Courses

Introduction to Bio Materials

FIC-2509-A
Instructor: Tarah Rhoda
SUNDAY 1/28/17-3/4/17
Hours: 3:00PM-6:00PM
Tuition: $500

 

 

Artists have always been inspired by nature and more recently have begun to apply
the advancements of biotechnologies into their work. In this course students will be
introduced to the field of bio art and work in SVA’s state-of-the-art Bio Art Laboratory.
We will explore how to cultivate and creatively manipulate several model organisms,
such as fungi, bacteria, yeast and plants. Many of these organisms have image
rendering and mold-making capabilities that can be harnessed as new construction
materials. Students will make mycelium sculptures, grow visceral sheets of bacterial
cellulose, produce chlorophyll prints, and paint with bacteria genetically modified to
express a fluorescent protein naturally found in a bioluminescent jellyfish. We will
also explore molecular gastronomy, which employs many techniques for suspending
fluids and making liquid sculptures. No previous experience in bio art is required.

Bio Art in the Mysterious World of the Microbes

Saturday
10:00AM – 1:00PM
Jan 28 – Apr 08
3.00 CEUs, 10 Sessions
$400
Instructor: Joseph A. DeGiorgis, PhD
BFA Fine Arts
School of Visual Arts
[email protected]
Microbes represent the most diverse group of organisms on earth and have been found throughout the world to the far reaches of the planet. They are capable of living in places we once thought were uninhabitable from the deep sea hydrothermal vents to the ice masses of the artic tundra. These microorganisms are capable of eating petroleum, metals, acids, plastics, and toxic wastes and are thus valuable in the process of removing pollutants and contaminants from our environment. Here, we take a bio art approach to discovering new species within the microbial world. We will visualize and image the wonderful beauty of these fascinating creatures by studying their many shapes and morphologies that often take the form of rods, spheres, coils and helixes. We will use a variety of collecting techniques to obtain these microbes from the waterways throughout and surrounding Manhattan. We will use sophisticated culturing techniques in the SVA Bio Art Lab and state-of-the-art techniques, including the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing to identify the microbes we collect. Through this process we will study bioluminescent diatoms, cyanobacteria, protozoans like amoebas and paramecium, zooxanthellae the symbiotic algae that live inside coral polyps, and many others. Come collaborate on an adventure of art and science and dive into the mysterious world of microbes.

Biological Imaging: The Use of Microscopy to Observe and Photograph Life

Saturday
3:00PM – 6:00PM
Jan 28 – Mar 04
1.50 CEUs, 6 Sessions
$220

Instructor: Joseph A. DeGiorgis, PhD
BFA Fine Arts
School of Visual Arts
[email protected]

Capturing images of nature and biological phenomena is an essential component of the scientific process; it is also an intricate aspect of art. In this course we will utilize macro lenses and dissecting stereo microscopes, as well as compound and fluorescent microscopes to obtain images of the microscopic world. Students will photograph marine invertebrates, including sea urchins, starfish, tunicates, comb jellies, anemones and sponges. Under the high-mag objective, we will image zooplankton and phytoplankton from marine and freshwater samples, and tissues prepared with our hands for microscopic observations. Students will develop a portfolio of images through projects that can include still life, video, time-lapse imaging, stereo pairs of 3D images, focal stacking and high-dynamic range photography. See what you can discover under magnification.

Biological Imaging: The Use of Microscopy to Observe and Photograph Life

Saturday
3:00PM – 6:00PM
Mar 18 – Apr 22
Location To Be Announced
1.50 CEUs, 6 Sessions
$220

Instructor: Joseph A. DeGiorgis, PhD
BFA Fine Arts
School of Visual Arts
[email protected]

Capturing images of nature and biological phenomena is an essential component of the scientific process; it is also an intricate aspect of art. In this course we will utilize macro lenses and dissecting stereo microscopes, as well as compound and fluorescent microscopes to obtain images of the microscopic world. Students will photograph marine invertebrates, including sea urchins, starfish, tunicates, comb jellies, anemones and sponges. Under the high-mag objective, we will image zooplankton and phytoplankton from marine and freshwater samples, and tissues prepared with our hands for microscopic observations. Students will develop a portfolio of images through projects that can include still life, video, time-lapse imaging, stereo pairs of 3D images, focal stacking and high-dynamic range photography. See what you can discover under magnification.

