“Art, Science, Nature and Culture: Expressive Science in the Digital Age” presented by Rubin


Session Title:

  • Art, Interactivity and Participation

Presentation Title:

  • Art, Science, Nature and Culture: Expressive Science in the Digital Age




  • For over a decade my work has made visible the normally invisible microscopic life. Plankton, in their endless variety, stir my imagination and impulse to observe, draw, and create. Influenced and by scientists in the Menden-Deuer lab, as well as current events, my commitment to depicting plankton grew in the face of climate change. In addition to producing 50% oxygen we breathe they are at the bottom of the food chain.

    As the explorations evolved, lessons of painterly abstraction crept into this work. I imagined the natural ocean environment of plankton filmed in the lab, which led to thinking about gesture drawing. If I could be loose and expressive in drawing humans, why not with plankton?
    The bits of the Biblical Manuscripts present in this series are intended as signifiers, not as religious Text, but as reference to human history and general spirituality. In parallel with my investigations of plankton, I was creating imagery incorporating visual structures of Hebrew Manuscripts. The tradition of the manuscripts includes micrography (little writing) turned into decorative patterns and sometimes fanciful beasts. I sensed a convergence, and the moment I put the plankton and patterns of the Hebrew Manuscripts together the convergence instantly emerged. This series uses motifs from the Leningrad Codex, created in Old Cairo in 1008, likely by artists from the Asher scriptorium.

    New technology facilitated this work. Scientific researchers working today use digital imaging, recording microscopic life for later study in format accessible to artists.  Much of the Leningrad Codex is  digitized and online. Inexpensive printing allowed for interim outputs of evolving digital imagery, subject to gestural drawing and redigitizing. Thus I am able to bring Nature and Culture together with the goal of stirring inner thoughts, recalling the continuum of human history while highlighting essential microscopic life.