The Common Flowers/Flower Commons, is part of Intimate Science, the winter/spring exhibition at The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) at Parsons The New School for Design. Curated by Andrea Grover and organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Intimate Science features contemporary artists conducting projects in scientific or technological domains.
The artists are engaged in non-disciplinary inquiry and aren’t allied to the customs of any single field. Their process hinges on up-close observation, experiential learning, and inventing new ways for the public to participate in the process. For example, the world’s first commercially available, genetically modified flower is a carnation, named Moondust, that was sold around the world as a cut flower without the regulations or labeling required of GM foods. BCL, an artist collective, uses DIY biotech methods to bring the flowers back to life, and plant them in the wild, creating an open-source population of a flower completely new to nature.
“Today, artists working in science and technology have far greater agency than their predecessors of 50 years ago,” says curator Andrea Grover. “They can work independently with ambitious biological experiments, materials research and micro-manufacturing— and not at a naive or removed distance.”
Networked communication and open source culture have made possible new forms of access and authority in domains formerly restricted to specialists. Intimate Science features six artists and collectives working at the intersections of art, science and technology. The exhibition features: BCL (Tokyo), Center for PostNatural History (Pittsburgh), Markus Kayser (London), Allison Kudla (Seattle), Machine Project (Los Angeles), and Philip Ross (San Francisco).
“With Intimate Science, the SJDC continues its commitment to artistic chutzpah,” says Radhika Subramaniam, director and chief curator of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. “The intrepid, inventive and unconventional ways in which artists approach the questions traditionally ceded to science and technology not only open up new lines of inquiry but also new ways of posing the problems”.
In addition to the curator’s tour, other public programs include a Mind Reading for Left and Right Brain workshop with Machine Project (April 5) and an artist talk by Philip Ross on Mycotecture: Architecture Grown out of Mushrooms (April 8).
Learn more at newschool.edu/parsons.