Botanica: Imaging the Green Planet

BFA Fine Arts
School of Visual Arts
[email protected]

Plants are among the most diverse organisms on the planet, growing in arid deserts and rain forests, on mountaintops and in the savannahs, as well as in marshes, lakes, rivers and the seas. They can take on beautiful forms with vivid colors and highly evolved features. While they are often thought of as almost inert objects, they can exhibit elaborate behaviors such as opening their blossoms at dawn, tracking the sun as the earth rotates, or baiting and trapping insects as a source of food. In this course, we will capture photographic representations of these lush life forms and explore the beautiful and bizarre world of plants and take an in-depth look at the intricate composition of their sexual structures, roots, vascular tissues and the photosynthetic machinery that create these primary producers. In particular, we will use time-lapse imaging to capture their movements, macro lenses to obtain images of their details, and microscopes to image tissues and cells. The fun begins as we focus on these unrelenting worshipers of the sun.

Botanica: Imaging the Green Planet

Sunday
11:00AM – 2:00PM
Mar 19 – Apr 23
Location To Be Announced
1.50 CEUs, 6 Sessions
$220

Instructor: Joseph A. DeGiorgis, PhD
BFA Fine Arts
School of Visual Arts
[email protected]

Plants are among the most diverse organisms on the planet, growing in arid deserts and rain forests, on mountaintops and in the savannahs, as well as in marshes, lakes, rivers and the seas. They can take on beautiful forms with vivid colors and highly evolved features. While they are often thought of as almost inert objects, they can exhibit elaborate behaviors such as opening their blossoms at dawn, tracking the sun as the earth rotates, or baiting and trapping insects as a source of food. In this course, we will capture photographic representations of these lush life forms and explore the beautiful and bizarre world of plants and take an in-depth look at the intricate composition of their sexual structures, roots, vascular tissues and the photosynthetic machinery that create these primary producers. In particular, we will use time-lapse imaging to capture their movements, macro lenses to obtain images of their details, and microscopes to image tissues and cells. The fun begins as we focus on these unrelenting worshipers of the sun.

NYC DNA Barcoding Project

NOTE: THIS IS A PAST EVENT
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Workshop with Ellen D. Jorgensen, Ph. D
Free and open to all SVA students, faculty and staff.
*limited availability

Artists raise questions that scientists often fail to think about. What are the consequences of the ease with which we now can read and write the very code of life? Should we encourage open-access biotechnology?

We will explore different aspects of the interface of art and DNA-based science, including working with DNA, genomic information and genetically-engineered organisms as materials, experiencing the processes used for reading the code of life and tinkering with it to literally grow your own creations. Individual and team projects that alter and incorporate living organisms and their data will be developed and showcased at the end of the semester. Students will venture out into the city to collect samples and bring them back to the lab to process and analyze. The workshops will be an exploration in the materials and processes of Do-It-Yourself biotechnology.

Bio-materials: A Sampler

NOTE: THIS IS A PAST EVENT
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Bio Art workshop with Oliver Medvedik, Ph.D.
Free and open to all SVA students, faculty and staff.
*Limited availability

This very hands-on and team-based workshop will introduce the student to novel biological materials isolated from organisms that will be used in the design and building of bioluminescent and fluorescent displays and the fabrication of grown structures. We will be working with both genetically engineered and naturally occurring organisms. We will learn the basic techniques of genetic engineering and will modify bacteria to induce fluorescent and bioluminescent protein and pigment production. Participants will also learn proper sterile techniques in growing bacterial and fungal cultures. The products of our living cultures will be used as part of a class project to design and build bio-fluorescent displays along with rigid scaffolding produced by fungal mycelia and flexible surfaces produced by cellulose secreting bacteria.

