Bio-Art Panel Discussion 11/05

What issues of agency arise when science enters the art world? UIC's BioCultures hosts a panel discussion discussing art that engages directly with the biological, the ecological, and the medical. Panelists include Lori Andrews (Chicago Kent College of Law, IIT); Lennard Davis (UIC Project Bio-cultures and Professor of English, Disability Studies and Medical Education) and Andrew Yang (SAIC, Biologist and Co-curator of the exhibition Biological Agents). Moderated by Jennifer Ashton (UIC English Department).

This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Biological Agents, on view at Gallery 400 through November 22.

Biological Agents Panel Discussion
Wednesday, November 5th
3:30 - 5:30pm
UIC Humanities Institute
701 S. Morgan St. (Lower Level, Stevenson Hall)

Sculpture as Medicine & CORPoreal (10/31 - )

“Sculpture as Medicine” constitutes a group exhibition of works in various media, including a performance to take place during the opening reception, created by students in a class of the same name at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is curated by their instructor Gabriel Bizen Akagawa, who designed the course, which he has taught for the last two years, “to investigate how studio art changes when it has a medicinal function.”

It was Akagawa’s goal to nurture students’ work through “a practice of medicinal attention and action lacking in many realms of career-driven society.“ Moreover, he says, “Medicine is an unstable phenomenon in contemporary society. Health (care) is not necessarily a human right. This exhibition is supported in part by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For more information about the Sculpture as Medicine class, please visit

“CORPOreal comprises documentation of the medical protocols—postmortem examination, dissection, cross-sectional imaging, and full-body scanning—that Jason Ferguson has performed on everyday household objects, such as a shoe and a La-Z-Boy recliner. The exhibition includes both the physical remains of these objects, selected based on their socio-cultural associations, as well as video footage of their deconstruction through procedures generally reserved for the bodies of living organisms. Ferguson learned these actual procedures from medical practitioners and professionals in other scientific disciplines; “Collaborating with practitioners in various branches of study gives my work a level of authenticity that I could not provide on my own,” he says.

This authenticity provokes a visceral reaction from viewers, making them aware of their status as mortal objects: “The human condition has been defined as the paradoxical state of having awareness of one’s limitations and mortality while lacking the ability to alter fate. My work utilizes scientific protocol and the collection and analysis of empirical data in order to explore the minute details of human experience more thoroughly.” Ferguson currently teaches at the University of Idaho, and his work has recently been exhibited in solo shows on the East Coast and also in group exhibitions in Germany and the Netherlands.

The International Museum of Surgical Science
1524 North Lake Shore Drive,
Admission costs $10 for adults and $6 for students
On Tuesdays admission is free.
The entire Museum will be open for viewing during the free reception on October 31. 312.642.6502

Science Adventures in Creativity, Innovation and Learning (10/16)

Science Adventures in Creativity, Innovation and Learning
a talk by Todd Siler

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 pm


Columbia College Chicago
ROOM 602
624 South Michigan Avenue

This colorful, lively slide lecture will feature the work of visual artist *Dr. Todd Siler, whose adventures in the arts and sciences over the past three decades have produced a diverse body of original artwork that aims to transform and transcend all forms of compartmentalized knowledge. He refers to this integrative work as “ArtScience” as it fully melds various experimental approaches to creative inquiry, discovery and learning.
In addition to showing some vivid examples of his artwork, Todd will end his lecture with a glimpse of his company’s new Think Like A Genius 2.0 software, which is a 3D authoring tool that enables everyone to discover and explore one’s creativity in exciting, playful and productive ways. As Todd will relate, the collaborative creation of this versatile creativity and communication tool marks a milestone in the evolution of ArtScience concepts and their applications to everyday life. *Dr, Todd Siler is the first recipient of a PhD in Visualization from M.I.T. Dr. Siler is a visual artist, writer, inventor, educator, consultant, and director of PSI-PHI COMMUNICATIONS: a company that specializes in consulting and developing processes for fostering creativity and innovation in business and education. He has published many articles and books including BREAKING THE MIND BARRIER (1992) and THINK LIKE A GENIUS (1997). Dr. Siler has lectured throughout the world on topics such as the historical interaction of the arts with science and technology. His artwork is exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world.

Espace Vert (10/29-)

October 30 - December 19, 2008
Opening: Thursday, October 30 from 5-9 pm

217 North Carpenter
Chicago, IL 60607
Gallery Phone: 312.491.1190
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11-6

Known for challenging the growth of native plants in such materials as lace fabric, hand made paper, plastic tubes and glass medicine bottles, the essence of Ms. Brody's work is to understand how we live with the constant flux of our environment. She wishes to plant within her audience the desire to be more aware of the tenuous relationship between ourselves and nature within the urban and industrial landscape.

Environmentally based artist Michele Brody will be giving a presentation about her art work in conjunction with the opening of her installation *Garden Sentinels* in the project space of the FlatFile Galleries. *Garden Sentinels* is part of the group show Espace Vert, which opens Thursday, October 30 from 5-9 pm. Students in Hunter O'Reilly's freshmen BioArt Seminar Course at Loyola University Chicago collaborated on this artwork by choosing some of the plants to be grown for the exhibit. Each student gave their reason for the plant they chose.

Ms Brody received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994, and since then has spent the past 14 years utilizing a strong background in the liberal arts to create site-specific, mixed media installations, and works of public art that are generated by the history, culture, environment, and architecture of a wide range of venues. While living and working in such places as France, Costa Rica, California, the Midwest, Germany, and her home of New York City, her art career has developed into a proc ess of working in collaboration with each new community as a means towards developing an interpretation of the sense of a place as an outsider looking in.

Her exhibition record includes one-person shows at The Temple Judea Museum, Elkins Park, PA; Littlejohn Contemporary, NYC; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN; Dina4 Projekte, Munich, Germany; Karpio + Facchini Gallery, Miami, Fl; the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporaneo, San Jose, Costa Rica; and at Le Quai de la Batterie, Atelier-galerie d’Art Contemporain; Arras, France.

She was the recipient of a Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant in 2003, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 2000. She has installed permanent works of public art in NYC for the MTA Arts for Transit, Public Art for Public Schools, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Exposing Time - Michele Brody (10/29)

Seminar: Exposing Time
by Michele Brody, Environmentally Based Artist

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008 (4-5pm)

Loyola University Chicago
Flanner Hall Rm. 133
1068 W. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60626
Red Line: Loyola (above ground stop)

Free and Open to the Public
Contact: Hunter O'Reilly at

Biological Agents at Gallery 400

The complexities of our contemporary life fundamentally challenge the way we understand ourselves as biological entities within larger ecosystems. Biological Agents: Artistic engagements in our growing bioculture is an exhibition focusing on the work of Brandon Ballengee, Caitlin Berrigan, and Natalie Jeremijenko: three artists who engage the intimate participation of organisms and the public alike, examining what it means to be human, to be animal, and to have personal and social agency.

The show also features the Knowledge Virus Research Station, offering resources and information on biological topics from a variety of creative perspectives, as well as a Biological Agents events series.

The exhibition is curated by Christa Donner (Studio Arts, the University of Illinois at Chicago/UIC, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago/SAIC) and Andrew Yang (Biology & Liberal Arts, SAIC). It is co-organized with Lennard Davis (UIC Project Bio-cultures and Professor of English, Disability Studies and Medical Education, UIC).

Opening reception & performance:
Wednesday, October 15, from 5-8pm

The exhibition is on view from October 14 - November 22

Gallery 400
400 S. Peoria (UIC-Halsted Blue Line stop)
Chicago, IL 60617
The exhibition & opening reception are FREE and open to the public.