From lava to chimps: integrating art & science


Date Thursday April 30th 2009
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

PARC Forum

The evolving capabilities of interactive media have vastly broadened the potential, and the challenges, of sharing scientific knowledge. From video capture to mobile devices, new technologies have enabled artists to tackle previously demanding or out-of-reach topics and new avenues of dissemination. These changes and capabilities affect not only the context and possibilities of scientific collection, but also how this collected information is presented and communicated innovatively to the public. 

Historically, artists have been risk-takers capable of provoking thought, interpretation, and innovative solutions to problems – in concept, medium, and presentation. In a diverse information-rich culture with increasingly higher levels of connectivity, Internet access and globalization, new ways of approaching creative delivery systems for the alliance of science and art are worth considering. 

This talk will explore the risks and rewards of traveling the world to document and make art from such scientific and natural phenomena as lava flows, total solar eclipses, and live chimpanzees. It will also address bioethics, and encouraging dialogue around issues of innovations and technologies, while effectively presenting the integration of art and science to the public.


JoAnn (Jody) Gillerman is a California-based media artist, videographer and educator producing interactive multimedia exhibits, installations, Web sites, and video. Ms. Gillerman is professor of fine arts at California College of the Arts. She combines a highly developed fine arts aesthetic with a thorough practical knowledge of video and computers. She currently is producing video and multimedia works on total solar eclipses and active volcanic lava flows that she chases and records on location around the world. 

Ms. Gillerman’s permanent interactive installation and exhibits include "Shadow Dance: an Interactive Eclipse Exhibit" at Chabot Space and Science Center, and the "Innovation Forum" Exhibit at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. Her works have been shown internationally in museums, galleries, universities, festivals, television broadcasts, online and public venues. 

Ms. Gillerman received her MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago and her BA at Duke University. More about JoAnn Gillerman and Viper Vertex at

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