FOOD: Projects in Bio-Art

FID-3644-A
Thursday 3:00-8:50
Fall semester: 3 studio credits
Instructor: Suzanne Anker

You are what you eat or are you? Do you know what is in your food? From farm to fork what happens in between? This course focuses on how food production, industrial farming, and GMO’s have become part of our daily life. Projects will consists of growing plants hydroponically, DNA analysis of local food, and microscopic imaging of foodstuffs. In addition we will explore the cultural differences, taboos and evolution of eating practices. We will look at the culinary styles around the world, their social, economic and political ramifications. We will introduce projects in urban farming and molecular cuisine as well as field trips to diverse restaurants. Part forensics, part horticulture we will gather plants to extract pigments for watercolor, and design food sculptures. We will explore the effect microorganisms have on food, from cheese to e-coli, to yogurt. Performance, painting, sculpture, public art, photography, illustration and cartooning, as well as community-based projects are welcome.

Urban Botanicals

FDD-2216-A
Fall semester: 3 credits
Friday: 12:00-2:50
Instructor: Gary Sherman

This class will visit local sites in search of urban botanicals from which to draw creative inspiration. We’ll explore micro and macro environments, the fractal realm of self-similarity and symmetry. We’ll see how the nature/nurture dialectic has been exploited by artists, and look to the less obvious lichens, molds and mosses as alternatives to the more ornamental botanicals. To meet the countless challenges that botanicals present, students will explore various mediums to create drawings/collages that range from the simple to the complex.

Anatomy I

Fall semester: 3 credits
Instructor: George Boorujy

This course offers a “bones up” approach to learning anatomy. By starting with the skeleton, the student will learn about and internalize the structure, form and movement of the body in an effort towards making more informed and intelligent drawings of the live model. A portion of the class will be focused on the comparative anatomy of animals. Materials for the majority of the class will consist of pencil or charcoal and paper.

Course #                 Day         Time

FDD-2020-A         M              9:00-11:50
FDD-2020-B         M              12:00-2:50
FDD-2020-C         Tu             9:00-11:50

Anatomy II

Spring semester: 3 credits
Instructor: George Boorujy

This course offers a “bones up” approach to learning anatomy. By starting with the skeleton, the student will learn about and internalize the structure, form and movement of the body in an effort towards making more informed and intelligent drawings of the live model. A portion of the class will be focused on the comparative anatomy of animals. Materials for the majority of the class will consist of pencil or charcoal and paper.

Course #                 Day         Time

FDD-2025-A         M              9:00-11:50
FDD-2025-B         M              12:00-2:50
FDD-2025-C        Tu             12:00-2:50

Fur, Feathers, and Scales: Comparative Animal Anatomy

FDD-2041
Tuesday 12:00-2:50
Fall semester: 3 credits
Instructor: George Boorujy

Tracing the animal kingdom from jellyfish to insects to humans, students will gain a working knowledge of comparative animal anatomy. The focus will be on vertebrates (reptiles, birds, and mammals) and the morphological differences which constitute groups, families, and individual species. There will be discussions on ecology, evolution, and the depiction of animals throughout art history. Students will work from specimens from the SVA Nature and Technology Lab, on location drawings, and photos.

From the Laboratory to the Studio: Practices in Bio Art

FID-3437-A
Wednesday 3:00-8:50
Spring semester: 3 studio credits

Instructor: Suzanne Anker

From the decipherment of the human genome to industrialized food production, science has spilled out of the laboratory into our lives. As scientists engage in molecular engineering, the corporeal body and the manipulation of life forms have become a public and aesthetic discourse unto themselves. This course will examine intersections between laboratory practices and visual art production. Projects will employ video microscopes and scanning devices, scientific specimen collections, plant tissue engineering, new anatomical models and molecular cuisine. In addition, each student will design their own terrarium with fish, aquatic plants and/or micro eco-systems. Field trips and guest lecturers will complement course material. Students may work in a variety of media, from drawing and painting to the digital and performing arts.

