Art & Science Collaborative – Fall Semester 2016

IMD 530 – Art & Science Collaborative is a new graduate level, three-part course focused on art & science based interdisciplinary collaboration on Wednesday’s from 6 to 8:30pm in the IMRC room 113.  This class features visiting IMRC researcher in residence Laura Splan and a special partnership with Bigelow Labs in Boothbay ME.  Upper level undergraduates will also be considered admission to the course.

Please contact Gene Felice if you have questions about the class:

Part 1:  Aug. 29th > Oct. 12th
ALGAE as Art ~ Micro to Macro
Lecturer / Facilitator: Gene A. Felice II, IMFA / New Media Faculty
Research Partner: Bigelow Labs –

This first part of the course will be focused on using emerging technology to visualize, sonify, spacialize & interact with data streams translated from biological systems, environmental sensors and other research sources. Algae and sustainable aquaculture will be our main subject of inspiration, exploring their multitude of species, scales and socio-economic implications.  Through a special partnership with Bigelow Labs in Boothbay ME, students will be paired with their scientists to explore their research, translating it through a variety of emerging technologies such as 3D printing, laser cutting, interactive systems, data visualization / sonification and more.  This first course sequence will include a special field trip to Bigelow labs to collaborate with the participating scientists.

Gene A. Felice II is a current faculty member within Intermedia & New Media at the University of Maine where he is also developing his Coaction Lab for interdisciplinary collaboration with an ecologically minded approach. He bridges his research and practice across:  Art, Science, Design & Education, developing a network of creativity, living systems, and emerging technologies. He has a hybrid practice at the intersection of nature and technology, developing symbiotically creative systems as arts / science research.
Portfolio website:
Lab website:

Part 2:  OCT 19th > NOV. 9th
(re)Materializing the Biological Imagination
Visiting Lecturer: Laura Splan, IMRC Researcher in Residence
Assistant / Facilitator:  Gene A. Felice II

This part of the interdisciplinary course will explore intersections of Art, Biology and Technology in contemporary art. We will interrogate their alternating roles as muse, metaphor, methodology, and material. The course sequence will emphasize the conceptual significance and narrative implications of biological and technological tools and techniques in works of art. We will examine how recent innovations in biotechnology are influencing and inspiring contemporary artists as well as how artists have been innovators in fields of Biology and Technology. Course lectures, readings, discussions and assignments will address art historical shifts in artists’ relationship to biology and technology in their studio practice. Splan will also lead a collaborative and participatory demonstration of the Arduino EMG device used in her own data-driven artworks and will present the variety of ways in which she as worked with data as “material”.

Laura Splan is an artist and lecturer whose work explores intersections of art, science, technology and craft. Her conceptually based projects examine the material manifestations of our cultural ambivalence towards the human body with a range of traditional and new media techniques. She often uses found objects and appropriated sources to explore socially constructed perceptions of order and disorder, normal and aberrant. Much of her work is inspired by experimentation with materials and processes (blood, electromyography, cosmetic facial peel, digital fabrication) which she mines for their narrative implications and untapped potentials.
Portfolio website:

Part 3:  NOV 16th > DEC 9th
Collaborative Independent Projects
Facilitator: Gene A. Felice II, IMFA / New Media Faculty
Collaborating Faculty: tbd

This final part of the course will take its inspiration from Part 1 and 2, forming small interdisciplinary groups of participating students, that will develop their own research based final projects.  Subject matter will be open to the interests of the students and training within the IMRC will be provided for any students that need access to its variety of emerging technology including, Audio / Video production, 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, Mold Making, Sensor integration / translation, Interactive system design and more.