This Fall, MassArt hosts its first-ever Scientist in Residence!

Nathan Phillips is a professor at Boston University whose research focuses on the relationships between plant physiology, ecosystems, and climate change.

As part of his residency, Nathan will be visiting several MassArt classes to introduce his research, talk to students about their projects, offer his perspective as a scientist, and experiment with developing a hybrid art/science practice.

In addition to class visits, Nathan will be available during weekly Open Studio Office Hours every Wednesday from 1-3pm in South 308 lab studio.  Students can stop by to discuss scientific and artistic issues, receive feedback on current work, brainstorm art-science projects, and coordinate collaborative projects with both Nathan and members of the wider MassArt community.

On Tuesday, October 16th at 2pm, Nathan will lead “A Tour of the Weeds of the Fenway” with the specific goal of taking a look at the invasive species, and considering their impacts– possibly positive as well as negative. Meet in South 308 at 2pm; the field trip will take about an hour.

On November 5th, Nathan will present a talk entitled “Reading the Urban Landscape”, where he will discuss our hidden infrastructures and how their invisibility detaches us from the crucial resources that sustain us. He calls on artists to help us visualize the invisible but very real and crucial lifelines of the city.

Additionally, from December 3rd-7th the exhibition Sustain/Able will be up in the North Crackatorium at MassArt. The Opening Reception will take place Thursday, Dec. 6th from 6:30-8pm. This exhibition will include work that addresses visionary approaches to sustainability across multiple MassArt departments and organizations.

Spearheaded by the Sustainable Massart Initiative as well as new and ongoing student groups, the exhibition will be an interdisciplinary romp through student, faculty, and visiting scientist’s visions of a sustainable world and future. Works will deal with the perception and quantification of the natural world, interrogate sustainable materials, investigate sustainability as process, and explore the complex relationships human beings maintain with their changing natural environment. We are currently accepting proposals for this exhibition. All proposals must be received by October 22nd. Those selected to participate will be notified by November 2nd.

The goal of this Scientist-in-Residency program is to find productive ways that scientists and artists can exchange information, ideas, methods of investigation and presentation, unearth new ways of interpreting ideas, and create unique art-science syntheses.

Scientists utilize processes of exploration, revealing, refinement, and development in their research—artists utilize similar processes. By inviting a scientist to develop his own artistic practice we hope that Nathan will gain insight into alternative processes of investigation and will be able to help students interrogate and structure their own creative process in novel and unprecedented ways.