Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Virtual Symposium: the discussion continues

The posts listed below represent the transcripts from the Virtual Symposium on Visual Culture and Bioscience held on March 5 through March 15, 2007 and co-sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences and University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The posts are listed in chronological order with the first post at the bottom of the list (to the right) and the more recent post at the top.

Over thirty panelists from a variety of disciplines and geographic locations presented their ideas and perspectives on such topics as the visualization of art and science, artists in the lab, and the cultural and social implications of bioscience. The list of panelists can be viewed at www.visualcultureandbioscience.org

Although, the panelists may or may not be available to respond, we encourage interested members of the community to continue to use this site by posting comments relevant to the discussion.

On behalf of the NAS and UMBC, we wish to think Suzanne Anker for her insightful moderation of this symposium and to all of the panelists for their commitment to this discussion both in the context of this conference and in their personal work. We would also like to thank the over 2500 members of the internet community who participated online during the conference.

JD Talasek
Office of Exhibitions and Cultural Programs
National Academy of Sciences

Friday, March 16, 2007


From: Suzanne Anker
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 06:42:43 -0500

Dear Panelists, Conference Hosts, IT Specialists, Bloggers and JDTalasek,

To all on board, my sincerest appreciation for your participation in our conference. Your thoughtful dialogue, opinionated comments, humor, and engaging ideas provided a stimulating and at times a well needed, if not, contentious discussion. The on-line symposium proved itself to be a worthy form of exchange and allowed for a contagion of comments, not to mention the flu. The manner of our discussion incorporated personal style as a method of doing business, for better or for worse. Embedded in the results was the desire to let conversation do what it does as a hypertextual mode of connecting. As a self-generating system, of yeas and nays, our conference ran its course of obstacles. However, I cannot report any casualties. As an update on current ideas at the nexus of visual culture and the biosciences, our dialogue will be added to the literature on this subject and hopefully be employed as a tool to generate further ideas, discourses, projects and the like. I have never had the experience of being so ardently tuned into my computer. It reminded me of my teen-age years waiting in anticipation for the telephone to ring. And although our conversations were solely conducted through zeros and ones, I couldn’t help myself feeling delightfully ever-present in the rush and pace of energized personas. Thank you all and we will be in touch.

Best regards,
Suzanne Anker


From: Ingeborg Reichle
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 10:04:07 +0100


Thanks to Suzanne for making this symposium possible and thanks to JD Talasek, and all the people who were involved behind the scenes. Next week we have a symposium about "Visual Models" (Visuelle Modelle. Fragen der Bildwissenschaft) in the context of image sciences here in Berlin, where some of the issued adressed by Suzanne and others will be on the agenda. I hope to see some of you at the workshop 'Biomedicine and Aesthetics in a Museological Context? in late August 2007 in Copenhagen, followed by a one-day public conference on 'Biomedicine and Art'.
All the best,

Dr. Ingeborg Reichle
Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Interdisziplinäre Arbeitsgruppe "Die Welt als Bild"

Thursday, March 15, 2007


From: Michael Sappol
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 10:25:26 -0400

I want to congratulate the participants, JD Talasek and the other organizers, and especially the moderator Suzanne Anker, for an enjoyable and enlightening symposium.

As for my projects, I'm currently working on two that may be of interest to the group:

1) A DVD publication series of historical medical films from the collection of the National Library of Medicine. The first volume, on American WW2-era public health films, is very near completion; other volumes will be on cancer, tuberculosis, child development, human psychology, dental health, etc. (See image 1 for a taste.)
2) "Man as Industrial Palace": Fritz Kahn, Conceptual MedicalIllustration and the Visual Rhetoric of Modernity, a book project on theorigins of modernist medical illustration, focusing largely on the workof Fritz Kahn (1888-1968). (See image 2.)
Michael Sappol, Ph.D.
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine


From: Andrew Carnie
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 08:45:47 -0000

The symposium has to end just when I was beginning to get the hang of the whole
event. Well done JD Talasek, Suzanne and all that were involved behind the scenes.
Hope you get well soon Jill.
Many, many thanks but it is time to Disperse.

DISPERSE. 2002. slide dissolve work, 162 slides 2 projectors,
3 voile screens, + dissolve unit.
Made for the \School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine , London.
Photograph Andrew Carnie.

Andrew Carnie
Artist and Lecturer
Winchester School of Art
Southampton University Website http://www.andrewcarnie.co.uk/

Rijsingen: WRAP UP

From: Miriam van Rijsingen
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 15:04:09 +0100

Dear Suzanne and all,
As I came down with a very heavy flu I was unable to contribute more unfortunately. I will however have much to read and think about, as there are many sparkling points of interest which should be pursued further. Perhaps I will come back to some of the postings individually later, when I am well again.

In the Netherlands we have the Genesis show at the Utrecht Central Museum, starting April 14th, with a symposium in June. Adam Zaretsky is doing his guest professorship at Leiden University in April and May, hosted by The Arts & Genomics Centre. Two more research projects(initiated by TA&GC) are financed and start this summer under the title: Imagining genomics: Introducing Visuality in the Genomics Debate. It focuses on the word-image issue and on the function of the visual in the ethics debate.
For more information see: www.artsgenomics.org
We will meet at various conferences no doubt, and I am looking forward to it. I thank you Suzanne for this conference, and for your various leads(both words and images) in the discussion. It was quite an experience.

Best wishes,
MiriamDr. Miriam van Rijsingen (PhD)
Department of Art History
University of Amsterdam

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CARNIE : Futher brief answer to Richard Wingate

From: Andrew Carnie
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 19:03:00 -0400 (EDT)


the artist’s studio is often only occupied by one person, but this does not stop it being the site of many a love-hate relationship. The hate when one thinks why did I ever start on this painting, why did I ever begin on such a precarious career; to some great self-satisfaction and self-love on the occasion of the completion of some work which has ended up far beyond the expectations to which it was conceived, and for that moment when one is alone in the studio to love, the space, and the chance to begin to play with materials and ideas.Back to your other posting on “hands” on and “outsiders”; I very much agree with the sentiments of what you say, it seems the conversations that have crossed between us, as we have been observing, interpreting and understanding the world have been the most important moments, and this just emphasizes my wish that all disciplines become more permeable to “outsiders”.

Andrew Carnie
Artist and Lecturer
Winchester School of Art
Southampton University Website