Fall 2014: The Mandorla of Life Sciences and the Arts

The Mandorla of Life Sciences and the Arts

Fall 2014 undergraduate course; lectures open to the public

This series of lectures by local and visiting scholars, artists, and scientists introduces students to different approaches taken by people of various disciplines in understanding the Science of Life. Speakers represent a wide range of subject matter, medium, and purpose that are derived from the crossings of art and life sciences. The first few weeks of course invites researchers across the campus to provide a broad theoretical and philosophical context regarding the two fields of study. However, the majority of the lectures will be presented by artists about their work. This course makes no claim to being comprehensive, and the goal of the lectures is only to expose students to the range of production that results from the interdisciplinary dynamics. 

The aim is to leave students with memories of examples that represent methods and approaches radically different from conventional scientific research.

Instructor Lia Min is a post-doc fellow jointly sponsed by the Life Sciences Institute and the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.

Fridays 4 to 5 p.m. in the  Art & Architecture Building (room TBD)


                  Science and art touch the same space inside me.  They both provide a lens, focusing on some particular part of the world.  Both better be true –otherwise they are no good.  Both require a lot of discipline to get at truth.  And for me, seeing a subject through both the scientific and the artistic lens deepens the intensity of the pleasure and the depth of the meaning.


 Eric Jakobsson

 Professor of Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois,reflecting on the dance performance, Ferocious Beauty: Genome


Schedule of Speakers (exact dates to be determined)





Sept. 5, 2014

Introduction to Lecture Series


L. Min (UM)

Sept. 12, 2014

Philosophy of Scientific Methodology

Scientific Methodology

L. Min (UM)

Sept. 19, 2014

Overview of Modern Art and the Bio-Arts

Art History

Jennifer Robertson (UM)

Sept. 26, 2014

Art and Creative Processes in Research Universities


Anthony Kolenic (A2RU)

Oct. 3, 2014

Creativity and Consciousness in Music


Ed Sarath (UM)

Oct. 10, 2014

Scientific Micro-Photography


Felice Frankel (MIT)

Oct. 17, 2014

Past and Present of Scientific Illustration


Joe Trumpey (UM)

Oct. 24, 2014

Painting Patterns inspired by Biological Processes


Mark Pomilio (ASU)

Oct. 31, 2014

Graphic Medicine: Comics for the Medical Community

Graphic Novel

MK Czerwiec (Northwestern)

Nov. 7, 2014

Art and Aesthetics in Scientific Research


Robert Root-Bernstein (MSU)

Nov. 14, 2014




Nov. 21, 2014

INCUBATOR: A Bio Lab Space for Artists


Jennife Willet (U of Windsor)

Dec. 5, 2014

Art and Science, the Blurred Boundary

Mixed media; Installation

Patricia Olynyk (WashU)


Art & Design 398.002. Open to the public. 

liahong [at] umich [dot] edu (liahong [at] umich [dot] edu)


—May 29, 2014