this site, like each of us, is a work in progress

“Always becoming, never is” (Schiller)

This seminar hopes to provide a disciplinary scaffold to help us construct an understanding of the relationships between art and science. Using materials provided from our own resources of experience and memory in concert with culturally sanctioned resources. To torture another metaphor, we will try to get access to the spiral helix of  “DEEP ETHOLOGY” (the integrative study of behavior) and “CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF ART” (expressive and receptive aesthetic experience),   While grounded in biology, this is an interdisciplinary course and will draw on my background as well as yours.

Please look at our course notes on CONNECTIONS –We will think about these from multiple biological perspectives with particular attention to CHANGE (“the maelstrom of perpetual disintegration and renewal”) and with an appreciation of ART as a form of COMMUNICATIONS involving both PRODUCTIVE and RECEPTIVE elements and their ability to meet biological NEEDS

Every year our Art & Organism Seminar has a different course epigraph:

2018:    “Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes….Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.”(Arshile Gorky)

2016-2017: “Parts and wholes evolve in consequence of their relationship, and the relationship itself evolves. These are the properties of things that we call dialectical: that one thing cannot exist without the other, that one acquires its properties from its relation to the other, that the properties of both evolve as a consequence of their interpenetration.” (Levins and Lewontin 1985:3)​​​​​​​ 

2014-2015: “The connectedness of things is what the educator contemplates to the limit of his capacity.  No human capacity is great enough to permit a vision of the world as simple, but if the educator does not aim at the vision no one else will, and the consequences are dire when no one does. . . .  The student who can begin early in life to think of things as connected, even if he revises his view with every succeeding year, has begun the life of learning.”  (Mark Van Doren)​​​​​​​ 


Opening illustration:  A medieval explorer has found the point where heaven and Earth meet…  [more]