While in residence, Laura Splan will experiment with dyeing textiles with transformed bacteria.The dyed fabrics will be used to create mixed media sculptures for upcoming exhibitions.Splan’s recent work includes artworks made from the fiber of laboratory animals. Her sculptures invite viewers to engage with objects made with the wool of llamas and alpacas who produce antibodies for human drugs. Splan will continue to work with this fiber in the Coalesce BioArt Lab to explore the hidden materiality and labor of biotechnology. Her experiments with bacterial transformation will serve as a conceptual framework to evoke notions of the transgression of boundaries, hybridity, and engineered bodies. Permeations examines institutionalized notions of membranes as they are defined and “performed” by language, image and movement. The project questions the circumscription of arbitrary borders, the persistence of cultural power dynamics in scientific metaphors, and the invisible apparatus that extend beyond seemingly contained systems.
Laura Splan is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work mines the materiality of science to reveal poetic subjectivities. Her mixed media projects destabilize notions of the presence and absence of bodies evoking the mutability of categories that delineate their status. Splan’s work compels an intimate engagement with detail calling into question how things are made and what they are made of. She reconsiders perceptions and representations of the corporeal with a range of traditional and new media techniques. She often combines the quotidian with the unfamiliar to interrogate cultural constructions of order and disorder, function and dysfunction. Her frequent combinations of textiles with technology challenge values of "the hand" in creative production and question notions of agency and chance in aesthetics.
Splan's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts & Design and Beall Center for Art + Technology. International audiences for her work have included Iceland, South Korea, England, Germany, Sweden, Austria, and Canada. Her work is included in the collections of the Thoma Art Foundation, the NYU Langone Art Collection, and the Science Center. Her biomedical themed artworks have been commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control Foundation, the Gen Art New Media Art Exhibition and Davidson College. She has received research funding from The Jerome Foundation and her residencies have been supported by the Knight Foundation, the Institute for Electronic Arts, Harvestworks, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. She has been a visiting lecturer at Stanford University teaching interdisciplinary courses including “Embodied Interfaces”, “Data as Material” and “Art & Biology”. She is currently a Creative Experiments track member at NEW INC, the New Museum’s cultural incubator.