This week for The Bridge, I’ve been working on printing some of my neurons, and I’ve also attended some different science events. At the beginning of the week, I attended the Society for Neuroscience annual conference in Chicago. The conference lasts five days, and is a great opportunity to meet neuroscientists from all over the world in all areas of research. Attendees at the conference listen to lectures, visit poster sessions, and learn about all the current research going on in their field. What strikes me as one of the most notable things about this meeting is that you get to see so many people with completely different ideas about how to study similar things. This year, over 29,000 people attended the Society for Neuroscience conference.
This image shows the entrance to the huge poster hall at the Society for Neuroscience meeting this year in Chicago.
My second science event of the week was Brain Awareness Day at the University of Chicago. Brain Awareness Day is a science outreach event designed to get people excited about brains and science. I love volunteering at Brain Awareness Day because I get to host a demonstration with a real human brain, not something that most people see everyday.
This image shows a slice from a real human brain. The brain came from someone who chose to donate his or her body to science, research, and education.
In between these science events, I decided to print some neurons for The Bridge. I chose my favorite calcium imaged neuron, printed out a photo of it, and then traced the photo onto foam. Once the indentations of the design were deep enough to show the pattern, I rolled ink onto the foam and then pressed the foam into paper, creating a print. After I put the first layer on, I added more detail to the foam design. I extended some of the dendrites and added a few spines, and then applied different colored paint and printed it on top of the first layer. The first color showed through in the places where I changed the design. On some of the prints, I added even more spines and added a third layer of color.
This image shows the foam where I traced and elaborated the design of a neuron. I rolled ink onto the foam and then printed it onto paper.
These images show me rolling purple ink onto the foam (top) and then pulling the foam away from the print on the page (bottom).
When I get a chance, I’m planning to make more of these prints with different patterns. I would like to explore some zoomed in dendrites and some networks of neurons.
This image shows my ventures into the art world for the week. I printed three layers in each quadrant: the base color, then some silver, and finally a bit of gold ink. Each layer has a slightly different design where I extended the ends of the dendrites.
Final note: at the Society for Neuroscience conference, I found this new cover (below) for the scientific research journal Nature Neuroscience. I’m a big fan of Edvard Munch and The Scream, and figured the science art community would like to see it. Enjoy!
This past week was a whirlwind! My 4-week residency program at ICB Art Association has wrapped up. Projects made at my temporary studio all cumulated into a solo exhibition and two artist talks at Gallery 111 in Sausalito, CA.
Solo Exhibition at Gallery 111, works created at ICBAA 1-month residency program
ICBAA artist-in-residence, Richelle Gribble
Artworks in exhibition included: three mixed-media drawings with wax inspired by mold patterns and data simulations (Growth), two acrylic paintings of Earth (Earth-1, Earth-2); six collage panels with diagrams (Saturated Core); five drawings of networks which incorporate Dana’s neuron imagery (Intertwined). Artworks are currently being photographed – I will post close-ups next week!
Installation view of Growth
Installation view of Earth-1, Earth-2, and Saturated Core
Installation view of Saturated Core and Intertwined
Artist Talk, “Changing Perspectives: The Overview Effect”
During the artist talk I discussed how my pursuits as an artist have evolved in five stages: phase 1 – SELF, understanding personal life, my own interworking’s, loss and memory; phase 2 – PLACE, painting aerial view imagery, physically moving from a small town to large city; phase 3 – CROWD, contemplating the individual and the collective by illustrating crowds of people; phase 4 – NETWORKS, connecting all prior phases and examining various network forms; phase 5 – OVERVIEW, exploring all networks on Earth to examine how interconnectivity shapes all life. The evolution from the self to the 'overview effect' is explored in my hand-made book entitled Our Humanity, which highly influenced the artworks in this exhibition.
Our Humanity, hand-made book about the Overview Effect
As Bruce Mau mentions in his book Massive Change, “[w]hen everything is connected to everything else, for better or for worse, everything matters.” By exploring the social, environmental, and technological networks that bond all life, I’ve learned it all merges into one tangled form, a giant knot, our Earth. The 'overview effect' is a sensation reported by astronauts who claim that that when viewing Earth from above, it becomes evident that it functions as one complex living organism, thus protecting the “pale blue dot” becomes both obvious and imperative. Because most of us will not be able to travel to space and view Earth from above, I aim to evoke a similar sensation by showing the layers of networks that make up our world. I believe that by viewing the networks within us and around us, we can acknowledge ourselves within a greater context. By changing perspectives, zooming in and zooming out, I hope to provide a “bigger picture” view enabling us to contemplate the self, ourselves, and, our Earth.
Next week I will share close-up images of new artworks and scan questionnaires submitted by audience members to share various responses as we ponder our interconnectivity together. Thanks for tuning in!