ArtSci Salon


 a post-pandemic mobile gallery conceived, designed and executed by 
Roberta Buiani, Lorella Di Cintio, and Ilze Briede [Kavi]

Emergent is a mobile gallery featuring collaborations across the sciences and the arts. Its goal is to better comprehend and cope with the emergence, survival, and adaptation of life due to climate change and global mobility, laboratory manipulations and world making
Emergent is a porous object: it encourages reflections across different experiences and sites of divergence through and with the arts; it may reach new human and non-human audiences, and have a transformative effect on the places it visits.


Emergent is a mobile postpandemic gallery interrogating the role of exhibition spaces today. What possible experiences, what new dialogues could a redesign of the gallery as a living, breathing entity foster?


Part 1. Megachile Alienus

Sala Camino

Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa


June 22-25, 2022

Opening June 22, 18:30

An installation by Cole Swanson

Canadian interdisciplinary artist Cole Swanson has created the first exhibition hosted by the Emergent mobile gallery.

Megachile rotundata, or the alfalfa leafcutter bee, is native to Europe, but was imported to Canada for its ability to efficiently pollinate alfalfa, carrots, and other large cultivations. Megachile scupturalis, or the giant resin bee, originated from Japan and China and appeared in Canada in the 1990s, and later in Europe in 2009. Its rapid spread is an emerging threat to biodiversity.

The mobility and circulation of these two species are causing the ecologies and the economies of entire regions to change, sometimes in radical ways.

With this installation, Cole Swanson (in collaboration with mellitologist Laurence Packer) examines the parallel impacts of these species on the regions surrounding Venice and Toronto, thus exposing our tenuous relationship with nature in urban ecologies. This conversation is predicated on the unique impacts of such organisms on both Italian and Canadian ecological systems specifically, providing a cross-cultural and pan-geographic portrait of two regions teetering on ecological and economic decline in a shared way. The artwork employs multiple modes of presentation, remixing taxonomical research, natural history, and science fiction aesthetics to confound linear and universal narratives on these complex organisms.

The Artists

Roberta Buiani is a scholar, artist, and curator based in Toronto, and the PI of Emergent. She is the co-founder and current artistic director of the ArtSci Salon at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, an organization facilitating art and science collaborations.

Lorella Di Cintio
is an artist-researcher and design collaborator on the Emergent Project. Dr. Di Cintio’s scholarly creative practice focuses on the social-political dimensions of art and design. Her ongoing research interests range from activism to the archive, materiality and interiors, and she is a professor at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Ilze Briede [Kavi] is a Latvian/Canadian artist and researcher with a broad cross- and inter-disciplinary practise that focuses on the phenomenon of perception and the constraints and boundaries between the senses and knowing. Kavi is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Digital Media at York University, intersecting art and science research areas such as bio-physiological sensing, computational creativity, and generative art. 

Cole Swanson is an artist and educator based in Toronto, Canada. Through a multidisciplinary, collaborative, and materially-focused practice, he explores interspecies dynamics evolving in the so-called anthropocene. Swanson has contributed to various international exhibitions, residencies, and fellowships and is pursuing research through the interdisciplinary PhD program in Environmental Studies at York University, Toronto.

The Team


Roberta Buiani

Lorella Di Cintio


Fabrication: Lorella di Cintio and Rick Quercia


Installation: Cole Swanson

Scientific Collaboration: Laurence Packer

Fabrication for Installation: Jacob Sun

Graphic Design: Roberta Buiani

Lights and Tech: Kavi

Photos: Roberta Buiani, Cole Swanson,  Alessandro Marletta

Many thanks to: Anna Lisa Manini, Alessandro Marletta