In Memoriam: Nature and Inquiry founding member, Ronald Wallace

September 18th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Ron Wallace succumbed to his battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on Wednesday, August 26, 2015.

Massachusetts College of Art Professor Emeritus Harris Barron ’54 (Ceramics) describes Ron Wallace as follows:

Ron Wallace was one of MassArt’s Studio for Interrelated Media’s most ambitious and significant undergraduates, a natural group leader whose intelligence, articulation and inventiveness folded into a plain and charming modesty made him easy to be loved, respected, and followed.  A self-taught, highly sophisticated computer engineer-designer, he rose to become a valued Senior Consulting Engineer at AVID CORPORATION, whose management deployed him internationally as a representative of their leading edge technology used worldwide for film and video editing. His work won one of the company’s several Emmy Awards.

This past May, Wallace presented his beautifully crafted video work, Small Ocean—based on the succession of seasons at Walden Pond—in collaboration with John Holland, at the Pozen Center at the Massachusetts College of Art.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria, and his son, Benjamin. There will be a memorial gathering in the fall to mark his passing.

Here’s a link to the obituary that appeared on

The Trouble with Jellyfish @ LeLaboratoire in Cambridge, MA

September 18th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

The Trouble with Jellyfish

Mark Dion with Lisa-ann Gershwin

September 18, try 2015- January 2, cheap 2016

The Trouble with Jellyfish, treat a contemporary art installation by Mark Dion.  Across the world’s seas, jellyfish blooms of impressive magnitude are signaling ecological disturbances and a dramatic deterioration of the marine environment.  While these troubles are beginning to garner public attention, what to do remains unclear. Mark Dion, working with students in David Edwards’ Harvard University class, and the marine biologist Lisa-ann Gershwin, decided to do an experiment.

This exhibition, the 20th experiment of Le Laboratoire, explores jellyfish as seen historically through culture, the marine biological challenges associated with jellyfish and degrading ocean biodiversity, the notion of a dead zone and our roles in their global emergence, and what, if anything, we might do to move toward a saner and safer ocean environment tomorrow.

The Trouble with Jellyfish is sponsored in part by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.  This exhibition is presented in partnership with the New England Aquarium.




Talk at the Museum of Science – Our Internal Landscapes

September 28th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Our Internal Landscapes
Friday, cure September 28: 7:00 p.m.

Albert-László Barabási, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Complex Network Research at Northeastern University; Sebastian Seung, PhD, professor of computational neuroscience at MIT and scientific director and founder of WiredDifferently; Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, artist, founder of the Webby Awards, co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences; Jack P. Shonkoff, MD, Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development; director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

What makes each of us the unique person that we are? Does DNA determine our destiny? In the era of genome projects and brain scans, it’s undeniable that physiological processes shape us. But where do personality, memory, and emotion reside—in the gray matter of our brains? Join us for a mind-expanding inquiry into extraordinary aspects of human biology and the profound influence of environment, experience, and culture.

Admission is free thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute.
Sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

More about this season of Adult Offerings at the Museum of Science:

Modern science has demonstrated remarkable and unlikely connections between seemingly disparate phenomena and ideas. The notion that everything is connected—found in ancient manuscripts and the most cutting-edge science—is intuitive and yet utterly mindbending. Join us in connecting the dots—between food, art, human behavior, and the sciences.

We are constantly adding to our seasonal lineup of special guest lectures, panel discussions, podcasts, social event, and more. To stay in touch with the latest Museum Happenings, visit

National Academy of Sciences: DC Art and Science Evening Rendezvous DASER

August 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

National Academy of Sciences: DC Art and Science Evening Rendezvous DASER.

Must attend one of these one day. Here is info about the next one:

Join Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) at the D.C. Art and Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER), a monthly discussion forum on art and science projects in the national capital region and beyond. DASERs provide a snapshot of the cultural environment of the region and foster interdisciplinary networking. This month, the discussion’s theme is Brain Science and the Cyborg: Fact, History, and Possibilities. This series is organized in collaboration with Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology. This event is organized in collaboration with The Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences.


5:30 to 6:00 p.m.Check in
6:00 to 6:10 p.m.Welcoming remarks and community sharing time.      Anyone in the audience currently working within the
intersections of art and science will have 30seconds to share their work. Please present yourwork as a teaser so that those who are interestedcan seek you out during social time followingthe event.
6:10 to 7:10 p.m.Panelists’ presentations (15 minutes each)

                                        Gary Carrion-Murayari, co-curator of Ghosts in the                                           Machine, New Museum, NYC

                          James Giordano, neuroscientist and neuroethicist,
Director, Center for Neurotechnology Studies,
Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Arlington, VA
Monica Lopez-Gonzalez, musician, photographer,                            postdoc fellow, Johns Hopkins University and                                                     adjunct faculty,  Visual Cognitive Neuroscience,
Maryland Institute College of Art, Information                                                        Visualization, Baltimore
Jonathan Peck, futurist and director, Institute for                                                Alternative Futures, Alexandria, VA


7:10 to 7:45 p.m.       Discussion


7:45 to 8:30 p.m.       Reception







Interspecies Invitational Installation | Harvard Arts First Festival 2012

April 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Interspecies Invitational Installation | Harvard Arts First Festival 2012.

A very Harvardy Art and Science installation….

Lynn Margulis dies at 73

November 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Lynn Margulis, order one of our greatest biologists and evolutionary theorists, generic died this week in Amherst at the age of 73.

Everyone at Nature and Inquiry has been influenced by her profound ideas, especially her research involved with microbiology and symbiosis.

