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Visual Culture Program

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
12:00pm to 1:30pm
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East Bridge 114
Immortality Projects: Science and Art of Being Ephemeral
Natalie Andrew, Professional Biologist and Visual Artist,
Brian Knep, Media Artist,

In this dual lecture, artist-biologist Natalie Andrew and artist-programmer Brian Knep weave a narrative of human lives seen through the lens of visual art and the observation of the non-human. Andrew, a former postdoc at Harvard Medical School and currently artist-in-residence at the Harvard Ceramics Program, uses cryptogams in both her biological and artistic explorations. Knep, an award winning artist and software engineer, uses biologically inspired algorithms to explore cycles, struggles, and acceptance. Andrew and Knep will present their past works, their evolution, and how they are leading to future collaborative pieces.

Natalie Andrew is a visual artist and a biologist whose explorations converge around mosses, slime molds, and other denizens of the forest floor. Integral to her practice is the crossing of the boundaries that separate art and science, allowing them to feed off of each other. Her previous positions include postdocs at Harvard University and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self Organization, and she has published in Nature Cell Biology, PNAS, PLoS Computational Biology and others. Natalie's art practice focuses on ceramics and, alongside carrying out residencies in forest settings, she is currently an Independent Resident Artist at the Harvard Ceramics Program. Natalie has received a Ph.D. in Biology, a Master's degree in Cognitive Science, and a Bachelor's Degree in Physics with Electronics, all from the University of Birmingham, UK.

Brian Knep is a media artist whose works range from large-scale interactive installations to microscopic sculptures for nematodes. He was the first artist-in-residence at Harvard Medical School, working side-by-side with scientists, using their tools and techniques to explore alternative meanings and ways of connecting to the world. Knep's work has been shown at the Cleveland Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, and other major galleries and museums. Early in his career he worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Industrial Light & Magic, working on films such as Jurassic Park and Mission Impossible. Knep holds a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and a Master's degree in Computer Science, both from Brown University.

About the Visual Culture Program
The Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture, which is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and based in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), features new undergraduate course offerings, guest lecturers, and other programming to foster conversations between humanists and scientists. Its activities are organized by HSS and other Caltech faculty in collaboration with scholars at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

For more information, please contact Katie Fisher by phone at 626-395-6836 or by email at katief@caltech.edu.