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IGNITE featuring Paul Vanouse

12:30 pm – 1:50 pm
Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts Room: CEMA 101
1300 Q Street
Lincoln NE 68588
Megan Elliott, (402) 472-9303,
Join us for IGNITE to hear from interdisciplinary artist Paul Vanouse, who will be discussing his most recent project, “Labor” (2019), a scent-based bio-media installation which produces the scent of human sweat – not with humans, but with three glass bioreactors. The project poetically reflects upon industrial society’s shift from human and machine labor to increasingly pervasive forms of microbial manufacturing, and positions viewers to contemplate the changing borders defining what is human.

Vanouse has been working in emerging media forms since 1990, and his electronic cinema, biological experiments, and interactive installations have been exhibited in over 25 countries and widely across the US. Venues have included: Walker Art Center, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Carnegie Museum, Andy Warhol Museum, New Museum, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Louvre in Paris, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Zentrum furKunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsrhue, Centre de Cultura Contemporania in Barcelona, and TePapa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand.

Recent solo exhibitions include: Burchfield-Penny Art Galleryin Buffalo (2019), Esther Klein Gallery in Philadelphia (2016), Beall Center at UC Irvine, California (2013), Muffathalle in Munich (2012), Schering Foundation in Berlin (2011), Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana (2011). This work has been discussed in journals including: Art Journal, Art Papers, Art News, Flash Art International, Leonardo, New Scientist, New ArtExaminer, New York Timesand numerous academic books on art and technology.

Vanouse’s work has been funded by The National Endowment for the Arts (2019), Renew Media / Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (2008-10), Creative CapitalFoundation Fellowship(2006-11), New York State Council on the Arts (2000, 2005), New York Foundation for the Arts (2002), Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (94, 95, 98), Mellon Charitable Trust (98), Heinz Foundation (98), Pennsylvania Humanities Council (98), Sun Microsystems (2000) and the National Science Foundation (1997).He has received awards at festivals including a Golden Nica and two Awards of Distinction at Prix ARS Electronica (2019, 2017, 2013) in Linz, Austria, and Vida, Art and Artificial Life competition (2002, 2011), in Madrid, Spain. Museum commissions include the Walker Art Center for “The Consensual Fantasy Engine online” (1998), and the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle for “The Relative Velocity Inscription Device” (2002).

Vanouse is a Professor of Art at the University at Buffalo, NY, where he is also founding Director of the Coalesce Center for Biological Art, a major facet of UB’s Community of Excellence in Genomics, Environment and Microbiomics. He has been an Artist in Residence at Cultivamos Cultura, São Luis, Portugal (2017), Visiting Professor, Biofilia, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland (2014), Senior Artist at Banff Center, Alberta, Canada (2011), Foreign Expert at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, China (2006) Honorary Research Fellow at SymbioticA, University of Western Australia (2005), Visiting Scholar at the Center for Research and Computing in the Arts, UC San Diego (1997), and Research Fellow at the Studio for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University (1997-2003). He holds a BFA from the University at Buffalo (1990) and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (1996).

For nearly twenty years, Vanouse has sought to force the arcane codes of scientific communication into a broader cultural language. In “Relative Velocity Inscription Device”(2002), he literally races DNA from his Jamaican-American family members, in a DNA sequencing gel, in an installation/scientific experiment that explores the relationship between early 20th Century Eugenics and late 20th Century Human Genomics. The double entendre of race highlights the obsession with “genetic fitness” within these historical endeavors. Similarly, more recent projects, “Latent Figure Protocol”(2007), “Ocular Revision”(2010), “Suspect Inversion Center”(2011), and “America Project”(2016), use molecular biology techniques to challenge “genome-hype” and to confront issues surrounding DNA fingerprinting.

IGNITE is free & open to the public. This IGNITE will be viewable on Zoom:

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This event originated in IGNITE Colloquium.