Catalyst Conversations: Things, Theories and Creatures

June 2, 2016
Event Types
Talk / Lecture

Catalyst Conversations is pleased to present “Things, Theories and Creatures”, a conversation between artist Andrew Yang and biologist Naomi Pierce. 

For artist/biologist Andrew Yang and Harvard biologist and butterfly curator Naomi Pierce, both scientific and aesthetic curiosities drive their respective research and art-making. Join them for a fascinating and enlightening discussion as they explore many of their overlapping interests, among them - animal perception, mutualism and natural history collections. As a harbinger of summer, their conversation alerts us to our place among all the other species on the planet. This program is free and open all.

About the Speakers

Andrew Yang is a transdisciplinary artist and scholar interweaving across the natural, cultural, and bio-historical. His projects have been exhibited from Oklahoma to Yokohama, Chicago to Kassel, including recent work for the14th Istanbul Biennial (2015) and an upcoming solo show at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. His writing and research appear in journals spanning biology, art, and philosophy, including Biological Theory, Gastronomica, Leonardo, Interdisciplinary Studies in the Philosophy of Science and part of the recent anthology City Creatures: Animal Encounters in Chicago Urban Wilderness (UChicago Press).  He was a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in 2015 and an invited speaker and seminar-leader on aesthetics at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Anthropocene Campus event in 2016.  He holds a PhD in Biology and MFA in Visual Arts and is currently an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as a research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History.

Naomi E. Pierce is the Hessel Professor of Biology in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, and Curator of Lepidoptera in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Research in her laboratory focuses on the ecology and evolution of species interactions. This has ranged from field studies measuring the costs and benefits of symbioses between ants and other organisms, to genetic analyses of biochemical signaling pathways underlying interactions between plants, pathogens and insects. She has received prizes such as a Fulbright Fellowship and a MacArthur award, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Senior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows.