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Art+Science Salon at Tacoma Art Museum explores individual and species identity through eco-artist Jackie Brookner’s work

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on April 9, 2013 at 9:49 am |
April 9, 2013 9:49 am
Jackie Brookner, "The Gift of Water." Courtesy image.
Jackie Brookner, “The Gift of Water.” Courtesy image.

Art and science meet next Thursday at Tacoma’s second Art+Science Salon, a panel discussion and conversation joining the two disciplines and presented by the University of Puget Sound and Tacoma Art Museum. From 6-8 p.m. on April 18 the free salon at the museum will focus on a discussion between UPS neuroscientist Siddarth Ramakrishnan and New York-based eco-artist Jackie Brookner, with a panel of faculty and students from UPS.

Brookner, a professor at Parsons New School of Design, creates large artworks in collaboration with scientists, including a current NEA-sponsored project in Fargo, North Dakota. Her sculptures are living, plant-based systems that clean polluted water and storm runoff, such as “The Gift of Water” near Dresden, Germany, a pair of giant cupped concrete hands covered in mosses that are moistened by and purify water from a natural swimming hole.

“We are very excited to have Jackie with us,” says Ramakrishnan, who is leading the UPS committee that organizes the salons. “The title of the event will be ‘Individuals, Identities and Interfaces.’ We will touch upon the collaborative process between artists and scientists, and discuss what it means to be an individual, the relation to our environment and what constitutes the ‘inside’ versus the ‘outside’. We will draw upon science and art and philosophy and brainstorm with the audience on future projects.”

The salon will begin by looking at some of Brookner’s projects and how they both provide ecological functions while asking questions about how we imagine ourselves as individuals and as a species, Brookner says.

“We will discuss how neuroscience studies with other species can illuminate this question, and the implications all of this may have for affecting some of the deep changes necessary to move from devastation of the planet to its abundant regeneration,” says Brookner.

6-8 p.m. April 18. Free. Tacoma Art Museum, 1721 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-4258, pugetsound.edu/artsci, tacomaartmuseum.org, jackiebrookner.net

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