- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
DAVIS--"Anatomy of Angels," "Alba, the Fluorescent Bunny," "The Beauty of Disease and Why We Have Trees" and "Art as a Social Practice" will be the topics at the UC Davis L.A.S.E.R. (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) session, set April 9 in the Plant and Environmental Sciences (PES) Building, UC Davis campus.
The event, free and open to the public, will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Room 3001 of PES. It will be moderated by organizer Anna Davidson.
LASER is affiliated with the UC Davis Art Science Fusion Program, which was co-founded and co-directed by entomologist/artist Diane Ullman and artist Donna Billick. Ullman is a professor of entomology with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Billick, who has a master's degree in genetics, describes herself as a "rock artist," creating mosaic ceramic art.
6:30-7 p.m. Socializing/Networking
Matt Gilbert's current body of work includes small, kinetic, motor-driven sculptures of filament and wire that explore a contemporary understanding of living things as complex systems.
Matt Gilbert is a master of fine arts candidate in Studio Art at UC Davis. His practice includes programming and the fabrication of electronics and 3D printed parts for kinetic sculpture, sound installations, video and animation. He received his bachelor of fine arts in graphic design from the Art Center College of Design.
7:25-7:50. Alison Van Eenennaam. “Alba: the Fluorescent Bunny.”
Abstract: Eduardo Kac, a professor of art and technology at the Chicago School of Art Institute produced a picture of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic bunny called “Alba.” "GFP Bunny" was realized in 2000 and first presented publicly in Avignon, France. The artist proposed that “transgenic art” is a new art form based on the use of genetic engineering to transfer natural or synthetic genes to an organism, to create unique living beings. The artist came under considerable criticism for the picture which some consider to have been fabricated. "The picture itself is a construction," said Reinhard Nestelbacher, a molecular biologist at the University of Salzburg. "The rabbit could never look like that. The main reason is that the GFP gene is expressed, for example, in the skin and cannot be expressed in the hair." Said Stuart Newman, a member of the Council for Responsible Genetics and a cell biologist at New York Medical College: “Art misrepresents reality all the time -- and he's an artist, not a scientist, but I think people are beholden to tell the truth." Are artists beholden to tell the truth about GMOs?"
Alison Van Eenennaam is a genomics and biotechnology researcher and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. She received a bachelor of agricultural science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both a master's degree in animal science, and a PhD in genetics from UC Davis. The mission of her extension program is “to provide research and education on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems.” Her outreach program focuses on the development of science-based educational materials including the controversial biotechnologies of genetic engineering (GE) and cloning. She has served on several national committees, including the USDA National Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, (2005-2009), and as a temporary voting member of the 2010 FDA Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee meeting on the AquAdvantage salmon, the first GE animal to be evaluated for entry into the food supply. Van Eenennaam received the 2014 Borlaug Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Communication Award.
7:50-8:10 BREAK. Networking/socializing. During the break anyone can have 30 seconds to share work, announce an exhibition, show, an idea etc.
8:10-8:35 Thomas Gordon. “The Beauty of Disease and Why We Still Have Trees.”
Disease caused by parasitic microorganisms is a universal feature of life on earth. The need for all multi-cellular life forms to co-exist with potentially life-threatening parasites has been a powerful force in shaping the world in which we live.
Thomas Gordon is a UC Davis professor of plant pathology. His responsibilities include maintaining a research program on the biology of fungi that parasitize plants. He teaches a general education course on fungi and how they affect and are exploited by people; an upper division course on fungal ecology: and a graduate course on the principles of plant pathology.
8:35-9 Evan Clayburg & Sally Hensel. “Art as a Social Practice.”
Sally Hensel and Evan Clayburg, two founders of Third Space Art Collective in Davis, will talk about starting an art collective and an ongoing project, which examines authentic connection through artistic co-creation.
Sally Hensel, who was born and grew up in the in the Central Valley, describes herself as a 30-year-old without a bank account or mobile phone. She said she has dropped out of UC Davis twice; the second time with a bachelor of arts degree in film studies. She finds that happiness comes to her when she brings people together.
Evan Clayburg is a multimedia and performance artist. After years of dividing his time between well-lit ad agency boardrooms and poorly-lit DIY experimental / punk music basements in the Chicago area, he relocated to Davis and has been active in art, music and community organizing over the past four years. He received a bachelor's degree in graphic arts from Bradley University in 2003.
Anna Davidson is currently a master of fine arts student in Art Studio at UC Davis. She received her Ph.D. in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, studying plant ecophysiology. She studies the biological world using both artistic and scientific approaches.
For more information:
Anna Davidson: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Kathy Keatley Garvey, Diane Nelson and Alison Van Eenennaam are being recognized for their stories, photos and a video highlighting UC Davis’ work in agriculture and the life sciences.
The recognition is from the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences, or ACE, specifically its annual Critique and Awards Program.
The awards presentation is scheduled to take place at the annual ACE conference, scheduled this year from June 11 to 14 in Indianapolis.
Garvey is classified as a senior writer in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, but she is known as much for her writing as her insect photography — for which she is receiving the ACE Outstanding Professional Skill Award for the second year in a row (she won it last year with a bee sting photo).
Her 2013 skill award goes along with two gold awards (first place) in photography, one for a feature photo and the other for a picture story. The feature winner shows a praying mantis lunging at a honeybee (taken in UC Davis’ Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven), in a photo titled Missed! (the caption begins with the word “Danger!” in this post on Garvey’s Bug Squad blog). The picture story shows a gulf fritillary butterfly laying an egg (in Garvey’s back yard); see the picture story on Garvey’s blog.
Garvey received a silver award (second place) in writing for newspapers and an honorable mention in writing for magazines.
The silver recognizes her work in reporting on a doctoral candidate who answers questions on the online site Quora and who received an award for one of his answers, to the question: “If you injure a bug, should you kill it or let it live?”
Matan Shelomi’s answer went viral, according to Garvey’s story, and netted him recognition in the 2012 Shorty Awards, honoring the best in social media — in this case first place for the best answer on Quora.
Nelson, senior writer, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is the recipient of a gold award for promotional writing, for “Hope Dawns for UC Davis Feed Mill,” exploring UC Davis’ effort to replace its aging mill, and why that matters to the people of California, the nation and the world. Nelson won the 2010 ACE outstanding skill award for writing.
Van Eenennaam, a Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology, Department of Animal Science, is the recipient of an ACE honorable mention for a video that she wrote and directed: Were Those the Days, My Friend? It previously received the most votes in a contest sponsored by the American Society of Animal Science. Read about the video and see it here.
The competition for the 2012 calendar year also recognizes three editors with UC’s Agricultural and Natural Resources: Janet White, Hazel White and Janet Byron, for their work on “Analysis reveals potential rangeland impacts if Williamson Act eliminated,” which appeared in the October-December 2012 issue of California Agriculture.