The following are brief descriptions of the projects (taken directly from the original proposals) selected for Artist-in-Residence program awards. These awards are designed to facilitate collaboration between artists and scientists to spur creative thinking and innovation.
Katydid Songs and Silent Crickets: Poems in the Grasses
Kathryn Nuernberger, College of Liberal Arts
Marlene Zuk, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences
At the height of the pandemic, Marlene Zuk invited me to echolocate katydids on a walk around a park near campus. Her research trips to Hawaii to study species of uniquely silent crickets had been canceled. I too had been unusually silent as I swam through a deep grief over the death of someone dear. Dr. Zuk gestured to a strip of lawn; those songs are crickets. She pointed to the trees; those hums are cicadas. In the waist-high grasses, we would hear katydids. Dr. Zuk taught me to listen, wait, then creep carefully, following after one particular song among many, until I found a beautiful creature, bent-legged and iridescent-winged, humming into the wind. For this project, Dr. Zuk and I will continue our echolocation walks and conversations about the ecologies of local pond and grassland habitats. I will also write poems in response to Dr. Zuk’s scholarly work on crickets, through visits to her lab to see experiments in progress. During this project I will write insect poems that answer the griefs of climate change and mass extinction unfolding around us with songs of hope and beauty punctuating such terrible silences. The work will culminate with a public poetry reading.
Disembodied/Reembodied: The Gaze and Dysphoria of Medical Images of Women’s Bodies
Jenny Schmid, College of Liberal Arts
Jaime Konerman-Sease, Center for Bioethics, Office of Academic Clinical Affairs
Emily Beck, Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine
Lois Hendrickson, Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine
Disembodied/Reembodied resources the history of images of disembodied female anatomy in the extensive collections of the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine to uncover contemporary experiences of women’s interactions with reproductive health and current political conversations surrounding their/our access to health care. This project combines the skills and research of four collaborators—a bioethicist, two research librarians, and an artist-printmaker—to inspire a limited edition folio composed of etchings, text and digital prints. This collaboration will culminate in an onsite and online exhibition that merges past and present images, employing an artistic re/interpretation of history to peel back the intertwining layers of medical power and social expectation to reassert the agency of female patients. The project draws attention to the disembodied approach to female pain and lack of autonomy and the history of images that subconsciously promote this perspective at a crucial time when women’s bodies and medical decisions are being discussed in the public sphere. Working across centuries, Disembodied/Reembodied employs printmaking techniques to flatten time and question and reimagine the power of images that have greatly impacted female reproductive healthcare.