Friday, September 14, 2018

BioArt Exhibition

The goal of the course in Kilpisjärvi was for students to be trained in both independent scientific research, as well as the communication of that research through creative works of art. Science and art students combined their skills and backgrounds to create some amazing work! This week, the official exhibition of their work began. They created research posters explaining their experimental science, which were displayed next to their artistic creations reflecting that science.
Each of the 5 projects are displayed like this. The science poster is hung next to their artistic work, giving both a scientific and a more creative expression of each research project.
The five scientist+artist pairs each have a project on display. I told you a bit about the students' research projects in previous blog posts, while we were in Finland working on them. Now, I can share with you the completed results! Here are the five projects. You can open their research poster to read about the science, and the photo of their art project shows how they also communicated that science in a very engaging way.
Tiff and Guillermo created a clay tile mosaic of the soil microarthropods they studied along the elevational gradient of a mountain fell. The individual depictions of collembola and mites are connected in a mosaic that mimics the Sami flag, an emblem of the native people in Lapland. Read about the soil microarthropods of Saana in their research poster!
Kylie and Gina represented their 3 experimental treatments of natural lake water, increased temperature, and decreased pH on the phytoplankton in Lake Kilpisjarvi through a 3-segment enhanced image of Asterionella taken from their scientific sampling. Read about the impacts of temperature and pH on lake phytoplankton in their research poster!
Stephanie and Diego created paintings representing the current plant community and projected future communities in 2050 and 2100, to show how the abundance and composition of the plant community could change with future climate change. The dots represent individual plants, with each species having a different color. Some plants will become more abundant, and others will decrease, changing the overall composition. Read about the projected change in reindeer-supporting plants in their research poster!

Ezra and Manny created a 3-D installation that recreates the lichen, moss and algae communities growing on rocks in the Arctic. showing just how abundant life on rocks can become. A side-display identified the lichen and showed how they measured the communities on rocks using their grid system. Learn how lichen diversity on rocks changes with elevation in their research poster!
Christina, Andrew, and Brooke created two different creative projects (since they were a 3-person group). On top are collages representing the birds of Kilpisjärvi (titled "Nature", on the left) and the impact humans can have on these bird populations (titled "Encroachment of Man", on the right). They are framed by ribbon hand-woven by Christina using local wool and traditional Sami weaving patterns.The TV is running a short film using footage and sound clips of the birds around Kilpisjärvi, to a reading of the Kalevala (a Finnish folklore poem). Read about the resilience of Kilspisjärvi birds to human disturbance in their research poster!

The exhibit opened this week, with a reception Wednesday night. The student scientists and artists discussed their work with students, faculty, and the public, relieved now that their hard work paid off!
Brooke discusses their bird research with visitors.
Kylie discusses phytoplankton (and photoshop) with visitors. (The two people on the right are her grandparents!)
Their works are on display on the 3rd floor of the Fletcher Library at ASU's West Campus through October 3, 2018. It's free and open to the public!

All of these works are under copyright protection and may not be recreated or redistributed without permission of the artists.