From Oct. 9-30, the University of Guelph and Ed Video are hosting a special art exhibit entitled “This View of Life: Evolutionary Art for the Year of Darwin“. It was organized by professors in four departments: Integrative Biology, Philosophy, History, and English and Theatre Studies, and was curated by Scott McGovern of Ed Video. The exhibit features art by 10 artists, all inspired by the themes of evolution, Darwin, and biodiversity. The Gregory Lab contributed some installations as well, which are shown in this brief clip from just before the opening reception on Oct. 16 (about 200 people attended the event). The first window shows live Daphnia magna (“water fleas”) to depict the concept of overproduction; they also are of interest because they reproduce asexually (the evolution of sexual reproduction being an important question in evolutionary theory). The second window presents images created using live colonies of E. coli bacteria. These last only a few days, so many different images will be displayed throughout the exhibit. The third window shows a projection of a remarkable collection of images of bacterial colonies kindly provided by Dr. Eshel Ben-Jacob.
Special thanks to everyone involved in organizing the exhibit, to the artists, and to the following graduate students who are talented artists in their own right: Joao Lima, John Wilson, Tyler Elliott, Paola Pierossi, Nick Jeffery.
Like many institutions, the University of Guelph is hosting a series of events in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species. Two of them, a teachers’ workshop and the Yodzis Colloquium, have already run, but there is another coming up that I am pleased to announce.
â€˜This View of Lifeâ€™ showcases the melding of artistic and scientific disciplines in this year of celebration for Charles Darwin. This group exhibition presents recent work from contemporary Canadian artists and features several collaborative projects created with scientists from the University of Guelph.
The investigation of evolutionary theory is not limited to the lab, field or fossil bed. Darwinian theory, after a century and a half, continues to inspire creativity which perpetuates the evolution of these ideas in their own right. Forms of expression can be compared to instruments of observation, magnifying some aspects of evolution while masking or distorting others. Presented by the University of Guelph and Ed Video, these exhibits offer unique perspectives into the nature and scope of biological novelty, organic variation, and evolving life forms.
The reception will feature artwork, biological specimens, and presentations by project participants. Artwork will also be exhibited at the Ed Video Gallery and at various locations on campus for the duration of the show.
David S. Wilson Biologist, author of Evolution for Everyone
There will be interactive question periods as well as the talks. Teachers who present a poster on the teaching of evolution will have their registration refunded, and some programs are in place to help cover leave time to attend this workshop.
Even though I am only really photogenic in person, I decided I ought to post a photo of what I am wearing today on Darwin Day. It’s by a relatively unknown young designer named, um, me. Available here.
By which I mean, Remember one of the greatest scientists who ever lived AND all the accomplishments of the thousands of scientists who have come after him and made modern evolutionary biology the great success that it is.
To me, this is not unlike celebrating nation-founding anniversaries (July 4 in the US, July 1 in Canada, etc.). You’re not just celebrating a single act of signing some document, you’re especially celebrating everything that has come since.
So, enjoy Darwin Day. Give the man his due. But remember that Darwin Day isn’t all about Darwin and it isn’t all about the day. (It isn’t just about Darwin Year, either).