Emergent Forms: Art, Science, Nature, and Becoming

Wednesday, November 14, 6:15 p.m.7:45 p.m.
Sharp Building, room 327
37 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL
United States

This panel examined the complicated process of taking-form in artworks, structures, and organisms, alike.  

Ernst Haeckel

"Form, like nature, is one of the most complicated words in the English language," Donna Haraway, 2004. This panel will examine the complicated process of taking-form in artworks, structures, and organisms, alike.  Drawing from examples in developmental biology, social insect theory, and craft and art history, the panel will offer case studies for trans-disciplinary discussion on how form makes itself manifest. 

Presented in partnership with SAIC's Department of Liberal Arts

Anna Edlund (SAIC Scientist-in-Residence / Associate Professor, Bethany College) is a developmental biologist who has studied both plant and animal fertilization and morphogenesis.  She is currently working on the structure and function of pollen grain walls during pollination.  Dr. Edlund taught at Spelman College and Lafayette College, before Bethany, and for the past six summers, has taught biology to Tibetan Buddhist monks in India.  She has a B.A. from Swarthmore College, Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley, and post doctorate from the University of Chicago. Anna is Scientist-in-Residence at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Fall 2018, where she is teaching a course called "Creating Life," exploring the sources of novelty and innovation in embryology.

Sarah Gilbert (Assistant Professor of Art, Pitzer College) is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar based in Los Angeles, CA. Her current research explores craft and collectivity, emphasizing more-than-human actors and the particularities of encounter.  Her recent projects include a collaboratively-built community garden at Faro Tláhuac in Mexico City (2015), and an interactive sound installation in a medieval Estonian tower, as a solo satellite exhibition of the 7th Tallinn Applied Arts Triennial: Time Difference (2017). She is an assistant professor of sculpture at Pitzer College, where she teaches in Art and Gender & Feminist Studies. 

Andrew Yang (Associate Professor, SAIC) is an artist, scientist, and educator working across the naturalcultural. His projects have been exhibited from Oklahoma to Yokohama, including the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015), a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2016), and an upcoming exhibition at the Spencer Museum of Art (2019). His writings appear in LeonardoBiological TheoryAntennae, and Art Journal, among others. He is an associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History.