, perhaps all wild yeast fermentation, as living heritage sites? Can living “cultures“ lead us to collectively rethink preservation along with its signs, sites and language? Can these living “cultures” reveal a positive path to the environment’s health and subsequently our own?
Moira Williams’ co-creative practice weaves together performance, science, food, sound and installation to combine diverse bodies of knowledge about our environment and its complex ecology teeming with many forms of life and beliefs to ask: “How do we come to know what it is we know? She invites people to reconfigure familiar objects and social events to offer multiple opportunities for building our social imagination and questioning systems of power and influence. For Moira participation is not about homogeneity it is in service of human connections and our connections to our world: to participate is to generate empathy and vitality. Moira is currently an artist in residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute, working with biofilms, vernal puddles and creating poop postcards.
Like any skill, communication is greatly improved by thinking creatively about the process, planning ahead, and practicing often. This is especially important for those interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) because it is often difficult to explain the complexity or importance of the work. Our STEAM Communicators program offers training and networking opportunities to help participants develop their skills communicating with audiences of all ages.
Led by experienced science educators Liz Martineau and Gordon McDonough, STEAM Communicators practice techniques developed by Portal to the Public (PoP). This program is based on current research looking at the ways we learn through formal and informal education. PoP is supported by the National Science Foundation through their efforts to establish best-practices in science education and promote meaningful interactions between local experts and the public. For more information click here.
Images by Jerzy Rose and Mandy Marksteiner
June 22: 6-8PM
Frances Whitehead and Prisca Tiasse
Biocultura welcomes Chicago-based Civic Practice Artist Frances Whitehead and Los Alamos-based Scientist and Biodidact Creator Prisca Tiasse in conversation about Fruit Futures.
Fruit Futures takes its name from Whitehead's series of linked, civic, agri+cultural projects that initiate a new small fruit cultures and economies in Gary Indiana, with multipurpose landscapes that afford, engage and educate the public. Repurposing available land, these projects include: The Remediation Arboretum, which investigates how fruiting trees and shrubs can reboot urban soils; The Climate Corridor, a linear planting of ornamental flowering trees, which beautifies the streetscape, transforming it into a seasonal, place-based, climate visualization experience; and The Community Lab Orchard, where citizen scientists explore and demonstrate the culture of favorite and forgotten small fruits for a resilient foodshed.
Frances Whitehead is a civic practice artist bringing the methods, mindsets, and strategies of contemporary art practice to the process of shaping the future city. Connecting emerging art practices, the discourses around culturally informed sustainability, and new concepts of heritage and remediation, she develops strategies to deploy the knowledge of artists as change agents, asking, What do Artists Know? A series of linked civic initiatives include The Embedded Artist Project with the City of Chicago, SLOW Cleanup, a culturally driven phytoremediation program for abandoned gas stations, climate-monitoring plantings throughout the USA and Europe, and an urban agriculture plan with the City of Lima, Peru. Whitehead was the Lead Artist for The 606, a rail infrastructure adaptive reuse project in Chicago and continues to advise on the citizen science climate observation program as part of the art program. Whitehead is Professor of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she contributes to the Architecture program through courses in experimental urban practices.
Prisca Tiasse's skills and areas of expertise include molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology. She first came to Los Alamos as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and then decided to carry out her passion for science by starting New Mexico's first community biotech lab with the mission to provide hands-on biotechnology education for all. A molecular biologist with a broad research experience, her research first focused on Neurobiology and the regulation of gene expression in the tobacco hornworm. She used a number of molecular genetics and biochemical tools to uncover novel genes and their function in the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae. Her expertise in genetic engineering and fatty acid biosynthesis led her back to eukaryotes, to help genetically engineer algae strains for better biofuel production, as a postdoctoral research scientist. Tiasse also has a passion for science education...for all! She believes that the discipline, critical thinking, persistence and creativity required for good scientific research is an excellent basis for any education, whether one becomes a scientist or not.
May 27: 8-10PM
SleepWalks: a Catnap
SleepWalks: A Catnap is an evening of relaxation and lucid dreaming that aims to awaken your creativity and dreams.
You spend about one-third of your life sleeping and dreaming, yet scientists still don't know exactly why. In an average lifespan of 77 years that is 25 years of our lives. Bring your sleeping bags, pillows and security blankets to Biocultura for a 'catnap' with sound artist Andrea Williams.
