To see the unseen: ‘Microbiomes’ show explores the common ground between arts, science

Posted by: | April 18, 2017 | Comments


At first glance, it may appear that scientists and artists look at the world in different ways, but look again: Careful observation is at the heart of both callings.

“Microbiomes: To See the Unseen,” the latest collaboration between the arts and sciences at The Arts Center in Corvallis, takes that observation to a microscopic level: Artists and poets were invited to submit works inspired by the idea of the microbiome, the trillions of microbes that share our lives.

The show, which opens Thursday and runs through May 27 at The Arts Center, features artwork, poetry (and, at some points over the life of the exhibition, music) inspired by something that can’t be seen by the naked eye. And as artists were invited to submit work for the show, another commonality between artists and scientists became apparent: They both have “a very similar type of curiosity about how the world works,” said Hester Coucke, curator of public programs at the center.

In fact, the preparations for “Microbiomes” built on that curiosity: Artists were invited to participate in workshops in science labs at Oregon State University, another sponsor of the show. (The show is part of “SPARK,” OSU’s year-long celebration of arts and science and follows on the heels of last year’s “Rot: The Afterlife of Trees” exhibit.)

Find out more: Corvallis Gazette-Times

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