Wolfgang Ganter – Artist Talk: Tuesday, December 12, 1-2pm in Weiss 301
Bacteriality: Fusing Art and Science
Opening: 2-6 pm in the Mock-up Lab, top floor of Weiss
On view until December 13
Artist Wolfgang Ganter uses microbes as instruments to render pictorial artwork. This unique interplay leads to spontaneous interactions between the organisms and photographic media, and allows the unimaginable to emerge.
In this lecture, he will present a seminar on his work fusing art and science.
An exhibition of Wolfgang’s works will be on view after the talk in the Mock-up lab on the top floor of Weiss. The exhibition will remain open until 6 p.m.
A brief introduction will be given by John LaCava about their rapidly-growing art/science collaboration network.
Wolfgang Ganter recently began a one month artist-in-residence at The Rockefeller University in the Laboratory of Cellular and Structural Biology, after which he will take up a residency at the Australia China Art Foundation in Shanghai, China.
Some of his work of relevance to this exhibition can be found at https://www.wolfgangganter.de/works/bactereality
This residence was made possible by the ArtSci Nexus and Rockefeller University.
1230 York Ave, New York, NY 10065, USA
The School of Molecular and Theoretical Biology is based on a belief that many students of high school age are ready to participate, intellectually and through work in the laboratory, in real scientific experiments. They believe that the experience of working in a real research environment is helpful in deciding whether science and research is for you. They offer a chance to work on a real scientific question alongside real scientists with a possibility of obtaining real and novel results. At the school students hear lectures, learn how to perform different techniques and calculations and explore current ideas in areas of molecular and theoretical biology. http://molbioschool.com/en/
This year ArtSci Nexus Scientific Director Dr. John LaCava and Dr. Dmitry Alexeev invited artist Wolfgang Ganter to contribute to their wet lab experiments.
In LaCava’s section they ran three parallel “clusters” during the laboratory sessions; each designed to explore a different aspect of protein interactions research.
Synopsis of the clusters:
Dr. LaCava cluster: Compare the performance of different mouse monoclonal antibodies for their ability to purify protein complexes associated with human LINE-1 retrotransposons. LINE-1s are selfish genes that inhabit human genomes and may cause diseases and exacerbate cancer.
Dr. Ketaren cluster: Use protein affinity reagents known as nanobodies (small, single-chain antibody fragments derived from camelids) to purify GFP-tagged model protein complexes and determine the most efficient approach. Nanobodies are a cutting edge affinity reagent and are the topic of intense research as tools for basic and clinical research, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
Dr. Alexeev cluster: Explore and use computational tools for PPI analyses: obtain and visualize data from public repositories. Infer protein complexes that may form with LINE-1 retrotransposons based on integrating unpublished and publicly available data.
Text from Molbio School website
The Team – Alexeev, LaCava, Ganter (right to left)
Upon meeting at the first ArtSci Nexus Think Tank in Leipzig in April 2016, artist Wolfgang Ganter and biochemist Dr. Ana Domingos of IGC Lisbon began a correspondence which lead to Ganter being invited to be an artist-in-residence in the summer 2016 to Domingos’ laboratory to develop a new series of work. Pictured here are works in progress from the Gulbenkian museum archive.
Reflection of Wolfgang Ganter:
“I brought lots of slides and colour negatives from Berlin, including some found footage, but mostly pictures from the Gulbenkian museum that I shot during the residency with Ana Domingos at the IGC in Lisbon. My plan was to take advantage of the lab work space provided in Barcelona and combine the workshop with the actual work I have to do for the upcoming exhibition in Lisbon next year. After getting to know my students a bit, we started playfully working with the found footage and cultures of bacteria and yeast available at the CRG. As I expected, these cultures did not perform very well. Apparently lab bacteria are often very picky with nutrient sources, being selected to thrive primarily on rich lysogeny broth (LB) at 37°C. Hence, the gelatin of my photographic film did not spawn rapid growth. Even the ∆yjjM E. coli strain, purportedly optimised for fast laboratory growth, was quite disappointing.
Our results showed that most of the lab bacteria do not grow in interesting shapes as they were designed to grow in easy controllable and compact shapes – forming rounded colonies on LB agar plates. What I was hoping for were more wild and branch-like vortex shapes.
Luckily I had team leaders with scientific experience in my workshop; one of them had the idea to extract bacteria from soil, as these cultures often show exceptionally interesting shapes. So we collected soil samples in test tubes from all over Barcelona and extracted and purified the bacteria from it. It proved to be a great strategy, and we observed different fantastic shapes appearing on the LB-agar plates. We selected the most interesting looking ones and tested them on the film material. The rough, wild bacteria grew so much faster in the photographic emulsion, outperforming the ∆yjjM strain by far. Using the wild bacteria we worked on the self-shot film material from the Gulbenkian museum, producing very satisfying results. With a little more time we probably could have had even more intriguing pictures. Unfortunately I had to stop the process on many slides by drying them, in order to get ready for a heading back to Berlin.”
Searching for answers in biology is still very much an empirical process. Life emerges from a complex dynamical network of molecular interactions; but we lack excellent theories for how, when, or why a given collection of molecules find each other in the cellular soup, ultimately effecting the underlying processes of biology and, taken together, facilitating life as we know it. For my part, I attempt to catalog the parts of cells by developing and using a specific set of tools known as affinity proteomics. The approach is very much akin to taking apart an alien car in hopes of figuring out which part does what, and how it works. One day I would like to be able to consider a parts list and, a priori, understand what the cell is, does, and how.
DATE AND TIME
Thu, May 11, 2017
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
411 East 9th Street
New York, NY 10009
Follow this link to Register
The RAT school of ART (RAT) is a self directed study program for passionate artists, who are able to set their own goals and work independently. The RAT school of ART offers a personalized learning program that should enable the members to gain autonomy and emancipate themselves. RAT nurtures self-learning and self-organization within an inspiring environment of critical reflection in relation to artistic discourses.
RAT brings together individuals from diverse cultural, educational and socio-economic backgrounds. The RAT study program is lead by Dirk Fleischmann and involves critique sessions with advisors who are present in the Korean and international art world.
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