ART & ORGANISM (also known as “The Art and SCIENCE of ART and SCIENCE”)  aspires to provide a scaffold for an approximation of who we were, are, and could be.  The resources to provided hopefully encourage the exercise of sentience as well as sapience– feeling as well as thinking, in the belief that only in concert with each other can we ever really know anything worth knowing.   

RESOURCES:   The A&O website provides an abundance of resources to exemplify DISCOVERIES in art and biology and CONNECTIONS between art and biology.  But the seminar is really about DISCOVERING not discoveries, and CONNECTING, not connections.  Nothing is known–indeed nothing is real (in the most real sense of the word) except insofar as it is connected.  And the discovery of connections within and between each other is a key part of what we are all about.  To give form to this amorphous agenda we will look closely and the BIOLOGICAL perspectives on behavior exemplified by its most liberated domain– that of ART.

ART is considered as “CONSTRUCTIVE” and “RECEPTIVE”  and we seek to use biology as a way of better understanding the nature, nurture, and expression of creativity and of perception.

BIOLOGY emphasizing the causes and consequences of behavior utilizes the heuristic of “DEEP ETHOLOGY” (mnemonic for Development, Ecology, Evolution, and Physiology)

    • Biological Needs

Our engagement of topics is creative in that once a key idea is firmly grounded, it functions as a home-base for free exploration–you are encouraged to digress and map the connections in your mind.


ELEMENTS of CONTENT – another slightly expanded view emphasizing what we  try to do:

First, OBSERVE and DESCRIBE phenomena, ideas, narratives, whatever, and consider mindfully from different perspectives: 

  • TIME: PAST«FUTURE (memory imagination)
  • LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION [we exist as organisms at a specific level, and can look beneath and above our level at subordinate constituents or constructs of which we are a part.  We can look towards the imperceptible minute on one side or the incomprehensibly vast on the other.  [we walk this narrow ridge as though an abys on either side, two realms we seek to describe and understand by analysis and synthesis…]
  • ART:  EXPRESSIVE«RECEPTIVE  [selective attention to process or product and its subsequent communication within or between organisms, especially other people, involving a mastery of a medium of communication that addresses one or more specific senses.]
  • SCIENCE: to start at our level of organization as organisms, we utilize integrative BIOLOGY with an emphasis on BEHAVIOR = DEEP ethology: DEVELOPMENT«ECOLOGY«EVOLUTION«PHYSIOLOGY  





“A probable contender for a Nobel Prize at the age of eighty-one, Vera Rubin had been asked if she was troubled by the near-infinite expanse of human ignorance. The question was not gratuitous. Rubin’s eminence as an astronomer rested on her finding in the universe five, maybe ten times the mass of energy dreamed of in the cosmologies of Albert Einstein and Max Planck. Not only was the universe more infinite than previously imagined, but the newly discovered bulk of it was composed of dark matter destined to remain unknowable because not formed of the same atomic fairy dust as all things animal, mineral, and vegetable, celestial and terrestrial, to which mankind gives the names of nature ceaselessly creating itself.

     To Rubin’s examiners, the discovery of a never-to-be-seen abyss was news unfit for man, machine, or beast. Was the dear lady not aghast? She was not. To the contrary. She stands in awe of her unknowing as if in Xanadu before the stately pleasure dome of Kubla Khan, where runs the sacred river Alph through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea. Isn’t that kind of the fun, the looking into the vast darkness ripe with wonders that will never cease? The limitless expanse of human ignorance Rubin sees as the fortunate provocation that rouses out the love of learning, kindles the signal fires of the imagination. We have no other light with which to see and maybe to recognize ourselves as human.” –Lewis H Lapham [1]

[read Lapham’s entire essay, “Homo Faber.”]



(closed link)


[1] Lewis H. Lapham (2017) “Homo Faber.” Preamble to Lapham’s Quarterly issue on “discovery,”  Spring 2017 pp12-21 https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/discovery/homo-faber