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The living dead walk into an art gallery

No, this post isn’t about zombies, thank goodness. It’s about a photo gallery featured in the New York Times about art installations from the “Dead or Alive” exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design.

The related article, of Compost, Molecules and Insects, Art is Born, describes the exhibit as an example of the “growing ranks of artists who have gone natural, who are scavenging the world’s vivarium and rummaging through the life sciences in search of materials, ideas, cosmic verities, tragicomic homilies, personal agency, a personal agent, a way to stand out in the crowd.

“The museum recently hosted a round-table luncheon in which scientists and artists addressed the hardy evergreen issue of how much the arts and sciences had in common and where they differed. The basic conclusion: both enterprises are important, difficult, creative, driven by insatiable curiosity and a desire to solve problems, but artists are allowed to make stuff up and scientists really shouldn’t. Whatever the symposial chin rubbings, some practitioners of the new crossover art have serious scientific credentials and are not afraid to use them.”

Check out some of the art for yourself. Some of the concepts are pretty cool. However, for me personally, anyone who purposely uses their own blood for an art piece is going a bit far.

Keith W. Bentley’s “Cauda Equina” (1995-2007)

View the photo gallery

Read the full article



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.

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