She has been an inspiration and will be greatly missed.

see the New York Times obituary:

Curious, an Introduction to Big Ideas in Nature, Science, and Art

September 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


The new online project, sildenafil Curious, here An Introduction to Big Ideas in Nature, here Science and Art is an effort to introduce leading-edge ideas in science to a general audience. It is particularly aimed at those who want real answers to serious questions that they have inquired about since childhood, and are often not addressed at home or at school. Much of the reason that these answers aren’t available in primary and secondary classrooms is that some of the most intriguing and even astounding information has only been available within the last 25 years.

Subjects which traditionally have been thought of as largely abstract and unsuited for analysis such as music, love, life, sex, and death suddenly have new and profound meaning in light of late 20th and 21st century discoveries in evolutionary biology, brain science, and genetics. In short, we are undergoing a major revolution in the sciences, and it is having a large impact on our understanding of who we are and how we see ourselves and others.

Go to:  Curious, An Introduction to Big Ideas in Nature, Science, and Art

John Holland

The Sea Within Us

June 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Atlantic Ocean at Chatham, MA

‘What do you love about the ocean?’     ‘There is some kind of music that lives there’ — late-stage Alzheimer’s patient

The ocean is Nature’s artwork. It provides us with a full sensory experience in 3D, total surround sound, and a varied array of olfactory and tactile delights.

When we compare the experience of reading literature and poetry, listening to great music, visiting a museum, going to the theatre, opera, or ballet with the effect that the ocean has upon us, the similarities are striking.

The ocean awakens and keeps alive in us the sublime order and elegance of Nature. The profound experience it brings resonates with us, because we too are Nature.

John Holland

View Text: The Sea Within Us

Dawn Chorus

March 25th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink


This multi-screen video installation by British artist Marcus Coates is both hilarious and fascinating. To create the videos for the project, Coates took slowed-down birdcalls and taught various people to sing them in their slowed-down state. He then filmed them singing the songs in ordinary situations or ‘habitats’ and sped up the footage again so the birdcalls are at normal speed again. The result is remarkably similar to the original.

dawnchoruscoates2.jpeg Click on the picture to see the entire installation in sequence and read a more detailed description of the process.

Coates’ collaborator on the project, wild-life sound recordist Geoff Sample has posted a bunch of great clips of the bird-songs slowed down by increasing factors here.

Sample explains: “Birds are thought to have a finer temporal discrimination of sounds than humans. This means they hear the individual elements of composite sounds that for us appear as a single blurred sound. Their hearing may have up to eight times the temporal resolution that ours can achieve. One way getting some impression of this is by slowing down bird sounds; the simple way of doing this also lowers the pitch of the sound by the same factor and this is a fascinating way of tuning in to the hidden depth of birdsong, a kind of transformation to a more human musical sensibility.”

Lectures + special events - Harvard Museum of Natural History

March 16th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Lectures + special events - Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Lots of cool stuff happening at the  The Harvard Museum of Natural History!!

Two events for those interested in the intersection of art and science.


Thursday, March 18 – Melissa Milgrom. Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is home to some of the country’s oldest and most varied collections of taxidermied animals.  Join us for a gallery social and talk by author Melissa Milgrom, whose new book, Still Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), delves into the colorful world of eccentric naturalists and gifted museum artisans who create the illusion of life through taxidermy.  Free for museum members, $20 for non-members.  Advance registration required.  RSVP to members@oeb.harvarededu

or 617 496-6972 .  

For full list of lectures, including Brain Aging by Bruce Yankner of the Harvard Medical School, Zombie Insects by Harvard’s David Hughes, more see,



Bizarre Animals: An Evening of Contemporary Art Interventions

Organized by Carlin Wing, (Harvard ’02) Artist-in-residence


On the evening of March 26th artists will overrun the Harvard Museum of Natural History for a special evening of performance, sound, and video throughout the galleries. For two and half hours, twelve artists from across the country—including many Harvard alumni and several current students—will transform the museum into laboratory, library, exploratorium, and stage. Through thoughtful interventions and captivating experiments, viewers will experience new ways to engage with the museum’s spaces, its collections, and its history. Participating artists include: Lucky Dragons, Noah Feehan/AKA, Greg Gagnon, Liz Glynn, Jesse Aron Green, Lisa Haber-Thomson, Harlo Holmes, Rebecca Lieberman, Hanna Rose Shell, and Catherine Wing.

Two different guided tours will be offered.  On one tour, poet Catherine Wing will steer audiences through the twists and turns of Marianne Moore’s “The Pangolin” and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “The Kingfisher” along with some words of her own.  On the other tour, new media artist Harlo Holmes will navigate the halls of the museum emanating the voice of Jules Verne’s from her costume.

Video works will be projected on walls and playing on monitors throughout the museum.  Hanna Rose Shell’s videos on camouflage will greet audiences in the Evolution Theater and Color Exhibition.  The artist herself will be found (or not) in full camouflage attire in and around the 42 foot-long Kronosaurus.  Noah Feehan/AKA will be found tending his camera, monitor and slowly cooking piece of steak in Classroom A.

In the first part of the evening, Lucky Dragons, an experimental music collective, will perform in the gem and mineral room with the aid of black lights and student instrumentalists. And then to conclude the event, Jesse Aron Green will present a new performance from the balcony of the Great Mammal Hall, To Draw Old Monuments from the Entrails of the Earth.

Admission: $6.00 at the door. Doors open at 6:30: galleries open at 7:00 pm. The event is free to HarvardMuseum of Natural History members and Harvard University ID holders.  Supported in part by Office for the Arts at Harvard through the Peter Ivers Visiting Artist Fund, the Department of Visual, and Environmental Studies and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

For information, see  For directions, parking info,

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