Patricia Olynyk's SENSING TERRAINS

Patricia Olynyk's SENSING TERRAINS

Bruggeman Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, RPI Campus, Troy, NY

Artist talk  Cocktail
Thursday, Nov 15th, 5PM
Bruggeman Center
Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies

Please join as for a cocktail immediately following the talk!
Main Lobby, CBIS
On view: Print Show by Patricia Olynyk

Inspired by the artifacts and methodologies of contemporary biology, Patricia Olynyk's work combines art and biological imaging as an integrated practice to address our relationship to natural and altered environments. In response to a technology mediated world increasingly desensitized to physical sensation, her work calls upon viewers to expand their awareness of the worlds they inhabit, whether those worlds are their own bodies or the spaces they occupy. She does this through multi-media installations that that focus on modes of sensation--?integrating magnified images of sense organs with macro-images of garden environments designed to heighten sensate experience.

Large-scale electron micrographs that she creates herself portray the sense organs of a variety of specimens, including human corneas (representing sight), wild mouse taste buds and olfactory epithelia (representing taste and smell), guinea pig cochlea (representing sound) and drosophila feet (representing touch). It's an eclectic array that deliberately mixes species to emphasize that the state of being sensate is not uniquely human. These images are seamlessly blended with enlarged details of Japanese garden spaces that have been specifically composed and constructed to ?tickle the senses".

The images presented at the CBIS are suspended above the viewer and are made of printed silk that hangs like a diaphanous, floating sea anemone.

Patricia Olynyk lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri. She is Director of the Graduate School of Art and Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design  Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining Washington University, she taught at the University of Michigan, where she held joint appointments at both the School of Art  Design and the Life Sciences Institute. Olynyk was the first non-scientist ever appointed to the Institute.

Olynyk completed her undergraduate studies in Canada and earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree with Distinction from the California College of the Arts. She studied Japanese language and cultural history at Osaka National University of Foreign Studies and spent over three years as a Monbusho Scholar and Tokyu Foundation Research Scholar at Kyoto Seika University.

Olynyk's work has been shown at the Brooklyn Museum; Denise Bibro Fine Art and Pfizer Headquarters, New York; the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.; the Museo del Corso in Rome; Galleria Grafica Tokio and the Saitama Modern Art Museum in Japan; and the American University in Cairo. Her work is in numerous private and public collections that include the Hewlett Packard Headquarters in Palo Alto California, the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C. and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.

She has received numerous awards and residencies, including the 2002 North American Print Biennial's Digital Print Award; the 2005-06 Wood Fellowship from the Francis C. Wood Institute for the History of Medicine at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia; and the 2005 Sound and Vision Artist Residency and Financial Award from the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada.

"Sensing Terrains" is part of the BioArt/BioMedia Initiative Program @ RPI

This initiative proposes to lay the foundation for establishing RPI as the premiere institution for the synthesis of emerging biotechnological research and media art practice. A cross-disciplinary culture will be established employing art in biotechnology. Student-driven collaborations, art and research exhibitions, inter-departmental workshops and grant writing will be used to accomplish this objective. The potential for creating mutually supportive and critically engaged culture between art, engineering and science exists at RPI to a degree that is possible in only a select few universities worldwide. Now is the ideal time to bring together these visions as research commences in CBIS and construction nears completion on EMPAC.

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