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UW-Madison to host bioinspired artist - Peter Krsko - as the Spring 2017 Arts Institute's Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute (presenter), the Departments of Biological Systems Engineering, Art, Design Studies and Physics welcome bioinspired artist Peter Krsko as the Spring 2017 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. Professor Sundaram Gunasekaran of Biological Systems Engineering is the lead faculty member for this residency.

The UW–Madison Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program brings innovative artists to campus to teach semester-long, interdepartmental courses and to publicly present their work for campus and community audiences.

Krsko creates collaborative and community public art, such as sculptures and murals, inspired by biological concepts of diversity, differentiation, participation and co-ownership. Krsko also develops STEAM-based lesson plans for schools, summer camps, after-school program and correctional facilities. His research of biological communities led him to develop sculptural installations that mimic the structure and form of natural entities as well as the dynamics and laws of interactions within ecosystems.

During his residency at UW–Madison, Krsko will teach “Zoethica: Bioinspired Art and Science” where students will engage in a hands-on study of the natural world utilizing modern instrumentation. Krsko will guide students to observe natural materials, organisms and systems at micro-, meso- and macroscopic levels. During this process, students will analyze artistic and scientific approaches to studying nature and develop novel materials and systems based on natural concepts. The students will review current literature, engage in lab measurements and develop their own artwork (to be exhibited at the end of the semester) as well as creating bioinspired STEAM curricula for the Zoethica website.

Public Events | go.wisc.edu/krsko

All the events are free and take place in Madison, Wisconsin unless noted otherwise. Events are subject to change. Visit website for more details.

Wednesday, March 1 | 4:30 – 5:45 p.m.
Artist Talk with Peter Krsko
Art Department Visiting Artist Colloquium
L160 Elvehjem Building | 800 University Ave.
Madison, Wisconsin

Wednesday, April 19 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Madison Area Network for Innovation and Collaboration (UW–MANIAC)
Artist Talk with Peter Krsko and Katie Schofield
School of Human Ecology, Nancy Nicolas Hall | 1300 Linden Drive
Madison, Wisconsin

Opening April 2017*
Public Outdoor Installations at Wormfarm Institute
Public Installation, Workshop and Reception
Reedsburg, Wisconsin

Opening May 2017*
Public Outdoor Installations at Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Public Installation and Reception
3330 Atwood Ave.
Madison, Wisconsin

*Olbrich Botanical Gardens and Wormfarm Institute are community partners for Peter Krsko’s residency. More details on the installations will be available in March.

Biographies

Peter Krsko | peterkrsko.com

In 2006, while working on a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Materials Science, Peter Krsko discovered a way to use a traditional scanning electron microscope as a focused electron beam lithography instrument, enabling him to create artwork viewable only with a microscope.

After receiving his degree, Krsko was awarded a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where his interests expanded into medically-relevant biological communities, bacterial biofilms, bioinspired materials, colors and vision and the combination of science and art in order to develop unique lesson plans for young students. He continues providing educational services to schools, summer camps, after-school programs and correctional facilities today.

Krsko also creates collaborative and community public art, such as sculptures and murals, inspired by biological concepts of diversity, differentiation, participation and co-ownership.

Krsko also develops STEAM-based lesson plans for schools, summer camps, after-school programs and correctional facilities. His sculptural installations mimic the structure and form of natural entities as well as the dynamics and laws of interactions within ecosystems. Krsko’s work has been presented in Honfleur Gallery, The Fridge DC Gallery, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Fermentation Festival, Sculptural Visions, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and other festivals and venues nationwide. His work has also been featured in BBC World News, The Washington Post and National Public Radio.

Katie Schofield

Katie Schofield combines traditional crocheting techniques with new material and hyperbolic geometries. The resulting sculptures share many similarities with sea coral, especially the large surface area to volume ratio. The corals, as organisms residing on the sea bottom, intake nutrients by filtering their environment. The more water they can filter through their bodies, the more nutrients they obtain. 

Schofield explores unique ways to maximize the surface area of her pieces by group assemblies of hyperbolic shapes. Working with Schofield, the students will stretch their mathematical imagination literally into new dimensions.

Dan Steinhilber

Dan Steinhilber is a sculptor, whose original approach to utilizing new sculptural material has been widely noted. His recent research and development in areas of robotics and mechanical systems is inspired by soft body organisms, such as jellyfish or unicellular organism. His artwork explores very similar approaches in order to reach new definition of shape and volume, whether static or dynamic.

Besides transforming two-dimensional shapes into three-dimensional objects, the students through Steinhilber's lessons will also get a chance to investigate fluid mechanics, pressure gradients and how a system in equilibrium results in a mechanical movement.