Share mugwort tea, essential oils, pb&j star-shaped sandwiches, and milk and cookies before a 45-minute 'Catnap' version of Williams' project, SleepWalks, a live electronic music performance exploring the impact of sound on dreams by playing to a sleeping audience who then journal about their experience. Williams will cull sounds from field recordings, live samples of the room resonance, and various electronically processed acoustic instruments, to create an extended musical composition while you are encouraged to sleep in the performance space.
The goal of this long-term project is to compose engaging and collaborative soundwalks for dreamers; to compose soundwalk experiences in participants' dreams. Sleepwalks has been performed at numerous venues including Issue Project Room, NYC; Diapason Gallery, NYC; and Mills College, Oakland, CA as part of The Deep Listening Institute's Dream Festival. SleepWalks members include: musicians, Andrea Williams and Lee Pembleton and scientist, Todd Anderson. Most recently, SleepWalks received a NYSCA grant to perform SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams (with Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company), a multimedia dance performance created from the collaborative dreams of SleepWalks participants.
April 23: 5-7:30PM
Earth Optimism Santa Fe
Earth Optimism Santa Fe connects globally and acts locally to feature the work of artists, students and scientists responding to environmental challenges and opportunities. We are a sister event of Earth Optimism, a global program coordinated by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and connected to the UNM Art & Ecology's Decolonizing Nature Conference. Our aim is to celebrate the systems that keep our soil (and us) healthy.
Featuring electronics pioneer Leah Beuchley, LA-based bio artist Mick Lorusso in a collaboration with Joel Ong ,Marfa-based artist Elise Sibley Chandler, biologist Renee Bronwyn Johansen and bio art and design students Kaitlin Bryson and Sabrina Islam. The event will also mark the launch of a work by Navajo Nation-based photo muralist and member of the Justseeds collective Chip Thomas.
Presenter Bios and Projects:
Leah Buechley presents Burn Quilt: In all human cultures, rituals that employ fire provide a means to indulge rage and grief while constructing a path towards renewal. This project invites us to participate in a quiet personal ceremony that blends technology, fire, water, and earth. Buechley is a designer, engineer, and educator whose work explores intersections and juxtapositions–of “high” and “low” technologies, new and ancient materials, and masculine and feminine making traditions. Her inventions include the LilyPad Arduino toolkit. From 2009-2014, she was a professor at the MIT Media Lab where she founded and directed the High-Low Tech group. Her work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ars Electronica Festival, and the Exploratorium.
Mick Lorusso and Joel Ong, have created windows into the microbial world, where dirt samples from the regions incubate and breed curated microbiomes. Interactive elements perturb the dust samples, further revealing narratives and metaphors of environmental disruptions at a global scale, providing the context for a uniquely microbial perspective of the world. Mick Lorusso is a cross-disciplinary artist who interweaves musings on molecules, cells, societies, and environments. With early training in microbiology and education in art, he is a research fellow at the UCLA Art|Sci Center and an instructor for the Sci|Art Nanolab. Mick will present collaborative work with Joel Ong, Assistant Professor in Computational Arts at York University, Toronto., an alumni of SymbioticA and artist with the UCLA ArtSci Collective. Note: Each artist is 100 trillion bacterial cells and 37 trillion human cells with a variation of 53% over the population of standard 70kg males. They are composed of more than 10000 microbial species that form interspecies ecologies of microbiota.
GROUNDBREAKING DISCOVERY OF MUNDANE SUBTERRANEAN SEWER SYSTEM! While repairing the sewage drain in front of Biocultura, Elise Sibley Chandler uncovered a complex network of pipes penetrating the building. Subterranean infrastructure is exposed like arteries of a body prepared for surgery. As a hybrid conceptual transmedia artist/anthropologist, she is concerned with answering the question; how does our phenomenological experience of networks like pipes influence water and resource consumption and everyday behavior? Elise Sibley Chandler received baccalaureate degrees in both Studio Art and Anthropology with a certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been featured in Austin and Marfa, Texas, Aspen, Colorado, and as a Water Rights Resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico.
Renee Bronwyn Johansen is an early career researcher specializing in mycology. She uses genetic techniques to investigate microbial ecology and biogeography and is experienced in all aspects of research project management including development, logistics and budget management. Her specific skills include field trip planning and execution (on both a local and international scale), fungal culturing, DNA sequencing (including next generation sequencing), phylogenetics, bioinformatics and public communication of science.