Prometheus Unbound: An Introduction Bio Art

FID-3432-A
Wednesday 3:00-8:50
Fall semester: 3 studio credits
Instructor: Brandon Ballengée

Humans have tampered with species development for thousands of years, creating countless varieties of domesticated plants and animals. Today, advances in biotechnology allow for the creation of entirely novel life forms such as transgenic rats glowing with jellyfish genes. In this lab/studio course, students will be introduced to the emerging field of biological arts through hands-on laboratory practices, discussions and excursions. Field trips to local pet stores and seafood markets will be conducted to examine post-natural organisms. In the lab/studio, students will create a post-naturalist journal, extract DNA, paint with stained tissues, culture microbial fauna paintings, generate and disperse native seed bombs, and learn proper techniques for preserving vertebrates, among other activities. Topics of discussions will range from bio-ethics to science-fiction/biological reality, and more.

From the Laboratory to the Studio:
Interdisciplinary Practices in Bio Art


Early application (by April 15th) is highly recommended.

Summer semester: May 16-June 16, 2017
Tuition: $3,000
Instructors: Suzanne Anker, Joseph DiGiorgis and visiting speakers.

For further information:
e-mail [email protected]
call 212.592.2188
SVA Summer Residency Courses

From anatomical studies to landscape painting to the biomorphism of surrealism, the biological realm historically provided a significant resource for numerous artists. More recently, Bio Art has become a term referring to intersecting domains of the biological sciences and their incorporation into the plastic arts. Of particular importance in Bio Art is to summon awareness of the ways in which advancing biotechnologies alter social, ethical and cultural values in society.

Artworks by SVA Bio Art Residency alumni

Coming to the fore in the early 1990s, bio art is neither media specific nor locally bounded. It is an international movement with practitioners in such regions as Europe, the U.S., Russia, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Several sub-genres of bio art exist within this overarching term:

  1. Artists who employ the iconography of the 20th- and 21st-century sciences, including molecular and cellular genetics, transgenically altered living matter, reproductive technologies and neurosciences. All traditional media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing are employed to convey novel ways of representing life forms.
  2. Artists who utilize computer software, systems theory and simulations to investigate aspects of the biological sciences such as evolution, artificial life and robotics through digital sculpture and new media installations.
  3. Artists employing biological matter itself as their medium, including processes such as tissue engineering, plant breeding, transgenics and ecological reclamation.

This interdisciplinary residency will take place in the new SVA Bio Art Laboratory located in the heart of New York City’s Chelsea gallery district. The SVA Bio Art Lab houses microscopes for photo and video, skeletons and specimen collections, a herbarium and an aquarium as well as a library. Each student resident is awarded a private studio space. The residency culminates in a public exhibition.

Demonstrations include microscopy, plant tissue engineering, molecular cuisine and the production of micro ecosystems. Students may work in any media, including the performing arts.

The Residency will be led by artist Suzanne Anker, Chair of the BFA Fine Arts Department at SVA, and Joseph DeGiorgis, marine biologist. In addition, visiting speakers have included artists, scientists and museum professionals including Kathy High, Ingeborg Reichle, James Walsh, Jennifer Willet, Ellen D. Jorgensen, Oliver Medvedik, William Myers and Paula Hayes.

NOTE: A portfolio is required for review and acceptance to this program. Residents who wish to borrow equipment from the Fine Arts Digital Lab are required to submit a refundable security deposit. Participants will be held responsible for payment of any loss, theft or damage incurred to the equipment.

Affordable housing is available, as are opportunities to display work.
This summer residency program grants 4 undergraduate studio credits for those interested. If you are a graduate student, please check with your School for academic credit options.

For further information or questions regarding SVA’s Summer Residencies
e-mail [email protected] or call 212.592.2188.