On November 29th 2018, the University of Alberta will be featuring three globally renowned artists, designers and scientists to cross pollinate their research and creativity by presenting their own work. The theme of this LASERAlberta is VISIONS OF ECOLOGY. The following will be speaking from 6 PM to 7.30PM in FAB 2-20, Fine Arts Building, University of Alberta Campus, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2C9:
JOAN GREER Ecological Envisioning: Images of “Nature” in the Late Nineteenth-Century and Beyond
Joan Greer recognizes in her research a new category of inquiry predicated on shifting artistic responses to the natural world that were beginning to be seen in the nineteenth century; responses that challenged rather than upheld dominant anthropocentric discourses. Greer identifies in this art a visual “grammar of animacy” (Robin Wall Kimmerer) and, concurring with a small but growing number of voices engaged in important revisionary work in this area, posits that such works warrant study as an emerging nineteenth-century category of “ecological envisioning”; a category with its own complexities and histories that open avenues for a reconsideration of visual responses to the natural world with ongoing implications for today and the future.
Joan Greer Phd Vrije Universiteit (Professor, Art and Design, University of Alberta, Canada) a founding member of the U of A Environmental Studies and ongoing member of the Religious Studies and Science and Technology in Society Interdisciplinary Programmes, teaches History of Art, Design and Visual Culture. Her research engages with the issues of artistic identity, the history of environmentalism and theories of nature and ecological envisioning, both historically and in contemporary art and design. Her current major project is entitles Visualizations of Nature in late nineteenth-century Dutch art and print culture: Religion, Science and Art. Greer publishes, presents and curates nationally and internationally.
LYNDAL OSBRONE Visual Allegories
As an artist Lyndal Osborne has long been concerned with the effect that we humans have on the environment and other species. Walking and collecting Osborne has seen firsthand the dramatic changes that are taking place where she lives. Osborne tries to focus that experience and her analysis of these changes by creating works transforming collected materials. Visual metaphors are inspired by the scientific research into the nature of genetic engineering, preservation of genetic diversity, climate change and my own experience that allows me to create visual allegories.
Lyndal Osborne is a professional artist, teacher and now Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta. Osborne’s sculptures and installation work speak of the forces of transformation within nature, as well as commenting upon pressing issues relating to the environment. Osborne has been exhibiting in Canada and internationally since the early 1970s and has shown in over 370 exhibitions. Currently an exhibition, Mutation of the Commons is at The Nickle Gallery, Calgary (Sept 13- Dec 15, 2018)
FELIX SPERLING Species, Butterflies and People
The species unit is basic to our understanding of the diversity of life, even if some people see biological species as an endless regression in semantics. Butterflies have been favoured organisms for research on the nature of species. But the process of delimiting species may tell as much about ourselves as it does about butterflies. Felix Sperling will describe recent genetic work on butterflies to address three questions: What are species? What are we conserving when we try to protect endangered species? And what can butterfly species tell us about our own species?
Felix Sperling is Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, and Curator of the U of A’s Strickland Museum of Entomology. He examines insect species and their population structure to answer basic questions like: What is it? Where did it come from? Where is it going? His research group integrates DNA, morphology and ecology of butterflies and other arthropods to understand evolutionary processes, with applications in conservation and forest entomology.
LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 30 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website.