Mycorrhizal fungi are Earth’s nervous system, but they are not a Robbin Hood of the soil; rather, they act as mutually-beneficial symbionts. In desert ecosystems, where resources are limited above- and below ground, mycorrhizal fungi are critical in the continuation of life. Without their micro-highway, many desert plants (relied upon by other flora and fauna) would cease to exist. In effect, mycorrhizal fungi keep water and nutrients in the ground, and food in bellies. They support us all. Artist Kaitlin Bryson has researched this fungal community for many years since working as an organic farmer. As an artist, she draws comparisons to these hidden lives as a support system, to that of a tapestry or weaving. Mycorrhizal fungi have a woven history, permeating through our everyday lives. Her cacti weavings are one approach to expressing these phenomena.
What if the flora that we thrive alongside with takes the conductor's baton for symphonic composition? With a terrarium set-up comprising a basic forest floor landscape and digital technology for data transformation, Sabrina Islam aims to provide an instrumental "voice" to the players within the ecosystem of the terrarium in the composition of an organic, symphonic research project. called Composing Symphonies from a Closed-system Terrarium. Sabrina is currently an undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico in the pursuit of a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry, with interests in public health, biomedicine, and art as a therapeutic bridge between worlds.
Mural by Chip Thomas, photographer, public artist, activist and physician who has been working between Monument Valley and The Grand Canyon on the Navajo nation since 1987. There, he coordinates the Painted Desert Project – a community building exchange which manifests as a constellation of murals across the Navajo Nation painted by artists from all over the rez + the world. These murals aim to reflect love and appreciation of the rich history shared by the Navajo people back to Navajo people. As a member of the Justseeds Artists Co-operative he appreciates the opportunity to be part of a community of like-minded, socially engaged artists. You can find his large scale photographs pasted on the roadside, on the sides of houses in the northern Arizona desert, on the graphics of the Peoples Climate March, climateprints.org, Justseeds and 350.org carbon emissions campaign material. Image by Chip Thomas
April 13, 6-8PM:
Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics: Converging Worldviews
Lakota Cosmology meets Particle Physics: Converging Worldviews, is an interdisciplinary collaboration that investigates native science, western science and the arts as parallel ‘ways of knowing’ and understanding our place in the universe. Only through open dialogue and interdisciplinary exchange can we begin to move toward a new worldview; One that combines the advances of the scientific method and technological innovations with native science as a life-sustaining ecology that is participatory and in balance with nature. Biocultura hosts a presentation by the team. This project is in partnership with ATLAS Experiment at CERN and Quarknet, whom provide virtual and real visits with physicists and the latest research to share with students.
Steve Tamayo draws upon his family history as a member of the Sicangu Lakota tribe. His fine arts education (BFA from Singe Gleska University), along with his cultural upbringing, have shaped him as an artist, historian, storyteller and dancer. Steve provides activities during his residencies that include art and regalia making, drumming, powwow dance demonstrations and lectures on the history, symbolism and meaning behind the Native customs and traditions.
Steve Goldfarb is a physicist from the University of Melbourne, working on the ATLAS Experiment at CERN. He is active in education and outreach, webmaster for the ATLAS public web pages, co-chair of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group, on-site coordinator of the REU Summer Student and Research Semester Abroad programs for American undergraduates at CERN, and advisory board member for Quarknet.
Greg Cajete is a Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of indigenous knowledge in education. Dr. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has served as a New Mexico Humanities scholar in ethno botany of Northern New Mexico and as a member of the New Mexico Arts Commission. Dr. Cajete has authored five books: “Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education,” (Kivaki Press, 1994); “Ignite the Sparkle: An Indigenous Science Education Curriculum Model”, (Kivaki Press, 1999); “Spirit of the Game: Indigenous Wellsprings (2004) ,” “A People’s Ecology: Explorations in Sustainable Living,” and “Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence” (Clearlight Publishers, 1999 and 2000).
Agnes Chavez is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and social entrepreneur working at the intersection of art, science, technology and social practice. She is founder of the STEMarts Lab, whose mission is to design youth workshops that combine new media art and STEM to empower and inspire youth. She is Co-Director of The Paseo, an outdoor participatory art festival in Taos NM, that transforms and empowers their rural community through art. Chavez has won numerous awards including the renowned “Educational Innovation in the Americas” (INELAM) award in 2006, and the New Mexico Women in Technology Award in 2011. In her art, Chavez experiments with data visualization, sound and projection art to create participatory experiences that explore our relationship with nature and technology to inspire peaceful and sustainable integration.