MCA Symposium: Art/Science/Spectacle 9/12

How do immersive artworks, such as those created by Olafur Eliasson, play upon our attraction to the spectacular and a fascination with the mechanics of how things work? This afternoon program at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art features presentations by three internationally renowned speakers who will trace the history of this phenomenon in art and science, and relate it to wide-ranging developments in consumer culture, optics, psychology, philosophy, and technology. Madeleine Grynsztejn, MCA Pritzker Director and curator of Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, introduces the program.

MCA Symposium: Art/Science/Spectacle
Saturday, September 12, 2009, 2 pm
Museum of Contemporary Art Theater, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL
$10 general admission, $8 MCA members, $6 students


Anthony McCall
has a cross-disciplinary practice in which film, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance overlap. McCall was a key figure in the avant-garde London Film-makers Co-operative in the 1970s and his earliest films are documents of outdoor performances that were notable for their minimal use of the elements, most notably fire.

McCall provides the keynote address, discussing the shifts and relationships between the work produced in the 70s by artists of his generation, including his own early works, and that produced by a newer generation, including Eliasson's, contextualizing these shifts within the massive changes that have taken place over the last 15 years in the production, consumption and presentation of culture.

Barbara Stafford
, the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor, Emerita, at the University of Chicago, has consistently explored the intersections between the visual arts and the physical and biological sciences from the early modern to the contemporary era. Stafford's most recent book is Echo Objects: The Cognitive Work of Images, (University of Chicago Press, 2007). In her presentation, she discusses how recent discoveries in the brain sciences are upending our assumptions about how we see, imagine, feel and sense the realities of our world.

Paola Bertucci, Assistant Professor of History of Science and Medicine at Yale School of Medicine, researches, lectures and publishes on the history of electricity, natural catastrophes in the age of Enlightenment, the utility of spectacle, and the material culture of science in 18th-century Italy. She has organized several museum exhibitions, including two new permanent installations from the 18th-century collections of the Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy (opening in Fall 2009): The Spectacle of Science and Domestic Science. Her talk contextualizes our contemporary fascination with electricity and spectacular phenomena, and elucidate the role that spectacle plays in the presentation and popularization of science.


by Vesna Jovanovic

Two new shows at the International Museum of Surgical Science!

“Redefining the Medical Artist” a group exhibition of work by members of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Biomedical Visualization program

“Pareidolia” a solo show of drawings and other works on paper by Chicago artist Vesna Jovanovic, as part of its ongoing “Anatomy in the Gallery” contemporary art program.

opening Friday, August 7, 2009,5:00 to 8:00pm, free!
Through October 17.

1524 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610 USA
fax 312.642.9516

“Redefining the Medical Artist” features state-of-the-art scientifically accurate representations of the body in various media by students, alumni, and faculty of UIC’s Biomedical Visualization graduate program. Their work stems from the tradition of medical illustration founded by the 16th-century physician Vesalius, who first sought to communicate anatomical knowledge through visual means; however, these contemporary medical artists have grown far beyond drawing from dissection. They now create animations, digital renderings, and three-dimensional models to depict biomedical procedures, processes, and phenomena—illustrating the progress of medicine as well as that of visual technology. The Biomedical Visualization program at UIC program is among the largest in the nation and the only one to have a Virtual Reality in Medicine Laboratory.

Jovanovic’s exhibition highlights her series of ink spill drawings that explore the psychological phenomenon of pareidolia, in which a vague and random stimulus, often an image, is perceived as being significant—for example, when people imagine that they see animals or faces in clouds. Originally trained in chemistry, Jovanovic now uses art as an alternate avenue of inquiry, one that reveals open-ended questions rather than reductive formulae. She received her MFA in Photography from Ohio State University and currently teaches ceramics at Loyola University in Chicago. The “Pareidolia” exhibition will be open to the press for preview beginning Friday, July 31. Further details about Jovanovic and her work can be found at:

Housed in a landmark turn-of-the-century mansion, the International Museum of Surgical Science is located at 1524 North Lake Shore Drive, one-half block south of North Avenue, in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

It is open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults and $6 for students with ID and seniors age 60 and older. On Tuesdays admission is free. For more information about the Museum, call 312.642.6502.

Slightly Off Science - Reception 7/30

Slightly Off Science is evidence of a 6 week program in which Chicago teens collaborate with artist Alberto Aguilar and chemist Allan Wilson. Participants utilize various media to explore the inexact parallels of art and science, seeking a middle ground between the studio and the lab. Participants include: Justine Adeboyejo, Patrick Easley, Destiny Johnson, Ashley Klauck, Abigail Larraide, Sean Lyles, Jazmine McDonald, Christina Morris, Jessica Obrochta, Carlos Ortega, Monica Pizano, Jeremy Porter, Alexandria Ramirez, Omar Reyes, and Nancy Sanchez. In the first ten days of this exhibition the gallery will be treated as a open lab as group members test out the best way to present their findings, gaining curatorial experience.

Slightly Off Science Exhibition
Harold Washington College
30 E. Lake St, Chicago
President's Gallery: 11th Floor
July 21 – August 14, 2009
artists’ reception Thursday, July 30, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.