Plant Life Support Systems, Topological Media Lab, Concordia University.


Feeling/Knowing, Making/Growing: Artists, Scientists, and Botanical Experiments
Friday, 16 March, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, in EV-1.615

Natasha Myers
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and Program in Science and Technology Studies, York University

Though the ends of art and science may be very different, artists and scientists have much in common, especially when it comes to the finely honed craft skills and forms of embodied knowledge that shape their various modes of experimental inquiry. In this talk, I explore how both artists and scientists work through the tensions between “feeling” and “knowing” as they build experimental systems to explore the contours of sentience and sensibility in botanical life. In the process, I show how both artists and scientists get affectively entangled with the moving, sensing plants that form the centre of their inquiry, and how the intensity of their feelings come to shape their botanical knowledge.

Natasha Myers
is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Program in Science and Technology Studies at York University. An anthropologist of science and technology, her research examines a range of visual and performative cultures alive in the contemporary biosciences. She completed her PhD in 2007 in the History |Anthropology | STS Program at MIT. Her dissertation examined an interdisciplinary group of scientists who image, model, and simulate subvisible molecular realms through computer-intensive technologies. Molecular Embodiments: Modeling Proteins and Making Scientists in the Contemporary Biosciences documents pedagogy and training among these scientists, and is forthcoming with Duke University Press. Her current research projects include collaborations with artists and scientists working with responsive media, as well as a SSHRC funded project examining ‘experimental forms of life’ among artists and scientists who conduct inquiry into plant sensoria. She is a Council Member of the Society for Social Studies of Science and co-organizer of Toronto’s Technoscience Salon. Links to her essays and projects can be found on her website.