Evolution – Exhibition and Panel Discussion March 29, 2019

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What is nature and the evolution of living beings is an inevitable issue. While searching for the answer to this and other questions around Nature and its variations, we find what we are and how we stand among all organisms and in the world. Charles Darwin offered the world a simple scientific explanation for the diversity of life on Earth: evolution by natural selection. Countless scientists have found that Darwin’s work is fundamental to their own. Contemporary scientists can now answer questions about the natural world in ways Darwin never could. New tools and technologies, such as DNA analyses, can reveal unexpected relationships between seemingly dissimilar groups.
This event consists of an exhibition (part of FACTT-TO) and a panel discussion. Together, they interrogate the meaning, the relevance and the implications of evolution from different vantage points, including perspectives from a range of scientific disciplines, technological approaches, and artistic practices. We wish to reflect on the condition of co-habitation and co-existence of human and non-humans in this world (and beyond?) and pose questions about transformation; forced or elective mutation and survival; agency and decision making; conservation and intervention.
 
Text by Marta de Menezes and Roberta Buiani

Join us at the opening and tour of FACTT-Toronto, followed by a panel discussion.

5:00 pm Opening Tour 

Meet us in Sidney Smith (University of Toronto), 100 St George street (enter from Huron street)

Stop#1 – Sidney Smith Commons (Huron Street side)
Stop#2 – McLennan Physics Labs (60 St. George street)
 
Artists: André Sier; Elaine Whittaker; Felipe Shibuya & Pedro Cruz; Gunes-Helene Isitan; Jenifer Wightman; Jennifer Willet; Jude Abu-Zaineh; Kathy High; Maria Francisca Abreu-Afonso; Maria Manuela Lopez; Nicole Clouston; Nigel Helyer; Suzanne Anker; Tarah Roda; Tosca Teràn

6:00-8:00 pm Panel Discussion

The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, Rm 230


Guests:

Marta DeMenezes – Artistic Director, Ectopia; Director, Cultivamos Cultura
Gary Smith – Artist and landscape architect, Visiting Artist at Santa Clara University
Boris Steipe – Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Department of Molecular Genetics
Jenifer Wightman – Research Associate (Cornell) and Lecturer (New School/Parsons)
Biographies
Marta DeMenezes is a Portuguese artist (b. Lisbon, 1975) with a degree in Fine Arts by the University in Lisbon, and a MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture by the University of Oxford. She has been exploring the interaction between Art and Biology, working in research laboratories demonstrating that new biological technologies, DNA, proteins and live organisms can be used as an art medium. Her work has been presented internationally in exhibitions, articles and lectures. She is since 2005 artistic director of Ectopia – Experimental Art Laboratory and from 2009 director of Cultivamos Cultura – Association. http://martademenezes.com
 
Gary Smith lectures frequently at botanical gardens, art museums, and professional conferences. In his work he examines the basic patterns in nature, finding ways they form a visual vocabulary for human cultural expression. Formerly an Associate Professor of Landscape Design at the University of Delaware, Smith has also served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas. In 2012, Smith was the Nadine Carter Russell Chair in the School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University. He is currently Visiting Artist in the Department of Art and Art History at Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, California.  www.wgarysmithdesign.com.

Boris Steipe is Director of the Specialist Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and an
Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Department of Molecular Genetics. He is interested in recurring patterns in molecular structure: the computational methods of pattern discovery, their characterization regarding features, context and distribution, their association with function in proteins, and their utility for protein engineering and design. http://biochemistry.utoronto.ca/person/boris-steipe/
 
Jeni Wightman. Trained as a Toxicologist, Jenifer Wightman is a research scientist specializing in greenhouse gas inventories and life cycle analysis of agriculture, forestry, waste, and bioenergy systems at Cornell University, funded by DoE, USDA, NYS DA&M, and NYSERDA. Her art practice began in 2002 and employs scientific tropes to incite curiosity of biological phenomena and inform an ecological rationality. Her art has been commissioned by NYC parks, featured at the Lincoln Center, BAM, and Imagine Science Festival, and is held in collections such as the Morgan Library, Library of Congress, Gutenberg Museum, Bodmer Museum, and the Danish Royal Library http://www.audiblewink.com/
Please, RSVP here 
ArtSci Salon thanks the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, Art and Science and the Physics Department at the University of Toronto for their support. 
 
ArtSci Salon is an interdisciplinary program hosted by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. LASER – Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous is a project of Leonardo® /ISAST

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